Jordana Edwards launched Clean Tea in 2013 as a small market stall in Byron Bay, with only three teas. The range was created with the help of her naturopath mum, Amanda, and seven years later, with over 50 blends and gift boxes, it is still a handmade and a family business.
Clean Tea is now a multi-million dollar brand, that has experienced exponential growth. The business has doubled sales year on year for five years and generates around $150,000 a month. In April 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Jordana launched her new brand, The Breastfeeding Tea Co., which doubled their sales.
Although Jordana’s story and growth is nothing short of impressive, she has experienced setbacks and obstacles along the way, like any other small business owner.
So, what are the three biggest lessons that Jordana has learnt over the seven years?
- Facebook is one of the most incredible marketing tools.
In October 2015, I spent $20 on a boosted Facebook post promoting my company before heading to bed. The next day, I initially thought the site was “broken” as I was flooded with hundreds of orders. That year sales went up 2283% – I went from selling 20 teas a week to 1000, all from my kitchen bench. Since then, I have generated over $2.1 million in sales from Facebook Ads.
In 2018, I was also chosen to be on the Facebook Small Business Council; a group of 20 small businesses chosen by Facebook to represent small businesses in Australia. We meet regularly at the Facebook HQ in Sydney and learn more about the changes to the platform, and how Facebook and Instagram are helping small businesses. I urge all small business owners to continue their own education, as the platform constantly evolves and provides new opportunities, every day.
Facebook has been designed to hunt out your customers for you! Unlike any other media platform or source, it searches for you. The pool of potential customers is so massive, given the number of Facebook users worldwide, which can make it quite overwhelming for business owners. While I understand this, you are handing over a chunk of your business to your competitors who are succeeding at this. Remember that Facebook has largely taken out this “guesswork”, if you learn how to use the platform successfully. I urge every business to test multiple campaigns, each with different objectives, target audiences and differing levels of intent, to see what resonates. If you have great copy, great content and give customers a reason to purchase, you will start to observe the power of Facebook Ads.
- Be resilient, in every situation!
Although many business owners attribute their success to this factor, it’s never been more pertinent. The current landscape and marketplace is evolving rapidly, and I don’t see this slowing down, largely due to COVID-19 and technology. My business was by no means a raging success from the beginning… it was actually very slow for the first few years. I launched Clean Tea as a market stall to bring in extra cash to support my growing family (hobby to bring in some extra cash) and did not nail the brand and product development until a few years in.
The early hurdles usually involved the weather, as I sold my tea at the markets, or I didn’t want to spend weekends away from my children. That’s when I started working on a plan to rebrand and be purely an online store. This new identity allowed me to increase my sales exponentially and grow the brand, and I realised that I was finally on the right path. Be patient and try different paths! You will make a number of mistakes at the beginning of your journey, and throughout, so be resilient and push past each one.
Recently, I launched my new business, The Breastfeeding Tea Co. during the midst of the pandemic, and while some people would strongly advise against this timing, I have doubled my sales since launch. Although there is a pandemic in full force, mothers are still having babies and are breastfeeding, so why wouldn’t this launch be successful? Being resilient to external factors and ensuring you have created a product that can weather any storm, will allow you to succeed in any environment or market.
- Not relying on a bricks and mortar store.
Operating in an online space has allowed me to reach our customers at any time of day, and during any situation. You also need to make yourself available on every platform. A mother might be up at 2am with a baby who is experiencing colic symptoms, and they are desperate to find a solution. At that point, they are unable to visit a physical store… and then they come across our Colic Tea via Google or an Instagram recommendation from a friend. In a click of a button, the product is on its way and will provide relief soon.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, once I launched our online store, our sales and brand grew exponentially. We then promoted the business via other online and social media channels, specifically Facebook-boosted posts and Instagram posts, and we haven’t looked back. It was also not a huge, initial investment, so look into your options, before you rule out an online store. We also chose a Shopify site due to its simplicity and consumer-friendliness, and there are several, great apps available for customer support and consumer journey. I urge others to do their own research, so they choose the best platform for their business.
Find out more about Clean Tea
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