There is no shortage of caffeine in our fine state. We have drive-thru
java stands nearly everywhere you look. They are as prolific as teriyaki shops.
Kingston is on a peninsula and requires a ferry crossing to
get to the mainland part of Washington. Enroute to the ferry, there are a few
places to get coffee. Jumpin’ Java is one of those places and it sits in a
non-romantic location – next to the ARCO Gas station.
I don’t know the owner’s name, but I talk to her every time I
stop there to grab my Caffe d’Arte cup of coffee. She’s friendly and helpful
and just a nice person. Every time I go, I ask her, “how’s business?” to which
she replies, “slower than I’d like…” But she’s always cheerful.
Jumpin’ Java does not have a website. Does not have any
reviews online (I’m going to fix that) and as far as I know – could use a
little help so we had the Sales Rescue Team reach out…
Full posts over at my Q4 Sales blog.
Morriss Partee from EverythingCU.com:
True to form, and a ferry traveler when he gets the chance,
Morriss seconded my motion for pre-ordering via mobile.
In the spirit of good branding and differentiation, focus on
the yumminess of the drink, and don’t do the typical buy 10 get one free.
Different, different, different. Buy 10 get one free already sounds cheap and
I think the key to increased business for this stand is the
combination of technology (cell and/or text ordering), and personalization.
Here’s my technology twist: If someone sets up as a regular of the coffee
stand, then future orders only have to be texted in. If I could text
“usual” to the coffee stand, and have a
grande-cinnamon-dolce-latte-no-whip waiting for me just after I exit the ferry,
I think I’d be all over that. Assuming I hadn’t already gotten coffee that
She can do online couponing good at store. Coolsavings
could generate sales for her and she doesn’t need a website.
Jeffrey Barman from Big Business Thinking:
In my current industry of choice, laundromats, we face this
problem on a daily basis. Here are some specific thoughts for
Jumpin’ Java, made, of course, from tree-top level and no local knowledge of
the marketplace or entrepreneur.
What to Market
“Four Star Restaurant Coffee at Fast Food Speed”
“Free Trade Coffee Brewed by Hand and Handed Over”
Where to Market
Offer free coffee for a week, or for 2-3 days for 2-3
weeks. Alternate the days each week. Don’t sell anything, just
market the product. Make sure that the barista is highly competent; these
samples have to be perfect.
I don’t like the mobile call ahead idea because I feel it
diminishes the high expectation of fresh/hand brewed/poured to order, but…how
about mobile quick-expiring coupons? Have customers sign up for push txt
(and email) messages that provide club-member-only day-of or week-of specials
(and be sure to in fact make them special, especially in the beginning).
Daniel Laury, LSF
I think that she could build a website for not much and sell
packs of Jumpin’ Java coffee to her customers. She could get her customers to
drop a business card at the stand or to get them to register to the website
once built. Clearly, expansion should come from online as her space with the
stand seems to be limited unless she’s willing to add more locations. Once she
has started putting together her website, and started selling a little bit, she
could then start an online coffee subscription business. Continuity programs
are very successful online and cash flow positive.
David Peck also from LSF added:
What about using bluetooth technology to push ads to people
on their mobile devices? Me, I’m not a fan but others might like it.
John Jerome of Jerome and
John works in the coffee industry, so he knows his stuff.
This is still local retail so you’re going to pull you
customer base from within 12 mi of the location (I’d include commuters in this
Drive thrus account for 75% of all drink purchases
I believe the solution lies in creative promotions and
incentives. The objective is to get repeat clients to establish her base
business then use: Different flavors specials each day
Incent morning drinkers with cold drink discounts so generate repeat traffic
during the slow times in the afternoon (I LOVE this one). Place a
drink card coupon in the local paper with 6 spots already crossed out.
Raz Chorev: Continuity
After reading John Jeromes’ email, I don’t have much to add.
I’d like to put a little spin on things, though, as someone from outside the US:
In my country, especially in Sydney, where I reside, the
quality and consistency of the coffee is a make-or-break for every coffee shop.
The competition is fierce.
By the way, Starbucks recently closed most of their shops in
Australia (61 in one day!), because they where not up to the Australian coffee
drinkers’ standards. In other words, the competition was much better, cheaper,
Fantastic and consistent coffee (keeping the same terrific
barista is the
key here), combined with personalized service (asking for a
name with the order).
To drive traffic in, provided the coffee stand is visible,
you’d need a crowd! When people see lots of other people gather around one
place – they’ll stop to have a look! Consider getting a street performer, to
get people close, give (free) samples or special coupons, to get them to come back.
Then, once they’re coming back, establish a relationship with your ‘regulars’,
to make them feel bad if they had to get their coffee anywhere else! Also,
you’ll find that the ‘relationship with the regulars’ will make the
non-regulars want to become regulars!
Think outside the square – do anything others won’t do: Adding
a small biscuit, or a cube of fine Belgium chocolate, will go a long way with
customers, and the word will spread!
Jodi Kaplan from Kaplan
1) Offer free Wifi – draw customers in, make her stand a
place to hang out, stay, and order more coffee.
2) Hold a contest for customers to invent a new blend of
coffee. The winner gets a cash prize or say 10 pounds of the winning
3) Have customers submit quotes (either their own or from
famous people) about coffee, or just inspirational, to be printed on the
cups. Have a new quote each week or each month. Have customers vote
on the best ones. Winners have their quote printed, along with their
4) Hold an election. Each customer can pick a sticker,
Obama or McCain. Keep a running tally on a big sign out front.
Or, if this is too expensive, order red, white, and blue cups (red for
McCain, blue for Obama, white for undecided). Let customers choose their
color, and keep a tally on a big sign. Or, do the same on a local election
First off, I think this woman needs some schtick. There’s so
many places around town that have started dressing their female baristas in
skimpy outfits and put in floor-to-ceiling windows for drive-up windows so they
may be admired from any size vehicle.
I’m not so much proposing that she do that, though that kind of peek-a-boo vibe
seems to draw lots of crowds.
In the end, though, the reason why people drive thru for coffee is to shave
time off of having to walk into a coffee shop… particularly when it’s
raining. So, her schtick should revolve around a key value proposition of
speed. She’s already off to a great start with the stand’s name:
“jumpin.” Adrian also voted
for our text message service idea. He added: She could even take the speed
thing one step further and set up a bill-as-you-go system whereby she charges
customers’ credit cards for each drink without requiring them to stop and pay.
I bet those customers would even pay a slight premium for the speed/convenience.