[AMA] Tea Business Online/ Offline Getting Smarter
[Replay Ask Me Anything 19 Oct 17] 
  • Tea Business Online
  • Tea Business Offline
  • Growth
  • Expenses - not just cutting cost, but do it smartly!

Offline vs online businesses: having a market store or setting up an online business. This is not an either-or choice, offline and online should work hand in hand, like hiring 2 sales reps for your business. It is not like one should do more work than the other. 

  1. Think about where people go after the purchase of the first packet of tea.
    Let's say you pick one up and you love it but no website address or anything that would suggest for people to comeback, or giving them a way a bridge to you they would instead pick it up from a convenience store or a market store whatever is convenient for them at that point in time. 
    So it is really important to address from the perspective that how can I get in touch with the person when they need to buy again.

  2. It is important to help people to know when are you going to show up. More importantly, you show up in a way where you help people make it easy for them to locate you. 
    What I mean by that for example, I go to a market, pick up a packet of tea, it tastes fantastic, and when I'm paying for it, the market store owner says if you love the tea you can visit our website and I'm giving you a 20% discount voucher, so it's good that he/she took the time to hand it over to me and let me know how I can easily find what I want again.

  3. Interaction is very important. It is a key to see that offline and online are not competing.They are partners, like your left and right hand together we can do a lot of things.

If you happen to be mainly online and have gone to an event, give them a reason to find you. Let them know to go online and they can go there to get a sample kit etc. 

If you are serving tea in a spa, and you want people to come back to you and buy tea, remember spa is not a place to buy tea usually - so you give them a good reason to get from them because the tea is special from you. They can't just pick it up somewhere random - this will serve as your winning strategy to continue your sales journey with them.

Another tip that I have found very valuable that has helped me in growing my business particularly in early years (we have been with the business since 2003, that's been a little while), is to "alternate theme" each year.

  • 1st year is growth you want to be known to more people. advertising, SEO, write articles, going out to events, guesting and blogging, a partnership is very powerful
  • 2nd-year is expenses getting smarter with expenses not necessarily cost cutting because it is dangerous.


Sales experts talk about the whole ecology of the business - you can't keep doing cost cutting. Sooner or later, it's going to cut your morale and it's painful and you are going to start force feeding yourself peanuts rather real food.
The cost to watch: your advertising in print, check and see if they are generating results if you keep on getting people using it then that ad is effective.
Same thing with online ads and anything else that you put money to. It is necessary to think of ways you can get smarter with expenses, like social posting, it's a giant time suck, never-ending screaming pooping baby, a  lot of energy and brain juice go into it.
So make it easier by scheduling a batch of posts instead. You might want to go on Facebook and schedule posts for 2 days worth at a time. Scheduling them in one hit. That can definitely save your time. 
There are a lot of apps that can help posting. I use is the buffer.
What is important is that you look smarter with your time, your 24 hours a day is $24 budget and how can you get smarter with it.
If you listen to a productivity expert, they would tell you that you can only focus 30mins to an hour at a time. Your brain got to have some releases of pressure in between. Take time out to have tea perhaps :)
So it is really important that you look at your strategy in terms of how you can be more effective in your spending and not just trimming it down. Some things would cost more like marketing could chew up 10%  of your monthly spending in order to help you to be visible and some money you need to invest to other people to help because if you just do it yourself you will end up very very tired and it's not ideal. 
So the strategy is that you basically rotate, 1st year is growth, 2nd year is cost.
Watch your expenses. Be smarter with it, 3rd year, growth and 4th-year expense and just rotate.
You need both, and in that way you will have a healthy business, that is not just gogogo I got to have money make money kind of stuff and not keep on burning money as well. Make sure you invest to get effective and get results. 

If you need some help with your tea business, it's crucial you work with someone who has been there, understand your goal and pain. 

As a tea business owner since 2003, I have many shares of pain and gain. If you are ready to create your dream tea business, get your tea biz fundamentals right by taking this essential training.