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Business Partner?!? Are you out there somewhere?

I currently have an online only Tea store, but feel I am lacking something grand. “A business Partner”, someone that compliments me! Someone that has the opposite strengths I have. Are you out there? I am artistic, great at organization, merchandizing, paperwork, customer service, inventory etc

What I need : someone who is super social, loves to talk the talk. To sell sell sell. Someone good at Advertising, being in the spotlight, making tea blogging videos, smooshin with the tea powers at be. Somoene who has the dream of something big, who wants and is able to put money and time into “our” business.

I am at the startup point honestly, I have no income coming in at the moment from my online site, so this is not a cry for someone to apply for a job I can pay you for at the moment… Any advice out there? Any potential partners in crime? Or where to find one ? :)

29 Replies
Fairyfli said

I think you are at the right site to find a business partner… it is funny I was just talking to another person online about if I could only figure out how to make money drinking tea! I would love it…anyways I don’t have any advice really, I think that posting this should help and maybe reading tea reviews and seeing whose descriptions that you like… that may give you a good idea how a person may sell tea, I really enjoy talking about tea with my friends, and I think that if you are passionate about the tea it comes across and you don’t really have to sell it. You have to believe in the product and then the product sells itself. Anyways just wanted to say Hi and think that you are in a great spot! I love the colors on your website by the way!

aww Thanks Fairyfli :) I completely agree with you on not even having to sell something if you enjoy it! Getting the word out itself is different though, have to be seen to be heard or bought :) Thanks again for the kind words and lets hope we can ALL make money drinking tea, or at least doing what we love :) BTW I am looking into getting a GREAT coconut tea so I will keep you posted on that if all goes well. :)

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Fairyfli said

I will keep an eye out for sure on the coconut tea… That is true though that you have to be heard or bought… sounds like you have some good ideas though with blogging videos and such..I think that you will get heard and seen hear though!

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Fairyfli said

Ohh and by the way I just realized that you are in my neighborhood! How fun! maybe we could get together sometime and have a cup of tea!

oh cool you in Seattle? Cup of Tea for sure!!!

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very cool, I’ll check it out :), do you use this site, or is it yours?

I have checked out the site, but i don’t have any good business things to contribute…

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You might check with a small business development center. They are usually located at a university near you. They are funded by the Small Business Administration and provide resources and research for all manner of small businesses. They may likely be able to help you in some of the areas that you are lacking in. I have personally received consulting services that I would have to had to pay thousands of dollars for that are absolutely free. You might check it out. Here is a link so you can find one in your area.
http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-development-centers-sbdcs

Thanks Ozark :) that is awesome!

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@SpecialTea Brew… was just having the same conversation with a friend of mine the other day. I have learned that to have a partner in the “tea” business is not like other business. They truly must have a passion for the brew….so like you, the search continues.

This is sooooo true Praise Tea, passion is everything to me, actually in pretty much all I do I try and have passion. Finding someone with the same passion but also the knack for wanting to start a business AND compliment your personality is well… hard, but I know it will happen if it is meant to be :). Happy searching, enjoying the journey.

Praise Tea I also wanted to add, I LOVE your website. I love the look, all the products you offer, all the tea blogs and info, and the style! How long have you been at this?

@SpecialTea thank you. I started in 2007 with about $200.

The site and business has come a LONGGGGGGGGGG way. I look back at some of our pictures and to think I thought I was doing something, then. Wow, it so much better now; however, it’s a continual work in progress. I wear many, MANY hats and they aren’t always pretty ones and they don’t always fit. LOL

well I love that you only started out with $200 cause that is pretty much where I am at right now. I love your many hats comment, that is soooo true and hilarious!

Praise Tea, I really like it that you started with $200. I like the attitude of putting more emphasis on passion than capitals. I’ve read professional articles written by business experts about the minimum amout of invest one should have for a small business (far more than I am able or willing to afford), and how much more money everything else (design, package, marketing, networking…) costs than what the “real thing” (for example, tea, or whatever for sale) costs. I know those are professional suggestions and that’s how most businesses succeed in modern society. But I would also like to see these rules being broken, by other small business owners and by myself.

Well said, to the both of you. In total agreement!

Ottawa Tea said

I started a small business a few years ago and I found that passion was everything, as was marketing (mostly through a good online presence and social media). Capital was secondary. I think the digital age changes everything. Indeed, the small business got too busy, so I had to close it in order not to compromise my real job!

@ Gingko – I do find that passion is everything. I often tell customers and friends, if I didn’t work for myself I would fire me. LOL. It can be hard work, but I do it because I LOVE what I do. At this point, I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

The passion, I find flames the fire, for everything else. Yes, I want my product to look good but if you don’t have the love for the business it would become a chore rather than a choice. At the WTE it was stated you need at least $125K to start a brick and mortar and a little less for online. I find it’s better to invest more in the tea and product, then the website and lastly the packaging. Without a good product and a decent website to draw the consumer to your site and convert them from a looker to a buyer, it’s all in vain.

@Ottawa, yes you are correct in this day and age social media is everything. I didn’t realize that upon first starting the business. Even after attending the WTE where they emphasized it. It wasn’t until a year later that it clicked in my brain..FB, twitter, ah yes..you need that.

It’s all in what you put out. When first starting the company no one would of ever known it was started in my living room and a person show. The image that I put out was totally different. So, yes it can be done with less than $125K. Now, to continue to grow and improve, it will take some capital, a GOOD online presence and social media. It all comes down to how MUCH are you willing to invest.

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LefTea said

I’d love to help, although I have no funds to contribute (at least, not without my husband killing me!). You need to have a social media presence (twitter, facebook, and, of course, Steepster!) and a blog would be great for detailing the business process. I personally would love to be a tea reviewer, much like a food blogger, going around and trying different teahouses, etc. That would be an excellent opportunity to try to sell to the teahouses and get your product on their menus to gain greater exposure.

If there’s something I can do, let me know.

i love your comment about (w/o your husband killing you) too funny. Thank you for the advise :), I do have a facebook and twitter, trying out the blog thing but I dont think I have a handle on that yet :). Thanks again

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Hey there – sent you a message. I’d love to do a story on this for my blog, keenteathyme.blogspot.com. Hey, maybe I’m the business partner you need! lol :)

I think this might be very true :) Thanks for the email :)

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Hey there! I think I might be the perfect cup of tea for you! hahaha. Aside from being a major teaaholic, I’m currently a second year advertising student. Highly interested in social media, promotions, and events! I’m also an avid blogger, even snagged the role as one of my College’s student bloggers. Link: http://blogs.mohawkcollege.ca/blog/student_luann/

Lemme know if you think I could help you out, I’d be honour too!

Lu Ann, thank you :) I will email you soon so we can chat.

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mikespook said

My wife and I both are tea fans, and we live in Canton, China.
My wife also has a on-line tea store: http://1ya2ye.taobao.com, and a blog but in Chinese: http://1ya2ye.com( or http://36948.com, one site two domains ). The phrase “1-ya-2-ye” means one bud two leaves. You know, it’s the best style in some kinds of tea. ;-)

In our local area, we have a lot of friends who are professional with tea. And some of them have tea stores in real.

I think I could supply you some videos and photographs, about Chinese tea, tea set and anything with teas.

That would be great mikespook. I do love the internet, so many people from all over the world all in one place! The phrase 1-ya-2ye is so cool ;) thanks for sharing!

By the way I love your websites, I wish I could read them and understand, but either way it is a very beautiful site.

Mikespook, that’s nice to know! Will you take payment in US$, such as through paypal? If you can do that, and can get more tea products in your shop, I think you will have a big market in front of you :D Although I can make payments in RMB when shopping in China, I always look for sources that can directly take US$ without costly international transaction fee :D

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