Thursday, July 25, 2013

Things I Learned at jvAlert Live Denver

I am at jvAlert Live in Denver.  For those of you who aren't familiar, jvAlert is a fabulous conference hosted by the equally fabulous Ken McArthur.  They are held all over the country several times a year.  I have been attending whenever possible for many years and owe much of my success not only to the actual content provided at the conference, but also to the networking that happens before, during, and after the conference sessions.

I love sharing the information I get at this event.  It is so valuable that I want everyone I know to benefit from it.  And so I will be blogging the highlights of what I have learned each day.  I hope you all get as much use from it as I do.

Today was the first day.  There weren't any workshops or presentations scheduled today.  Joel Comm held his one-day intensive workshop.  Unfortunately, I slept through it.  Not that you aren't an awesome speaker, Joel.  But 23 hours without sleep is about my limit.

Even so, there were lessons to be learned today.  I will share them with you now,

1.  If MapQuest tells you the trip takes 12 hours, plan on 15.  Even without stops.  Except for potty breaks.

2.  At 5280 feet, things behave differently.  Shampoo erupts from its bottle as soon as you flip the lid.  Your clothes steamer only does half the amount of clothing.  Face cream continues to flow like lava from the tube even when you are no longer holding it.

3.  There is a cut off time for maid service.  And it is possible to sleep through it.  Especially after a 23 hour day.

4.  No matter how well you plan, there will be a crisis at home just because you are 15 hours away.

5.  Adrenalin, Attain Bars, and coffee will keep you running long after you should be in bed!

6.  Once you join jvAlert Live family, you can never leave.  It's sort of like the Mafia.  Once we have you, we keep you.

7.  There is such a thing as an App Entrepreneur!  Who knew?

8.  Duct tape fixes everything.  Just ask Survival Jack!

9.  The Dull Men's Club is alive and well and living in England.  Except for their spokesperson who is here in Denver.  Trying not to get too excited.

10.  You never know just who or what you may find at jvAlert Live.  But it will always be fascinating, entertaining and sometimes even useful!

More lessons tomorrow! 

How To Take Advantage of Free Business Advice at Your Local SBDC

SBDC stands for Small Business Development Center.  SBDCs provide a wide range of assistance to small businesses through their network of 900 service center.  It is one of the largest federal small business assistance programs in the country. 

SBDCs will assist in developing your business plans; provide financial packaging and lending assistance; market research services; and much more.  They serve all populations: women, minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, and even young entrepreneurs.  And the best part is the advice is free!

SBDC assistance is available virtually anywhere throughout the U.S., the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In addition to the free business advice offered through the SBDC, you can find free and low-cost training programs available to help you improve your skill set.  Classes can cover everything from how to start a new business to how to export your product.  There are classes on marketing, accounting, taxes, and more.

SBDCs are a great resource to help you make your small business a success.  Find your local chapter of the SBDC and take advantage of free business advice, business resources, and business consulting today.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Is This One of Those Pyramid Things?

One of the first questions I inevitably get when presenting my network marketing company is "Is this a pyramid scheme? Aren't those illegal?" So let me state once and for all - NETWORK MARKETING IS NOT A PYRAMID SCHEME. Pyramids do exist and sometimes it's hard to tell a legitimate business from a scam. What makes them different?

1. A legitimate network marketing business will have a genuine product or service. This product or service will have value of its own and be priced accordingly. In a pyramid, there is usually no real product or service. If it does, they are often priced well above fair market value.

2. A legitimate network marketing business will disclose any information about the company to anyone interested in knowing more. Pyramids offer little to no information about the company unless an investor purchases the products and becomes a participant.

3. Network marketing businesses encourage the sale of the products or services offered by the company. Commission is paid on these sales to reps involved in the business. Pyramids promote an income stream that chiefly depends on the commissions earned by enrolling new members or the purchase by members of products for their own use rather than sales to customers who are not participants in the scheme.

4. In a network marketing company, the money to pay commissions comes from the sale of products or services. In a pyramid, the money to pay commissions comes primarily from the participants.

5. In a network marketing company, you can earn a decent living. In a pyramid, 90% of the participants never recoup their initial investment. In a pyramid scheme, those at the bottom can never advance higher or make more than those at the top. In network marketing, this is not the case.

Pyramid schemes do exist. They get more sophisticated and harder to spot all the time. And everyone wants to be sure they're not getting caught up in some sort of scam. But there are many good, solid, legitimate network marketing companies also. If you are looking for a way to make some extra income, or even one day replace your job with a business of your own, I highly recommend you consider one. If you aren't sure if it's a legitimate business, review the checklist above. If anything about the "opportunity" makes you uncomfortable, look elsewhere. And if the person you are speaking with about the business pressures you to get involved, RUN! That is a definite warning that they are more interested in recruiting other people into the business than in selling products. I will ask you to look at my business. I may even get a little pushy because I care about you and want you to have the same opportunity I did. But if you look at the compensation plan, the business overview and the products, and still tell me you are not interested - I will NEVER, EVER push you to be on my team!