A Focused Approach for Tough Economic Times(syndicated)

(via)A Focused Approach for Tough Economic Times

One consultant/trainer's perspective on ways to keep your specialty coffee retailer afloat. (by me)

As the recession continues to loom overhead, and even progress further down, it has probably become obvious to many that the sale of higher priced ticket items are on the decline as more people try to economize by sticking with the less-expensive brewed options.

While this may seem on the surface to be a negative hit to retailers, it does not have to be so.

When recessions hit, the smart investors start buying up stock, taking over other companies, and the likes as have been seen recently, as well as what happened in the Great Depression of the 30's. SOMEONE stands to profit from it. The trick is learning how to work it to your advantage as well.

In the world of coffee retail, many many people have worked their tails off trying to educate their customers, trying to get them to try new coffees, trying to push the COFFEE, rather than the 'recipe'. Consider the retail phenomenon we're seeing as a golden ticket of opportunity. If you show your customers that your shop is trustworthy, and is looking out for their best interests, you can survive, and even thrive.

Roasting companies are doing pretty well in these times. That's been the word from the roasters I have asked about it, and I'm assuming that goes for most others as well, assuming they are doing a decent job with their coffees.

How can a retailer profit from this? Sell more whole-bean coffees, offer different brew methods, hold free classes for consumers, and offer affordable brew-at-home equipment in your stores.

Brewing up batches of coffee is awfully convenient, but when the rush slows in the late morning and into the afternoon, how much of it gets thrown out? If the answer is "none", is it because it's not being refreshed with fresh brews, or is it because it's being sold? If the answer sounds something like the first of those two, then it's time to change something.

If you have been reading Texas Coffee People for awhile, you may remember our piece about Bottomless Coffee, and why it may not be such a great idea afterall. If you have read that piece, then what you've just read may sound like a repeat of information. It is. more...

The best stuff is much further down. I don't personally feel like it's a good idea to syndicate something this long in its entirety, so click through if you're interested in read more

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