Analyzing the opportunities
You've been told that others have done it and you might even have met one or two. You listened in on some of the company's opportunity calls and heard from some of the most successful of the distributors.
You think about whether you're willing to put in the time, and certainly some money, but you're having a hard time understanding whether Scent-Sations is designed to make you successful.
There are a lot of numbers, and some of the numbers are real big! And you can easily hear energetic tales, full of hope, from those that have been successful distributing for Scent-Sations.
But, how do you truly understand the REAL opportunities that are available? How do you cut through all the marketing, all the numbers, and all the success testimonials to determine if your being taken.
People or Policy is continuing to perform an analysis of the business practices of Scent-Sations, Inc. and the economics of being a distributor of their products.
There is quite a bit or research that's been done on direct selling companies and the opportunities that they offer.
Most of the research, which is excellent, focuses on looking for patterns that identify those opportunities covered by consumer protection laws in a number of States or those business models that, by definition, are destined to produce an atypically high failure rate.
Although we do reference some of this research in the section on business models, our approach is to use a simple business opportunity analysis technique to determine what the earning potential actually is for retailing the Scent-Sations products.
To learn more about how the analysis is being conducted, see the section on Business Analysis.
Someone has made you aware of potential business opportunities for distributors of products produced by Scent-Sations, Inc. You've heard about income opportunities in fund raising, retailing, and residuals and have even done some research via Scent-Sations' web site. You've probably had an opportunity to try some of their products and are quite impressed. And their marketing is VERY persuasive.
Like many, you might be looking for a way to generate some extra household income. Or you might want to find a way to generate income for your club, your church, your school or a myriad of other good causes.
You might be unable or unwilling to take on a job where you actually need to leave the home. One common example is having young children to care for. Given the cost of daycare you might rather stay home and are looking for opportunities that give you the freedom to do so. Or your children may be too young to be cared for out of the home or you just might not like the idea of leaving your children in daycare at all.
Another situation is one where you might be physically or mentally unable to work in job where the structure is unable to accommodate your special needs.
Regardless, you find the freedom to make your own schedule and work mostly out of your home very appealing.
In other cases, you might just want to have the experience of owning and running your own business. Perhaps, it's not the income you're after so much as the learning. Or you simply want to bring products and services to customers that your truly believe in. We know of businesses that are owned by people who've had long, successful "first" careers in business who simply want to create something that is based on principles that are, in many cases, just the opposite of those that they've committed to in the past. Think of them as the sort of anti-corporate types who want to recharge their batteries by basing their business on principles of service to others, not just making a buck.
Like some others, you might be looking for a way to generate lots of extra household income. With testimonials from people who claim to have six-figure annual incomes you figure that if they can do it, so can you. The idea of quitting a job that you may not like, to be the boss and generate all sorts of cash flow is a big motivator. You may be one of those that is a natural salesperson. You might have lots of friends. You might have skills that give you the opportunity to create a business that has very high potential.
No matter what your motivation, the idea of selling candles and body products seems to fit for you. As mentioned before, you might even like the products.... a lot!
But now your faced with a decision.
In some cases, that's exactly what you do. And we would never tell you not to. Our experience is that there are some people who, for one reason or another, seem to be able to sell almost anything. Their personalities are magnetic and their marketing is convincing. You've met them, and we certainly have too. The truth is, if you don't have at least a little of this charisma you're going to find it a bit of a challenge to do direct sales, but certainly not impossible.
But maybe you're not a natural salesperson. Or perhaps you're pretty confident about your abilities, however you're one of those people who actually wants to do a little thinking about the business you're about to get involved in. There probably are some costs that you're going to have to deal with. (Scent-Sations, for example, wants you to become a member of their Candle of the Month Club where you commit to buy products every month from them.)
In order to figure out whether, in your case, this is going to work you might ask for advice from a relative or friend, you might search the internet looking for some business wisdom, you might go to your local Small Business Administration (SBA), you might take a class or read a book, or you might connect with others involved in the retailing or, more specifically, the direct selling industry to gain from their experience. You might be invited by the individual recruiting you into Scent-Sations to talk to people who are already successful as a Scent-Sations distributor. Or you might listen in on one of the company's weekly telephone "opportunity" calls.
But it's tough! There's so much advice and the business terms can drive you nuts. And you keep hearing over and over about something called a "Business Plan". People are telling you not to start a business without one, but you've never build one and even the name is a little intimidating. So you read a little about it and get even more confused and frustrated. It doesn't look all that simple in spite of what you're being told. But you plow on and read about how to build one. But the more you read, the more confused and frustrated you get.
For example, the instructions you might be looking at call for a "Market Analysis". You've got to be kidding! How in the world are you going to do that. That's what big companies are set up to do. You're just someone who doesn't have the background and experience, let alone the time and desire to figure all that out. So, with some guilt and fear you decide to put down a little of what you can think of on a piece of paper following the outline you found or were given. Pretty soon you find that you are frustrated by the whole process and decide to just move on.
We know exactly how you feel because we were there too. When we were thinking about becoming a distributor we hit the internet and took some classes at our local SBA. Like you, we heard about the need to build a business plan and did research in order to figure out what one looked like. We selected an outline and wrote down everything we could think of but ended up with a document that didn't seem to actually tell us anything. So, we ultimately decided that we had done enough business planning and took the leap. We signed up!
As time went on we saw actual business results, collected real income, paid real bills, and dealt with real inventory. We ended up doing actual marketing. We made decisions on pricing and compared our prices to other. We became aware of competitor candles and different ways companies market their products. We tested other companies' products to learn what quality meant in the candle business. We learned a little about customers and direct selling.
We began to see what our efforts were producing. And we began to understand how some of the decisions we had made could have been part of a Business Plan. So, our next move was to take our experience, capture it in our plan outline, and make decisions about adjustments we felt were important.
At the same time we found ourselves learning how to deal with our supplier, Scent-Sations. We found prices changing, new products being introduced, rules and restrictions being implemented, and, of course, we dealt with Scent-Sations business system every time we placed an order or got billed. We began to gain experience with what it meant to be a customer of theirs. We began to understand some of the things that were new to us about the Scent-Sations' business when we started. We asked questions trying to get some firm footing.
All in all, we were learning about what it took to run our businesses and how to deal with our customers and our suppliers. We learned a little about how to do business accounting. We learned about taxes. And perhaps most importantly, we began to learn about what kind of opportunity the Scent-Sations distributor business actually was.
Over time we sought out others who were dealing with similar experiences. As we began to share information about our business results, our experience with the products and their pricing, what we thought of the policies and decisions being made by Scent-Sations, we began to find that there were things we had in common.
This site is to share with you information, insights, and analysis regarding the retail business opportunity being marketed by Scent-Sations. Our intention is to provide an understanding of what it will take to be successful in retailing the Scent-Sations products including an understanding of which products offer the greatest chance of profit. To learn about the approach we use to analyze business opportunities, see the section on Opportunity Analysis.
In performing the opportunity analysis and by monitoring the activities of the company, we also build a profile of Scent-Sations' business practices. You, as a Scent-Sations distributor, are not only working to create your own successful business but are also prospering Scent-Sations. Each month when you receive your Candle of the Month and each time you place a product order you are feeding the one thing that every single company needs in order to survive and grow -- income! The question is whether the company that you are supporting by buying their products is the kind of company you want to help. To learn about Scent-Sations profile see the section on Business Practices.
People or Policy is a consumer organization focused on assuring an appropriate balance between the rights of the people and the intentions of policies, and to confront abuses of this balance in both the private and public sector. People or Policy is a privately supported (by memberships and donations), all-volunteer, and totally independent consumer campaign. No one associated with People or Policy receives any compensation.
These pages are created by people who are, or have been, Scent-Sations, Inc. distributors and are solely intended to provide a fact-based, professional analysis of the Scent-Sations, Inc. business opportunities.
Our intention is NOT to destroy or damage the Scent-Sations, Inc. business. Instead, our focus is 1) to provide an important analysis of business opportunities for existing and potential distributors, and 2) to influence the business practices of the company to provide an appropriate emphasis for those that actually fund the business: the retailers.
Unfortunately, the fundamental business model and the pattern of business decisions made by Scent-Sations over the years align with similar patterns shown by companies found to be in violation of laws focused on pyramid recruiting schemes.
Having said that, based on the analysis done to date and the current business practices of Scent-Sations, we actively discourage individuals from becoming Scent-Sations, Inc. distributors until and unless the company changes those practices that significantly reward recruiting over retailing. We also discourage any individual who is thinking about becoming a Scent-Sations distributor from doing so until and unless they have a clear grasp of the retail business opportunity being marketed by Scent-Sations.
Any comments or analysis we make about the Scent-Sations business opportunities are made under the auspice of freedom of speech. At no time should any of the comments or analysis be construed to be legal or accounting advice.