Thursday, 18 November 2010

90 Day Plan - Preparation

A 90 day plan has to be one of the simplest concepts in running your business. It's also one of the hardest to get right.

At first sight, there's no problem. You decide you want to run your own business. You start investigating options. You choose your preferred route to success. You attend some pre-business start up training, followed by some business training. And that's when the trouble starts.

As part of that business training, you get told that there are several key factors to your future success:

  1. You need to be passionate. That's OK, I wouldn't be investing time and money in seed money and training if I wasn't passionate, you say.
  2. You need to be organised. Not a problem, you assure yourself. It won't take long to tidy up a corner of the dining room/bedroom/attic. I've got my stapler, I've got my binders, I have a phone - how difficult can this be?
  3. You need to have a plan. I've got a plan, you say, smiling to yourself. I'm going to do this business brilliantly, I'm going to make loads of money and I'm going to be a great success.

At that point, you've just joined Walter Mitty in WonderfulMe Land and killed off any chance of succeeding.

Let's face it, if achieving financial freedom was that easy, there would be no poverty in this world.

Success = commitment + focus + persistent action

You need all three parts to build a solid foundation. Focus gets you zeroed in on your target. Commitment binds you to a course of action that will enable you to achieve your goals. But without the persistent action, there will be no long-term achievement.

So, you need that plan, it needs to be simple, and you need to stick with it.

All too often, we come away from training meetings with our ears ringing with MLM mantra. The one I personally feel does the most damage is this classic:

Massive Action = Massive Results

Poorly applied (because nobody's thought to tell the poor noob how to do so), that mantra is responsible for more failed businesses than I care to think.

Let's break it down, shall we? Action = Results. We all know that. But who defines "Massive"? You? Your upline? Your family?

So the new distributor/representative/sacrificial lamb listens to the various speakers at the training meeting and decides they need to:
  1. Buy into the business at the highest level possible, regardless of personal cost.
  2. Buy huge amounts of lead generation material OR spend a fortune on leads.
  3. Scattergun leaflets around the neighbourhood, spam their friends and family and fill up the garage with unsold products.

This leap into action usually means that on day 1, they do whatever they've been advised to do - say, deliver 500 leaflets, phone 10 relatives/friends, place 5 adverts in various papers.

By day 7, they're down to putting out 200 leaflets per night, there's no relatives left who'll answer the phone and the 5 adverts were obviously a waste of time because nobody called.

By day 14, they're not putting out leaflets any more, their friends are avoiding them at social events and they are scared they'll never shift that stock.

By day 28, it's meeting time again and they get encouraged to stick at it for another 4 weeks.

I know of people who've spent more than £15,000 trying to build their business like this. They all gave up, or the money gave out. Either way, it means the dream died.

So why on earth am I giving this whole Network Marketing concept another go? I must be mad, right?  


Just because there's a wrong way of following instructions, doesn't mean that those instructions don't have meaning and value. Just because some uplines seem more concerned with their own profits than helping you build a solid foundation for your business, does not mean all sponsors are corrupt, money-grabbing villains.

Each of us bears responsibility for our own actions. That includes the responsibility for performing a sanity check on what you've just planned for your business, buoyed as you are by the adrenalin rush of attending a really good business training. Your upline is not responsible for your business. You are.

Network Marketing is a People Business. As such, you are an ambassador for both your retail business and your team building. If you waste huge amounts of money on poorly targeted lead generation, don't follow up, don't build rapport with your customers by regularly calling/delivering catalogues/providing product - then that is what your team will copy, regardless of how many passionate members of their upline try to coach them differently.

To succeed in this sort of business, we all need to listen, learn, apply. We need to set SMART goals, not dreams. We need to plan and then stick to that plan. And we need to have an underlying mission statement for our business growth.

My business growth mantra is:

To build a Kleeneze team that is completely self-financing from retail sales.

In other words, after my initial investment of £171 for 200 catalogues, my distributor kit and a large Kleeneze-badged catapuller, all business growth will be funded by my retail profits.

Any lead-generation activity will be financed on that basis. I will start off with low-cost or no-cost promotions and move forward from there. I'll let you all know how it goes.