OPENING A TEA ROOM
Opening a tea room involves research, dedication, and a passion for tea. There are several areas that need to be explored. But, if you have a passion for owning your own business and a passion for tea, it is well worth the effort.
When I first wanted to open a tea business, I called the local community college to see if they had any classes on opening a small business. They referred me to the university which had a Small Business Development Center. The Small Business Development Center is part of the Small Business Administration. There are Centers all across the United States. They offer classes in starting a small business, marketing, tax workshops, management and structure, and finances.
The Small Business Development Center also has counselors who have a background in business to help you. SCORE works with the Center. SCORE is Service Core of Retired Executives. These men and women are an asset to any small business because they have the experience and expertise to answer any problems you encounter.
I think the next thing your need to do is write a business plan. A business plan will force you to think of various aspects of starting a tea room or tea salon. Is there a market for a tea room in your area? What is the competition? Who is the competition? Where will you locate your business? A business plan will help you address these questions. After you complete a business plan it will also answer the question--is it feasible?
It is important to find a good location. One that is on a main road or just off a main road is best. It helps if you can find a business that has already been a restaurant, then the plumbing and electrical are all in place. Sometimes if it was a restaurant, you can buy their equipment and not have to find your own. Your can find these businesses for sale or lease in the want ads, online, or with a realtor. Determine how many tables you want to have and any retail space needed before your begin looking. This will help in narrowing down your choices.
Go to the health department in your city to find out their regulations. You may have to take a course in food handling. You may have to have a grease interceptor or a grease trap.
A business plan is critical when opening a tea room and will help you to begin maximizing your profits. Keeping expenses down, especially startup costs, will give you extra cash later.
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