Business Venture 7/25/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Tonight, I was discussing her (and her husband’s) new business with my friend.  She’s in the same situation as I.  Needing a new income stream, she signed on with a company that sells products.  I did the same.  I’ve blogged before about how companies these days don’t like to actually hire people.  So, like many people, she and I have taken to selling things.

We took different directions in the companies with whom we signed up.  I chose pampered chef (pamperedchef.com/pws/rbleil) while she took up with a nutritional company that has embraced THC infused products, although they do have THC free products as well.  Pampered Chef has been doing this game for decades and is one of the first company to embrace the model of have parties, sell products and recruit people to work under you.  Her company “reinvented” itself in 2018 and is just getting started.  Being well-established, Pampered Chef is slick and polished with a lot of great tools to support and train their new consultants, but there are so many consultants that the field feels saturated.  With the new company, the field is wide open with great potential for much more rapid expansion than my new consulting business, but she is feeling like she needs more support that she has.

Pampered Chef sells truly superb kitchen products.  I often say they are “heritage quality”, meaning I’ve met people who tell me they are using their grandparents Pampered Chef products.  They make basic kitchen tools all the way up to the most modern products such as the pressure cooker or air fryer.  It seems like every product I have purchased from them has been overly impressive.  What I mean by that is not only are they built well, but they usually end up having something that’s above and beyond what you get in similar products from others.  For example, although it hasn’t arrived yet, I’m very excited about the blender I’ve ordered.  You can get a plethora of blenders, both analogue and (like this one) computerized, but what I mean by “beyond” is that this blender, for example, also can heat itself up to four hundred degrees.  This will allow me to put fresh ingredients in, choose the correct setting, and it will blend the ingredients to the proper consistency and cook it to make fresh homemade soup.  I’ve never seen a blender that also cooks.  But, the problem with Pampered Chef is that it’s hard to convince people to upgrade the kitchen tools they already have, so kitchen tools don’t sell as quickly as I would like.

For her, these health and THC products have the potential to just fly, if you’ll pardon the pun.  To help show my support, I purchased some of their vitamins but, the problem she will have is that for my generation, even though I understand the benefits of THC, and even though I’ve always believed marijuana laws are too harsh, I will likely never get over my upbringing of the dangers of THC.  Yes, I’ve seen Reefer Madness.  Yet, there are CBD stores cropping up like weeds (another pun).  It’s not a question of if her products have the potential to sell, but rather, does she have the friend base to do so.  And it’s not just having the friends, but the type of friends who seek out that type of product as well.

Having a large base of friends is important in businesses like this.  First of all, not all friends will even follow or look at what you’re doing.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of friends, and for any business like this, only a relatively small percentage of friends will actually look into what you are doing.  Of that small percentage, a small percentage will actually buy.  And of that percentage, a smaller percentage still will help you to promote your business to their friends.  There must be come form of critical number where, suddenly, news of your business and products will propagate automatically. 

Now, as a side note, for my friends who are reading this, please don’t feel guilted into buying Pampered Chef from me.  We’re friends, and that doesn’t come with a price tag. 

I guess the point to the blog is a pretty simple one.  Businesses like this take a lot of time to build up, and I feel for her.  If you’re doing something like this, and if you too are struggling, don’t feel like you’re alone.  My friend and I are also struggling.  But I can also give you this bit of advice.  Believe in what you’re selling.  She believes in her company just as I believe in Pampered Chef.  If you don’t believe in the company for whom you are selling, then what you are selling is your soul. 

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