Thursday, 17 October 2013

Starting a business without capital: use connections: Networking

Starting a business without capital: use connections: Networking
Networking is a successful model for reaching people through face-to-face selling. In the Philippines, networking is a preferred marketing strategy, especially by older people or by people who are in places where there is no internet access. Among teens, it is also a good strategy by “people smart” entrepreneurs who can persuade others to buy from them.

Young entrepreneurs can learn from two companies that built their businesses on networking. Avon is the world’s largest direct selling company, with operations in 100 countries and 5.4 million sales representatives. It was started by David H. McConnell when he was only 28 years old. In the Philippines, Natasha, whose motto is “kung saan may Pinoy, may Natasha” (where there are Filipinos, there is Natasha), has steadily grown from its beginning in 1993 to a direct selling company with 150,000 sales representative

Use available resources: Consignment how you earn without having to shell out money? Simple. You “borrow” goods and sell them at a profit. This is called consignment. Let me share two stories on how consignment can work for your child:

The Eco Store
In 2008, a group of students who were avid advocates for the environment wanted to put a store that would sell “environment-friendly” products. They contacted various non-government organization and advocacy groups to give them products on consignment for the bazaar they are joining. Organic and coconut-based beauty and health products, bags made out of recycled plastic, handicrafts and recycled paper among the products they were able to put together. Since all of the products were on consignment, they did not have to shell out capital and were able to advocate for the environment and make a little profit on the side. They were glad to GO GREEN!

Make a Difference baler bracelets
To raise funds  for an outreach programs, kids in our school created the “Make a Difference Baller Campaign”. For every baler bracelet sold, they earned P50, which went to the Kids Can! Fund. Each child was given two bracelets to sell but could ask for more. They were free to return or to order more since the bracelets were consigned to them.

You can consign two units of your products to friends or relatives who want to support you by trying to sell your product to others for a small commission. You will be surprised that many do not really care about the commission and would just like to help. You can get your child’s handcrafted products to the market through word of mouth and direct selling.

Parentpreneur challenge
My business plan
Help your child come up with his or her very own business venture. Use the 5 business basics as a guide. Write down your plan. Come up with a business name and a marketing strategy. Try it out! If at first your child doesn’t succeed, try and try again!

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