Network Marketing – Is Your Business Legal

One of the biggest challenges facing the network marketer is the poor reputation the industry has earned over the years. Most of this reputation has been created by illegal and fly-by-night businesses that have been created with the express purpose of fleecing their distributors by running illegal pyramid schemes.

Most people, when approached about joining a network marketing business, do not know the questions to ask. They tend to apply what they know about conventional business to network marketing. Unfortunately things that make sense in conventional business are very often either unethical or illegal in network marketing. Many states have enacted law specifically designed control network marketing businesses. Typical examples are:

High entry cost. – Business cost money to start so a fee of hundreds or thousands of dollars does not seem unreasonable.
Large inventory purchase. – “You need something to sell don’t you.”
Making commissions for signing up new distributors or making profits from volume sale to new distributors.
“We will pay you $50 for each distributor you sign up in your front line” or “All you need to do is buy $3000 in inventory and sell the same to your new distributors.”
Over the years while contacting people about my network marketing business I have found people who had been recently approached about joining a network marketing business. I always suggest that they contact the Direct Selling Education Foundation for their publication “Pyramid Schemes: Not What They Seem!” to determine if the business they are considering is legitimate. Some of the suggestions are:

Start up costs should be reasonable. Entry costs for legitimate network marketing business should be relatively small. The fees may include the cost of a sales kit sold at or below company cost.
Companies that require inventory should have a “buy back” policy for distributors that wish to quit the business. Many states and the Direct Selling Association require buybacks of at least a 90% of the original cost.
Are profits made primarily on the sale of product to the end user. Pyramid schemes make their profits on volume sales to new recruits.
Take your time. Never be pressured to sign up right away. Ask to meet successful distributors.Find out about the company.
Find out where they are located. Who are the officers of company? What is their history?
Are they members of the Direct Selling Association and have subscribed to the Code of Ethics of the DSA.
Network Marketing is one of the most effective ways of starting and running your own business. With effort and the willingness to work hard you can develop a strong secondary or primary income. Just make sure that the opportunity you are investigating is a legal business.

How Can Professional Chefs Also Become Environmental Activists?

Many professional chefs are also environmental activists

With the changing times and more and more emphasis being paid to saving the environment, professional chefs too are getting into the act. They understand that the food they cook and how it is cooked can have a big impact on the environment. There are many ways in which professional chefs can help save the planet through their cooking.

Some chefs have become vegetarian or vegan in order to reduce their carbon footprint. Others try to buy locally sourced ingredients as much as possible to reduce the amount of fuel used in transportation. Chefs can also use methods like sous vide cooking, which uses less energy than traditional methods.

Many restaurants are now starting to compost food waste, saving both money and resources, and of course, one of the best things professional chefs can do is educate their customers about environmental issues and how they can help too.

Being an environmental activist does not mean that they compromise on the quality and taste of their food; rather they can use their skills and creativity to come up with delicious, sustainable dishes that will make a difference. By being environmentally conscious while they cook, professional chefs can help make the world a better place for everyone, one meal at a time!

Chefs can make a difference by speaking out about the food industry’s negative impact on the environment

One of the ways in which professional chefs can help make a difference is by speaking out about the food industry’s negative impact on the environment. Many chefs are already doing this, and their voices are being heard!

In October of 2018, nearly 100 chefs from around the world gathered in Copenhagen for an event called “Chefs Feed The Planet”. The goal of the event was to get more professional chefs involved in environmental activism, and to show them how they can make a difference through their cooking.

Some of the ways that these chefs plan to make a difference include:

Using seasonal ingredients.
Reducing waste.
Choosing sustainable seafood.

They can also create more sustainable menus and work with local farmers to reduce their carbon footprint

As the head of the kitchen, senior chefs have the chance to make decisions that can positively impact the environment and still bring in business for the restaurant they are working at. Creating sustainable menus is one of these decisions. By using seasonal ingredients that are sourced locally, they can reduce the amount of energy needed to transport food from one place to another. They can also work with local farmers to get their produce, which will cut down on the number of miles food needs to travel.

In addition, by composting and recycling kitchen waste, they can help divert materials from going into landfills. This reduces the amount of methane gas that is released into the atmosphere as well as conserving valuable resources like water and oil. When it comes to seafood, these professionals can make sustainable choices that don’t harm our oceans. For example, they can choose species that are lower on the seafood totem pole or avoid eating endangered fish altogether.

Some restaurants have even started growing their own vegetable and spice gardens where they use their own compost to fertilize the plants. This allows them to get creative with their menus and also reduces their reliance on commercially-grown produce, which can often come from faraway places.

Professional chefs are in a unique position to help save the environment. Not only do they need to be aware of ways that they can reduce their own carbon footprint, but they also need to educate their staff and patrons about these issues.

Chefs can inspire others to make small changes that will have a big impact on the environment

Celebrity chefs especially have the opportunity to inspire others to make small changes that will have a big impact on the environment. For example, they can recommend bringing your own reusable water bottle to restaurants or choosing sustainable seafood options.

Chefs can also help reduce food waste by coming up with creative ways to use leftover ingredients. They can create recipes that use scraps such as carrot tops, onion skins, and stale bread, or they can compost any unused food instead of throwing it away.

By making these small changes, as professionals they can help raise awareness about the environmental impacts of our food choices and inspire others to do their part in preserving our planet.

Small Business Internet Marketing – “It Ain’t Easy”

Small business owners have the difficult challenge of not only managing their day to day operations to ensure their customers are satisfied, but also deciding how to best market and advertise their company to attract new customers. Before the Internet arrived, the choices were primarily limited to print media such as yellow pages, newspapers or local magazines. Perhaps we all yearn for a simpler time, but you can throw that notion out the window in our 24/7 new media tsunami.

Local businesses need to be highly efficient with their time and money to be successful in today’s challenging economic environment. Larger companies may have the luxury of hiring an advertising agency or employ full time marketing staff that are tasked with implementing a cost effective marketing plan. The typical local business does not have this option and often times the founder or owner is solely responsible for the marketing direction of the company. Owners face the daunting task of navigating through a constant barrage of marketing advice, new services and fancy jargon and trying to determine what makes sense for their company and budget.

All too often, local business owners end up trying out a variety of marketing services that are sold to them by companies using aggressive sales tactics. The local business owner may try out a service for a few months and if they do not see immediate results, they can become frustrated and stop using the service. When the next marketing company comes along touting their service is different and special, the small business owner may decide to try them for a while and the cycle continues.

This “hit or miss” mindset is not a winning formula for the small business owner, as effective Internet marketing plans encompass a few basic areas and can take time to yield results. Many marketing companies that sell services to local business owners typically focus on a specific marketing expertise or service (such as Pay Per Click, SEO, Email software, Directory, Leads, etc,) and either do not offer a full service option or such an option is too far out of reach of their budget.

As a result, it can be extremely difficult for a small business owner to make informed decisions and attempting to research all of this on their own would be too time consuming. A balanced marketing plan that includes a website that converts browsers to potential customers, a steady stream of targeted traffic to your website and web listings around the web and a methodology to consistently communicate and cultivate your existing customers and prospects. It should be easy, but the problem is the tools you need to pull this off are scattered around the web.

The one thing that every business owner should do, even if you do not have a website, is take control of your local business listings on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other directories and review websites. Local Business listings on the Internet can generate traffic and attract new customers. Business owners can claim and manage their listings on most major sites at no cost. Recent estimates suggest that only around 10% of local business owners have claimed their business listings on Google, so there is a significant opportunity for local business owners that are willing to invest a hour or so of their time.

There are four categories of websites that local businesses can get free traffic from:

  • Search Engines: Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
  • Local Internet Directories: Yellowpages.com, Superpages.com, Citysearch.com
  • Review Sites: Directories that have developed a reputation among users to be a good source of consumer reviews. Yelp, Citysearch, InsiderPages, etc.
  • Niche Directories: Websites that are authoritative resources for your particular industry

What exactly is a Local Business Listing or “LBL”?

The LBL is a listing that contains the basic information about a business. Information can include the business name, address, telephone number, business category and other information. All of the above mentioned sites are really just big online directories, databases full of business information. The LBL, simply defined, is your business page or listing within these big directories. Local business owners may not realize that their business is probably already listed in some of these directories,especially if the business was formed more than a year ago. These sites collect information from a variety of sources and information can find its way into these sites.

How do Local Business Search Results work?

All of these sites operate in a similar manner. A user types in a few keyword for a particular location or city and clicks search. The site will display a page listing the results of the businesses that “best” match the search request. Then a user will review the results and may decide to click on one to view additional information. This will take the user to a page dedicated to the specific business.

Business owners can increase the number of times their business is discovered by web searchers by claiming their business listings. There are also many simple things that can be added and edited in the LBL that can dramatically help increase the ranking of the listing for various search terms. The bottom line is these listings can help create a steady stream of potential customers for your business and is quickly becoming a primary source for potential customers to check to see if your business is reputable.

It’s a good idea to have a say in how they are judging your business!