arizona, business development, mother's day specials in dfw, texas

7 Critical Questions Before You Become an Entrepreneur

Original post from Startup Professionals Musing.

As a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, the most common question I get is, “I want to be an entrepreneur — how do I start?” The obvious answer is that you need an idea first, but I’ve come to realize that the process is really much more complex than that. Many people with great ideas never make it as entrepreneurs, and true entrepreneurs can make a business out of anything.

The first myth you have to get past is that having an idea will make you an entrepreneur. In fact, even implementing the idea into a solution doesn’t make you an entrepreneur. According to my definition and Wikipedia, an entrepreneur is someone who builds a new business. Based on my experience, creating the solution is usually the easy part of starting a successful business.

So before you quit your day job, tax all your friends and investors for money, or max out your credit cards to design and build a product, I recommend that you seriously contemplate the following more basic questions:

  1. Are you prepared to adopt the entrepreneur lifestyle? Starting a new business is not a job, but an adventure into the unknown, similar to Columbus setting out to find the New World. It’s a big step into a new lifestyle, like getting married after being single for many years. Yet startup founders are often lonely, since no one else can make their decisions.
  2. How strong is your passion for this opportunity? You have to enjoy working with people — partners, customers, investors and more — as well as products to start a business. You have to embrace making decisions and the responsibility of setting milestones, measuring progress and celebrating the victories and defeats.
  3. Are you confident and disciplined in facing tough challenges? Starting a business at home or on the Internet is hard work — not a get-rich-quick scheme. You will be operating outside of any proven realm, no mentor can give you the answer, and it won’t help to blame anyone else for missteps and environmental changes you can’t predict.
  4. How familiar are you with the contemplated business domain? Remember that the grass always look greener on the other side of the fence. It may make more sense to work for a similar startup before charging ahead on your own. The ultimate best teacher is failure, but a less painful one is getting related work experience and training.
  5. Which business model best suits your mentality? Some people love to deliver services, where personal acumen is tested every day. Others love technology and products, to be replicated and sold while you sleep. If something totally new is not your forte, you can always buy a franchise, acquire an existing business or be a consultant.
  6. Have you mapped out a complete plan? Few entrepreneurs can assimilate and hone a complete plan in their head. That’s why I believe the process of writing down your plan is more valuable than the result. Also, a written plan multiplies your ability to communicate to constituents, and facilitates parallel feedback. Money is not a substitute.
  7. What is your funding situation and alternatives? Fundraising is stressful and difficult, which is why 90 percent of successful entrepreneurs choose bootstrapping (self-funding). Too much money too early kills many startups, according to investors. There are always non-cash alternatives, such as recruiting partners with equity and bartering services.

After asking yourself these questions, and finding yourself still determined to be an entrepreneur, you will have already started. From there, it’s a simple matter of forging a trail to success, and conquering all the problems and challenges that are sure to surface. Starting a business is a marathon, so you have to make an overt decision to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

Advertisements
Standard
carrollton, organic living, shop local, texas

Organic Heart!

Join #MyCo and #RescueYoga for #OrganicHeart2015 in Carrollton, Texas! June 20th from 2-5pm. There will be live demo’s, tips on the organic lifestyle and how to incorporate it into your daily routine, shopping, and vendors.

RSVP today! https://www.facebook.com/events/357676194442913/

Standard
arizona, direct selling, dsa, texas

What exactly IS direct selling?

Original post from DSA.

Direct selling is the sale of a consumer product or service, person-to-person, away from a fixed retail location, marketed through independent sales representatives who are sometimes also referred to as consultants, distributors or other titles. Direct sellers are not employees of the company. They are independent contractors who market and sell the products or services of a company in return for a commission on those sales.

Orders are usually placed in person or via the consultant’s Web page. Sometimes the phone is used to place orders or reorders, but only about 12% of sales take place this way. Home shopping parties are the most widely recognized sales method, where friends, family or acquaintances get together for a few hours to learn about or sample a range of products or services. However, the majority (about 70%) of the direct selling industry’s sales actually occur using a one-to-one approach where one seller may present the products or services to a single consumer.

Just about any product or service can be purchased through direct selling somewhere in the world. Many people think of cosmetics, wellness products and home décor as products that are often sold through direct sales, but add to that countless other product categories including kitchen products, jewelry, clothing, organic gardening supplies, spa products, scrapbooking supplies, rubber stamps and much, much more.

Direct selling should not be confused with other types of sales that take place away from a fixed retail location such as magazine sales, home repair services, telemarketing, wholesaling, real estate sales, or “work-from-home” businesses such as envelope stuffing or product assembly.

Standard
arizona, definitions, direct selling, fun facts, texas

What exactly IS direct selling?

Original post from DSA.

Direct selling is the sale of a consumer product or service, person-to-person, away from a fixed retail location, marketed through independent sales representatives who are sometimes also referred to as consultants, distributors or other titles. Direct sellers are not employees of the company. They are independent contractors who market and sell the products or services of a company in return for a commission on those sales.

Orders are usually placed in person or via the consultant’s Web page. Sometimes the phone is used to place orders or reorders, but only about 12% of sales take place this way. Home shopping parties are the most widely recognized sales method, where friends, family or acquaintances get together for a few hours to learn about or sample a range of products or services. However, the majority (about 70%) of the direct selling industry’s sales actually occur using a one-to-one approach where one seller may present the products or services to a single consumer.

Just about any product or service can be purchased through direct selling somewhere in the world. Many people think of cosmetics, wellness products and home décor as products that are often sold through direct sales, but add to that countless other product categories including kitchen products, jewelry, clothing, organic gardening supplies, spa products, scrapbooking supplies, rubber stamps and much, much more.

Direct selling should not be confused with other types of sales that take place away from a fixed retail location such as magazine sales, home repair services, telemarketing, wholesaling, real estate sales, or “work-from-home” businesses such as envelope stuffing or product assembly.

Standard
arizona, direct selling, fun facts, texas

Direct Selling = $31.63 billion dollars!

Fun direct selling facts:

$31.63 billion dollars a year in the U.S.A!

$166.9 billion dollars a year worldwide!

15.9 million people are involved in direct sales!

82% of sellers report a good, very good or excellent experience with direct selling!

74% of US adults have purchased products from a direct seller!

78% of sellers say direct selling meets or exceeds their expectations!

76% of sellers have been with their company 1+ years!

Information provided by the DSA.

I’d say making the move to direct selling is a wise move! What business do you want to learn about?

Standard
arizona, business development, directr selling, texas

Career Advancement & Direct Selling

Post originally seen at DSA.

Gen Y is, without question, uniquely positioned to make a major impact on the marketplace within the decade. According to a recent report by global research association Conference Board, 64 million baby boomers will be eligible for retirement by the end of the current decade while, at the same time, the number of workers ages 18 to 34 will increase by 10 percent. In fact, within 10 years, Gen Y will represent more than half of the U.S. workforce. And still, the U.S. boasts one of the worst rates of youth employment among large-economy countries, according to a recent New York Times report.

But, while companies across all industries continue to revamp their approach to this highly competitive, tech-savvy generation, many in the direct sales channel have recognized that tailoring the business opportunity to meet the needs of this demographic group requires more than openness to new technologies and creative marketing techniques. Gen Y also needs assurance that their efforts will result in career advancement—a “resume boost,” if you will.

According to the Human Capital Institute, Gen Y prefers career development three times more than a cash bonus as a form of benefit. Even more, only 27 percent of young people think high pay is important, compared to 48 percent of older workers.

As Dave Webb, Vice President of Communications for XANGO said recently,” The people of Generation Y have all the energy in the world and we hear all the time that they didn’t grow up aspiring to work in a cubicle job.”

The question is, how might direct selling fulfill Gen Y’s needs for career advancement?

For starters, direct selling provides invaluable business ownership experience, without any barriers for entry. As direct selling companies continue to offer cutting-edge business resources and training to distributors via online and mobile platforms, today’s direct sellers gain access to top-notch business education as they grow their businesses.

Even more, from the moment a prospective direct seller chooses to start a business, he or she gains access to a network of direct sellers eager to offer their support. This is key because, according to the Human Capital Institute, Gen Y craves coaching and mentorship more than any previous generation.

Keeping Gen Y’s need for mentorship in mind, it is important to also recognize that a number of recent studies—including one conducted by Rasmussen College—have indicated that Gen-Yers are increasingly leaving traditional employment opportunities to pursue self-employment.

In fact, 71 percent of those polled who currently hold traditional jobs said they would prefer to quit their current positions and work for themselves. And, what are the top reasons for this?

Freedom, the ability to choose projects and the opportunity to maintain control over their workload were among the top five reasons Gen-Yers have increasingly turned to self-employment. How perfect it is that these are also frequently cited as the top reasons men and women choose to launch direct selling careers!

But of course, as anyone in direct selling knows, these reasons hardly scratch the surface of the many factors that drive today’s budding entrepreneurs to get started in direct selling. As evidenced by our Faces of Direct Selling page, men and women of all ages, educational backgrounds and interests find empowerment through direct selling.

Standard