How to start a Direct Sales Company::: A quick how to…

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together." - Vincent van Gogh

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Introduction:

Let me first introduce myself. I’m Tara Burner, business owner. I’m not new to the world of business ownership. I have owned my own businesses for the last 20 years. It is my passion and experience that make me successful. As a result of two generations of experience, I have been able to see first hand what works and what doesn't work. I have started numerous direct sales companies and have sold them at a profit, along with a variety of other businesses. I have experience in developing businesses and selling them to others to carry on with their own success with an existing company. I’ve been at the forefront of starting businesses that at the time they weren’t even heard of ~ errand service before errand and concierge services were “big”, dog bakery before the pet bakery industry started and others. What are the ingredients to success? Selling an item or service that people need and will buy. This along with carrying a product line that you can firmly stand behind or a service that you can be proud to offer. Many people will say you have to have passion for what you sell and like what you sell. I don’t necessarily agree with that. Reality is this, if you love an item and nobody has a need for it or will pay you for it, then it’s not going to lead to your success…no matter how much you might love it! Items and services that people need and will pay for is what sells. Compassion. Strength. Integrity. Those elements create a winning combination of not only an organization but of the people it employs, and those are elements I’ve based my years of experience on. You have to be committed to succeed in all areas, whether in business, personal life, volunteer work. To succeed you must be able to continue on and give it your all and press through the trying times until success is yours.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. - John C. Maxwell

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Contents:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Ask Yourself Hobbyist vs Business Owner Wahm vs Business Owner Business Idea What is Direct Sales? Licensing Business Formation & Structure Growth Factors Integrity & Ethics Grammar & Spelling Setting Parameters Learn to say no Trying to please everyone Call the waaaaaaaaaambulance Change of plans Don’t under price Profits Return on investment Cost effectiveness Set Goals & Achieve them Keep it business, not personal Consultant Program Quota’s Commission Structure For fee? Or free? Quality vs Quantity Training & Conference Calls Merchant Account Shopping Carts Shipping Methods Networks Marketing & Advertising Web do’s and don’ts Customers Business Links & Resources Phone Service, Toll Free, other means of communication Checklist Conclusion

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." ~ Johann von Goethe

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Ask Yourself:
So, you think you want to start your own direct sales company. Let’s make sure that’s what you really want to do. Ask yourself these questions: 1. Why do I want to start my own direct sales company? 2. What do I expect to get out of it? 3. Do I want to work the hours involved to make this happen? 4. Do I have a plan? 5. Do I know what I want to sell? 6. Do I know where to buy what I want to sell or how to make the product I’m selling? 7. Do I want to be responsible for other people’s livelihood? 8. Am I going to view this as a hobby? Or a business? 9. Do I know what type of licensing is required in my area? 10. Do I have upfront capital to invest? 11. Do I know how to market? 12. Do I know how to network? 13. Do I have a pay structure figured out? 14. Do I know where to turn for help? 15. Do I want to please everyone? 16. Do I want to train people? 17. Do I have a back up plan? 18. Do I have a professional looking website? 19. Do I have a professional email address? 20. Do I have a merchant account? 21. Do I have a program to keep track of consultant’s commissions and sales? 22. Will I offer consultants their own web pages? 23. Will I offer training materials, forums, message board for consultants to mingle and network amongst themselves? 24. Am I open to critique or will my feelings get hurt? 25. Am I able to stand in authority and take charge? These are just some of the questions you should stop and ask yourself before venturing into starting your own direct sales company. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you may just find that you’ll be among the thousands of companies that start off on a whim and disappear just as quickly.

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” - Dale Carnegie

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Hobbyist vs Business Owner
You may ask yourself… what is a hobbyist? As per Dictionary.com a hobby is hobby [hob-ee] 1. an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation: Likewise as per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business - a business owner can be one of the following. Although forms of business ownership vary by country and local government, there are several generic forms of business ownership: • Sole proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person. The owner may operate on their own or may employ others. The owner of the business has total and unlimited personal liability of the debts incurred by the business. • Partnership: A partnership is a form of business in which two or more people operate for the common goal of making profit. Each partner has total and unlimited personal liability of the debts incurred by the partnership. There are three types of partnerships: general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships. • Corporation: A business corporation is a for-profit, limited liability entity that has a separate legal personality from its members. A corporation is owned by multiple shareholders and is overseen by a board of directors, which hires the business’s managerial staff. • Cooperative: Often referred to as a “Co-Op business” or “Co-Op”, a cooperative is a for-profit, limited liability entity that differs from corporations in that it has members, as opposed to shareholders, who share decision-making authority. Cooperatives typically fall into three types: consumer cooperatives, producer cooperatives[citation needed] and worker cooperatives. Cooperatives are fundamental to the ideology of economic democracy. Do you see the difference between hobbyist and business owner? Sadly many people go into business with their hobby and never change their mindset. They still view their new “business” as a hobby and don’t take it seriously nor conduct it like a business. If you are going to expand your hobby into a business you will need to treat it as such – a BUSINESS – and not a hobby. If you conduct your business as a hobby, it will surely fail. Perhaps not immediately but soon down the road. Even Martha Stewart who some would say her business is based on hobby’s doesn’t treat her empire as a hobby. She has made a success with her skills in the creative hobby industry but her empire is far from a hobby. It’s a multi million dollar business empire. I’m not saying you need to be Martha Stewart but she’s one person who has made an empire on her skills, talents and treating business as business and not simply as a hobby.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

If you are going to own your own business that means you need to put in the hours and work along with dedication to get the business up and running and stay afloat even when times may be slow in the beginning. Without determination and desire your business will remain a hobby and not a successful business. When opening your own business you will be responsible for: • Production or purchase of item or service you are providing to your clients. • You will have to train your consultants or hire someone to do that for you. • Networking • Marketing • Packaging and shipping • Customer Service • Customer Satisfaction • Developing consultant program details • Paying consultants commissions • Maintaining inventory, stock And more. You will not be able to have “excuses” as to why these things are not accomplished. This one factor that differentiates the “hobbyist” from the “business owner”.

"Choice, not circumstances, determines your success."~ Anonymous

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

WAHM vs Business Owner
As defined at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahm WAHM is an acronym for the term Work At Home Mother. The exact origin of the phrase is unknown. With the influx of home schooling and more mothers who wish to stay at home to raise their children, WAHMs have found working at home more beneficial to child rearing than leaving their kids at day care. Work at home mothers commonly participate in telecommuting jobs, Multi Level Marketing Programs, Ecommerce. Mompreneurs is an acronym for moms who are starting their own businesses, many of them are operated from their own home. The Center for Women’s Business Research, a nonprofit organization, found that Generation X moms are the most likely to work from home. The center also reports that between 1997 to 2004, employment at female-owned companies grew by 24.2%, more than twice the rate of the 11.6% logged by all businesses. WAHD is an acronym for the term Work At Home Dad Another acronym, SAHM, refers to Stay At Home Mothers or Stay at Home Mom. In the increasing social influx of family values, a lot of career women have decided to quit their jobs after pregnancy and become a WAHM. Another acronym that is becoming more common is WAHP, referring to Work at Home Parent. However, sadly it appears that with the ease one has in establishing a web site and making themselves instantly a “business owner” comes the down side that many of these WAHM’s set up shop to take advantage of others, scam others or start a business and then shortly thereafter disappear because they didn’t think the whole process through and plan properly. To see just a select few of the former WAHM’s who opted to scam instead of lead productive businesses you can visit http://www.bustedscammers.com

For some, WAHM and Hobbyist are almost synonymous. Many start off with good intentions and for whatever reason they don’t take their business seriously or aren’t prepared for the work that is entailed and ultimately they fail or disappear into the night quietly – sometimes not so quietly, leaving behind a trail of destruction and countless people who were depending on that business for an income and/or product and services. Because of this many people in the normal walks of life do not look upon WAHM’s as professionally as they do “Business Owners”. If you want to be taken seriously in all avenues then get the mindset of a business owner and conduct your business as such. If you happen to be a mom and working your business from home, you’re still a business owner so utilize that title rather than WAHM. I am not saying there is anything wrong with stating that you’re a WAHM; however, present yourself professionally and not as someone who’s conducting a ‘hobby’ or working from home in her PJ’s, unless you’re selling pajamas! Your potential clientele will only treat you as professionally as you represent yourself.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Business Idea:
“Enthusiasm is the steam that drives the engine.” – Napoleon Hill
Before doing anything else, it’d be a good idea to figure out what type of business you want to open. The possibilities are endless. You can make the product you’re selling yourself or buy wholesale from a supplier or even have items drop shipped to your customer for you. You may want to supply a service or publish your own ebook with information and knowledge that you possess and pay others who sell it for you as well. First and foremost you need to make sure that your idea is one that you will enjoy as well as fills a need. Everyone says that if you do something you enjoy that it’ll work out. This isn’t necessarily so if you enjoy doing something that doesn’t fill a niche and nobody has a need for or will pay for. Ideally you need to have a business that fulfills both a need and your passion. You will also need to take into consideration where you’ll be conducting business – from home, an office, warehouse or other location. No matter where you decide to run your business you will want to set up normal working business hours. This may seem difficult to do in the beginning because you’ll want to and need to spend time promoting your business, marketing, networking as well as either purchasing or developing the product or service you’re offering. In the beginning, this may seem like an ongoing task but it does get easier once things get running smoothly. One should also have a backup plan. If you are going to be the only one working and in charge of the business you will need to have a backup plan in the event that something God forbid, were to happen to you and you were unable to perform your business duties. If you’re opening a direct sales company this means others will be depending on your business to be functioning and able to handle the business they bring you so that they too can make an income. This is where many WAHMS fail and their business goes unattended, emails and phone calls go unanswered and then consultants are left hanging wondering what happened. Always have a back up plan, whether it be a family member, an attorney, friend, a consultant you trust, anyone… someone who can basically pick up the pieces while you’re unable to attend to the business and keep it going.

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” - Dale Carnegie

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

What is Direct Sales?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_sales Direct selling is the marketing of products or services to consumers through sales tactics including presentations, demonstrations, and phone calls. It is sometimes also considered to be a sale that does not utilize a “middle man” such as a retail outlets, distributors or brokers. This is needed where the products value like in Insurance, needs more explanation and cannot be purchased off the shelf. At its best, direct selling can be an opportunity for individuals to find fulfillment, express their entrepreneurial talents and gain financial independence. If you’re opening your own direct sales company you can have affiliates, consultants, independent reps, whatever you want to call them – they’ll basically be working independently but yet representing your company and business. (There is more about this later on here) The benefit of this, simply put is you have others doing the work of promoting the business, obtaining customers and orders for the business and you can focus your energies on other aspects of the business and still make profits while enabling others to earn an income as well. You can operate your direct sales company from the comfort of your home, rent office space or a warehouse or whatever will work for you. This is YOUR business so run it the way that works with your desires, goals and personalities.

"Find a meaningful need and fill it better than anyone else." ~Anonymous

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Licensing:
Depending upon the type of business you decide to open and your local laws will determine the type (if any) of licensing you need. Some areas will require you to at the bare minimum register a DBA (doing business as) or Fictitious name with the state. Most times you can do this online and fees will vary from state to state. Check with your State Business Office as well as City, Town and County. The licensing can vary from county to City and you may be required to have multiple, one for County as well as one for City. This all varies and changes from year to year so our suggestion is to check with your local Business Office or Occupational Licensing Division. You will also probably want to check with your Department of Revenue to file for a resellers certificate, which also enables you to purchase wholesale from suppliers.

"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." ~ Michael Jordon

Business Formation:
You may want to hire an attorney to help you determine which of these best benefits you and your business. Each one has it’s own advantages and disadvantages so you need to determine which is best over all for you. You may want to keep your business open as a Sole Proprietor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sole_proprietor A sole proprietorship, or simply proprietorship, is a type of business entity which legally has no separate existence from its owner. Hence, the limitations of liability enjoyed by a corporation and limited liability partnerships do not apply to sole proprietors. All debts of the business are debts of the owner. It is a “sole” proprietor in the sense that the owner has no partners. A sole proprietorship essentially means a person does business in their own name and there is only one owner. A sole proprietorship is not a corporation; it does not pay corporate taxes, but rather the person who organized the business pays personal income taxes on the profits made, making accounting much simpler. A sole proprietorship need not worry about double taxation like a corporate entity would have to. Most sole proprietors will register a trade name or “Doing Business As”. This allows the proprietor to do business with a name other than his or her legal name and also allows the proprietor to open a business account with banking institutions.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

You may opt to form an LLC (Limited Liability Company) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_liability_company A limited liability company (denoted by L.L.C. or LLC) in the law of many of the United States is a legal form of business company offering limited liability to its owners. It is similar to a corporation, and is often a more flexible form of ownership, especially suitable for smaller companies with a limited number of owners. Unlike a regular corporation, a limited liability company with one member may be treated as a disregarded entity, so the member is often singled-out as a person performing the actions of the LLC. A limited liability company with multiple members may choose, generally at the time that the new entity applies for a US federal taxpayer ID number, to be treated for U.S. federal taxation purposes as a partnership, as a C Corporation, or as an S corporation. An LLC can elect to be either “member managed” or “manager managed.”

And then we have the Corporation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporation A corporation is a legal entity (technically, a juristic person) which has a separate legal personality from its members. The defining legal rights and obligations of the corporation are: (i) the ability to sue and be sued; (ii) the ability to hold assets in its own name; (iii) the ability to hire agents; (iv) the ability to sign contracts; and (v) the ability to make by-laws, which govern its internal affairs.[1] Other legal rights and obligations may be assigned to the corporation by governments or courts. These are often controversial.[2] Stewart Kyd, the author of the first treatise on corporate law in English, defined a corporation as “a collection of many individuals united into one body, under a special denomination, having perpetual succession under an artificial form, and vested, by policy of the law, with the capacity of acting, in several respects, as an individual, particularly of taking and granting property, of contracting obligations, and of suing and being sued, of enjoying privileges and immunities in common, and of exercising a variety of political rights, more or less extensive, according to the design of its institution, or the powers conferred upon it, either at the time of its creation, or at any subsequent period of its existence.”

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Growth Factor:
Ok, so now you have your business idea and have filed the necessary paperwork and licensing to get your business off the ground. Next step, how quickly do you want your business to grow? There are a number of ways to determine this but ultimately the decision lies with you and your personality and what you are capable of dealing with and only you can make that determination. Here are a few of the options: 1) Start off slow and limit the people you sign up as consultants (distributors, representatives – all are the same thing). You do not want to put too much burden on yourself in the event that you sign up too many consultants and they all go gung ho full force into the business and promote and get countless orders right off the bat. You must be able to handle the orders in a timely fashion otherwise those customers may be your first and your last. If you’re making the product you’re offering you will have to have start up product inventory already produced and on hand for initial orders. Supply and demand are key components here and efficient turn around times. You can always open consultant registration to expand more when you know what your limitations are. 2) Sign up as many consultants as you want and be prepared to work doing whatever it takes to get orders out quickly and properly. If you hire someone to assist you in product or office duties or as a consultant trainer you may be able to handle this without any problems at all. When deciding you need to really analyze the amount of time it takes to produce, package your product and time to communicate with customers, consultants and other menial tasks that do eat into your hourly productivity rate. Remember more isn’t always better. You want to provide a quality product or service and if you risk that by taking on too much it won’t benefit you any in the long run. It’s easier to maintain a customer than it is to obtain new customers. As well, remember people do talk and if someone gets shoddy product or substandard service from your business in the beginning, news travels fast and you could make a bad reputation before you even get your feet off the ground. In recent years there have been countless companies that have grown too quickly and were unable to supply their consultants and customers with product. Ultimately they disappeared into the night leaving behind a trail of unhappy dissatisfied customers and consultants who were left without product and without money. When things like this happen, it gives other WAHM’s a bad name thus the reason you may want to differentiate yourself and establish yourself as a business OWNER more so than a WAHM. You can see some of the WAHM’s who decided to grow too quickly and were not able to keep their business afloat at http://www.bustedscammers.com and on http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/ConsultantCheck/ which is a yahoo group where you can share your experiences from buying and selling online from direct sales companies (consultants). If you also run a Yahoo Group, this is a place to scan your pending members before approving them. Report any trouble makers that are a part of your yahoo group and more.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Integrity & Ethics
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett
While I personally don’t think it takes quite 20 years to build a reputation, it does take a while to build and only seconds to destroy. I have been a business owner for over 20 years now and have a reputation of being a straight shooter and someone who works with integrity, values and provides efficient service. People who do business with me know they’re going to get results, quality product and speedy delivery of said product or service. I say what I have to say, I don’t mince words. I’ve had this reputation since the beginning of my business ownerships. You can see just a few of the people who lacked integrity or business ethics at http://www.bustedscammers.com You do not want to grace the pages of http://www.bustedscammers.com as a business owner. Those people failed to run their businesses in an ethical manner and instead opted to scam people or simply failed and left people high and dry. They will always be remembered for doing so as well. Consultant Check on yahoo groups is also a good resource to view others who do not conduct their affairs with integrity. http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/ConsultantCheck/ is a yahoo group where you can share your experiences from buying and selling online from direct sales companies (consultants). If you also run a Yahoo Group, this is a place to scan your pending members before approving them. Report any trouble makers that are a part of your yahoo group and more. Once your name is tarnished it is extremely difficult to reestablish yourself as a legitimate business owner. Someone will always question or doubt your integrity. For this reason it’s best to always perform business in a professional, honest, integrity filled manner. You want to make a name for yourself and a good name at that. You want to be remembered as someone who performs the task at hand and delivers quality products or services in an above average way. This will carry on as your legacy per se. If your name comes up in conversation you want the person to say “Oh yes, I know so and so and she’s wonderful” or “Oh sure I’ve heard about her, she’s great to work with and her product rocks”. Those are the comments you want to be associated with your name and your business. So, as they say “Do unto others as you’d want them to do unto you.” Or apply the quote “To get something, you must give it.” If you want success, you must act the part, be the part and success will be yours. Apply these concepts and you will be successful.

"Always do right - this will gratify some and astonish the rest." ~ Mark Twain

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Grammar & Spelling:
When conducting business be aware of your grammar and spelling. This applies to emails, web sites, advertising as well as when you’re verbally speaking with someone. I don’t know how many times I read posts on forums or networks and the grammar is just well so second grade! “I just re-done this page” when it should be “I just redid this page.” “I seen this product” when it should be “I saw this product” Or “I’ve got whatcha want” What on earth is that? I can understand an occasional typo here or there but we all possess spell check on our computers, use it if you know you have problems with spelling or grammar. When emailing your friends or family it’s ok to have misspellings or grammar that’s not professional but when you’re presenting yourself as a business you want to make sure your emails, posts exude professionalism at all times. You’ll see a related article at the end of this ebook regarding this subject as well.

“You keep customers by delivering on your promises, fulfilling your commitments and continually investing in the quality of your relationships.” ~ Brian Tracy

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Set Working Parameters:
“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”

-

Arthur Brisbane

You must set up working hours, even if working from home. You do not want your consultants nor customers calling you at midnight on a Saturday evening or at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning to discuss business. Well YOU might but most business owners will not. If you opt to run your business from home there are a lot of advantages – from no commuting time or expense to the convenience of being at home. However, don’t let the “convenience” of being at home get in the way of conducting your business as a business. You need to set boundaries and be able to “shut down” the business at a certain hour and ENJOY YOUR LIFE! Your consultants may get in the habit of calling, IM’ing or emailing you at all hours of the day and night if you allow them to. You simply cannot allow this. To some this may seem harsh or mean but you do have a life outside of work and you need to enjoy that life. Make sure that your consultants know that they can reach you by whatever means of communication and that if it’s not during “normal working hours” that you will get to them as soon as you begin work again. Now, this does not mean take days and days to respond. You want to answer ALL emails within 24 hours, emails from customers as well as consultants. If you wait any longer than 24 hours most people will have moved on and ordered elsewhere. In the beginning of your business you may feel like you have to work around the clock to get things established and up and going. This may be the case but very briefly. You do not want your business to overrun your life. If you do, it’ll lead to unhappiness in the business not to mention possible health issues and all in all your business will not succeed if it’s no longer an enjoyment in your life.

"Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was." Richard L. Evans

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Trying to Please Everyone & Learning How to Say No:
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody” - Bill Cosby

You will not be able to please everyone all the time and you shouldn’t even begin to try. As the quote above states, that is the key to failure. It’s impossible to have everyone pleased and if you attempt to do that you will fail. This is YOUR business, YOU must run it the way YOU deem fit. This means, you must do what is in the best interest for YOU and YOUR business so that it succeeds and you profit. Giving in to everyone else’s desires and whims is an instant way to end up with stock and products that won’t sell and you are then out the investment. Your consultants have nothing to risk or lose by saying they want this item or that item added to the line up. It’s not money out of their pocket, it IS money out of YOUR pocket though. You can weigh their opinions against your return on investment and if items are cost effective and you’ll have enough return on investment then you may want to consider their opinions or suggestions at times, but you cannot give in to every whim or desire. Yes, you want to add new products to your company and keep your business fresh and up to date but that does not mean add items that aren’t relevant to your product line or that you’ll not be able to move and end up selling at a loss. You are in business to MAKE MONEY not have it tied up in product that’s sitting on the shelves collecting dust! Saying “no” seems to be difficult for some new business owners. You need to get over that fear and make “no” part of your vocabulary. Customers may want an item that you don’t carry, you can simply say “no, I’m sorry we don’t carry that but perhaps you’d like to try such and such”. You will not be able to please everyone all the time – remember this! Saying no doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose a sale. Offer alternatives, offer suggestions or dare I say refer them to someone who does carry the item they’re looking for. You may be thinking that I must be nuts to tell you to do that BUT, a person will remember that YOU helped them find what they were looking for and when they do want or need the item or service you offer they will come back to you. They will remember that thoughtful act of your assisting them even when it meant you wouldn’t get a sale and they will use you when the time is right. For whatever reason women have difficulty saying no. The idea is women are supposed to be “nice” and agree all the time? What is up with that? I mean, yes women are more nurturing and loving and caring; however, in business it’s a different playing field. We cannot be afraid to say no. There are times you will have to say no or risk the chance of running yourself and your business into the ground. Ultimately you must decide when and what to agree to but just remember you will never be able to please everyone all the time, so at minimum do what will please you and bring you success.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Call the waaaaaaambulance:
Did anyone see the movie “The Kid” staring Bruce Willis? There was a scene where the boy playing Bruce as a child (Spencer Breslin) was crying about something trivial and Bruce said “call the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaambulance”. That line has stuck in my head for many years now! This is a huge area that waaaaaaaaaaay too many times the WAHM’s fall into. When you’re a business owner, there are no excuses…there are no sob stories. Like the saying goes “shit happens, deal with it.” Everyone has ‘things’ going on in their lives, it’s all about the manner in which one handles those ‘things’. As a business owner you will hear a multitude of sob stories, whining and excuses from consultants as to why they can’t fulfill their quota (if you have quota), why they can’t do this or do that. It’s up to you if you want to fall for all the “call the waaaaaaaaaaaaambulance” stories and give in and put your own livelihood and financial stability at risk for someone else’s waaaaaaaaaaaaambulance story or if you stick to your guns and conduct your business as a business. I know that I cannot walk into Circuit City (*note Circuit City was still in business and had locations at the time of the original writing of this) and tell the sales manager that I’m a single mom and I’m really desperate and I really really really want that new plasma big screen tv. They’d laugh me out of the store. So instead, I walk in and buy it with my money. There is no place for waaaaaaaaaaaambulance stories in the business world. If one feels the need to share their waaaaaaaaaaaaambulance stories then they should do so with family or friends but not as a ploy in business. As a business owner, if you have medical issues, I’m sorry but you don’t need to announce them to the world and use that as an excuse for you not being able to conduct business as you should. That’s why you should have a back up plan (discussed earlier in this book). As a business owner, if you have personal or family issues, again sorry but your clients and potential clients don’t need to know all the details. They’re looking for your product and want to buy from you and/or your consultants, not get a detailed explanation of every private matter or problem you’re currently facing. Business owners and consultants alike should not use excuses when running a business. If I had a dime for every time I heard someone’s sob story, or that they’re a single mom (like that should make a difference in how one does business? I AM a single mom and have been such for the pretty near the entire time I’ve owned my own businesses but I never play the “single mom card” looking for sympathy or handouts or using that as an excuse) I wouldn’t need to work anymore, I’d be rich already! There are no excuses, there are no sob stories… bluntly when you own a business you do what it takes to deliver…plain and simple.

"There's no such things as coulda, shoulda, or woulda. If you shoulda and coulda, you woulda done it." Pat Riley
©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Change of Plans:
"The road to success is always under construction." - Lily Tomlin
When you first open your business you’ll want to have a basic business plan laid out ahead for you to follow. However, after conducting business you may find that your plan or direction needs to be tweaked. It is totally acceptable and you SHOULD follow the call to change if it’s going to be of benefit to you and helping you succeed. You might originally have decided you’re going to make all the products and focus on that yourself but then the time you’ve spent on office responsibilities and networking along with marketing has taken more time than you thought and you can’t keep up with production so it’d be in your best interest to either hire someone to help with tasks or find a supplier to provide product rather than invest all your energy into making items yourself. Perhaps when you started your consultant program you did not impose a start up fee, then you see that thousands of people are joining since it’s free and you invest your time in getting them set up but then they don’t do anything. You can then change that aspect and include a start up fee. There is more regarding this in the section called “For fee? Or for free” Likewise with having minimum quota’s from your consultants, in the beginning you might opt to not require a quota. After months of seeing minimal energy spent by your consultants because they have no requirements you decide to instate a quota. You can and should make this change. You will have to tweak and make improvements and changes that will be of benefit to you and the success of your company.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Suess
I’m not saying that your consultants or your customers feelings don’t matter or count by including the quote from Dr Suess. However; I am saying that again it’s YOUR business, I can’t stress that enough. It’s your time and energy and your money that is making your business what it is. If you have something to say and the consultant doesn’t like the way you said it, then she may have issues with areas of her life and that’s why she perhaps hasn’t excelled at any one business long enough to really see any profits and she goes more by emotion than by rationally thinking things through and making the needed changes. You want to surround yourself with people, mentors, consultants that share the same objective that you do…they want success and will do what it takes to achieve that. Be prepared to make changes to improve your business, it’s all a part of growing and succeeding.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Profit Margins:
Ahhh there’s the word finally.. PROFIT! That’s what you want to see in your business – PROFITS! I mean that’s why you desire to open your own business right? So you can have success and make a profit! When figuring out your profit, a key aspect is usually forgotten and that’s your TIME! Yes, time IS money. You need to take into consideration the time it takes you to market, advertise, produce product, label product, package product, train consultants, work on web site, developing new products, updating web site and every aspect of the business. All these things take time! You need to determine if it’s worth all the time you invest or if perhaps you’d be best to delegate some of these tasks to others who can do on an hourly rate, an as needed rate or otherwise. You may want to hire a VA (Virtual Assistant) to assist you with some of the work that would free you to do other aspects of the business. Now let’s figure out the other profit margin areas. If you’re developing or making the product you’re selling yourself, you must first figure out the actual cost of all materials needed to make the product. Make sure to include any shipping fees into this figure as well. Often times shipping fees are overlooked and they do add up and are part of the business expenses. You want to make sure to calculate the total actual material cost per item that you sell. You will need to take into consideration your consultant commission amount (this is gone over in another section) and then what you want your profit to be. Originally some people went by the cost x three would be their retail price for product. This can be used as a starting point to figure out possible retail pricing for you. Example: if the actual material costs are: $5.00 to produce an item and your consultants earn 25% commission it takes you an hour to make the item if you sell it for $15.00 that means your consultant will earn $3.75 commission and you will be left with $6.25 after the material costs Is that a worthy hourly pay? Remember it took you an hour to make that item and minimum wage is around that in most areas of the US. (note: if YOU sell the item on your own, your profit would then increase to $10 because you don’t have the consultant commission to pay out). However, you also need to take into consideration your overhead: Website & hosting Advertising budget Electricity Insurance Licensing If you’re working in an office or warehouse where you have to pay rent. All of these expenses must be included as well. If you run your business from home you will still incur these expenses just substituting your rent or mortgage payment for office rent.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Do Not Under Price:
Here is an area where many run into problems, especially as women. Again the misconception is a woman is supposed to never say no, always be nice and helpful. Those are all good traits… except in business, you don’t want to give away your product or service. If you offer your product or service at a low price, people may question the quality or integrity of the product. Cheaper pricing does not always mean more orders. If you’re too low potential customers will wonder why you are so low and wonder about the quality. Your customers want to feel assured that you are offering a product or service that is valuable to them, they will not get this impression if you low ball your pricing or offer constant sales. Take pride in your business and base your pricing on what you deserve to earn. Somebody will always be there to under charge what you did. For whatever reason - be it they don’t have as much over head, they don’t provide an efficient service or quality product – whatever their reasoning is, someone will always be there to charge less and not think about how that ultimately affects their business in the long run. Some people are only thinking in the “here and now” and not envisioning the long haul. Those people are the ones who usually fold after 6 months to a year because they got greedy in the beginning and didn’t think through their business plan. People will pay the higher prices on quality product and excellent service. If an item is something that a person is interested in, they will buy it even at the higher prices. Show off the value of your product or service, let your customer know that it is worth every penny for it. Example: It is better and easier to deal with one customer who willingly and easily pays $100 for your service than it is to deal with 10 customers who you only charged $10 each for your service. Go for quality not quantity (this is discussed later in this ebook)

"I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen." ––Frank Lloyd Wright

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Return on Investment:
When deciding what methods of advertising you want to employ for your business you must take into consideration your ROI (return on investment). You certainly don’t want to spend $1000 on an ad in a magazine that doesn’t market to your target clientele. You also don’t want to spend $50 on mailing out random post cards if the average response rate is 1% and your product is only selling for $5. You won’t make any money in either of these scenarios. There are many “box swaps” and “swap groups” online now and many people jump at the opportunity to participate. In fact they do so without even contemplating their ROI. They generally have to send in items of a certain dollar amount and a certain quantity and then those items along with others will be distributed for them. If they send in 10 items with a $3 value, there’s $30 right there not to mention the cost of business cards, fliers, catalogs and shipping the items to the person coordinating the swap. They will have to make the determination if it’s worth it for them to invest $30+ in the hopes of getting customers who place orders so the business’ profits will exceed that $30+ investment. Sending in “fillers” for Mom Pack™ is also an investment one should analyze and do properly. If you have a product or service that targets mom’s and grandmothers (or females for that matter) then you may want to invest in Mom Pack™. You simply join http://www.mompack.com for free and join the various yahoo groups they have enabled for your business, one of which is mom pack fillers. This is a group that specifically looks for businesses that want to send in business cards, fliers, etc. and they assist in promoting your business in orders their business ships out. Now, there is a great opportunity for obtaining new customers through this method – if done properly. In my opinion, it’s best to send in “fillers” to those requesting them that their business targets your market. It would be a waste of your investment if you sold vegetarian products and the person you’re sending your promotional fillers to sells beef jerky. That’s not exactly your target market, thus there would most likely be no ROI (return on investment) there. However, if you send in fillers make sure they match the companies clientele and make your fillers stand out. Use pens or pencils with your url on them, send something tangible (a sample of your product), a coupon for a free item or discount from your business. Additionally make sure whatever you send is professional looking and conveys the image your business has. Nothing screams hobbyist more than an unevenly cut thin piece of paper printed on an ink jet with some clip art that’s been over used by other companies. Some will argue that their business is just starting and they need to keep costs down, but in doing so and settling for substandard advertising, promoting tools will just lessen your business image and you only have on first impression. Another area of concern would be catalogs. Yes, mailing catalogs from your company requires money on shipping and the printing of the catalog. I know many people like to browse a catalog that they can feel but with the invent of emails and ebooks you can email a person a virtual catalog or have them browse your website. This is much better than spending a few dollars on a print catalog and a few more dollars to mail the catalog, when often times combine those two and that figure is more than what your profit might be on their purchase so you’ve lost money and made nothing. Ultimately make sure that there is substantial ROI or simply move on and brain storm for other avenues that will work to your advantage. ©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Cost Effectiveness:
When you own your own business you must consider whether services and products are going to be cost effective for you to utilize. This applies to items you may want to stock for inventory as well as services you may want to utilize to help you with your business. Example: You spend four hours a day networking and posting on forums and trying to market online and get the word out about your business and what you have to offer. This is four hours you could use by doing other things. You could hire a VA (virtual assistant) to do this for you or even a ghostwriter who would post to forums and networks for you promoting your business. Often times the money you would pay them to do it is well worth it so you have time to spend on other business responsibilities and obligations. Be proactive in areas that you can delegate to others. It’s a most cost effective method! Likewise with product or inventory, you must determine if it’s going to be a cost effective addition to your business. If a product can be purchased wholesale for $9.95 you need to make the determination if it’s feasible to retail it for the amount you’d need to cover your initial cost, your consultant’s commissions and your profit. You would almost have to sell it retail for almost $30.00 in order to allow for all aspects. Is it feasible that a large percentage of customers would be willing to pay that much for the item? If so, then go for it! If not, then it’s simple…do not add it to your product line. Remember what we discussed earlier in the book about not being able to please all the people all the time! This is your business, your livelihood and your future – do what’s best for the business.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

"The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual." Vince Lombardi

Set Goals and Achieve Them:
”Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing” ~ Michael LeBoef
This may seem so cliché about setting goals and getting them done. However, it is a must do! If you don’t set goals or have anything to accomplish or gauge your accomplishments by, you’re more likely to not do as much as you could to achieve your success. Without goals you lack priorities which give you focus and help you to obtain your business’ success. Time is priceless, once it’s gone that’s it. You can’t have a “redo” for yesterday, you can’t have the last five minutes returned to you. Time - you cannot save it, lose it, have more of it next week than what you have this wee. It’s a constant ongoing aspect of life that you cannot change; however, you can change your attitude and approach to time. That is why setting goals are essential. You and you alone are responsible for your life. You are the only one who can determine how you handle daily life occurrences and how you let them affect your business and livelihood. You need to be clear and concise on what you want to achieve in your business, what your views on success are and how you’re going to obtain that success. You must believe that what you want to achieve is in fact achievable and do whatever it takes to get your mindset right and achieve it! You have to believe that you are capable of succeeding, that you have what it takes to accomplish the task and the skills and talents along with the resources to do just that – SUCCEED! Be specific with your goals and your mind will kick in and get them done. It’ll be on the subconscious mind through the day if you have your goals written down and you’ll push to get those goals done on a daily basis thus leading to success! In John C. Maxwell’s book “Today Matters. 12 Daily Practices To Guarantee Tomorrow’s Success” he states this about priorities: 1. What is required of me? 2. What gives me the greatest return? As you progress in your career, you begin to discover that some activities yield a much higher return for the effort than others do. (Anyone who hasn’t discovered that probably isn’t progressing in his career!) The next place to focus your attention is on those high-return activities. 3. What gives me the greatest reward? Three important questions to ponder as you set your goals!

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Keep it BUSINESS – not PERSONAL:
In business you should act professionally and professionalism should exude from all you do. There is a time and place for personal matters and the business arena is not the time nor place for those personal issues. When you’re dealing with consultants that work for you it may be tempting to get into some personal discussions with them. This is a catch twenty two. You want to be able to relate and communicate with those consultants so they know you’re ‘human’ and that you’re open to hear their thoughts and concerns. However, on the down side you don’t want to be the one that they come to and pour their guts out about all the marital problems, or Janey’s boyfriend problems or Diane’s financial problems. You will have consultants that have medical issues, dual household parenting issues, single parent issues, the list goes on and on but in business there is no room for these issues. We already discussed part of this in the “Call the waaaaaaaaaaambulance” section of this ebook. If you wanted drama in your life, I hear you could lay down on the sofa, kick back and enjoy a good soap opera. I, personally, do not have time for drama in my life.

This does not mean that you should be cold and callus towards anyone but you do need to keep business in perspective. You should acknowledge and reward your consultants when they achieve new goals, show up for training chats or other land mark events. Celebrate their birthdays, let them know they and the work they do promoting your business are appreciated. Show them you do care, but you can do this is in a manner that doesn’t cross the line of professionalism. Likewise when communicating with your consultants and others in business you don’t want to address them as: Hon or honey Sugar, sweetie or sweetness Lady, chic or toots You also don’t want to sign your business emails with: xoxo Hugs Love Or end with animated hearts or any other fluffy animated email stationary or graphics. Leave all those terms of endearment for your family or loved ones. Somehow I don’t envision Donald Trump signing his emails xoxo or with an animated dog chasing animated hearts or something equally as fluffy feel good. When dealing with customers you want to be both professional and personal to a degree. You want your customers to know that you appreciate their business and that you also ‘know’ them. You remember what they order, what their preferences are, when their birthday is. Those things make a customer feel appreciated and valued.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

“Offer your customer a long term relationships, then do everything possible to build and maintain it.” Brian Tracy

Commission Structure for Consultants:
Here’s where a lot of new direct sales company owners get confused. They don’t know how to structure the consultant’s commissions. There are countless ways you can set your consultant structure. You may opt for a solo level commission structure where the consultants make a set commission percentage on all products, services they sell. There is no commission paid to the consultant for anyone they might happen to recruit or bring into the company. Pro: Easy to keep track of commissions Con: Doesn’t give consultant any incentive to bring more people into the company to be consultants for you either, so you may lose the chance in having additional consultants that ultimately bring you more business and more consultants. One Tier Consultant Program: This is where your consultants will be paid a set commission percentage on all products and services they sell. They will also earn a lesser percentage on the sales of any consultants that they bring into your business. Pro: Your consultants will have incentive to recruit more consultants, thus more people spreading the word and promoting your business. Con: Don’t forget to take into account the second commission level when figuring out your expenses and profit margin. Two Tier Consultant Program: This is where your consultants will be paid a set commission percentage on all products and services they sell. They will also earn a lesser percentage on the sales of any consultants that they bring into your business, and on the consultants those consultants bring into your company as well. Pro: Your consultants will have incentive to recruit more consultants, thus more people spreading the word and promoting your business. Con: Don’t forget to take into account the second and third commission levels when figuring out your expenses and profit margin. Referral based Program: This is where you can pay consultants or affiliates a flat base rate per order instead of a commission. Pro: You know what your output will be per order and don’t need to figure out percentages Con: You would have to determine a rate that is feasible no matter the size of order or base it with a minimum order size. Not real popular with most people. Note: You may have some consultants who don’t grasp why you don’t pay more on tiered levels or other aspects and reality is this if you paid more then you’ll also have to increase your product retail prices to make accommodations for the higher pay outs so you’ll need to take that into consideration. And, I can’t stress enough that you cannot and will not please all the people all of the time as discussed in this ebook so you must do what is in the best interest for yourself, your business and your profit margin.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Quota’s:
Quota’s are a touchy subject. To have or not have. It’s entirely up to you, the business owner. Consultants usually don’t like them and yet they’re almost a necessity to the business owner. Without quota’s most consultants have no incentive to work the business vigorously to obtain orders. There is no driving force other than the possibility of making commissions if they do happen to sell. There are no ramifications to the consultant if there are no quota’s to be met and they accomplish nothing for a sales period. Without quota’s though the majority of consultants simply promote the business in a carefree laid back manner which usually does not result in substantial revenues. However, if you implement quota’s the consultants then are driven to pursue leads, advertise, network and market the business. You need to realize that you or someone you’ve hired is setting up your consultants in your business, providing training and training materials for them and working with them to help them help your business. You do not want to invest all this time and energy and your resources into this if they’re not going to actively work your business. Having quota’s in place will require the consultants to either produce or to move on and not be a part of your business, in which case you can then focus your attention on the consultants who are serious about the business and are making you money. There are a few ways to handle quota’s: - Have a minimum monthly quota set and if consultant doesn’t meet the quota they don’t get any commissions from their down line (if you have the consultant program set up in that manner). - Have a minimum monthly quota set and if consultant doesn’t meet the quota in a certain time frame (1 month, 2 months, quarterly, whatever you want to set it up for) they either are deactivated from the company or put on a grace period at which time further action would be taken if they still didn’t fulfill the quote during the grace period. - Have no quota set and hope for the best when it comes to consultants actively promoting. (side note: Often times when there are no quota’s or start up fees, you end up having what people refer to as “business collectors”. These are people who join every free, no quota direct sales company there is. You know the ones, the ones who signature line is 17 lines long with a different company in each one, all with long whacked out urls. “Biz collectors” aren’t likely to succeed because their time is limited. How can one give 100% to 17 different companies? So if you set your business up to have no quota’s nor start up fee’s be prepared to have many “biz collectors” join you)

"Determine what specific goal you want to achieve. Then dedicate yourself to its attainment with unswerving singleness of purpose, the trenchant zeal of a crusader." Paul J. Meyer

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Consultant Programs:
You can opt to set up your direct sales company with affiliates or consultants. They’re different but yet similar in some respects. Affiliate Program: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affiliate_programs A method of promoting web businesses (merchants/advertisers) in which an affiliate (publisher) is rewarded for every visitor, subscriber, customer, and/or sale provided through his/her efforts. You can set up an affiliate program and opt to either have it as a free sign up for a lower percentage commission or charge a nominal fee and increase the commission percentage. There are a variety of affiliate programs that are free to use or you can opt to pay for affiliate program software. The downside with most of these is that the url that is generated by the affiliate software is a long weird one that most people will not simply click on but that can be remedied by making your consultants their own web page on your server that contains their personal information and basic information about the business and then contains the affiliate link within that page. This enables your consultants to have a semi normal url to promote and still utilize the software for each consultant program. Consultants may also want to register a domain name for $9.95 (at the time of this ebook) via godaddy.com and have it forward to their consultant link. http://www.mals-e.com offers a free affiliate program set up that you can utilize on your website. It does a fairly decent job of tracking affiliate links and orders. It can be set up for a tiered consultant commission plan as well (discussed earlier in consultant commission structure). There is an area that you can add various buttons, banners, images, graphics along with text links so when your consultants log in they can pick which method they prefer to use to advertise your business. http://www.oscommerce.com also offers a module that can be installed on your website that automatically configures consultants. It’s great tool and can be customized for various tiers (discussed earlier in consultant commission structure). There is an area that you can add various buttons, banners, images, graphics along with text links so when your consultants log in they can pick which method they prefer to use to advertise your business. They can also configure their links to link to a particular product as well. You can customize the length of the cookies to be registered so your consultants don’t lose customers that may originate from their page but don’t buy right at that moment. These are just two methods you may opt to use for your consultant program. There are many more, but thus far the ones I’ve tried personally these are the top of the line and free to use as well.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

For Fee or For FREE?
Now that you’ve gotten everything else figured out you need to decide if your company is going to offer sign ups for consultants for free or will you charge a price for the consultants to get involved with your company. On the one hand you want people to sign up as consultants and help boost your sales and promote promote promote! For Free: some new business owners figure they can accomplish this by allowing people to join for free. This does get people to join, but with that comes a few other aspects you may want to consider first before doing this. - If a person joins for free, they have no vested interest in your business nor promoting it. I mean, they have absolutely nothing to lose if they don’t do anything. - It lessens the integrity of the company by “cheapening” your product or service and the image of your business. - You could have more people join since it’s free than what you’re prepared for or capable of handling. Remember you will need to set your consultants up, get them into your system, train them, assist them and answer questions they may have. This could be extremely time consuming. If you spend all your time doing this and they don’t promote because, again they have nothing to lose if they accomplish nothing then you have wasted countless hours and energy for no profit. - You could have more people join since it’s free than what you expected and they actually do promote and get orders and you don’t have the resources or inventory and stock to fill their orders and ultimately fold and go out of business like numerous companies have done (more than I care to recall just in the year 2006) So as you can see free isn’t always better and can actually do more harm to your company than good.

For a fee: For those who want to charge consultants a sign up fee you will need to determine what you want to charge and if it will include any benefits. You want to charge enough to cover your time and energy in getting a new consultant set up and yet make it affordable enough that people will want to join. Most people find a company that charges a nominal fee to begin more reputable than a company that offers free sign ups. The advantages of having a start up fee: - You know the people who are signing up are definitely interested in promoting your business and making money because they now have a vested interest. People do not like to just throw money away, so having the start up fee will motivate your new consultant to work your business. - The start up fee will cover your time spent in preparing and training the consultant in your business. - You have higher credibility in business when having consultants pay a start up fee. Like the sayings go, “you get what you pay for” and “you don’t get something for nothing”. This holds true for business perspective and impressions. If you’re giving something away people wonder why or wonder what’s wrong with it. ©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Quantity vs Quality:
”Quality isn't something that can be argued into an article or promised into it. It must be put there. If it isn't put there, the finest sales talk in the world won't act as a substitute.” ~ C. G. Campbell
This section actually pertains to consultants as well as product. As you could see in the section prior to this one, we discussed the difference in having consultants join for free or charge a start up fee.

“One good customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” ~ Jim Rohn
When it comes to your product, you want to offer high quality product that your customers desire, will pay for and want to order from you again as well as refer your business to others. You cannot possibly carry every item known to mankind and don’t try to! You will not be able to please all of the people all of the time (remember that section of this book?) so, don’t try to! Offer what you want to but make sure it’s a quality item. One quality item is worth so much more than a thousand items that are substandard pieces of garbage. If your customers wanted dollar store garbage, they’d go there. When they’re coming to your business they want quality products, excellent customer service and the personality and charm from you and your business. When it comes to your consultants, again quality far outweighs quantity. We discussed this briefly when the “For a fee? Or for free” section of the ebook already. It will be of no benefit for you to have endless supplies of consultants if none of them are promoting or obtaining any customers orders for your business. (See the mention about “biz collectors” in the Quota’s section). That ultimately will reflect on you and your business reputation and could cost you business later down the road as well. Invest your time in training and assisting the consultants who do show motivation, drive and the desire to achieve success with your company. Those are the quality consultants that will make a difference for you and your business. It’s better to have one hundred consultants who produce, meet quota’s and achieve goals than it is to have one thousand consultants who merely waste your time while you attempt to motivate them.

”When you're out of quality, you're out of business.” ~ Unknown Author

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Home Parties:
Some direct sales companies require that their consultants have home parties. The thought behind that is it’ll bring more potential customers together in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. By offering hostess benefits, it’ll entice the hostess to invite more friends, push for more orders thus helping herself as well as the consultant holding the party and you, the business owner. Ultimately the goal is for everyone to make more money by making consultants have mandatory home parties; however, in this day and age that’s not always feasible with busy schedules and or location. Sometimes this works out extremely well, other times not so well. I think a lot of people are burnt out on home parties and almost feel obligated to have them for friends. I mean there are only so many parties one can have before she owns everything in the business that she could possibly want. The other disadvantage to requiring home parties is most people really are not truly interested in hearing how the company came to be, who it’s founders or owners are or any of the repetitive information that they’re going to hear from your consultants. The most successful way to incorporate home parties into your direct sales company is this: make them voluntary. This way the consultant doesn’t feel as though she has to go beg for friends and family to hold a party and in the future more people are apt to want to have a party once they see they’re not being hog tied into having one. People do not like to be “guilted” into having a party to “help someone out”. A better approach to the typical home party would be a more relaxed “get together” where the consultant could show product, sell on the spot, take orders in a friendly laid back atmosphere where it’s not pushed upon them as a presentation.

Online Parties:
Online parties are the newest way to hold parties, have fun and get orders for your consultants. Now with the invent of the internet many people may not have ‘local’ friends but have lots of internet (distance) friends. An online party is the ideal way to bring everyone together in a party situation. There is an article later on here with some information on how to conduct, advertise for an online party. An online party works well for those who don’t necessarily have to “feel” the product they’re purchasing. You can still play games in an online party, hostesses can still earn product or rewards. Everything is pretty much the same except people from all over can be in one place at the same time and the items are viewed online opposed to up close and personal. All you need to conduct an online party is a chat room which you can offer to your consultants for free to use or there are countless online party rental sites that consultants can rent from site owners to hold their parties in for a minimal fee.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Training & Conference Calls:
You may decide to hold various trainings for your consultants. You could utilize online chat rooms or conference calls for these trainings. A lot of people use yahoo groups as a forum for their consultants as well as to get information to the entire group. This method also enables other consultants to discuss and network amongst themselves and work together helping each other with the business. Here are some resources for conference calls: http://www.freeconference.com/ Some of their options are free though the person calling in will need to be able to call long distance, and other options have a minimal fee. I personally do not utilize this as I don’t hold conference calls but know that many do conduct theirs utilizing http://www.freeconference.com/ and have been very pleased with the service. Chat rooms for training: There are a number of free online chats available to use for training. Most web site hosting companies offer it as part of your hosting package so you may be able to easily add it to your existing web site. This comes in handy to hold private chats for your consultants. If you set up a yahoo group (more info in that section) you can take advantage of their free chat that’s included. This is an ok method, not the most reliable and has tendency to boot people out of chat area. I’ve used http://www.x7chat.com/ without any problems. It’s easy to install on your own server, and is free. X7chat has loads of features that will appeal to you. It enables you to conduct your chats privately within your own site. Below is just a summary of the features of x7chat. General Features • Skin support • Multilanguage support • Private Message Logging • Custom and predefined status messages • Offline Message support • Private Chats between two members • Full message styling, font, font size, font color, and font style User Features • Full profile • Full settings panel • Ability to ignore users • User-level word filter -- Each user defines the words they want filtered Room Features • Unlimited Number of Rooms • Password Protected Rooms • Public and Private Rooms • Moderated Rooms (Only voiced members can speak) • Message Logging • Room-level word filter -- Each user defines the words they want filtered • Ability to ban users from a specific room • Ability to define room specific auto-link words (keywords) ©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

• Operator, Voice and Mute list allows you to control who has what permissions in your room. • Chat room logging • Kicking and muting ability Administrator Features • Invisibility • Ability to ban users by IP, E-Mail and Username. • Ability to ban for a certain time period or for forever Yahoo Groups: This is a free group provided by yahoo that enables you to communicate with a group of people who sign up as members. The group can be private or public. You’ll want it to be set to where you must approve the members prior to allowing them in the group if you want to keep it just for your consultants and not the general public. Message Board: Message boards are a good tool for allowing you as well as your consultants to communicate, brain storm and get ideas from one another.Having a message board enables others to post and read others ideas and everyone helps everyone, enabling you the business owner to perform other business tasks.

"Keep your mind on the things you want and off the things you don't want." ~ Hannah Whitall Smith

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Merchant Accounts:
If you’re going to have your business online you’ll want to incorporate an online payment method. This would also help improve sales for offline brick and mortar type of businesses as well. In today’s world most people pay with plastic more so than cash. Having the ability to accept credit cards will increase your sales. I personally favor PayPal and Propay. I’ve been with both of them for years (with PayPal since they first started and were known as x.com, many years ago). I have never had any problems with either company and both offer excellent service, and low fees. There are others out there but they charge a monthly fee, a gateway fee, a transaction fee and other fees. With both Paypal and Propay you have the ability to accept all four major credit cards and fees are nominal. With both you may also receive a Master Card debit card so that you can use the monies in the account without having to transfer to a bank account. You can transfer funds to an existing bank account should you want to but with Paypal’s Master Card they do offer a rewards program so that saves you money as well. PayPal: Most people who conduct business online and even personal business now have a PayPal account. If you don’t, you can sign up for either a personal or a business one at https://www.paypal.com/us/mrb/pal=RXH467S6UYAUY and yes they do offer a referral program so if you use this link I will make a few cents! PayPal offers the ability to transfer cash funds to other people and businesses that have payPal accounts. They also offer the ability to accept payments via echecks and all four major credit cards. They no longer require a customer who’s paying a business to have an account with PayPal account so your customers can simply go to your website and pay you. PayPal does now offer an integrated shopping cart as well as being able to be linked to other carts. Propay: Propay offers a few different options, varying upon how much monthly credit card revenue you think you’ll have. You may upgrade at anytime though. You pay one time annually, so no monthly fees other than your transaction fee. You can see their various options at http://propay.com/account/ With Propay you can integrate it into a shopping cart, accept payments and process them online or via the phone as well. This comes in especially handy for those who do mobile service or are doing business at markets, fairs, shows, etc and don’t have access to a computer to process the credit card on the spot. You can process via phone and know the card is approved before the client walks away with your product from the show or market.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Shopping Carts:
There are a variety of shopping cart programs that you can use on your website. They vary from free to fee. You need to research and see which ones accommodate your particular needs. The few that are listed here are the top ones that are used by new forming direct sales companies. Mals-e: You can utilize a free cart from http://www.mals-e.com You can also integrate an affiliate program through this as well. It’s free to use and there are limited support and example methods shown on their web site. You can set it up with varied payment methods (cash, check, credit cards, paypal and a few other options). You can also use OSC, otherwise known as OSCommerce. This is the method that I personally have used since the inception of OSC roughly 6 years ago and have not had any problems with it at all. It has great features where you can update orders, easily update inventory, products for sale, communicate with your customers. You can also set up an affiliate program module so that your affiliate & consultant programs are integrated right into the system directly. http://www.oscommerce.com osCommerce is an Open Source based online shop e-commerce solution that is available for free under the GNU General Public License. It features a rich set of outofthe-box online shopping cart functionality that allows store owners to setup, run, and maintain their online stores with minimum effort and with no costs, fees, or limitations involved. osCommerce has attracted the largest community for an e-commerce solution that consists of over 149,800 store owners and developers worldwide with add-ons being contributed on a daily basis. To date there are over 4,200 add-ons available that have been created by the community to extend the features of an osCommerce online store. osCommerce combines Open Source solutions to provide a free and open ecommerce platform, which includes the powerful PHP web scripting language and the fast MySQL database server. With no special requirements, osCommerce is able to run on any PHP 4.1+ enabled web server running on Linux, Solaris, BSD, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows environments. With over 6 years of operation, osCommerce has built a showcase of over 12,600 online shops that have been voluntarily added to the live shops section, and powers many thousands of more online shops worldwide.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Zen cart: http://zencart.com/ they list some of their features as: • easy installation • multiple customer modes • unlimited category depth • multiple sales and discounts • multiple display modes • XHTML template system • unlimited extra pages • multiple ad banner controller • multiple shipping options • multiple payment options • newsletter manager • discount coupons • gift certificates • featured products • quantity discounts

Paypal: http://www.paypal.com now offers an integrated shopping cart as well. Now they offer payment acceptance via phone, fax, or mail and process it through their virtual terminal as well as accepting payments directly online.

“You already have every characteristic necessary for success if you recognize, claim, develop and use them” Zig Ziglar

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Shipping Methods:
Obviously if you have a product and not a service or an electronic item you will need to consider your shipping options. This is an area that really only you can determine what method will work best for you. Some people hate USPS, others like myself only use USPS. Others can’t stand dealing with UPS and then we have those who only use UPS. It’s about personal preference and what works the best for you. USPS: Yes, the United States Postal Service is honestly my number one preference. I’ve never had any problems with service, nationally or internationally. Currently my business only uses USPS Priority mail with delivery confirmation. It’s the most efficient for the money and if you use a system like http://www.Stamps.com or http://www.Endicia.com or even http://www.Paypal.com they offer plans where you can print postage labels right from your computer and while some you may pay a monthly service fee, you save money because delivery confirmation is free or discounted. If you ship a lot of packages, the savings on that will outweigh the minimal monthly fee. When shipping you will more than likely want to include delivery confirmation. Note that when you utilize delivery confirmation it is not a tracking process like UPS but it confirms delivery at the destination, thus the name “Delivery Confirmation”. Many people mistake that with tracking information and it’s totally different. UPS: United Parcel Service. Because of prior bad experiences I will not use UPS for anything. Some rural areas have difficulty with UPS timely deliveries. I’ve found unless the parcels being shipped are heavy it’s actually best to ship via USPS than it is UPS. They do offer location to location tracking though. I have just had too many bad experiences with UPS (in South Florida) to want to chance my business to them. FEDEX: Fedex offers a variety of options from ground to overnight delivery. Research their delivery areas and pricing to see if they fit the bill for what you need.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Networks:
Networking is a large aspect of making a business and yourself a success. There are many networks online now and you should give them a try and get a feel for what fits your niche and stick with those that’ll benefit you and your business the most. When networking you want to remember that networking involves getting to know people and not just going onto networks and forums pushing your wares. Establish relationships with people who are your target market and build from there. Do NOT join networks and forums and immediately start spamming people or shoving your businesses down their throats. Get to know people, build a relationship with the network members and trust me, when they are ready to do business with you – they will! Here are just a few: Twitter http://www.twitter.com (my page is at http://www.twitter.com/taraburner) Facebook http://www.facebook.com (my page is at http://www.facebook.com/taraburner) LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com (my page is at http://www.linkedin.com/in/taraburner ) Gather http://www.gather.com (my page is at http://taraburner.gather.com/ ) http://www.myspace.com (my pages are http://www.myspace.com/taraburner and http://www.myspace.com/taburner I had the second one first before utilizing my full name for the newer page) and YES you can gain customers, consultants and more from being on myspace. You just need to know how to use it properly and you can gain this and not get slammed by spammers and pervs LOL Simple hints to utilizing myspace to your advantage: • Do not accept anyone and everyone as your friend (you want to visit the person’s page before adding them as your friend, make sure they compliment what you do or are of some benefit to you and promoting your business) • Put your page to PUBLIC, if it’s set as PRIVATE, how will anyone who doesn’t already know you see it? You want people to see what you have to offer. Now this does not mean put your kids’ pictures on there or tell all your personal information on there! It does mean keep it businesslike and related to your business. • Set your comments to be moderated, that way not just anyone can post a comment on your page. You will have to approve or deny any comments that are being posted. This keeps the spammers and weirdo’s off your page. • Get around, post on other people’s myspace pages that may be interested in your service, product (check out your friends friends) • Post bulletins on myspace • Join some relevant groups on myspace and participate

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

The WECAI Network which can be visited at http://wecai.org/ WECAI Network™ (formerly known as the Women’s eCommerce Association, International™) - the “hub” for women and organizations looking for online opportunities to achieve your goals, accomplish your mission and increase your reach worldwide. Representing the professional interests of millions of women around the globe, the WECAI Network™ is working daily to open the doors to networking, business development and leadership opportunities.

http://www.squidoo.com There are also countless forums and message boards along with yahoo groups and myspace groups that you can utilize for your business as well.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Marketing & Advertising:
There are a variety of ways to market your business. You will want to review and research areas that target your market for the best coverage for your advertising budget. In this section you will find some informative ideas and resources that cover different areas of marketing. There is also an article at the end of this book regarding creative ways to advertise. Print Advertising: Find relevant magazines, newspapers, publications that offer either classified ads or display ads. Make sure to research the costs, their demographics, distribution and determine if the ROI is there (return on investment which was discussed earlier in the book) http://www.craigslist.org can be used for posting free ads. They do also offer paid ads. You should be aware of the rules per category and what you can and cannot post there. They have a listing for most major cities in the US and some in Canada and other areas as well. http://www.backpage.com is similar to craigslist and allows free and paid for ads in most major cities in the US. They also offer a print magazine as well. There are countless methods in which you can market your business. You will want to start off with one method at a time to determine if it’s a success and a good return on investment (read the ROI section again if you need to). Once you get established successful marketing strategy in place, try another and keep building so that you have multiple streams of advertising working for you. You may want to research Google Adwords http://www.adwords.google.com You create your ads You create ads and choose keywords, which are words or phrases related to your business. Your ads appear on Google When people search on Google using one of your keywords, your ad may appear next to the search results. Now you're advertising to an audience that's already interested in you. You attract customers People can simply click your ad to make a purchase or learn more about you. You don't even need a webpage to get started - Google will help you create one for free. It's that easy! You can market your business online via the above resources as well as article marketing, newsletters, your website, banner ads, text ads, link exchanges and paid directory ads. These in addition to message boards, forums and networks should produce positive results for your marketing efforts.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Some offline methods of marketing can include: • Sending out a press release • Print, display or classified ads • Promotional items (pens, mugs, tote bags, magnets, mouse pads, etc. ~ something that goes along with your business theme) • Coupons • Flyers, postcards • Business cards ~ always have your business card on you to give to anyone who may be a possible client • Radio or TV advertising

Some Websites Do’s and Do not’s
It is said you have about 3 seconds to make a first impression online with your website. For this reason you want to ensure that it’s a professional looking one and appeals to your to your target market and draws them in so they stay around long enough to get to know what you offer and how to order it. Contact Information: Anyone visiting your site should readily have access to your contact information, whether it be an email address or phone number people want to be able to communicate with you. They may not need to but their minds will be put to ease if they see a means of communication. If you do not include any contact information on your site, most people will leave the site and never order. Today it’s just far too easy and frequent to have sites up that are nothing more than scams and hoaxes, so you want to make sure your potential customers can, if need be, contact you. You don’t have to put your home phone number on there if you’re running your business from home. You can get a toll free phone number (mentioned later in this book). Other options are to utilize ring master numbers from your local phone company so it has a distinct ring so family members know it’s business and not a personal call. Make sure to have an email address on your site and it should be one that goes with your domain name (ie: info@whateveryourdomainnameis.com ) and not xxxmomma@yahoo.com or something equally as unprofessional. Listing an address on your web site also increases your credibility. Again, you don’t have to list your home address if you’re conducting business from home. You can utilize a PO Box or rent virtual office space and use those addresses for licensing, contact info. Graphics & Loading Time: You do not want to overload your website with automated graphics and cheap clipart. Make your site unique & designed to match the feel and theme of your business. Invest the extra money and have a logo designed for your company and custom graphics rather than use an overused free theme or a business template that countless others may already be using. Your business is that, YOURS! Make it yours by custom designing the site to match. You also want to stay away from large graphics and automation since even today there are many who still use dial up as well cell phones to view websites. Dial up as we all know will take forever to have a page load if you have it overlade with graphics. Cell phone users who visit the web won’t be able to view sites that exceed a certain size (every cell phone and cell phone provider sizes vary but I know many times I’ve tried to visit sites from my cell phone and exceed my cell phone memory and can’t view the site). ©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Offer something: Give your visitors a reason to come back or to buy now! Offer them a discount, a free sample, a free newsletter/ezine – something anything! You want them to visit again or better yet purchase on the spot!

Clarity: Make what you offer clear to the visitor. You don’t want them to have to leave the site wondering what on earth you even provide. This information should be easy to find on the first page. Don’t make your visitors go on a man hunt to figure out what you’re even selling. Remember K.I.S.S “Keep It Simple, Stupid” it’s the best way to get and keep customers!

Navigation: Make your site easy to navigate. Have everything clearly marked and explained. Almost to the point that a two year old would be able to navigate without problems. This will ensure your customers can readily find what they’re looking for, be able to purchase and check out with speed and ease. If they get lost or confused, they will not purchase. You should have your site navigation menu on every page of your site, not just the first page. You don’t want someone to get to a section of your site and not be able to find their way back to the main menu. Remember that all people are in various stages of experience utilizing the internet, so make allowances for this by making everything as simple and easy as possible. The new users will appreciate it and the experts will understand it and find it refreshing to see that you have your act together.

Shopping Cart: You also want to keep this simple as well. The easier it is for a customer to place an order, the better. They shouldn’t be more than three clicks away from being able to place items in cart and checking out. If it’s too complicated, they’ll leave and not return.

“One of our greatest gifts is out intuition. It is a sixth sense we all have – we just need to learn to tap into and trust it.” -Donna Karan

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

This article can also be read online at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1421/how_to_kill_your_online_business.html

How To Kill Your Online Biz
Bet you’re thinking this is a strange title for an article on Business right? Well, it's what MANY people do without even realizing it. They kill their business before they really get it off the ground. With the computer era and everything done online, many people took to designing websites and advertising online and doing the whole “e thing”. This creates an endless supply of avenues for sales and promoting your business that is open 24/7 and can be seen throughout the WORLD. No longer is your business only open when someone's physically 'in' the store. No longer is your business only open in one location, your 'local' area. Now you can be seen WORLD WIDE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (366 during leap year!). But, your web site can MAKE or BREAK your business. Here are a few ways to instantly kill your business: 1) Have your site hosted on a 'freebie' host (ie: freewebs, homestead, google, yahoo, etc.) If you won't spend $3.95/month on hosting on a real server that just doesn't look good to potential customers. It makes it look like you're 'too cheap' to really invest in your business. Even if you have registered your OWN domain and still have it forward to a 'freebie' site people still know it's a freebie site. If you have your forwarding url 'masked' so they don't physically 'see' it's a freebie site, with all the ads and pop ups and error messages, people still know it's not being hosted on a paid server and lose interest. 2) Have a ton of pop ups on your site. That'll kill a biz instantly. (nobody enjoys pop ups and research has shown that the majority of people either block them or close them out BEFORE they even look at them) But, hey if you want to kill your biz and lose a customer, put your site on a server that has zillions of pop ups. 3) Have your site on yahoo or geocities with the 'yahoo ad' that takes up a large section of your right hand side of your site. People want to SEE your site, not what geocities or yahoo has to offer, but what YOU have to offer. 4) Have a site with 'error' messages on it that shows that you're not interested in fixing whatever html, script, or code error there is on your site, which potential clients equate to “you don't care enough about your customers or your products.” 5) Have a site that's loaded with animated graphics and nonsense that will slow down even the best computers. (Some people are STILL on dial up so if they can't get to your actual CONTENT because of all the graphics, they'll never see what you have to offer) 6) Have a site that does NOT contain your contact information. People, even those doing biz online, still want to ensure your biz is 'legit' even if they never talk to you, it'd be nice for them to have a means to do so to ensure they COULD talk to you if need be. 7) Have the most difficult to find site menu ©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

I mean why would you want to make it easy for people to KNOW and FIND what you have to offer!!! (if the potential customer can't find what you offer in first few seconds on the site, they'll leave) 8) Don't answer emails for days and days on end. Keep the customer waiting. (Answer emails within 24 hours- I mean would you like to sit on hold on the phone or stand in lines for days waiting for a cashier or a sales person) And with that those are just a few ways to kill your online business instantly. Avoid these and you'll do WELL!!! Here's to success! Tara Burner ***** This article written by: Tara Burner, who you can visit online at http://www.TaraBurner.com This article CAN be reprinted as long as tagline and author info stays in tact

“Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design” Jim Rohn

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Business Links & Resources:
The following are links to business sites and resources that you may find useful in your set up of your direct sales company as well as other areas of your business. http://www.irs.gov http://www.businessownersideacafe.com/ includes a message board to bounce ideas off others http://www.sba.gov - Small Business Administration http://score.org - SCORE “Counselor’s to American’s Small Businesses” (note: While many find SCORE helpful, I never did. They may try to down play an idea you have not seeing the future prospect of it being successful – as was the case with both my errand service and dog bakery which were before their times but yet I formed anyhow and established both as successful businesses and since sold them both at profit and they continue to this day, 10+ years after people at SCORE said neither would succeed) So on that note if you do meet with any of them, listen and take what applies and use your own gut instincts and feelings to make final decision.

“When you know what you want, and you want it badly enough, you'll find a way to get it” ~~ Jim Rohn

Phone Service:
You’ll probably want to utilize a toll free phone number. It gives your customers easy access to you and will increase your reputability and increase sales. It allows your customers to contact you and not incur any long distance charges which customers love to be able to communicate at no cost so you can better assist them in their purchasing decisions. You will also want to incorporate voice mail or an answering service or machine for those times when you’re not in the office or working on something else. This way the customer knows they’ve reached the right number and that you’ll get back to them during normal working hours. I personally use Touch Tone Communications for my toll free number. You can have it forward to another business phone, home phone or cell phone. You also can change where you have it forward at any time. http://touchtone.net/ * All Toll Free rates are 24 hours per day, 7 days per week * All calls are billed in 6 second increments * Nationwide accessibility with multiple blocking options * Vanity numbers * Standard statements showing originating numbers and duration for each call * Customized billing statements with reports to manage and track business expenses For more information about TouchTone Toll Free Service you can call them directly at 1-800-900-5474.

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

I personally do not know much about the following since I have no use for them. I have unlimited cell phone time, long distance as well as local including text messaging and web so I don’t utilize the following services but do know that many DO and that they’re worthy of your checking into and possibly utilizing. Skype http://www.skype.com/ It’s free to download and free to call other people on Skype And on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype Skype has experienced rapid growth in both popular usage and software development since launch, both of its free and its paid services. The Skype communications system is notable for its broad range of features, including instant messaging, file transfer, voice and video conferencing, its ability to use peer to peer (decentralized) technology to overcome common firewall and NAT (Network address translation) problems, its use of transparent, strong encryption and its extreme[2] countermeasures against reverse engineering of the software or protocol. GoogleTalk http://www.google.com/talk Google's free webmail service, Google Talk uses Google's innovative technologies to help people communicate more effectively and efficiently. This means Google Talk is fast, intuitive and fun to use. Features include: File transfers, voice mail, voice calls, gmail notifications Free to use Vonage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vonage Vonage is a publicly held commercial voice over IP (VoIP) network and SIP company that provides telephone service via a broadband connection (the company's name is a play on their motto "Voice-Over-Net-AGE"). Vonage promotes itself as "Vonage the Broadband Phone Company®"[1] in the U.S. and as "Leading the Internet Phone Revolution." Until recently Vonage held the most subscribers at 2.4 million subscriber lines[2], Comcast has now surpassed them, and has the most VOIP subscribers. Vonage has completed well over 5 billion calls.[citation needed] Vonage has led the Voice over Broadband (VoBB), or Broadband Phone industry through its aggressive consumer marketing in the United States, Canada, UK and other countries globally. In order to use the service, customers must purchase or use a "Vonage" branded "VoIP router" or a phone adapter that connects to their main router or broadband modem. In addition, an upload speed of 30–90 kbit/s as well as a reliable/QoS optimized connection is necessary to make calls without substantial lag or jitter.

“You are the only one who can use your ability. It is an awesome responsibility” ~ Zig Ziglar

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Checklist: - Figure out the type of business you want to start - Name of business - Supplier of product or supplies for you to develop product yourself - Check with local business offices as to licensing requirements - Check with local Department of Revenue should you need to register for
Reseller’s Certificate and Tax forms

Check your working capital to purchase stock/inventory or supplies to product your product

-

Register your business (whether as D.B.A, L.L.C, INC. or other form) Develop business plan Research the need for your product or service

-

Set a budget for advertising, supplies, etc. Figure out your ROI (Return On Investment) Find products and supplies that are cost effective

Set up a commission structure for any independent consultants you’ll have working with your company Set up an affiliate, consultant software to track consultants sales and commissions Set up a website for your business on a real host (do not use freewebs, homestead, etc.) Use a domain email (more professional image than soandso@hotmail.com or mybusiness@yahoo.com ) Get a toll free phone service

If conducting your business from home, you may want to utilize a PO Box for address or a virtual office when needing to list a physical address unless you want people to have your home address Purchase business cards

Set up training area, message board, forum for you to communicate with your consultants, distributors.

-

SUCCEED!

"Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful." ~ Norman Vincent Peale

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

“The door to a balanced success opens widest on the hinges of hope and encouragement” ~ Zig Ziglar

Can You Do Me a Favor?
By Laurie Ayers http://www.laurieayers.com Six words that should never be uttered by a WAHM are "Can you do me a favor?" Correction, the only time those six words should be uttered by a work at home business person is if she is asking someone to assist her by holding the door open. If these words describe you, never, never say them again: "Can you do me a favor and host a party for me?" "Can you do me a favor? I'm only $200 away from reaching my goal. Can you place an order from me?" "Can you do a favor for me and place an order. I'll place one from you next month, I promise!" That thinking is backwards! You are not in business so that customers can do YOU a favor. You are in business so that you can make your customers' lives easier, better, healthier or prettier (and yes to make a profit too!). If no one needs or wants your product or service, why bother to be in business? Don't manipulate people to patronize your business. Can you really feel good about yourself and your business if you need to guilt or pressure people into buying? What message are you sending? That you believe in your products? Or that what you're hocking may not be that good or of value, but if they'll do you a favor – you might actually make a sale? Consider this – if you went to a restaurant where the food was second to none; or if you saw a movie that was one of the best you've ever seen, wouldn't you want to tell the world about it? You probably couldn't shut up about it and want everyone within ear reach to have the same pleasant experience. Or would you say, "Can you do me a favor, try that new restaurant?" That just sounds ridiculous. If you can't stand behind the product or service your business offers, then now might be a good time to close up shop. You should be able to have the same enthusiasm you easily have when talking about the fettuccini Alfredo as you do when sharing your business with others. You were just getting ready to say, "But I don't want to impose," weren't you? Bite your tongue! You're not even allowing your contacts to make their own decision whether or not they are interested in your products. How audacious of you to take that decision process away from them. Remember: Some will. Some won't. So what? At least give people the opportunity to hear about your exciting, fabulous product. If they didn't care for the pasta or were bored with the movie; it's no reflection on you. Neither will it be when you offer them the opportunity to host a party and receive free product. Stop asking for favors and start offering choices. About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a WAHM from Michigan. She started her first home business in 1988. As a single parent, Laurie has supported her family by working out of her home. She is currently a SCENTsational Consultant with Scentsy Wickless Candles. You can find Laurie at http://www.Scentsy.com/LA

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

Everyone Can – but not Everyone Should Write Articles
By Laurie Ayers http://www.LaurieAyers.com If you don't ward off competition your small business will be left in the dust. Your business needs to stand up and stand out! Take charge with article marketing. You have something totally unique to your business: Your Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. Employ your talents with the written word. Article marketing is hot right now. It is a wonderful tool to gain a reputation as a subject matter expert. Articles can also increase website traffic. Many entrepreneurs are jumping on the article bandwagon. Many site owners are crying for submission. But here's the deal: everyone can write articles. However not everyone should. Let me repeat that: Not everyone should write articles. Just as a poorly constructed website will hurt a business, poorly written articles can do even more damage. Websites don't always have a name attached to them. The public doesn't know if you created the unprofessional site or if someone else created it. However with articles, you're attaching your name to it. Many so-called authors don't even realize that their work is horrible. In attempting to promote their business they inadvertently damage their own credibility. Plus they just don't look very intelligent. Below are some common mistakes: • Run on sentences: Try to keep sentences to fifteen words or less - the fewer the better. You won't hold the reader's attention otherwise. I've seen some with thirty, forty and even fifty words or more in one sentence. That is one sure fire way to lose the audience. • Long paragraphs: Keep it to three or four sentences maximum. • Too familiar: It's good to speak in a conversational tone. You should write like you speak – but don't get carried away. Using phrases such as "let's look …" or "We just talked about…" is too cozy. Minimize the use of pronouns. • Misuse of words: Spell check is a wonderful tool but it won't always pick up context. There and their are often not used correctly. Other errors often used are lay/lie, saw/seen and many others. Before submitting articles anywhere, have someone else review it. Pick someone who will be objective and honest. Family and friends tend to always respond in the positive. If it is truly a horribly written article it is better to find out before it lands on the World Wide Web! About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a WAHM from Michigan. She started her first home business in 1988. As a single parent, Laurie has supported her family by working out of her home. She is currently a SCENTsational Consultant with Scentsy Wickless Candles. You can find Laurie at http://www.Scentsy.com/LA and at

http://www.LaurieAyers.com

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

“Concentrate on the activities of prospecting, presenting and follow up; the sales will take care of themselves” Brian Tracy

Conclusion:
There you have it, ways to start a direct sales company and succeed in doing so. To success, Tara

"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

©2007 updated 2009 by Tara Burner http://www.TaraBurner.com

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