Gourmet tea is a niche market that can be profitable, particularly with the right business plan and marketing. For those looking to start their own business, selling gourmet tea involves finding a supplier, having the space to store the tea, and either a website or local store (or ideally both). Once these things are in place, the focus will shift to marketing the gourmet tea and beginning to realize the profits. By utilizing both online and offline marketing strategies, the entrepreneur can take advantage of the best of both worlds and maximize profits.
Items you will need
- Advertising budget
- Local business contacts and/or retail location
Network with store owners who sell related products. This will work for both online and offline marketing techniques. Offline, by networking with these store owners, you can secure placement in their retail stores for your gourmet teas. Online, you can do the same thing or set up a strategic alliance to have them promote your products in exchange for promoting theirs.
Advertise online and offline. For online advertising, you can set up a pay-per-click advertising campaign with Google AdWords or similar companies to market your gourmet teas. Offline, you can place advertising in local papers, hang fliers up around town, and purchase ad space on a local radio station.
Build customer relationships. With any niche, building strong customer relationships is the key to success. Word-of-mouth advertising is priceless, and repeat customers can build the backbone of your success, both offline and online. Offer special pricing to past customers to encourage them to keep buying your gourmet tea.
Expand your operations. As you begin developing a customer base for your gourmet tea, the increased revenue will allow you to expand your operations. If you have been selling your tea through local merchants, consider opening your own retail location. If you already have one, consider expanding it. For online merchants, this revenue can be used to expand your product line and even begin selling related items such as cups, tea kettles and tea bag strainers.
Continue advertising. No matter what business you are in, if you don't advertise, your level of success will not be as high as that of a business owner who does. Every month, allocate a specific amount to be used for advertising your business, both online and offline. Although this is an expense, it is one that will pay for itself over time and help you make huge money with gourmet tea.
- blue cup and tea from a blue tea-pot image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com