Friday, December 12, 2014

Lia Sophia Direct Sales/Party Plan Closing

Lia Sophia, direct sales jewelry company, closing after 28 years in business was a big surprise to me. Here's an excerpt from the NBC Chicago article ...

“We are so proud of building Lia Sophia over the past 28 years into an outstanding company that has empowered women, and whose jewelry has been a favorite of so many,” creative director Elena Kiam wrote in a blog post on the company's website Monday. “However, given the challenging business environment, we made the painful decision to wind down Lia Sophia in the United States and Canada by December 31, and cease operations by the end of February.”

Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/inc-well/Jewelry-Retailer-Lia-Sophia-Closing-Its-Doors-After-28-Years-284674251.html#ixzz3Li0yPeYp

What does this mean for the jewelry direct sales/party plan industry, for thousands of Lia Sophia sales consultants, and what this means for other party plan jewelry companies?

The good news is that there are other jewelry party plan companies that will happily welcome existing Lia Sophia consultants if they choose to move on. If it's not jewelry, there are food companies, beauty, skin care, wellness, and so many other products to choose from.

The sad news is that it is a very sad time for existing Lia Sophia consultants especially for those that have been with the company for many years. But I believe that a true entrepreneur particularly for those that love the direct sales business model like I do will eventually move on.

What does this mean for other jewelry party plan companies? One company that pops to mind is Jewel Kade which recently merged with Thirty-One Gifts! Who saw this coming? This was a huge surprise to me. I don't know all the details as to why they merged with Thirty-One Gifts but at face value it makes sense as they offer complimentary products (handbags and jewelry) but I'm curious as to why Janet Kinkade, founder of Jewel Kade would merge with Thirty-One Gifts? Would love to hear from others in the comments below.

If you're relying on a party plan format should you be worried with the recent closing of Lia Sophia and maybe even Jewel Kade merging with Thirty-One Gifts? Absolutely not. First, I'm optimistic and sitting around worrying isn't productive when you could be building your business. That said, if you are with a direct sales/party plan company, whether it's jewelry or something else, I'd pay attention to the health of your company.

Is the sales force growing? 
Do you see increase in sales and recruiting growth shared by the company?
Resale orders? 
Are there too many changes (ie comp plan, corporate staff changes, frequent recruiting incentives, etc.)?

These signs are necessarily indicative of a company closing but I'd pay attention to sales growth and recruitment of new consultants.

Best,

Janette

P.S.  If you're considering a natural/organic beauty company for your next venture, you might be interested in taking a look at my company ->Natural/Organic Personal Care Products

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why Lemongrass Spa Direct Selling Business?

I've had my pulse on Lemongrass Spa direct selling company for years. Lemongrass Spa has a wide range of fantastic and reasonably priced natural and organic skin care, personal, make-up and a few wellness products with essential oils. I also love that all the products are made in the US. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised I didn't join the company sooner considering how long I've been using some of their products. And the main reason is that I was already a consultant for another company.

As a #1 leader with another company I built a wonderful business and still use some of the products as a customer. As with all new companies, there were many changes with the company which spurred me to consider alternative opportunities and after considering other natural and organic direct selling companies - trying other companies' products - and even buying the kits to test out the business, Lemongrass Spa feels right at home for me. And I have not felt this way in sooooooo long :).

Lemongrass Spa is offering a special consultant new kit for the month of October. It felt like the stars were aligned for me to finally come on board.

If you're like me and have had an eye on Lemongrass Spa or thought about maybe this is the company for you ... here's why I decided to join Lemongrass.

October New Consultant Special

$119 and FREE Shipping (Save $20 for October only!)

Consultant Success Kit

This Kit contains $412.20 of products!
You'll get Free Shipping
1-month Free Replicated Website to start your business right away.

Do I have to do parties?

As for home parties, it's fair to say people are busy these days and the idea of asking people you know to host parties isn't desirable. The concept of home parties has been a part of the direct selling industry for decades. It is by the far the most productive way to share and sell products because you have a captive audience but it's not the only way to do business.

So many ways to market your business

Direct sales has come a long way from the home party format. Even though some companies have that option, companies understand the internet is part of the selling method in addition to home parties and other online methods. With Facebook and other social media outlets to sell and market your businesses you are not limited to home parties.The creativity is abundant from vendor events to setting up a blog like mine that I'd hate to see people get discouraged from joining a direct sales/party plan business. 

Why not give a try?

With Lemongrass Spa, I have an opportunity to use the products I love and share with others. Either way, the price points are already affordable and as a Lemongrass Spa consultant, you would earn 25% off the retail price. You'll end up spending the same or less for natural/organic personal care products that you're already buying at regular stores. Great products, great prices, and a flexible home-based business that you can do online.

Those are some of the reasons why I'm so excited to share Lemongrass Spa with you. If you see anything on my website that you'd like to try, send me an email.

Cheers,

Janette

P.S.  Check out my online business ->Lemongrass Spa natural/organic products

Monday, September 22, 2014

3 Tips to Assessing a New Direct Selling Business Opportunity

Every day you see brand new direct selling, network marketing business opportunities launch. In fact, I was recently invited to join a pre-launch of a brand new jewelry party plan by the company's field recruiter. That's just one example of "pre-launch invites" that periodically comes my way. There are already thousands of established companies in existence yet more new companies launching. And if you're looking for a new company to join how do you assess an opportunity?

There are many factors that turn a brand new company into a huge success but here are three tips that will help you get started:

#1 Products

"All the experts stress that a passion for the product you're selling will be crucial to your success in direct sales". source: http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/07/how-to-assess-a-direct-selling-opportunity.html

No matter how phenomenal the compensation plan is the company won't last if the product line can't stand on its own. The most successful method of attracting new distributors/consultants to a direct selling company is passion for products. There are countless stories of successful consultants that got started because they fell in love with the products. Plus, it's a lot easier to tell others about your business when you love the products and use them daily. 

#2 Compensation Plan

There will always be people that join companies because of the compensation plan first then products.

Ideally, you want to look for great products and a competitive pay plan that is realistically attainable. You're not going to get 100% of what you're looking for but I believe it has to be a fair plan with minimal restrictions. Plans that have high auto-ship requirements, high personal sales requirements monthly to stay active or earn money from your team can be challenging for most people to have any success.

#3 Leadership

Corporate leadership is very important and sets the tone for potential growth especially if you're a brand new company. In direct selling, some founders/leaders have that all star personality such as Jeff Olson or Rita Davenport to name a couple that command respect and die hard followers.

Likability and the ability to engage and attract experienced leaders to join your business is key to big time growth. Conversely, some companies are slow to grow or don't seem to make much progress because lack of leadership. If you want to be successful, it's important if you care about the company, products, leadership and the team you're on. 

These are only a few ways to assess a brand new company. After you've done your research sometimes it's a matter of going with your gut and taking a chance on a new opportunity. Too much analyzing can deter you from getting started. I always tell people on the fence that if you love the products you've sampled so far and have done some research, give it a go. Especially in direct sales with minimal start up cost around $99, you're not really out much money.

Many companies offer hundreds of dollars worth of products for $99 and even a free website so there's really very little risks, if any. Just be careful of opportunities have high start up costs or sponsors talking you into buying more expensive start up kits especially if you're not comfortable with it.

Best,

Janette

Resources:

Here's a terrific article -> How to Assess a Direct Selling Opportunity by Inc.com 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What I Do with My Direct Sales Business During Summer

Summer is no doubt the hardest time to work on your direct sales/home-based business. Especially if you have kids at home like I do. The main reason why I love having a home-based business is that I can hang out with my kids especially during summer when they're off from school.

Summer is a busy time for families: from summer sports, camps, to vacations, it's not easy squeezing in selling and growing a direct selling business when there are other things on your agenda. Case in point: I'm writing about it now which is nearly mid-August when this post should have been written before summer started, oh maybe June?!

With that, here are some ways I put in the time and grow my business (with what's left of summer :)) ...

Having an online presence i.e. my blogs is a huge asset. I'm able to write one article and it gets viewed over and over. Doing the work once and it keeps on paying off in the form of leads to grow my home-based business. Blogging isn't a big secret and if you look at top income earners in direct sales/network marketing, they all have blogs. If you're new, it takes time but it's something you can do and good to start during the slower summer months. The key is to get started.

Another on my to-do list is to update my online profiles or create new ones. There's always something new I want to work on when it comes to social media. It's a matter of picking a few and sticking with them until you've established some following and see what garnishes the best return for your time. There's a whole social media world to grow your business outside of Facebook.

Starting a new blog or write more articles for an existing blog that has been neglected like I'm doing with my Simply Pure Natural blog. The goal of Simply Pure Natural is slightly different than this blog and gives me another platform to share valuable tips while growing my base.

You could follow up on old leads or clean up your business in preparation for fall when the kids go back to school. In many places it's around mid August.

No matter what you're doing, whether actively selling through vendor events this summer, or passively growing your business online, do a few things a week, preferably at least one thing a day. And no matter where you are, with smartphones, it's effortless to stay connected and always be available should you get a lead that comes through via email or a phone call. I never feel out of my business because I'm always in touch through my iphone and it's the one thing I rely on wherever I am to continue building my business.

Best,

Janette

P.S.  Speaking of getting ready for kids going back to school. If you're a mom and looking to start a flexible home-based business in the non-toxic/organic personal care products, you might be interested in my business which I'm able to easily share and sell through my website. Email me if you'd like more info: campopfan@gmail.com

Monday, August 4, 2014

Joining for the Starter Kit Products in Direct Sales

If you're a personal care product junkie like me you can't help but get excited when you come across skin care, bath and body products. Even products that I wouldn't use because of certain harmful ingredients, I'm still drawn to the packaging or what other companies are offering.

Periodically, I come across competitors that offer discounted start up kits which is Stempting to sign up for the kit value alone. Even if there isn't a sale on the business kits, most of the starter kits are such great value.

First, if I'm signing up just for the products in the starter kit without any intentions to sell or build a business I think it's fair to let the person I'm signing up with know upfront. Most don't seem to mind because they're hoping you'll end up building the business or at least being a loyal customer.

Sometimes people sign up because they're slightly intrigued by the company and that leaves a door open for possibly building a business. Since direct sales is a number business some will join for the product discount and end up building a business and some won't.

For $99 starter kits with most direct sales/party plan companies it's often worth the price because you're getting a lot of products. It also gives you an opportunity to test the company out especially if the company does not require monthly sales, auto-ship, or website fees so there's nothing to lose.

There are quite a few companies that offer free replicated websites so you're not spending anything above the starter kit. It's a great value because you'd spend more on the products individually if you were buying them at retail. You also get a discount as a consultant ranging anywhere between 20-30% off retail.

For uplines/leaders

The downside of people signing up for the kit value without doing the business is that you're earning less as a business builder compared to selling the products at retail. Most companies offer around 5% team commission however if you were selling the products at retail, you could earn between 20-30% profit.

The upside is that anytime someone buys a kit, even if they're signing up for the products or shop "wholesale" as it's known in the industry, a team leader could end up gaining a new business builder. Sometimes people end up falling in love with the products, company, people, and end up being a business builder.

Since direct sales/party plan is a number business you never know when someone decides to turn a hobby into a full blown business. The flip side is also true that most won't do anything with the business.

What do you think about people signing up just for the kit value?

Best,

Janette

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Direct Sales Tips: Are You Sharing or Preaching Products?

I'm a big fan of natural, healthy products and use them on a daily basis. With my natural personal care home based business it makes sense that I'd use and share healthy products with others. But I'm not one to judge others if they choose not to go natural. Or am I one to "preach" others that what they're using is going to cause cancer or making claims that certain products can cure a particular illness. I've seen too many distributors making ridiculous claims that can potentially get your business and the company in hot legal waters.

In my business, I'll let others know what ingredients can potentially be harmful in excess amounts over time and how I prefer to err on the side of safety but I'll stop short of sounding like it's wrong to use products that are not natural. And if I make any kind of claim it's always based on my personal experience and results.

If you're building a direct selling business, what you say matters to people looking to join your business. Remember you're an independent contractor/sales consultant and you can carve out your uniqueness. Your message does not have to be the same as your company's. People are more likely to be persuaded by your stories and how your products have made a difference rather than facts and figures.

I think it's good to share your knowledge and passion with others but it's not the same thing as being preachy. This is also true when it comes to sponsoring especially if you're new and eager to start growing your business. Sometimes we'll end up saying way too much and scaring people from the business entirely.

No matter what products you're selling or company you're with direct selling will always be a relationship business first. Your ability to connect with people whether that's from meeting in person or from a blog or from social media, people love to do business with people they have a good feeling about. There's nothing like someone coming off as preachy or hyping certain products or opportunity that can turn someone off.

Your thoughts?

Best,

Janette

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Natural Organic Personal Care Products a Good Home Business?

These days, you see aisles of natural and organic skin care, body care, cleaning, in every store- not just health and specialty stores. It's obvious the demand is fueled by consumer desire for healthier choices. But as a home business, is selling natural products a good business?

Organic personal care products market is growing at rapid pace across the world. Rising concerns for health safety, increasing green consciousness and growing consumer’s awareness about the hazards in synthetic chemicals have fueled the demand for organic personal care products. Source: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/organic-personal-care-products.html


From my experience as a top sales leader for a natural direct selling company for two years, I can tell you there's great interest in people buying the products as well as people looking to sell them as a home-based business.

#1 Product quality and value

With more natural and organic personal care products on the market, there's more competition. There isn't anything that can't be purchased online or through a retailer.

When I'm shopping for personal care products, I look for truly natural, non-toxic products based on the ingredients because that's important to me. But price is also a strong consideration. Price points matter even to people that can afford to pay more. Who doesn't want quality products at great prices. People that love natural and organic products are still going to buy them but they're looking for good prices. So prices do matter to your selling success.

#2 How to get started

There are multiple ways to sell natural and organic products. You can make them yourself and sell them on Etsy. You can join affiliate programs which are typically free. Or you can sign up with a home-based, direct selling company for a fee which comes with products, a website, and allows you to sell as an independent consultant for the company.

If you're considering a home-based business as an independent consultant with a direct sales company, here are important things to consider:

As I mentioned with personal care products, there's a big market with natural and organic products. You're going to have an easier time getting someone to try and hopefully switch over to your products IF the products you're selling is not only high quality but within similar prices to what your prospective customers are already used to spending. It's not easy persuading people to spend $28 on non-toxic sunscreen when they can buy similar organic sunscreen for half the price.

If the prices are affordable, it's a bit easier redirecting a customer's spending to your products. Prices do matter with customers because there are a lot of natural and organic personal care products on the market.

Think of yourself as a potential customer browsing online for products or shopping at your local stores. If I stumble on a website that offers products that I'm interested and the prices are reasonably priced with good shipping fees or free, I'm much more likely to buy. That's why Amazon is so successful!

Although there's great opportunity to sell natural and organic personal care products from home I would caution anyone thinking about joining a direct selling company to consider quality products, price points, and overall compensation/pay plan.

Best,

Janette

P.S.  As a #1 team builder with the largest team in less than 2 years with a former company, I can help you achieve any level of success. My passion is working from home using internet marketing and teaching others to do the same.