Would love some feedback!!


Trends and Tips on developing and operating a tea business.

Would love some feedback!!

Postby Mairin » Oct 18th, '08, 03:14

I was thinking of starting my own 'from home' tea business. The idea is to start a wholesale account from a few of my favorite distributers and stock a bunch of (in my opinion) the best teas. I would advertise myself as a carrier and publish a weekly (possibly monthly) newsletter about tea and the teas that I have for sale. I know that there would be some local interest, but I'd really like some feedback. I would have teaware for sale as well. My dream is to eventually open a cafe selling fine teas, coffees and pastries, but I don't have the money at the moment and I was wondering if anyone thought that this might be a step in the right direction? Any ideas you could give me that might improve what I've already said?
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Postby Sydney » Oct 18th, '08, 08:44

Do you already have at least a local or modest on-line following of people who trust you as a source for nice edibles and beverages?

If so, it's not out of the question to spin that sort of situation into a revenue stream, although no one here is going to try to delude you into thinking it's a slam dunk.
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Postby gingkoseto » Oct 19th, '08, 11:59

For one period of time, I thought of opening a cafe/tea house. I was so obsessive about it and thought about it all day long. But I never got the courage/time/money to carry it out and I can imagine, in a small to medium size town, it could be somewhat risky.

But I think you idea of supplying tea from home is less risky and more practical. But still, like el padre said, it's important to know availability of potential customers. If you have the time (it could be very time-consuming) and the passion (I think you do have), it's worth a try, since the monetary investment is not as big as doing cafe.
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Postby Mairin » Oct 24th, '08, 15:21

I do know that there is some local interest. I would be supplying tea in three small towns, all very close to eachother. See, this isn't a very densely populated area, but there are a lot of tea drinkers, problem being that they really don't have anywhere to go to buy their tea. I know that some people are very interested in buying fine teas online but don't have a credit or debit card and therefore can't and I would be able to solve that problem for them. Being an Avon lady, I'm experienced in sales as well and think that this is something I really might be able to do well at.
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face to face

Postby jazzi » Dec 23rd, '08, 22:16

At the starter, you must run to meet the more people the more better, and you can build a simple online store.

Source is very important.
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Postby Pentox » Dec 24th, '08, 00:49

If you can get a booth at some local fairs/farmer's markets that would help. I know a company that's trying to start up around here that way.

The real trick though is giving others reason to buy from you online. Being online has a lot of stiff competition. There are sooo many little vendors and big vendors that reputation is key in choosing vendors. My vendor list of places to try grows rather than shrinks. If your local business is going to be enough to keep you going then great, but it would be tricky trying to sell online as a wholesaler.
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Postby ABx » Dec 24th, '08, 22:09

I think that it's a good idea; I've considered doing similar myself. Since you have potential local customers, that would probably make it a little easier. Then if and when you get enough of a following it would be much easier to get a small business loan and build up a brick-and-mortar shop/teahouse.

As stated, you're going to have some stiff competition online, so you'll have to be able to offer something that the others do not.

Just remember that most of business is psychology. Surely you already know that with your background, but I suspect that being a sales person for another company with an existing reputation is a bit different from starting over with your own. Until you get some kind of reputation you probably won't make much money, if any. Of course having zero overhead will help that considerably - the worst case scenario is that you end up with a bunch of tea that you have to drink yourself :)

Here's a great book about marketing/advertising posted online. It's an old book, but a very good one -
http://scientificadvertising.blogspot.com/
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