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The Tea Room Business Plan – Sales, Promotion and Public Relations

As a tea wholesaler, you can have the best tea room with the highest quality products and service but if you don’t promote the business properly, your chances of success will be reduced.

The best way to promote the tea room as a value added wholesale business and increase revenue is to develop a plot with a limited number of steps and work the plot with focus sustained effort. Having already developed a profile of the ideal customer in a limited geographic area the plot may take the following steps.

Sales

Many people are averse to selling because the term sales connotes a high pressure, huckster like effort that results in significant rejection and stress. The core of selling but is identifying those buyers that have a sincere interest in the product/service offered and only require education about the features and benefits of the offering. Selling for tea rooms is more an education and awareness of prospects that are more inclined to visit as they learn more.

Having already identified the characteristics of the ideal customer it is only a matter of product/service education to sell to that customer.

For the tea room owner who is enthusiastic about their tea room and tea in general, it becomes an simple natural experience to clarify to a prospect the benefits of their tea room.

After the initial sale encouraging repeat business based on a high level of customer satisfaction will also encourage sales and develop long term customer loyalty. Maintaining a high degree of customer will encourage word of mouth promotion which is perhaps the most powerful influence on the sales process.

Promotion

Promoting the new tea room business is vital but economy considerations are critical. To start, only promote the tea room through channels that either reach prospects directly or indirectly through industries and companies that address a similar customer profile.

Every entrepreneur learns through experience that there is a most efficient way to spend advertising dollars. This can be hit-or-miss for the beginner and very costly. So, once again, learn from the previous mistakes of your competitors. Find out and follow how your most successful competitors advertise and promote their products or services.

Whatever advertising media you choose to use become knowledgeable regarding the do’s and don’ts of advertising in that particular medium. For example, if direct mail works best for you, there are books in your library devoted to this subject. They will provide huge insights that can save you from wasting advertising dollars.

Media publicity is free and helps to make a positive image for you business. Newspapers could be interested in writing a feature tale about you because of the widespread interest in entrepreneurship and the fact that you are a successful start-up. Local newspapers, even the free ones, are very effective.

Your “press release” must have news value that can be turned into a bit more of a feature tale, as opposed to an announcement. This will make it more fascinating and relevant to the reader. Editorial space is much more valuable to you than show space…and it’s free!

Although there are a myriad of promotional thoughts for tea rooms, some examples are:

A flyer for health clubs promoting the tea room and the health benefits of loose leaf tea.
Attendance at a health honest where it can be shown that tea and pleasant surroundings relive stress and makes and enjoyable moment
Participation at a local picnic or 4th of July event.
Distribution of flyers or business cards to local health food stores
Joining the local Chamber of Commerce and networking at chamber events
Joining a networking group like the local flower society or preservation group

One of the most cost effective methods of promoting the tea room business is with a smart, effective web site that promotes the business and can generate revenue through product sales.

Marketing Collateral

Marketing collateral generally takes the form of printed material that provides information about your tea room business. Marketing collateral can take many forms:

Business cards
Simple Brochures
Special interest articles
Simple mailers
Menus
Other focused messages

Marketing collateral can be expensive so plot carefully and buy wisely. Include quality graphics where possible

Tea Room Tip: Do not buy any marketing collateral until you are sure about the company name. Changes will be extremely costly and wasteful.

Mailing lists

Now, before your start your tea room is the right time to start developing a database of future customers you wish to target. This list can be used for direct mail, invitations and newsletters. Your database could include specific individuals, companies and groups by location. Start now to:

Join the Chamber of Commerce.
Collect business cards.
Collect names or mailing lists from your church, school, and community groups.
Get involved in your industry and community affairs.

Public Relations

As compared to promotional activities for the products and services of the tea room, public relations activities are longer term and focuses on the tea room business itself. The objective is to make excitement about the business in the community and use that excitement to reach a large number of prospects.

There are many techniques for public relations but the key element involves press releases and articles in local publications that are written in a way to make interest in the company and generate interest from the defined, targeted tea room audience.

Paid Advertising

There are many types of paid media to deliver your message. A few of the most commonly used are:

Print (newspapers, magazines and newsletters)
Radio
Television, including cable Internet
Yellow Pages
Direct mail
Trade shows

With the exception of a listing in the telephone yellow pages and very focused advertisements in local distribution news papers, mass market advertising should be avoided. The cost is high and the ad will not reach the intended segment of the market. It is a excellent thought to, with the exception of a modest yellow page ad; avoid extensive paid advertising until the business is stabilized from a cash flow perspective.

Tea Room Tip: A tea room does not require expensive, paid mass advertising. Promoting smarter rather than harder will pay dividends. A excellent, cost effective, strategy for effective promotion is found in Guerrilla Marketing gmarketing.com/” target=”_blank gmarketing.com/

Jon Stout is Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. For more information about goldenmoontea.com tea, goldenmoontea.com/blacktea black tea and goldenmoontea.com/WholesaleTea wholesale tea go to goldenmoontea.com



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