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 plan with a limited number of steps and work the plan with focus sustained effort. Having already developed a profile of the ideal customer in a limited geographic area the plan may take the following steps.
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 however 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 easy natural experience to explain 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.
Promoting the new tea room business is important 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 decide 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 create a positive image for you business. Newspapers could be interested in writing a feature story 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 story, as opposed to an announcement. This will make it more interesting and relevant to the reader. Editorial space is much more valuable to you than display space … and it's free!
Although there are a myriad of promotional ideas 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 fair where it can be shown that tea and pleasant surroundings relive stress and creates 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 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
- Other focused messages
Marketing collateral can be expensive so plan carefully and buy wisely. Include quality graphics where possible
Tea Room Tip: Do not purchase any marketing collateral until you are sure about the company name. Changes will be extremely costly and wasteful.
Now, before your start your tea room is the right time to begin 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. Begin 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.
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 create 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 create interest in the company and generate interest from the defined, targeted tea room audience.
There are many types of paid media to deliver your message. A few of the most commonly used are:
- Print (newspapers, magazines and newsletters)
- Television, including cable
- 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 good idea 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 good, cost effective, strategy for effective promotion is found in Guerrilla Marketing http://www.gmarketing.com/