Business is changing so fast. Running a tea business is not like the old days, running an emporium like store, full of giant tea canisters.
Some tools come and go, but others are becoming part of everyone's life, just like mobile phones.
So here I share 3 of my favourite tried and tested tools we have used in our tea business. Many have done wonders for us - they are time and/or money savers worth you taking a look.
- VOIP - aka Internet phone. We have been using VOIP for over 10 years, seeing more and more large and small businesses embracing VOIP, including schools, hotels and doctors clinic.
First reason we moved to VOIP is its lower cost, particularly if you call overseas often.
Our team is here in Australia as well as offshore. When a customer calls in, any of us in any location can pick up the call and transfer it as if we are in the same location.
Most VOIP has an app that you can put on your mobile phone, so you can call in/out from your mobile using this business VOIP number, so no need to give out your personal mobile, and everything looks pro!
To chat more about VOIP solutions particularly in the US, check out Telco Solutions.
- Xero - accounting online used to be one of our fears. Fear of leaking financials and books get hacked.
Truth is, bad businesses are everywhere - offline as well. If the data security is a concern, you may have to do your own books!
Of all of the different accounting software, Xero is the easiest for non-accountant to use.
Xero provides all the basics that a business needs to get books done. If you need more bells and whistles, go to Xero marketplace to find tools like Quotient for quoting, or plugins to Paypal and web stores like Shopify. They all talk geek in the background to keep your data going from one software to another. It's quite magical ;)
- Web store - Shopify - after 15 years and 6 websites later, Shopify is clearly the winner for many reasons.
Shopify aims to give you a stop-shop operation when it comes to running an online tea store - hosting, security and an easy and scaleable online store is provided for a fair monthly fee. The Shopify marketplace where you can pick up free and paid apps to enhance your store.
Apps that help you get clear with financials, or email marketing or Facebook advertising.
The thing I love Shopify most is their support. If you want to see how good online chat is done, go to Shopify. They do an incredible job, whether it's 3am or 3pm.
Shopify offers a lot of themes to dress up your site with minimum cost. Essentially if you are a bit of a geek, you can get a store up within a week.
We have done away with a web developer for the last 2 years after moving to Shopify. The savings there is in tens of thousands each year. When I first realise I don't "need" a web developer on standby for me, I have to double check with myself to make sure I am not dreaming. It's that good.
Certainly, there are others that can make your business sing and more lightweight in the expense department, adding more dollars to your bottom line.