The Tea Room Business Plan - Market Research

Market research is critical to achieving business goals but, like everything else, it can be overdone. The keys to good market research are relevance, focus and economy. This is especially true fro the tea room as a new business.


Initially, the entrepreneur must decide what their target market is. and research that market to collect relevant information. For tea rooms geographic relevance is important. Generally speaking, most customers will visit the tea room within a certain radius of the site.

Demographic information that is readily available should be filtered for geographic relevance.

Other filters for relevance should address issues like gender, purchases of loose leaf tea, standard of living, commitment to a healthy lifestyle, number of gourmet stores in the area and other characteristics.


Develop a profile of the specific characteristics of the ideal customer. Focus on those characteristics and match the profile to the relevant data collected. The profile may be changed as more information and knowledge is gained. Continue to use the profile as a basis to evaluate the research.


Every business has a specific marketing strategy that usually works best and has already been proven by your most successful competitors. You can benefit from their experience by copying successful marketing plans, including selling methods, pricing and advertising. Make a list of the most successful businesses that fall within your field of interest and study them.

Successful local businesses are a goldmine of valuable information. Continue to make visits even after the tea room is started.

Solicit feedback from your customers .For example ask questions like "how did you find us?" And "what did you enjoy about our tea room?" In addition constantly review operations. If tea is consistently left in the pot or scones are frequently returned, consider revising your menu with more desirable products.
It will be difficult to make sound marketing and promotional decisions without being informed on customer real wants and needs.

If a specific geographical area defines your market, low cost demographic reports based on the census can be obtained that will furnish information on population by race, income and home ownership. For resources that provide this information, use to search for "demographic data" on the Internet.


Understanding the strength and weaknesses of the competition is an important part of the planning process. The first step in understanding the competition is defining who actually the competition is. If there is another tea room in the vicinity, defining the competition is obvious. But if there are a number of entities offering complementary products to tea the choice is less clear.

After the competition is identified, their weakness must be attacked. These include:

• Offering low quality tea and food products

• Utilizing shabby or dirty tea ware

• A menu that is limited and not complimentary to the tea experience

• Provide a tea environment that is cold and sterile or shabby and trashy

• No attention to customer service

• No promotion – a "build it and they will come" message

The Internet:

For the tea room, the most effective and economical place to developing good marketing information is the internet. With the introduction of advanced, powerful search technology (e.g. Google) searches are cost effective, powerful and can be continuously updated. Further by proper use of the internet, a tea room owner can gain experience from tea rooms across the country.

Tea Room Tip: Loose leaf tea drinkers are demanding but will pay for quality and service. Give your customers more than they expect.

Tea Room Tip: Learn what marketing works best from others in your business.

Tea Room Tip: You can use Google ( to search for prospects, compatible businesses as well as tea articles and accessories to include items for your tea room web site.

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About The Author, Marcus Stout
Marcus Stout is President of the Golden Moon Tea Company. For more information about tea, black tea and wholesale tea go to