p.s. - thanks for the plug. :D1st- Find the best coffee you can serve, coffee that you are passionate about.
2nd- Know your competition and who you are marketing to (How big is your population, how many other shops are there). What will make you unique and different from other shops.
3d- Try to have shop with a drive thru window. I am only drive thru with a little outdoor seating, but I wished I had built a small indoor sit down, but I am not sad that I am a drive thru.
4th- Get excellent dependable employees. The hardest part of opening a shop (I have been open since 12/08) was finding quality dependable help.
5th- Nail down your startup costs and then plan to spend more.
6th- Nail down your menu and what you will charge. Good rule is 65% mark up. If a product cost you $1 to make charge about 65% more.
7th- If you have the money hire a consultant (Jason Haeger here on barista exchange was an excellent source for me).
Hope that is a good start.