July 2009 Issue
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Using Downtime Wisely

by Cynthia Fazekas

Timely wisdom

Even the best tea businesses can feel the effect of economic contraction - some more dramatically than others. While difficult times may cause anxiety and stress, it is not a time to worry, pace and wring ones hands. One thing any business owner has too little of is time, so if you are finding yourself with a little too much of this precious resource, here are some ways other business owners are putting it to good use.

Weeding out slow or non selling products: If you have an extensive tea list or even a limited one, this can be a good time to determine which ones are not worth carrying. Put them on sale and eliminate them from your line. This can also apply to menu items and hard goods.

Rework staff schedules: Analyze your peak and slow hours to redistribute staff coverage. You might even find the need to cut back unproductive shop hours to save a little.

Plan promotions and events: Take the time to develop a tea tasting and other events and create a schedule for the next few months. Find ways to bring people in while you have time to concentrate!

Identify areas of improvement: What have you been neglecting? Take a good look at any part of your business you always felt was lacking and determine ways to improve it before you get too busy again to address it. Advertising? Web site? TeaMap updates? Perhaps a fresh coat of paint or rearranging the shop has been on the back burner for a while? Good time to get these projects done.

Menu Updates: Perfect time to rework food items and tea blends or drinks. Let creativity flow!

Finding positive ways to direct your energy will help your business and your stress level. When things pick back up you will be ready and better than ever!