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Best time to start a new tea business

Marriage, kids and giving birth to a new business, what’s common thing about this?

If you ask me when is the right time to go and start a new business? Or it’s a matter of too big…? too small…? As it grows too much, does it become competitive? All that sort of stuff…

I would say that is exactly the common thing about these three things.

Let me share a couple of stories with you.

The first one, one time, I was talking to my sister, which was ages ago, she had a beauty salon business and often she does make up brides.

I was talking to her Chinese saying this year is not supposed to be a year for marriages and stuff like that.

And I said, look it doesn’t matter whether it is the right time or not, people still get married.

The fact is that world doesn’t stop just because it’s not supposed to be a good year for marriage people get married.

The second one is when I was talking to my husband about when to have kids.

We started a business a few years before that and we said to ourselves, “OK, when the business starts to have some sort of a firm holding and then we’re going to have kids.”

But one day he just said to me, “You know what? There’s never going to be a perfect time.”

We just have to say this is the time and this is what we going to do.

So, we follow that and few years on the journey, we have two little bundles of joy and the third one of course is our tea business.

We’re talking to a lot of new business owners and we hear stories.

Some people say this is the perfect time to get into tea and also it’s a pretty competitive market in there.

But what if there’s nothing like that in the market and you’re the first one.

You’re going to be working really hard and you have to be very creative because you need to find a way to translate this new idea, this new product into something that is sort of similar out there and you need to educate people why your new thing is better.

Or if you have something that is very common, that everybody is using, in that case the market is going to be pretty competitive but it doesn’t mean you have no room to maneuver and rocket to success.

“When to start your tea business –
It’s less about when you’re going to start it and more about where your intention / mission is.”

Some of our customers tell us that yes we’re going to start our tea business but this is actually something more of enjoying the tea and they are going to sell some.

They know that this is not going to be their full time business. In fact, some people do it more like a retirement thing.

So I hope this gives you a bit of clarity. You don’t have take over the tea world, if you don’t want to 😉

There would be some who says that this is going to be my bread and butter, I’m going to make an impact, I’m going to learn the ropes and I’m going to make my tea business really successful.

Everybody has different kind of end goal and you have to decide what that is.

At the end of the day, your business is a product / reflection of your mentality.

If you think that I’m going to make it work no matter what, that is what the product is going to become, what the business that is going to become.

If you’re doing it kind of oddly, it is going to come out odd as well and that’s what is going to show.

So I hope this is something useful for you especially if you’re looking to start a new business or your business is still quite new.

It’s important to have a conversation to yourself and really have to think how you can make this business work to achieve whatever that goal you might have.

If you have a strong “why”, the “how” will come, regardless of the market condition.

And don’t worry too much if it’s competitive or not, don’t let that hinder your decision.

Just go for it, give it a go and see where it takes you.
For more juicy information about tea and how to make it work, visit Empiroteas.com.au.

To check out our tea range, visit Teas.com.au.

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Our Organic Teas Confession

Organic Tea

Organic tea is certainly one of the most frequently asked for tea in our range. Australians are certainly moving more and more towards organic food, but are most voting with their wallets when it comes to organic food.

For you as a tea sellers, how do you strike a balance between kind to body and/or nature and business survival / profitability?

Tea Plantation
Tea Plantation

In the above video: In Australia, we are often asked for organic tea. Nowadays everyone is trying to eat healthier, live healthier and in some ways this organic thing almost turns into a fashion.

We all love organic to a degree. I love it too, when it’s sensibly priced.

The problem is that, it’s almost a bit like wedding stuff, whenever something has a wedding as a label, all of the sudden the price has gone up 3 times higher.

That’s the problem with organic stuff, they are going through this period that people are really going crazy at it and there is often actually not enough demand.

Like some of our herbs suppliers, they’re saying, “all of the sudden these few years everyone is going for organic herbs”, and organic herbs actually there’s more ways to it than when the people actually planting them.

Also, it takes longer for the plant to grow, so, to actually to satisfy that growing demand is really difficult.

The other side of this is the certification because there is different certification for different countries and we’re talking to some Australian farmers and they we’re saying that, “look, we love to be certified organic but the problem is all the bureaucratic red-tape, all the auditing, all the cost of the certification involve” and it you export then you have to do it 3 time, 5 times for all these different organic certifications because different country demand different ones.

Golden Wulong (pesticide free)
Golden Wulong (pesticide free)

So, rather than doing that, they just go and plant it as nature intent it to be, organically, and just call it pesticide-free. That’s what they’re (the farmers) doing, rather than calling it certified organic.

There is definitely a bit of a problem there and the other side of it is also that when someone thinks about, you know like when you pick up a box of tea and it says organic black tea and you think about it’s from an organic plantation.

That’s the common sense approach that we are also very passionate about.

The problem is that, actually, there is also organic food processor, that’s another way of being certified organic and we don’t really buy into that… that’s just kind of like saying, you got to wipe down every time, after you’ve touched normal stuff versus organic stuff, with organic disinfectant and things like that.

We just don’t buy that, that’s not common sense approach, I mean if you pick up a box of organic tea, it’s just means that it’s planted from an organic plantation, not certified?… fine… but this food processor thing is a bit… uhmm…

Organic Black Chai
Organic Black Chai

So, there you have it, there’s a little bit of intricacy when it comes to this thing about organic and that’s also why you see on our website not everything is organic because there is the price versus the flavour of it, some of them are still quite washed out, some of the organic stuff, in terms of taste.

The price, especially if there is a growing demand for it; it’s getting difficult to get them and in getting them consistently good because there is no point of me getting organic tea one time and not organic the next time.

You might get a bit confused and that’s definitely not somewhere we want to be in. In teas.com.au, when we see something says “organic”, that means that we have hit those mark; that we can supply it consistently; and they’re from certified organic plantation. So that’s what it means.

If it is organic flavour tea, like organic black chai, that means we have got a certified organic flavour, not just a natural flavour like a lot of those organic flavour teas out there, it is actual organic certified flavour.

So, there you have it! A little bit something for you to think about when it comes to organic.

Extra interesting read:

Any question or comments, feel free to drop us a line using the contact us form at www.teas.com.au or comment under this video.

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One Shop – Online and Offline

online-offline

I roll my eyes each time I hear someone saying shopping mall giant Westfield and the online merchants are killing off shops off the streets.

Don’t get me wrong – I am no fan of Westfield – highly standardised shopping experience – you know the kind – you’ve been one of the their malls – you have been to all. Even across the ditch (for our Kiwi friends, you know what I mean).

I love the uniqueness of small shops – the quirky, special items. Yes, the “westfieldisation” means these shops are harder to find, and becoming harder for these shops to survive.

Many small independent shop owners also say they can’t compete because the online shopping has killed their businesses.

What’s been happening is that many shoppers now use their mobile phones or ipad to surf the net and compare prices etc, then they go a physical shop, check out the items, then go back online and buy it at a lower price.

No wonder some shop owners think their shops are turning into a showroom.

So should these shop owners like you just chuck in the towel, and just close your tea shop that you open for the love of tea?

If you have belly in your fire and think you can do better than just victimising yourself and your business, I challenge you to change your mindset to “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

What I mean is becoming the OMNI-CHANNEL merchant.

The concept is pretty simple – have both online and offline shops – so if someone is online comparing, they find YOUR online shop, then they can come to YOUR shop to check it out, then go back online to YOUR shop to buy.

See – your little mini-monopoly is taking shape!

Of course, to be visual both on the street and in the virtual world needs some strategic planning. Also how do you lure an online shopping to your physical shop – what if you offer them “pick up from our shop” as a checkout shipping method.

And what about on your items in the physical shop has a label to say you can buy this item online with X % discount using this code?

Or train your shop staff to offer customers to sign up for members club and whatever is sold that day (eg a bag of tea), shoot an email out after 2 weeks later and offer a “top up your tea discount code”?

There are many ways you can string all your sales channel together, to fit into this world that the online and offline shopping becomes one.

Resources:

http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2013/10473/the-omni-channel-retail-experience-or-how-kay-and-jared-jewelers-upped-sales-49

Putting The “R” Into E-Tail: Adopt A Holistic Retail Marketing Approach

http://www.neustar.biz/resources/infographics/optimize-omnichannel-marketing-infographic#.U6-t-I2SxRM