Let’s say that you just heard about a great product offered by independent sales representatives from a direct sales organization. You think the opportunity sounds appealing but you have not been able to decide “yes” or “no” on whether to get started. It is very normal for people to wonder whether they can be successful at owning their own business, particularly if they did not grow up in an entrepreneurial environment. However, if you feel hesitant or pressured to get going, rather than jump right in, it may be a good idea to check out the business a little more.
Here are a few suggested areas for you to examine:
How marketable is the product? Is it something that people will need or want? Is the price fair and less than similar products available through stores and online? Is there something special or unique about the product that makes it different from the competition?
What are the start up costs? Does the business require a large investment? Is there something of value that you receive for the price?
Do you understand how you make money? Is there a fair commission on products sold? Are there requirements that you must meet in order earn commissions? How do the commissions work on team members? Is the marketing plan confusing or simple to understand?
If you have questions before you even begin, chances are they will linger if you decide to move forward with the business. Allow yourself the time to investigate the organization, make sure you have eliminated any doubts about the opportunity on the front end and, most importantly, remember that there is no such thing as a “get rich quick” business. If it sounds too good to be true, it just might not be true!
Mona Colwell is a work at home mom with 15 years of direct sales experience. In addition to raising her three children, Mona has created a company for her almost famous husband, Emerson, and his children’s books and recently transitioned to a brand new direct sales organization, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic.
Written by Ally Loprete
As the owner of OMM and a representative of so many members, I’ve had to do something I’ve never done before, and that is to swallow my political opinions and keep them to myself for the sake of everyone. This is because I care about all of our members, the parents who are working hard to support their children and are doing so by running their own businesses. I did not want anyone to think for a moment that I if my opinions differed from theirs in the political arena, that I was not FOR them, when I certainly am.
But I feel the time has come to open my mouth a little. There is so much happening in our country right now that I feel it almost ridiculous not to talk about it, especially when so much of it affects us directly and what we are trying to achieve as an organization dedicated to working moms and dads. So I’ll just say it. I love President Obama. I believe in what he is trying to accomplish, and I think for the first time ever, our voices are being heard.
According to a recent letter I received from Momsrising.org, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first piece of legislation signed by President Obama, both the House and Senate passed an expanded State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and now the Senate is getting ready to vote on an economic recovery package that has a number of key provisions that would directly help moms and their families.
Whether you like Barack Obama as a candidate or not, I think we can all agree that we have been fearful of anyone to step into the white house and take on the mess that has been left for him. Therefore, we are fearful of any new maneuvers that the new president will take on to help the situation. But the reason I am so impressed with Obama is because he is not afraid to take risks. He did not take office to sit quietly and second guess every move that might rock the boat. He is diving in and making something happen. I think if we all follow suit, something WILL happen.
When Our Milk Money was just a blip of an idea, the economy was not in the state that it is today, yet it was created for this exact time. Let me tell you a quick story, that you may or may not have already heard. Before OMM was conceived, I was trying to price a piece of jewelry that I had made, and wondered how it would compare to the prices in the department stores. I guessed $50 would be a good price. And then I imagined all that I could do with an extra $50; a tank of gas, a small trip to the grocery store for milk, bread, eggs, cheese and some fruit, a month of Gymboree classes for my toddler, date night with my husband…
It wasn’t difficult to conclude that $50 was more valuable to me and my family than a large corporation or department store. I wondered if anyone else would care about that value enough to make an effort to change their spending habits and buy my product over someone elses. Yes. Other parents would feel the same way, I just had to find them. I made a decision right then and there that I would make an effort to search for a parent who might possibly be selling whatever it is I needed each time I made a purchase. With the internet, and the master search guru I had become, I should be able to find anything online, right? Wrong. I searched and searched. Nowhere could I find the answers I was looking for.
The rest, you probably know. Our Milk Money, and the first parent only business directory was born.
Why am I talking about this now, almost a year later? Because while I am thrilled to see that our directory is growing, I am concerned about how little it is being used. I imagine that the excuse is that our country is in a state of crisis and people are just not spending money. Wrong. If there was ever a time to use the directory, its now. What better time to rebuild the economy in a way that supports small businesses than right now? The slate is practically clean at this point. And while the excuse is that people aren’t spending money right now, I beg to differ. We are all spending it. That hasn’t stopped. It can’t stop, because in this country we need to spend money to survive. We need to buy things to live, even if they are just necessities. Well, guess what! Those “necessities” are available for purchase by a parent somewhere in your local community, and may even be listed in the Our Milk Money business directory. If you are a parent, you have even more reason to support the directory, because it benefits you as well. We are an organization and a community of parents that need to stick together. What are YOU doing to support others like you?
Written by Guest Blogger, Chris Mancini
Let’s face it, it hasn’t been a good year for the dollar. From being gouged at the gas pump to the financial markets all put collapsing, it makes me want to go into a large corporation at random and punch a CEO right in the face and then smother him with an actual golden parachute.
Then when you have kids, every time there is a food price increase due to higher fuel costs, it hits you exponentially. But there’s all that money you’ve put away for retirement, right? Right?
I work free-lance. I don’t really have a 401K. My wife, however, is a normal person. She does. Or, she did. Before our eyes we saw our balance that we… I mean my wife, worked very hard for years and year so it would hopefully grow into something we could use when we retired. Or at least blow on something stupid like a yacht painted with the slogan “Gas, Grass or Ass, No One Rides for Free”.
My wife and I knew very little about money and the “markets”, “401Ks” and “investing.” We really didn’t. So we learned the hard way, by making mistakes. Not a good way to learn.
Our generation learned nothing about money from our parents. “Put money in a savings account” was the long and short of our financial planning advice. I remember once my father asked me what a stock option was. Then I told him. He looked at me like I just tried to explain quantum physics.
But then I asked my father how his pension was doing. “Fine” he replied. “I don’t trust the stock market so all my money was in fixed.” Whoah. Stop right there. It was the wisest thing my father had ever said. That wily, wily son of a gun.
Obviously now this whole “knowing nothing” about money and the economy was all a ruse. My father was a financial genius and saw this coming a mile away. His money wasn’t in the market. He was safe. And since he’ll be retiring soon, he doesn’t have to worry about working another 100 years, like the rest of us. This of course made me both impressed and resentful.
But who do you turn to? Financial planners? They are nothing more than glorified bookies. We had one that was so moronic he actually got us into more debt. Thanks, I could have done that myself and saved $500.
So we had to learn about money on our own. But more importantly we have to teach our kids about money. We just have to. Things are too complicated and unstable. They have to know. Right after they get their $5.00 allowance tell them if they hold on to it for a year and keep it in the market then they’ll only have to pay capital gains taxes on it. Their response will probably be “But I just want to buy candy” which is certainly valid as well.
Recently our 401K (I can say “our”, we’re married) went down to a 30% loss. At least that’s something. Right now all you can hope for is a smaller negative number. But when my father comes to visit this Christmas, he’s buying.
Chris Mancini is a comedian and author. His first book “My Life is Over, A Handbook for the Freaked-Out New Dad” will be out next father’s day.