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Tea Business Boot Camp Session Descriptions

Tuesday, May 27, 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. 

The Basics of Tea Business 

The most successful tea entrepreneurs leverage a comprehensive understanding of the industry to capitalize on the opportunities present in wholesale, retail, food-service and E-commerce. This session will focus on Best Practices and common pitfalls in each of these market segments. You CAN succeed if you understand the competitive landscape and how to take advantage of the opportunities while avoiding mirages and financial quicksand. Speaker: Peter Martino, CEO, Capital Teas, LLC

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Identify the advantages and pitfalls of diversification.
2. Identify opportunities to compete and win in each distribution channel.
3. Know how to get started on a limited budget.
4. Separate fact from fiction, and find profit.
5. Know the Top 5 mistakes and Top 5 keys to success for new tea businesses.

Tuesday, May 27, 9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. 

Basic Legal for Tea Room Owners 

Tax IDs, resale certificates, local DBAs, inspections from the health department to the fire department, labeling requirements, employment laws, trademark and copyright – the list goes on and on. Even the most knowledgeable tea professional realizes that starting and growing a tea business requires more than just knowing proper temperatures and steep times. This class provides the attendee with a step-by-step guide through the legal maze, and with detailed information on who to contact for State-specific information. Speaker: Kristen Schneider, Esq., Owner of Kristen Schneider, Consulting

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Determine the best business structure for each situation and file the proper documents to create this structure.
2. Develop a strong business name and logo and apply for Federal and/or State trademark protection.
3. Determine which taxes are due when, and to whom, and the easiest ways to handle tax liabilities.
4. Identify which agencies a tea business typically needs permits from and how to obtain these permits.
5. Determine how to avoid the most common legal pitfalls when dealing with employees, customers and vendors.

Tuesday, May 27, 10:55 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 

Marketing and Capturing Customers 

This interactive class will teach you how to cultivate customers with cost-effective marketing tools, including newsletters, direct mail, special events and online promotions. Learn how to capture customers and manage them in a database. Learn the do’s and don’ts of successful copywriting. Discover common design pitfalls to avoid and what elements to get your marketing piece noticed. Find out easy ways to begin establishing yourself as an expert and how to secure speaking engagements, free media, Web exposure and cross-promotions in your community. Leave with a resource list and the motivation to begin executing a plan that is right for your business to capture, retain and market your target customers. Speaker: Beth Johnston, President, Teas Etc.

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Collect, compile, manage and utilize a customer database to increase sales.
2. Generate marketing ideas and opportunities and overcome common roadblocks.
3. Write effective copy that will gain attention and produce results.
4. Confidently contact the media to establish your presence and expertise.
5. Identify low-cost strategies that will work to promote your specific business model and ideas.

Tuesday, May 27, 1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. 

Accepting Credit and Debit Cards

Whether you have an online tea business or a brick-and-mortar storefront, accepting credit and debit cards is a necessity in today’s business world. Today’s technology has shifted what was once a ‘complicated and difficult to compare’ business expense to a ‘simpler and less costly’ option. Businesses, banks and vendors who are rapidly losing market share to cheaper, simpler and better processing solutions are at best, scared and trying to adapt, and at worst, lying and spreading misinformation to keep people paying higher fees. This class will teach you the about merchant processing accounts, contracts, fee structures, new-cutting edge options and how to pay the least possible amount in fees. Speaker: Jack Groot, Founder, JP's Coffee & Espresso Bar

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Understand the basics of card processing.
2. Identify the criteria for selecting a merchant, online or combined processor.
3. Understand available platforms for accepting card payment.
4. Identify necessary and unnecessary fees and expenses when accepting card payments.
5. Implement a successful merchant, online or combined card processing system for their business.

Tuesday, May 27, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

What Do I Charge?

Setting your retail prices is one of the most critical decisions you make. And unfortunately most people use the W.A.G. method to do this (Wild Ass Guess). In this session Bill Waddington will teach a system for determining the best individual pricing structure for your particular operation. All participants will receive an Excel spreadsheet, written specifically for the retail tea business, that they can customize and use in their own operations. Speaker: Bill Waddington, Founder & President, TeaSource

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Decide how to price all products in your store to achieve your desired gross profit.
2. Determine what gross profit goals will be appropriate for your unique situation.
3. Know when and how to make adjustments in your existing pricing structure, in response to changing markets conditions.
4. Confidently use basic retail calculations and tools, eg. how to calculate a retail price and gross profit, how to use a breakeven analysis etc.
5. Use this pricing approach to help determine in-store merchandising and marketing changes needed for your business.

Tuesday, May 27, 3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Tea 101 - Intro for World Origin Tasting Tour 

Participants will learn about the tea plant and how its leaves and leaf buds are made into black, green, oolong, white, pu-erh and flavored teas. With a wide variety of photographs and short pieces of film, the class will explain how the different types of teas are manufactured. Speaker: Jane Pettigrew, International Tea Consultant and Writer

By the end of this seminar you will be able to:

1. Recognize what a tea plant is.
2. Identify how and where the tea plant grows.
3. Recognize why all teas are different and have a unique character.
4. Distinguish how black, green, oolongs, white, pu-erh and flavored teas are made.
5. Identify where the different types are made.

Tuesday, May 27, 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. 

Life After TBBC

Abigail St. Clair, a 2009 Tea Business Boot Camp graduate, concludes our program with an informational & inspirational message for current students. Abigail opened two successful tea stores and launched a successful e-commerce site upon completion of her TBBC program.  Abigail will share her biggest successes and biggest mistakes following boot camp, along with advice she received, things she wished she’d had known then, her greatest challenges and best decisions during the first year. This is your opportunity to get questions answered by one of our most successful boot camp graduates. Speaker: Abigail St. Clair, Owner & President, TeBella Tea Company

Wednesday, May 28

World Origin Tasting Tour