Archive for April, 2012

Why LinkedIn is good for tea businesses

According to Wikipedia, LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site used primarily for professional networking. Many business opportunities have become available to me and my business via LinkedIn and I wanted to share with readers why LinkedIn is good for tea businesses.

LinkedIn is a way to build your professional network by connecting users with trusted contacts, known as “connections.”  For tea business owners new to LinkedIn, the first step is to create a profile and ensure all details are filled out completely so that other connections can find you.  Start building your professional network by adding connections.  If you have a bricks-and-mortar tearoom, one tip is to add business connections local to your area.

If you have an online store (as I have), add businesses locally, nationally, and internationally.  I encourage my tea clients to look for ways to collaborate with other businesses as I have done on occasion.  By connecting with other businesses in the local / national area, you may find those collaborative opportunities that will also help to raise brand awareness about your business to other businesses.  Connecting with local journalists, bloggers, magazine editors, and radio DJs is also useful for PR, as the media are always looking for new stories.  Tea is a very interesting story for journalists to write about.

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What to Do with Broken Teapots

I remember going to South Carolina to complete one of the levels to my STI certification class a couple of years ago and, after the study class, I thought I’d venture into the town. There I came across an arts and craft market. I love to browse arts and crafts markets, admiring the beau-tea of the designer’s works, be it clothes, photography, textiles, or art. One particular stall caught my eyes as the designer had recycled broken teapots into pieces of jewellery, jokingly telling me that a necklace I was admiring is a broken teapot from the Ming Dynasty. She had a very cheeky smile. Unfortunately, my budget was blown on tea on that trip, so I didn’t make a purchase, but it did get me thinking, how else could a teapot be reused?

Tea Pot Wind Chime

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Working Collabora-tea-vely

My favourite phrase that I heard from a business owner is that “there is no competition, only collaboration” and with the big corporates working alongside each other I think that there is an element of truth in that. How about the independent tearoom which is not part of a chain? The answer is to work collabora-tea-vely of course!

I was extremely privileged to have been able to work in Melbourne recently with two wonderful tea companies. Although I sell my own line of tea, I don’t see them as competition. There is enough for everyone I feel, and as well as selling tea, I love talking about it and had a wonderful time sharing my knowledge of tea with those that are wanting to learn something new.

My first stop was with Tea & Sympathy where we I shared my knowledge of tea and terroir. Australia is a fabulous wine producing nation and whilst the seasoned wine drinker may have heard of the French term they may not realise that terroir can be applied to tea as well. So as we tried and compared two different green teas and two black teas, explained how the tea varietal, the processing techniques, elevation of the tea plant, growing conditions can all help to contribute to the final product in the cup, it was especially interesting to hear the crowd’s comments about the tea as some of them were tasting them for the first time. It was fabulous to hear the crowd share their memories, hear their sensory evaluations and their engagement with me as they asked many great questions and made it into such a tea-licious evening.

May King Tsang discussing Tea and Terroir

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