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How Do I Become a Coffee Supplier?

No longer just a breakfast drink, coffee production is a thriving business.
Coffee and coffee beans.
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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 20 April 2014
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The coffee business boomed in the early 21st century. If you love coffee, you could get involved in this business and become a coffee supplier. You must become an expert on coffee beans and business supply lines to be a success in this job. Your reward could be helping customers discover the perfect cup of coffee.

There are no educational requirements to become a coffee supplier, but that does not mean skills learned in school cannot help. Math is crucial to balancing a budget and for buying and selling products. Marketing and sales courses will be useful for understanding how to sell coffee beans. Also, having strong written and oral communication abilities will only aid in talking to customers and distributors in person, on the phone and via email.

The biggest educational aspect needed to work as a coffee supplier is learning about coffee itself. In order to sell beans to coffee shops, cafes, restaurants and stores, you need to be an expert on coffee. You need to learn about the various beans and what flavors they produce, coffee blends, roasts and regions. If, for example, a customer wants to know the difference between a Columbian blend and a Nigerian blend, you need to give knowledgeable advice and insight.

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To become a coffee supplier, you will have to have contacts within coffee distribution companies. The job of a supplier is primarily that of a middleman who gets the beans and helps distribute them to coffee outlets. The distributor gets beans directly from farmers, and befriending particular distributors can help you get a niche that other suppliers can't provide.

You also must know how to be an excellent salesperson if you become a coffee supplier. You will have to find every imaginable outlet for coffee in your area, such as caf├ęs, restaurants, bars and stores that sell beans, in order to maximize your sales potential. You will have to go to these places and make a connection with the coffee buyers and present your products and explain why that business needs them. After the sale is made, you must coordinate with your distributor to have enough inventory to deliver your coffee to your customers.

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