When chatting with tea business folks, the topic often turns to hiring help.
Finding the right personalities for a staff that is cohesive and productive can
be more challenging than simply hiring a few nice people.
New tea business owners may be inclined to seek staffers that have a working
knowledge of tea prior to being hired to work in your shop, but this should not
be the primary criterion. Certainly tea knowledge is a plus, but consider the
main objective of the position you are seeking to fill and what traits are
needed to best achieve them. If selling is the primary function, then consider a
candidate with sales experience and a willingness to learn about the product.
Selling is a skill that certainly can be learned on the job, but with the cost
of rent in retail spaces, many shop owners cannot afford to wait out the
learning curve. Friendly, helpful sales associates willing to learn along with
their customers might be the better choice.
In tea-centric businesses, sales skills and tea knowledge are not the only
traits that make for an ideal candidate. Because tea has a wellness aspect to
it, applicants with a nurturing nature can have a unique way of connecting to
the tea client seeking tea for what ails them. Perhaps this why some business
owners have found success hiring applicants with health care experience. Empathy
goes a long way with customer confidence.
If your business has created a competitive atmosphere to motivate staff, you can
benefit from hiring confident, high achievers. This approach can work well
toward achieving sales goals but be aware that hiring several overly competitive
personalities can also lead to aggressive sales approaches and a lack of
cooperation among the staff. A playful, supportive approach to competition is
more desirable than a win at all costs mentality.
The consensus among tea shop owners is to seek friendly, enthusiastic staffers
with experience working with the public in some manner. Be willing to train them
on tea and the other products you offer and create a supportive environment to
help them grow. With some luck, you will find dynamic employees eager to work
and further your tea cause, that also work well as a cooperative team.