The Second Book From Coffee Business Strategies is out! Includes a free chat with email or phone. Just contact me with your payment information and we’ll get it scheduled. No obligation. I’m just hoping to help you stay in business. Currently available as ebook from certain retailers, such as Apple and Barnes and Noble. Coming soon to Amazon. Print editions will be available too.
Where is the newsletter? Good news! The newsletter has begun. During this time, we’re getting more information on what’s working for businesses and what’s not. Right now the newsletter is short, but don’t be surprised if I send longer ones with updates to you. My goal is to help you succeed and thrive, even through a pandemic.
I’m also starting to use LinkedIn Newsletter for Coffee Business Strategies. If you join there, you’ll still get the sign up perks from here.
Where are the groups? We now have a private group on Facebook and a private group on LinkedIn. The only public social site presence is my LinkedIn articles and a Facebook business page.
Marketing Your Coffee Business
Coffee Businesses, Air Filtration, and Covid
Perhaps you’ve heard the discussions about how risky going shopping is because the virus tends to stay airborne for hours at a time. It’s logical to think of your own business air filtration system at this time and think you need to upgrade it.
The truth is, your business air filtration is only a small part of the plan to keep your business, staff, and customers safe. It is not a solution to the problem. The air filtration system is not even the most effective part of the solution.
A better idea is to maintain your air filtration properly. This could mean that having it inspected by a professional is worth the effort. Make sure it’s installed properly and that it doesn’t need cleaning.
If you don’t have a specific system installed and question if your heating and cooling system works well enough for your building, then getting a professional in may be the answer. Chat with other shop owners with business buildings like yours to see what they do.
Bottom line, it doesn’t hurt to get a professional opinion on how you can improve your building’s air quality, but your attention is definitely needed elsewhere. Sanitization, handwashing, staff mask wearing, and social distancing design will be the more effective elements of your Covid fighting environment plan.
Do you understand your customers and where they are at right now?
As a business owner, you have to offer your products and communicate to your customers in a way they understand, listen, and trust you. During times like this when things aren’t the way anyone is used to, and when things shift at the slightest socially influenced trigger, it can be exhausting.
Torani has a tool that may make it easier for you to meet your customer at where that individual is through today’s world mess. We all are going through the same global event, but we are all experiencing different stress and have different feelings on the issues.
This pdf breakdown can help you understand the different types of customers your business serves. To get it just click the view update button.
Dine-In Shields and will they become the future for Coffee focused businesses too?
Some restaurants have taken to installing dine-in shields around individuals at dining tables. It’s a good concept and it does serve a purpose of helping protect the individual, but is it a real answer, especially in a situation that’s supposed to be social?
I commend the food establishments’ creativity and idea with this, but I personally am not sure it’s an answer for me. Honestly, I’d rather eat in open air and just have less tables around me. This seems more like an excuse to keep a crowded eatery crowded, rather than improve the design layout.
It may be a temporary solution while the higher risk of contagion exists, but I don’t see it lasting longer. The real question is, will restaurants gain the same amount of customers afterwards if they don’t redesign? They may.
I question the influence that claustrophobic individuals, like my husband, will have on their companions. I see us dining in at places that have high sided booths, outdoor seating, and spaced out tables more in the future.
The coffee focused dining room areas are seen more as workplaces and social meeting places, then somewhere to run in and get a quick bite. Excessive shields in these places may discourage sales.
Many places are still going for quick, immediate solutions to social distancing, but a few have gotten creative with their indoor and outdoor designs. I see advancement in more homey dining design as the next big thing in cafes and coffee shops, as those owners tend to be more problem solvers.
I have a few ideas I’ve been playing around with for our upcoming shop. What have you been planning for your shop’s future? Join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups and share it with us.
Need help with Covid-19 recovery?
Check in with the Small Business Administration. There are small business loans available to help you through this time. But hurry! The need is sure to be great and the funds could run out before you get there.
Don’t forget to check with your local and state governments for any opportunities you can take advantage of.
Check out the small business guides here for help through the Covid-19 pandemic. The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act is availabe in pdf at the bottom of the page.
Small Business Marketing
Tips, Techniques, Stories
Marketing Fresh Roasted Coffee
Tips, Techniques, Stories
Great advice for roasters looking to get their coffee into local restaurants.
Staying in business during the pandemic
Many fresh roasters have kept up with online orders while closing down for walk in ordering. Fresh roasters who did not offer online ordering started it. Do you have online ordering available? If not, be sure to start it soon.
Some fresh roasters are offering in town special delivery as part of their options. They’ve set it up so people can easily phone in orders or order through their website. Consider offering this service to your customers too.
Check with the local grocery store about stocking your coffee. Assuming that you already follow and meet regulations for food handling, this could be a good option for you.
Offering to refill non-eco friendly coffee bags for a discount is dangerous right now. Consider making your bags disposable and more eco friendly. Put the discounts on hold.
Do-it-yourself marketing tool: I highly recommend using Canva for designs you create on your own. Easy to use interface and easy to afford monthly price. If this is something you need check out the following link. (note: I get a credit to my account if you sign up with this url)
Join Canva Here
Switching to pickup-only ordering because of the pandemic? Joe is a mobile ordering app for coffee shops. Here are seven tips for pickup-only order success from Joe in this article. Note that they are waiving commissions right now on accounts with them. Good time to take advantage of their set up!
National Coffee Association COVID-19 Resouce Center webpage has answers to most of the questions you may have about our pandemic and your business concerns. Check it out here!
A Global Situation Doesn’t Stop the Coffee
You’ve likely had to close your doors for at least some time during the pandemic. The great thing about the coffee industry is that coffee business owners are creative and dedicated. They understand they place a crucial role in community health and in the mental well being of their staff and customers.
We’re not just coffee, we’re family.
Independent coffee focused businesses responded to the difficulties by finding new means of serving the public and by redesigning the interiors of their businesses to promote social distancing. When masks are required inside, many offer curbside service to people not willing to come in with masks on, or who are unable to wear masks.
Growing coffee businesses didn’t cancel their growth plans. They altered their plans to accommodate the needs of the future consumer.
Check out these businesses for inspiration:
This is one awesome coffee franchise. I’ve followed Bob Fish of Biggby Coffee for quite some time and it’s been amazing. They shifted their branding a bit and strengthened their team to keep opening new businesses throughout the pandemic.
They also continued working towards the goal of being 50% farmer direct by 2023. That direct trade status is going to keep paying off for them in the future long after our current situation is eased.
Bob’s business partner, Michael J. McFall, wrote a book about taking your business from concept to cash flow titled GRIND. I’ve only begun reading it and I already highly recommend it.
Biggby Motto: Love the world and the world will love you back.
Biggby Coffee website: https://www.biggby.com/
One Bigg Island In Space: http://www.onebiggislandinspace.com/
Bad Ass Coffee Co.:
Who says you should stop planning new stores during a pandemic? Not Bad Ass Coffee Co.
Under new management and a recent headquarter location change, this company is moving forward and plans to open 150 new stores in the next five years.
I think they know what we know. Coffee is here to stay and now is a great time to act.
Check out an article on them at https://www.fastcasual.com/news/bad-ass-coffee-relaunches-under-new-ownership/
Now, if you need a man to admire for his dedication and to be inspired by, Martin Mayorga is that man. When the pandemic first hit, he didn’t want to push his products on people and was going to leave social media for a time.
The problem is, this man was doing social media right already. Many of us begged him not to go. We needed him. I emailed him on my own, saying to stay, that people need to know there’s life after this and that things will work out. His voice was a way to gain that confidence.
He not only stayed, he increased his social media outreach with videos and stories about the people behind the coffee, behind the organic foods they supplied. He didn’t just supply this food, he got heavily involved in seeking out what our supply chains lacked and why the essentials didn’t make it to the people who needed them most.
He found the gaps and he used his business to provide solutions. He took care of his business staff’s safety first and then set to work on increasing production, bringing in new products, and figuring out how to make them available for people who needed them.
If there ever was a company that decided to market better and spread the word about their products during a global event, Mayorga is the right company to do it. Everyone in Mayorga cares about the people from the farmers to the consumers, and Mayorga customers are thankful for this.
Not only did Mayorga keep crucial supplies moving to the people who needed it most, they didn’t let a pandemic stop them from opening another facility. This is one company to follow and be inspired by.
Mayorga Organics purpose: To Eliminate systemic poverty in Latin America through responsible trade of Artisanal Organic Foods.
Follow them on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. What they do and how they communicate to their audience is awesome.
Check out their website at https://www.mayorgaorganics.com/pages/our-story
I could go on and on about companies in the coffee industry that are looking forward in spite of the difficulties going on around us. The point is, there’s always something that’s going to happen, whether it’s global or just with your business alone.
Coffee professionals seem to understand this, even though many don’t plan enough for it. I didn’t. I suffered a bit.
- I didn’t get the right clients with the right mindset to endure an event.
- I knew a pandemic could happen, but never truly believed it would affect us this much. So I only half prepared us domestically for it.
- I discovered I was way more naïve than I thought.
Even though my business is in another direction than yours, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. But in other ways, it’s been a blessing to me.
My background in managing businesses has given me so much insight on how to work through this pandemic and how to make a business stronger than ever after it. There’s so much I’ve already tested personally that translates well into what works today and into tomorrow.
I’m thankful for this insight. I get to help so many businesses build stronger customer engagement strategies, marketing strategies, and stay in business to thrive and not just survive. Plus, my own coffee business is strengthened by it.
Be sure to stop by our groups at Facebook and LinkedIn to help one another grow stronger and become thriving businesses. Even if you suffered greatly from the shutdowns and you’re looking at a two-year recovery plan, together we can make it less painful and way more productive.
Facebook Group (Let me know if there’s interest here. I’m unsure about using Facebook in the future for many things.)
LinkedIn Group https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12399109/
Need My Help?
I’m Diana Cacy Hawkins, an energized coffee writer helping coffee businesses go from surviving to thriving.
Learn more at Espresso Shot Marketing and contact me today.
Thought for Today
WHAT DOES THIS SHUTDOWN and LIFE CHANGING EVENT –make possible for you??
Quote from Lee Milter
Reports and Resources from Coffee Business Strategies
Small Business Survival: What we learned during spring/summer 2020: Written for coffee businesses, but suitable for all independent businesses in the food and drink industry. Three sections of valuable information your business needs to survive and thrive in the current climate and beyond.
Section one goes through the challenges our businesses met with and how we overcame them. Filled with valuable real life information from real businesses beating the historic disruption we find ourselves in, this section is the driving force behind why I wrote the book.
The second section is an add on section that takes us through the changes in consumer behavior in 2020. Using information mostly gathered from OneTable research team, this section dives into how consumer thinking changed. What stays as being important before 2020, what behaviors did consumers learn in 2020, and what they liked. What behaviors are here for the long term that you need to plan for.
The third section is a bonus section. I go through the essentials of a business plan and provide a real world example that you can break down and use to make your own, or revise your current one.
Available through Apple and Nook Books now. Coming soon to Amazon and in print.
Coffee Shop Strategies – Quick reference book for independent coffee business owners. Whether you own a coffee shop or a coffee roastery, or both, this is your next must-have guide. Put your hands over your ears and chant “nah, nah, nah!” to all those “marketing gurus” saying you have to spend thousands of dollars with them to increase foot traffic and sales. Find out how to market your shop effectively with less stress and money here. Written by Diana Cacy Hawkins.
In The Works!
Coffee Business Strategies Encyclopedia: This project has turned into something much bigger in response to what the coffee world needs. Not your average business strategy manual. Much more, complete with insight from real life businesses meeting and overcoming unforeseen challenges. With added insight of what to expect from the future and how to plan for it.
- safe business operations
- how to shift during times of radical changes
- establishing/strengthening your brand
- effective marketing tools and techniques
- preparing for future events
- and much more
(Not positive we’ll keep the same title.)
Finding Little Blue Coffee Company: There’s a new business coming to town. Dive into the story of how a determined business owner decided not to cancel plans to open a new coffee store during the pandemic. Don’t sit and wait for better times that may never come. Make your goals on a schedule that caters to you and not just when the world makes it easy. (The business plan development is included in Small Business Survival: What we learned during spring/summer 2020)
Energized Coffee Calendar: A helpful time saving tool for creating your coffee related content. Designed to help you find ideas for your blog and social site posting that match with what’s happening in the world of coffee during that month. Coming once our events around the world are back in full swing. Watch for it by clicking here.
Coffee Blogs That Work: A complete guide on making a business blog work for you without costing you so much valuable time and expense. No one taking advantage of that great offer you have going on in your shop right now? Do you write blog posts, then get bored and frustrated, feeling as if no one cares? Let’s fix this now. Stop pulling out your hair and chugging the hot coffee whenever you think about a business blog. Blogging doesn’t have to be time consuming and it can be fun, strengthening your marketing strategy by connecting you with your regular customers and encouraging them to keep returning…and telling all their friends to start being your customer too. Let me show you how to run a business blog that makes you money and makes you happy to maintain it. Coming soon to CoffeeBlogsThatWork.com
(The Calendar and Blog Guide work together. They will be created with up-to-date changes we see in buying behavior starting in 2020. It’s unclear as to if 2021 will be the best for this specific set or if 2022 will be better.)
Infographic sets and other printables: Designs for your business. Print them off in your office and use them in your business.