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Five Ways to Build Your Tea Business

by Phil Edelstein @ Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Company

We all know it – tea has fantastic margins. The more you sell, the more profits you can enjoy at the end of the month. The problem? While tea might be the most consumed beverage worldwide next to water, chances are the demand for more expensive coffee products is what keeps you stressed during the day. Nevertheless, if you can take certain steps to grow your tea business, you'll capture new customers. Here are five ways we recommend doing it.

1. Understand your customer base.

First, let's get our ducks in a row. If you want to sell more tea, you need to understand your customers. Ask yourself these questions:

Once you've analyzed your customer base, you can start to plan your tea line. Have an older set of customers? Be sure to offer some caffeine-free herbal teas like Chamomile or Peppermint. Serving the morning crowd on their way to work? Caffeinated teas like Assam or Earl Grey should do the trick. If you have a health-conscious audience, a green tea like Tamayokucha is your best bet, but your customers will also be well-served with Better Morning, Better Belly or Better Rest Blend. Overall, diversifying the tea you are carrying is a sure way to please everyone, but a more strategic approach means better profit margins at the end of the month.

2. Use your point-of-sale

If you want people asking about tea, use point-of-sale to generate awareness. People walk into a coffee shop generally thinking about coffee, and walk into a grocery store thinking about a whole wealth of different products. Point-of-sale is the subtle nudge someone needs to think, "maybe I should have some tea today." Whether it be posters, counter cards, shelf talkers or display racks, put your point-of-sale in a prominent place to grab people's attention. And don't forget to give tea a place on your menu board – it's sure to get people asking for tea when they can't decide what to drink.

3. Educate your customers

We know it all too well – people fear what they don't know. While tea is an exciting, interesting beverage that encompasses all sorts of stories and fun facts, consumers can find it intimidating and don't know where to begin when making a purchase. Give your customers the opportunity to learn more about tea and they will buy more tea. Education can both help build relationships with your customers while also making them more confident in their tea purchases.

4. Educate your staff

Wait – but how do you educate your customers? By starting with your staff. Your employees need to be prepared to field questions and provide fun facts about teas that people are interested in. Take the time to inquire about two leaves and a bud's free "virtual tea tasting" educational sessions, and have some of your staff attend. Encourage your staff to subscribe to fun educational newsletters. Or, simply educate yourself as much as possible and spread the knowledge to the rest of your personnel. In a few hours, you can have enough knowledge to bring great value to your customer base and hold tea tastings of your own.

5. Create samplers

One special attribute of tea is its diversity – the endless variety of tastes, textures and aromas that comes with each type of tea. Customers love to discover new tea, but they often don't have enough information to shell out dollars for a tea they've never tried before. Creating some fun sampler deals, whether its "buy three teas for the price of two" or just creating your own sampler pack of tea for a standard retail price will excite your customers, create customer affinity for different tea, and will vastly increase your tea business.

And there are our five tips for building your tea business. Our final word of advice is a simple one – make tea fun. With a product that is sourced from all over the world that offers an endless variety of tastes and aromas, you always have the opportunity to inspire your customers with a passion and enthusiasm for the world of tea. Tap into that excitement that tea can offer, and you're sure to be running a successful tea program in no time.