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Do i close? or try hammer it out?
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dezz



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject: Do i close? or try hammer it out? Reply with quote

Hello,

i work in beijing at ABC english school i openned a coffee shop a few months ago and ..well busness is some what lacking and i have no idea why.

we sell nespresso as the main coffee and ille as an plain americano

any advice what i should do?

any ideas are welcome Razz
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eddy-cool



Joined: 06 Jul 2008
Posts: 1008

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although your issue is not about teaching it does belong here...

Did you do some market research before you started up? Did you research the type of customers you need in the kind of area where you set up shop?
Sometimes a location only 100 m from an ideal place can go bankrupt because no one bothers to make a detour...

At what level did you price your coffees?

Is your cafe a 'sit-down-and-enjoy-the-day' sort of venue or is it a fast consume affair that needs a high turnover to pay for overheads?

Are your potential customers scared of melamine in the milk?

Are your cafe's opening hours in line with your potential customers' habits and spare time?

Did you do a thorough PR exercise, advertising your cafe and your drinks to passers-by, office workers, students, laowais in their favoured media or by staging a PR event?
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dezz



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At what level did you price your coffees?
Price level is a little high BUT i am in the CBD SOHO Building in chaowai

alot of laowais and rich chinese businessmen

Is your cafe a 'sit-down-and-enjoy-the-day' sort of venue or is it a fast consume affair that needs a high turnover to pay for overheads?

its kinda both

Are your potential customers scared of melamine in the milk?

Not that i can tell as most people never really ask although i dont think thats it SPR next door is doing no business at all

Are your cafe's opening hours in line with your potential customers' habits and spare time?

yes

Did you do a thorough PR exercise, advertising your cafe and your drinks to passers-by, office workers, students, laowais in their favoured media or by staging a PR event?

yes fliyer handing out everyday by santa clause (me) and e-mail....ect
even some very good PR events we have attended
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dezz



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

like i say we use Nespresso very much high grade


Espresso 意式浓缩咖啡 ¥20.00
Double Espresso 双浓意式咖啡 ¥35.00
Macchiato 玛琪雅朵 ¥23.00
Double Macchiato 双浓玛琪雅朵 ¥38.00

Americano 美式咖啡 ¥23.00
Caramel Americano 焦糖美式咖啡 ¥25.00

Latte 拿铁 ¥30.00
Cappuccino 泡沫咖啡 ¥30.00
Mocha 摩卡 ¥30.00
Caramel Latte 焦糖拿铁 ¥32.00
Mint Latte 薄荷拿铁 ¥32.00
Hazelnut Latte 榛味拿铁 ¥32.00
Hazelnut Mocha 榛味摩卡 ¥32.00
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YankeeDoodleDandy



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 428
Location: Xi'an , Shaanxi China

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:55 am    Post subject: Coffee Reply with quote

Deez, I have been to Starbuck's three times in Xi'an. I enjoy their coffee, but their prices are high. Your prices seem higher. I that Starbucls has three different sizes. Please do a cost analysis, as to what your true/actual costs are for different sizes/types of coffee. If you reduce your prices, you may be able to generate a higher profit due to increased sales and higher floor traffic. With the financial crisis upon us, you might want to be the low price leader. You want to get customers into your store and let them taste the product, feel the ambience, taste the biscotti, etc. If your product is good/superior, they will come back. Would you rather sell 1,000 cups of coffee at 50 % profit, or 100 cups of coffee a day at 70 % profit. Hope this helps.
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Mister Al



Joined: 28 Jun 2004
Posts: 838
Location: In there

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It just seems to me you have no USP (unique selling point). Are there any other outlets in the vicinity selling coffee? If so, why are you better than them, that's the question you need to answer, then make sure your potential customers know why you are better. If it is the fact that you use Nespresso then how do most people know it is high grade coffee. Prices is important but price is not always a determining factor as why people buy things. It is getting value for money that is more important, IMO. I might reduce the prices but not as a gimmick so that might mean new menus/price list to be done. I might even increase them but you need to back that up with quality. Overall, it seems that your product is an average one with average to high prices. You need to find an edge. How did you launch the place? You should try to speak to anyone that can give reviews in mags/ papers for both locals and expats and invite them to try your coffee. Sorry, Santa handing out flyers sounds a bit pathetic. How about a free morning, afternoon or evening or even all day and advertise it well. People need to try your products. (IMO, offering reduced prices as a marketing ploy is not the way to go as customers end up resenting paying the proper prices after that).
To repeat myself, you need to find an edge either in one or more of the product, the price, the service, the environment, the ambiance/music, free reading material, pretty staff or whatever in order to compete.

If their are no other coffee shops in the vicinity and you are quiet then there would seem to be no demand for the product and that is something you should have found out before you started the venture. (SPR? What's that?). Spending cash on market research before spending more on an opening is vital and can help entrepreneurs like yourself make the right decisions.

Of course your problems might simply be related to the economic reality of today and people are just tightening the old belt and forgetting about some 'luxuries'

Hope I don't sound too preacher like and apologies if that's how I came across but I do wish you luck and hope you made the right decision to go down this road.

Good luck.
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kev7161



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5783
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Free samples

Free item (say a biscotti) with any coffee purchase

Bounceback coupons (give a X% off coupon with every purchase)

Punchcards (buy X amount of coffees, get one free)

Diversify (hot chocolates, desserts, snacks, etc.)

Play up holiday promotions - - there are a LOT of Chinese and international holidays (we're in the midst of one now!), what special promotions can you run that reflects each holiday?

Take the business to them - - are you in or near an office building? Are you able to deliver locally?

Afternoon specials, early bird specials, happy hours, special Tuesday deals (or whatever day you'd like)

Buy one, get one half price

Cross promote - are you near a book store or magazine kiosk that you can advertise in there and they can advertise with you?

Do you have your store name and phone number and location and business phone out there? On your cups? plastic bags? park benches? in taxi cabs (or pedi-cabs or whatever)? On buses?

Did you have a grand opening hoopla? How about a 6-month anniversary or 1 year anniversary thing?

Why are you special? Why should customers come to you rather than any of the other dozens and dozens of coffee shops around? What makes you unique? Tell them about it however you can!

Donate to charities or organizations - it's a good cause and it's good advertisement (if they have that sort of thing in China!)

Advertise in "That's Beijing" magazine (or whatever it's called) - appeal to the expats

Sorry if this repeats some other offers of advice, but it helps to read the ideas two or three times.
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kungfucowboy83



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 479

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spr is a coffee shop. so if you are next door to an already estabilshed coffee shop. ask yourself honestly "why would someone come to my shop instead of the one they have been going to before?" the answers to that question should help.
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Ms Bean



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 110
Location: Wilmington

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serve and sell tea as well.
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dezz



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all and thanks for the advice I’ll be taking it all in and maybe i can pop out a marketing ploy.....

any way we are the top notch coffee shop in the area every one that has come has give positive feed back EVERYONE witch surprises me.

My shop is in a few mag's and review sites we have had reviewers’ in before they all give us very nice reviews
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dezz



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Breeze cafe

chaowai SOHO

we are at the MAIN entrance EVERYONE passes our shop

there are 4 other coffee shops and they are all empty

3 now lol
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Insubordination



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 387
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Add doughnuts. Free one with the coffee.
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Mister Al



Joined: 28 Jun 2004
Posts: 838
Location: In there

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insubordination wrote:
Add doughnuts. Free one with the coffee.


I like it. Laughing
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dezz



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell me were to get them and i'll add them haha

well right now im doing a christmas special all coffee's 20 RMB lets see if price is the factor......

weird 1 of our regulars is the boss of chaowai SOHO haha as in the head honcho
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mike w



Joined: 26 May 2004
Posts: 975
Location: Beijing building site

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sincerely hope your venture succeeds, BUT ...

Quote:
there are 4 other coffee shops and they are all empty


Doesn't that tell you something?
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