My First NCA Event

By Rocky Rhodes, International Coffee Consulting

[Ed. note: The following is an unsolicited post sharing the author’s experiences at the NCA Annual Convention 2017 in Austin, TX. Learn more about contributing a guest post to The First Pull]

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I have been in the coffee industry for 21 years now. I feel I am pretty well versed in most things ‘coffee.’ That was until I went to the National Coffee Association Convention.

The attendees are made up of multi-generational coffee companies that have survived and thrived for 50, 60 – even over 100 years. I knew I had a lot to learn at this event.

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The Business Strategy Behind Your Local Coffee Shop

By Vivian Giang, Fundera

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The way Americans drink coffee has changed drastically. According to the New York Times, Americans drink less coffee today than we did in the past, but we’re drinking higher quality, better brewed cups.

In fact, according to a 2014 National Coffee Drinking Trends study from the National Coffee Association (NCA), daily consumption of gourmet coffee among adults in the U.S. is up 34% in 2014, a 3% rise compared to 2013.

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19 Signs of Executive-Level Leadership

By Bill Murray, NCA, CEO

See the full post on LinkedIn or visit the Coffee Career Center resource page for more leadership tips. 

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With thanks to Laura Freebairn-Smith of the Organizational Performance Group, for permission to cite her findings. 

Ensuring that the right organizational leadership is in place is a task that is so challenging that it has spawned an entire industry.

Whether you search the web or pop into an old-school brick-and-mortar bookstore, the amount of advice on offer about “being a leader” is staggering.

One of the reasons that leadership can be a challenging subject is because it pertains to human behavior. A second difficulty relates to things like stylistic differences, gaps between what is said vs. what is done, and self-promotion.

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6 Ways to Increase Your Coffee Shop Profits

This post originally appeared on Perfect Daily Grind

Written by E. Squires (@ericsguitar) and edited by T. Newton

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Maybe you dream of one day owning your own specialty café. Maybe you already own a shop but are struggling to get out of the startup phase. Or maybe you’re just looking for ways to see a little more return.

The truth is that owning a specialty coffee shop may be the dream — but it’s not just about coffee. It’s also about business, costs, and profit margins. Regardless of where you are with your coffee shop, there’s always room to increase your profits, so read on for our top six ways to do it.

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How to Open a Coffee Shop: The Complete Guide

By Sara Brown, Bond Street 

The full version of this post originally appeared on Bond Street

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How can a passionate affinity for coffee and a stirring desire to create something of your own manifest into a successful business?

If you’re overwhelmed by the multitude of initiatives associated with building a new business and are looking for a step-by-step guide that breaks down the everything you need to know about starting a coffee shop enterprise, you’ve come to the right place.

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What Makes The Coffee Summit Special?

Featuring Bill Murray, President, NCA (@Bill_CoffeeAssn)

[Ed. note: The following is an edited transcript from the above video]

The NCA Coffee Summit is not the usual collection of talking heads. We designed this event specifically so you can get together with your peers, hear from experts, and work on the issues that you’re facing – coming away with concrete tools that you can use.

Here are 5 things that you can take away from attending the NCA Coffee Summit:

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3 Social Media Goals for 2016 – and How to Execute Them

By Jenn Chen

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A new year means a fresh start and for many out there, new goals. But as we all know, goals are meaningless without actionable items.

In the new year, I want to…

“Be better at social media.”

This statement covers so much ground that it will leave you overwhelmed. What does being “better” at social media mean to you? I recommend first figuring out the goals you want to reach for social media and then creating the plan to get there. 

Businesses will often want to pick one of the below as a goal for social media:

  • Increase sales of product or services
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase business newsletter signups

Notice that all three of the above goals are worded in a way that make it easy to define metrics.

Let’s take each of these goals and create a simple, actionable plan.  Continue reading