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Real Estate Growth 101:

The Secret to Getting Unlimited Leads

Unlock the World of Unlimited Customers

The Problem

Many coffee roasters face a common hurdle – extending their passion and reach beyond their local market, getting their products to more people, making their business easier to run - you're stuck looking for answers. While the growth potential is immense, the journey to success and sharing that passion with as many who appreciate it can feel daunting.

Lighthouse Roasters shares your passion for high-quality coffee, its unique story, and the community built around its offerings. They have a brick-and-mortar location that was offering sales of its beans, grounds, merchandise, drinks, and more - but they wanted to expand their offerings beyond the local neighborhood of Seattle.

Value

Today's consumers are increasingly seeking authenticity and a personal connection in their purchases, especially in the coffee industry. They want to support local roasteries that offer unique, high-quality blends and share a story behind each cup. However, roasteries miss the opportunity to connect with these discerning customers who value the quality and passion behind their coffee as much as the taste. With big players in the field offering easy-to-shop options, it's difficult to entice new customers.

Problems

Traditional brick-and-mortar or at-home outlets can limit roasteries to a local customer base. This constraint hinders the potential for growth and support from your customers who might otherwise be unable to shop from you directly, move to other locations, or are busy in general. You want to reach more people, but it needs to be easy for both you and your customers to do so. If you depend on local sales, in-person sales, or phone sales, you won't be able to have more people experience your offerings, keep them coming back, and grow your presence.

Niche

Customers turn to larger businesses due to the ease of purchasing from them. Amazon, as an example, has become ingrained in the lives of most shoppers for two simple reasons: it's easy and it's fast. Most roasters are left on the sidelines when they don't adapt to consumers' desire to have this level of ease and convenience. You cannot be everywhere at once nor can you be open 24/7 365. It makes it harder to run your business, and harder for customers to support you. The goal should be to make it easier for customers to get your offerings.

Your Product

In the coffee roasting business, the products offered to customers often have a similar structure, encompassing beans, grounds, and roasting hardware. However, what sets a roaster apart is its unique blend of passion craftsmanship and experience you can provide. This distinction is reflected in various aspects such as sourcing, roasting techniques, hardware, brand narrative, and local community engagement. Despite these unique attributes, the preparation for sale, including aspects like packaging, often follows similar steps as other roasters in the industry, and the missing component is typically the customer experience.

Building on this foundation, Lighthouse Roasters' approach is not just about providing quality beans and equipment; it's about infusing every aspect of their product with their unique story and passion. From carefully chosen bean sources to meticulous roasting techniques, and from specialized hardware to a strong local presence. Their goal was to offer that same quality to customers beyond the local Seattle area but in the most efficient way possible.

Image by Mike Kenneally

Your Offering

Your beans are your core offering but they need to be roasted, ground, modified, weighed, processed, packaged, etc., in some way, for the customer to enjoy your product. It is the lifeblood of your business and the origin of your passion. This interaction, however, and it's effect on the business is one of the most important elements missing from most roasters.

Let's provide an analogy to illustrate the growth strategy better. Think of a brick. How many uses for the brick can you think of and how many ways could you get that use to someone? Write these down if necessary, but you might get 5, 10, or maybe 50 answers. Now, go back to your list and add some context: How big is the brick? Is the brick the tool or used with something else? What is it made of? Is it big, is it small, or is it light or heavy, etc.? How many people would buy this brick for your use? Where would you sell this brick and how? With this new mindset, your list should expand!

 

Now, think of the many uses for these beans, how many ways to get the beans to your customers, what outlets they could find you on, and what sales methods you would provide to those customers. Most might sell by weight, one-time via word of mouth, a phone sale system, a brick-and-mortar location, a farmers market, talking to the chamber of commerce, etc. These are less than ideal as they rely on your time, have lots of overhead expenses, are inconvenient for most customers, and lack flexibility. It's important to understand you're sitting on a product that can exist in many forms, in many outlets, and in ways that it can be purchased - the potential for these beans is limitless!

Your Experience

Your core product, the coffee beans, is more than just a commodity; it's a symbol of your passion and dedication. Enhancing the way customers interact with this product is crucial, makes your business easier to run and opens your customer base for more people to enjoy your coffee. Think of it like a brick: it has many uses and there are many ways to get it to customers, which expand when you consider all the opportunities. Likewise, if you wrote down all the ways people could find you, you could sell to them, and ways they could pay you - it would open a wealth of possibilities.

Now, envision the journey of your coffee beans reaching customers. Imagine making it effortless for them to discover, purchase, and receive your product. The ease of finding your beans, and the simplicity of say, a monthly delivery right to their doorstep, having wholesale to local businesses – these aren't just conveniences; they're extensions of your care and commitment to customer satisfaction. You're making life easier for them and for yourself, thus making it easy for your customers to support you, and recommend you. They see you're unique - all without ever meeting you in person. 

 

If you provide many outlets, many options, and many offerings from just one core product - more customers get your coffee, they get it faster and easier and you grow more.

You're not just selling coffee; you're building a relationship. Every aspect of your product's journey, from discovery to delivery, becomes an opportunity to deepen that connection with your customers, turning a simple purchase into a unique experience.

How to Fix It

So the idea becomes clearer - you need to be able to adapt to the market, make it easier for your customers to find you, and make it easier for them to support you. If you become more available and easy to purchase from, you solve many problems at once: opening the market beyond your local area, reducing your overhead trying to get more people to experience your coffee, and less work to retain or get new customers. ​

Lighthouse Roasters' realized this potential, with the massive community impact they have made they wanted to tap into that in a modern era of convenience, with ease of use, accessibility, and structure that would make finding, recommending and purchasing their products easier. In response to this idea, it not only because easier for customers to interact with the business, it becomes easier to run the business and grow their community footprint.

Basic Interactions

  1. Retail Sales: Operating a physical storefront or coffee shop where customers can purchase beans directly.

  2. Local Markets and Fairs: Setting up stalls at farmers' markets, craft fairs, and community events to sell coffee beans.

  3. Door-to-Door Sales: Visiting potential customers in the neighborhood to offer samples and sell coffee beans.

  4. Partnerships with Local Businesses: Collaborating with local bakeries, bookstores, or other retail outlets to sell your coffee in their stores.

  5. Community Events and Sponsorships: Participating in or sponsoring local events, fairs, and festivals to promote and sell your coffee.

  6. Word-of-Mouth: Encouraging existing customers to refer new customers

  7. Consignment Sales: Placing your coffee in local stores on a consignment basis, where you get paid for what sells.

  8. Direct Mail Advertising: Sending flyers or brochures to potential customers in targeted neighborhoods or communities.

Why this is Hard

Traditional sales outlets for a coffee roasting business pose challenges. These include high overhead costs, logistical complexities, unpredictable customer traffic and sales, time-consuming negotiations and relationship management, and potentially low return on investment. You are limited to the direct market in your area (typically 2-3 zip codes out from your roasting location). These methods require a significant investment of time, effort, and resources, with the success often being hard to predict and control. While they do build a strong local presence, it's important to understand that your customers need flexibility in your offerings and will support you much easier if, in turn, it's easier to do so.

Enhanced Interactions

  1. Digital Storefront: Develop an online store where customers can browse and purchase coffee beans, equipment, and merchandise.

  2. Express Checkout: Integrating express payment gateways like Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo, etc for quicker and more familiar transactions.

  3. Discounted (or Free) Shipping: Amazon has changed the way we think about eCommerce, and having the best possible price for shipping, or even offering free shipping with a certain threshold, gets people to spend more

  4. Subscription Services: Offering coffee subscriptions for regular delivery, providing convenience and a steady revenue stream.

  5. Gift Cards: Selling gift cards, allows customers to share their love for your coffee with friends and family.

  6. Affiliate Marketing Programs: Partnering with your customers, members of your community, or other social media outlets to promote your products in exchange for a commission.

  7. Social Media Sales: Utilizing platforms like Instagram and Facebook to sell products directly through social media channels.

  8. Online Communities: Listing products on popular online marketplaces to reach a broader audience beyond the brand's website.

  9. Wholesale Marketplace: Offer a portal to allow wholesale purchases, reducing the sales hoops to get discounted pricing.

Why this is Easy

On the other hand, digital sales in tandem with your traditional outreach offer distinct advantages. These platforms reduce overhead costs, allow you to sell coffee beyond your zip code and into national and international sales, provide 24/7 365 accessibility, and simplify sales. You make life easier for everyone involved. They also offer predictable revenue streams, leverage your existing community, and allow for direct and efficient customer attention. When combined with typical outlets this digital storefront experience creates an effective customer-centric approach to sales, balancing the personal touch of traditional methods with efficient digital options.​ You take the best elements of an Amazon-like experience that consumers have grown accustomed to but without the loss of identity and revenue.

Let's Talk Numbers

Numbers and data will speak louder the simply an ideal vision. It's important to recognize that while you may be passionate about what you do, your time is valuable, and focusing too much on the day-to-day portions you wish to escape - sales, marketing, outreach, stressing about revenue, etc., prevents you from focusing on the day-to-day of your venture that you wish you could be doing - sharing your coffee with people, building your community, roasting, refining your craft, etc.

For Lighthouse Roasters, balancing financial pragmatism with their passion for coffee roasting is key. While engaging in traditional sales methods like a physical storefront and local market participation is crucial for community presence and brand essence, pivoting towards digital strategies will alleviate the burdens of sales, marketing, and revenue concerns. By embracing improving their customer experience with an online store, subscription services, and digital communities, they can efficiently expand their reach and manage resources. This strategic shift allows them to focus more on what they love: roasting quality coffee, building their community, and honing their craft, ensuring that their time is spent enriching the core aspects of their venture.

Relying on The Typical Experience

  1. High Overhead Costs: Every rent payment and utility bill is a reminder of the substantial financial commitment it takes to keep the dream alive, a constant challenge that tests the resilience and dedication of the coffee roaster.

  2. Geographic Limitations: The boundaries of a physical location or local sales can feel like a cage to the roaster's aspirations, longing to share their craft with a world beyond their immediate reach.

  3. Time-Intensive Efforts: Days spent managing the store or setting up at markets are filled with a mix of joy in personal interactions and a tinge of exhaustion, as the roaster juggles between their love for coffee and the demands of business.

  4. Inflexibility: Adapting to market changes is slow and cumbersome, often feeling like trying to change course in a heavy storm, challenging the roaster's ability to stay agile and responsive.

  5. Limited Reach: Knowing that their meticulously crafted coffee and the story might not reach modern consumers because of a lack of accessibility.

  6. Lack of Options: The more options you provide, the easier it becomes for some to support you, but the inverse is true. The harder it is to find you, buy from you, and continually support you - the less likely someone will come back or act at all.

Numbers

If you rely solely on traditional sales outlets and no enhanced customer experience:

  1. Retail Sales: Assuming a monthly cost of $5,000 for rent, utilities, and staffing.

  2. Local Markets and Fairs: Participation costs, including stall rental and transportation, estimated at $400 per month.

  3. Door-to-Door Sales: Costs for samples and transportation, let's say $200 per month.

  4. Partnerships with Local Businesses: Assuming a nominal monthly cost of $100 for relationship management and logistics.

  5. Community Events and Sponsorships: Estimated monthly cost of $300 for participation and sponsorship fees.

  6. Word-of-Mouth: No direct cost, but lacks convenience without other outlets

  7. Consignment Sales: Assuming no upfront cost, but a 50% profit share on sales.

  8. Direct Mail Advertising: Cost of $500 per month for printing and distribution.

 

Total estimated monthly cost: $6,500, 

 

Traditional profit = $10,000 (monthly sales) - $7,300 (monthly overhead) = $2,700.

Improving Your Customer Experience

  1. Lower Overhead Costs: Digital storefronts and online sales have much lower ongoing costs compared to physical stores and traditional advertising.

  2. Global Reach: Digital platforms allow the business to reach customers beyond its immediate geographic location, expanding the potential market.

  3. Scalability: Online methods can be scaled up or down immediately without the tied-down aspects of physical locations, hardware, or physical marketing techniques.

  4. Adaptable: With an improved customer experience, they are given many options for their sales needs with easy checkout, subscriptions, gift cards, and more - all without extra work from you.

  5. Subscriptions: Having a consistent subscription stream makes lives easier for your customers, gives you guaranteed income, and allows predictability for both parties

  6. Continuous Availability: An online store operates 24/7, 365, globally - all increasing potential sales opportunities and giving more people the ability to experience your coffee without being limited to store hours.

  7. Flexible Promotional Opportunities: Online platforms provide the flexibility to quickly launch promotions, discounts, and special offers, enabling you to respond promptly to market demands or seasonal trends.

  8. Happier Customers!: Above all else, a happy customer is a customer for life. Offering them a great experience when trying to buy your coffee shows that you care about your customers and want to help them.

Numbers

If you opted to invest in your customer experience, or add this to your existing sales channels:

  1. Digital Storefront: Website hosting costs $70 per month.

  2. Express Checkout Options: Additional transaction fees are often a percentage of sales (equivalent to traditional credit/debit card processing rates), so let's consider this negligible in upfront costs.

  3. Subscription Services: No additional cost is assumed here; increases customer retention.

  4. Gift Cards, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Sales, Online Communities, and Wholesale Marketplace: Let's allocate $500 for marketing and miscellaneous expenses associated with these.
     

Total monthly cost for digital methods: $570.

Customer experience profit = $10,000 (monthly sales) - $570 (monthly overhead) = $9,430.

Real World Results

Lighthouse Coffee Roasters transformed their business, breaking free from operational constraints and opening a new chapter of growth and customer connection. This journey led to a remarkable surge in sales, a testament to the power of understanding and adapting to customer needs. With a fresh approach to engaging their community, they not only simplified their day-to-day operations but also ignited a newfound excitement among their team and customers alike. This story, like so many of the teams that have gone through this growth process, show that embracing change can lead to unprecedented success and a deeper bond with your coffee-loving community.

The Facts

  1. Astounding Sales Growth: Lighthouse Coffee Roasters experienced a staggering $400K increase in sales over just 90 days.

  2. Global Reach: Sales opened nationally and internationally for the brand, allowing existing customers continued access and new customers a fresh experience

  3. Subscription Success: Over half of their customer base transitioned to subscription models, ensuring consistent revenue and customer loyalty.

  4. Gift Card Surge: Gift card sales soared by 250%, expanding their market reach and customer engagement.

  5. Enhanced Customer Experience: The revamp significantly improved the overall customer journey, leading to higher satisfaction and repeat business.

  6. Operational Efficiency: Streamlined processes led to reduced overheads and a more agile business model.

  7. Brand Expansion: The transformation opened new avenues for brand growth and recognition in the coffee industry

  8. Returning Customer Rate: A returning customer rate of 50% highlights strong customer loyalty and repeat business, crucial for long-term success

The Brew Masterclass Strategy

Now comes the fun part - where pen hits paper you implement this growth strategy to enhance your customer experience, grow faster, get more people your coffee, and make your life easier. ​The best part of this roadmap is that you don't need to change a thing about the products you offering - as you have to do the same amount of labor to prepare your product regardless (prepping, roasting, packaging, etc.) and this applies to both roasters who want to operate without the constraints of a physical location or those who wish to add this experience to a physical location.

For Lighthouse Roasters, who already had a brick-and-mortar presence, focusing on customer experience proved immensely beneficial. This strategic investment not only recouped incredibly fast and strengthened community bonds but also added a valuable dimension to their business. It fostered deeper connections with its customers and unlocked a myriad of new opportunities, demonstrating the substantial impact of customer-centric growth strategies in the coffee roasting industry.

Image by Evelyn Semenyuk

Check-list to Share Your Coffee With the World

  •  Evaluate Your Current Offerings:

    • Assess the current state of your products (beans, grounds, hardware).

    • Identify any gaps in customer experience related to these offerings.

  •  Expand Your Reach Beyond Physical & Local Locations:

    • Explore digital platforms to extend reach beyond local markets.

    • Consider online methods for customer engagement and sales.

  •  Enhance Ease of Access and Purchase:

    • Migrate your inventory online to be viewable by users

    • Add pricing, roast qualities, descriptions, images, etc. to enhance the experience

  •  Setup the store structure​

    • Integrate a payment provider that supports express checkout options for ease of transaction.

    • Add a search system, home page, categories, etc.

    • Create a basic structure for your store with not just a home page and inventory, but your story integrated

  •  Implement Subscription Services and Gift Cards:

    • Set up subscription models for regular delivery.

    • Offer digital gift cards to facilitate sharing and gifting.

    • Setup an affiliate model so customers get incentives for recommendations

  •  Engage with your Customers:

    • Reach out to your network by email, social media, SMS, in-person, etc. getting them excited about the new store

    • Utilize your existing network (customers, friends, family, associates, etc.) to get your first round of sales and subscriptions 

  •  Grow your community

    • Explore online communities and marketplaces for broader reach.

    • Build a social media group for your business so customers can engage with each other and foster a sense of community.

  •  Give free content and stay connected

    • Create content that your customers would find valuable, not just a sales pitch.

    • Engage with your community to create a stream of user-generated content.

  •  Open your digital store to the world

    • Focus on making the customer journey effortless from discovery to delivery.

    • Test your store by purchasing a product.

  •  Track and Adjust Based on Feedback and Data:

    • Regularly collect customer feedback and sales data.

    • Adjust strategies based on insights gained for continuous improvement.

​or We Help You Get Started for FREE!

Step into a world where your passion for coffee and your dreams of sharing it in the perfect blend. Imagine your unique coffee brand blossoming. This isn't just about expanding your passion; it's about enriching your life, offering you more time to focus on what you love, have a better work-life balance, and spend less time fretting over the logistics and boring parts of running a business. Picture a future where your days are spent crafting the perfect roast while your brand flourishes, connecting with a community of coffee lovers worldwide. 

 

We'll tell you the next steps you need to make this dream a reality with a 100% free one-on-one session. Get started via:

Email: hello@skyfeatherstudios.com

Call Us: +1 (206) 659-7301

Or fill out this form to get your FREE one-on-one strategy session for your coffee roasting venture:

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