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Survival Lessons from Company Collapses

business decisions

95% of new businesses die in the first year.

Life is pretty tough and crazy as a business owners.

Yet the reward is great.

I look back after running the tea business for 10 years and I would almost be happy to show you my battle scars and pretty willing to keep charging forth.

This is the magic in owning a business, yet, to run a business is not easy. It is also a continuum. Just because you have gigantic turnarounds annually and been around for decade, you could collapse.

The lessons in this article in Smart Company is pretty profound.

My favourite lessons takaways –

  • Time your expansion
  • Don’t sell yourself short
  • Be realistic about expansion


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Building Ecommerce Website 101

I was told recently there are 10 website for every person on Earth!

That means while it is super easy to create a website, it is not as easy to find the RIGHT eyeballs to YOUR site.

Here are some basic and easy to understand tips to how to create a good website for your small business from GoDaddy.

I have heard mixed reviews of their services but my dealings with them have been all of high standard. Can’t complain. (we are not affiliated with them)


1) What is your site about

2) Who is it for

3) What do you want your customers (viewers) to do

More from GoDaddy small business page – click here.

My 3 (technical) tips for you

We have been running online business for 10 years and we have built 4 websites so far. We certainly learned much along the way, and there are still a lot of unknown territory out there, especially now mobile computing is pretty mainstream, and to build a site looks good in tiny phone screen as well as large TV / computer screen is quite a challenge ūüėČ

1) Find an experienced ecommerce website developer who understand business. It is easy to find a web developer who understand only technicality and have no clue on business. Or a web developer who has built pretty sites and doesn’t understand the intricacies of an ecommerce site. We have battle scars to show. Don’t do it. Don’t fall love with look, you need functions, as it is a ecommerce site. Think of it like buying a calculator, does it really matter if it is pink or black?

2) Achieve as much clarity as possible in every tiny stupid details. It is uncommon to have common sense. If you think the space to write address should be longer than the space for your name, SPELL IT out. I know this is unbelievably painful, but this will save a lot of tweaking later. Developers often do wire frame – ie sketching out what they understand what you want. Make sure everything is as spot on as possible at this stage. Once they start fleshing it out with pretty stuff, it’s too late and expensive to fix.

3) Get your friends, family and their dogs and goldfish to test. Yes, if I were you, I would NOT go live without giving your tribe at least 1 month to test every single bit of the site. Simple things like always have the continue checkout button on bottom right could be easily missed in the site creation phase but your goldfish friend will point it out.


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4 Tips to Start Your Tea Business

what do your tea business look like

So you have decided to follow your dream, and start your tea business!

Let me give you a virtual bear hug!

You know, not everyone is as brave as you and are ready to stand out.

I often think of owning a business is like having a child, or a pet (not to say child = pet) ūüėČ
The tender love you need to give your business when it first starts, just like watching a baby taking their first steps.
When it starts to grow, you need to let go a little and let it run, experiment with system and automations, and trust it can build up its independance from you, just like a young child telling you goodbye and hurrying you to leave so they can play with their friends at school.
Every step has its challenges and rewards.

I created this video for you to set you on the right path to succeed in your tea business.

A fair warning: it shatters the typical path to set up a tea business at  0:20 Рwatch it now and tell me if you made the same mistake when you started your tea business (I did too!)

To stand out, we believe your tea business needs to have something unique so people want to buy from YOU instead of someone else down the road.
This uniqueness can be expressed in the content of the site (well being articles to help customers to understand how to maintain great health and looks glamorous and shapely), your product choices (certain ones because you love them or have done something for you) and/or your narrative (funky tea talk or funny language).
Tea becomes the vehicle of expressing your uniqueness.

Let me know what is the ONE ACTION you would do in the next 7 days to move the needle for your business.

If your desire is to create a tea business that gives you rewards above and beyond a mere past-time, join me for a free Tea Business Clarity Session.
Remember this: your business uniqueness is like a diamond Рexpert help goes a long way to unearth and craft it to perfection, so your business could become the brightest gem in the tea industry.
Make your next move now – here is how I can help.
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Google Hangouts 101

Google Hangouts

There are many online tools now to do presentation, chat and record video at the same time. Your budget, size of your audience and cross device functionality are some factors to consider which software is best suited to your needs.

I have tried Stealth Seminar and that’s pretty good, especially for scheduled presentations. Many folks in the marketing arena use GotoMeeting which is pretty stable but marginally unfriendly to mac, as some functions seem to get a bit flaky.

I am attempting Google Hangouts, and again seeing more marketing experts using it. It is free but not as easy to use as I imagine. For starter, the very weird thing is it is not Chrome friendly on mac. For the non-geeks there, Chrome is made from the same people as Hangouts, ie, Google, so it is bizarre that they don’t work. I have to switch to Firefox and open Google Hangouts in the mac.

But having said that, it is a great collaboration tool and could supercede Skype (which I am now liking less since it is sold to Microsoft. The billing and payment plans are a real pain to get a clear picture. They speak Marsian in Microsoft, I am sure ūüėČ )

For those of you ready to reach out to larger audience, perhaps to do online training, check out this great presentation of Google Hangouts 101.


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Money lesson and larger tea range

I learned a really good lesson last year about money.

teascomau-7secrets-GreatTea-book.jpgYou see, our business has been doing well. After 10 years of hard work, we can say, yep, we have matured with age ūüėČ

But what happened after that was somewhat unexpected, but so necessary.

The lesson cuts deep, and as a business owner, I feel it is my obligation to share it with you Рespecially if you have subscribed to our enews and downloaded the 7 Secrets to Great Tea ebook.

In the wrong hands, the Secrets ebook could be disastrous, because you will get so excited, and make the same mistake like I did

So it began…about 9 months ago, business was flourishing and I had an itch I had to scratch – I felt like trying some new teas.

Suppliers was sending me some really nice premium tea. I was onto my last tiny bit of samples. I wanted to restock, for selfish reason, but why not get some more and pop it online. I had some “spare cash”.

So happily I made my executive decision as the owner of the business. Boss got to have some perks.

The tea arrived 2 weeks later, in their lovely shiny packs from China. It was like Christmas for me. I bought 5kg for undisclosed little princely sum. 5kg was not exactly a lot of tea, but because it was premium tea, it’s not best to sit around.

I told our good friends and customers. No bites, everyone said they couldn’t afford it.

What, for this kind of good tea? I seriously didn’t mark it up enough and I was told it was simply way off good ole Australian average tea prices.

So I ended up drinking it up with far less enjoyment that I expected. No one wanted it. Yes I sent some to our good customers some samples, but no one wanted to BUY.


So what did I learn?

When we have money, we made slack money decisions.

I had spare cash, so I went and expanded my tea range, well, attempted to.

I didn’t do my homework and tried to lock in some pre-ship orders. I got the tea in, then try to sell it. It was more hustle and bargain than I liked to do for some premium tea.


So if you have all the money in the world, should you expand your tea range?

Firstly, perhaps ask yourself, what sort of “tea business” are you running?

And how many teas are you comfortable in explaining to your customers?

Some are only ok talking black tea, because that’s all they have drunk, ever, and in that case, start with a small range like the usual English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and perhaps Chai plus another black tea, say Assam or Darjeeling.

Secondly, consider what you (and your staff) are familiar with – if everyone in the team hates green tea, it is pretty hard to sell it convincing to your customers.

Start with something you drink and know ‚Äď your knowledge and experience with the tea (type) will make it easier for you to talk about it and hence easier to sell.

# of tea stocked market perception
4-6 cafe: the usual
8-12 cafe: pretty serious about tea / tea house: a bit small
20-30 cafe: these guys know tea / tea house: nice range
31-50 tea house: this is fun
over 50 tea house: this is getting me very Excited!
over 100 tea house: a little tea-mad

So if you have loads of money right now, and have an itch, hold off scratching, and start a bit of “business soul searching”.


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3 Profitable Tea Selling Tips

Citron Green Tea, Turkish Apple and Rose Oolong - 3 popular teas

Is tea selling profitable?

How can you selling the quality leaf tea you believe in, and make a rewarding earning out of it?

Our Wholesale Members get more tips Рgo to and sign up for wholesale membership and you will receive a free 12 video e-class to help you to rock your tea sales.

Here are 3 tips how to:

  • Define Your Niche
  • Add Value to Your Customers
  • Repeat Sales

More in the video!

This video is created by, the Australian leading leaf tea seller. We offer:

  • Tea Manufacturing (Custom blend welcome)
  • Private Label Tea Packs
  • Over 150 Artisan blends and quality leaf tea

So if you are looking for the¬†tea wholesalers Australia¬†who are above and beyond just selling you tea products, come talk to us. We don’t prescribe.