How to become an independent sales rep

How to Become an Independent Sales Rep

1. Two key questions. If you are interested in becoming an Independent Sales Representative, there are two key questions that you need to ask yourself:

a. Do I have the financial stability to go 2 – 3 months without receiving a commission check? When a principal is looking to outsource their sales functions, they are either looking to enter into other territories or need assistance to service and improve existing client relationships. Question 1 is of particular importance for a new and untapped market. The reality is that there is a sales cycle associated with all products which, most often, span weeks or even months. Principals will rarely pay commissions based on unfulfilled orders. Payment schedules can also typically range from COD up to Net 45 days. Including the time to make the first sale, delivery, payment to principal, and commission check mailed, it can be several months before you receive your first commission check.

b. What Industries Do I Have Experience In? Principals expect prior experience with a certain product range or industry type. This holds true in virtually all industries. To start out successfully, it is important for you to have contacts to make initial presentations. Principals may be willing to give you a line but without experience, it can take a significant amount of time to develop sales.

2. Start Your Business. As an independent rep, you should start your own business (LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, etc.). There are many advantages ranging from tax benefits to liability protection. It is suggested that you speak with an accountant to determine what the best option is for you. Most accountants or lawyers can help set up the business for you. There are also many online sites that can perform this function (depending on services provided, typical pricing ranges from $100 – $500). Example:

3. Business Plan. Rather than sending out a Resume, principals will be impressed if you have put together a business plan which will detail your goals and objectives. The best thing about being an Independent Sales Rep is that there are only two primary functions: Sales and Customer Service. The principal takes care of all other aspects which include manufacturing, research and development, quotations, invoicing, shipping, and quality control. The business plan doesn’t need to be long but should detail simple points such as:

a. Industries Covered

b. Territories Willing to Cover

c. Revenue Sources

d. Preferred market segment

e. Sales focus (OEM’s, end users, distributors, resellers, etc)

f. Product/Service focus

g. Organization structure – Will you be alone or do you plan on having employees?

h. Facilities
* Will you be a home-based business or will you have an office?
* Will the office have storage for consignment or warehousing?

i. Policies and Procedures

4. Finding Lines Available. With steps 1 – 3 behind you, your objective now is to find product lines. A few sources include:

a. Trade publications and trade web sites.

b. Trade Shows

c. at

5. Landing that Line. After you have identified several lines available, it is important to research the company and get a good understanding of their products and needs. Fundamental needs include the following:

a. Principals are looking for reps to help develop a relationship between themselves and the client. The basic focus is building strong relationships.

b. Principals want their reps to be professional and prepared. For new reps, a marketing plan can really be a big advantage.

c. Principals need to know that you will be giving their products time and that you are prepared to cover the required territory.

d. In the absence of an established revenue stream, principals need to know that you are financially stable. The last thing they want to do is spend time and money over several weeks to wind up having their rep drop them for financial reasons. By conveying your goals to meet these needs, you will stand a better chance of landing that line to represent.

6. The Sales Process We break down sales into two primary functions:

a. Getting Appointments. We consider the process of getting good face to face sales time with a new customer as 50 percent of the sales effort. For many businesses, the purchasing power can fall on one of several positions. In a manufacturing facility, for example, purchasing can be the responsibility of Purchasing, Maintenance, Engineering, Plant Managers, Store Room managers, Inventory Control, Office Managers, etc. One of the hardest things to do in a complex business environment is to get the right people to listen to your presentation.

b. The Sales Pitch. At the start, this is an area where the tools available to you become most valuable. For any new rep, the absolute best resource to help you become successful is to bring in your principal’s sales manager. While this method may not be practical for all cases, it should be considered where applicable. Long term, it will be your responsibility to perform sales presentations. For the first few months, however, the principals will be very happy if you can set up sales presentations which will maximize their time and efforts. It serves as an excellent method of training and will show your principal that you have the ability to get to the right people. Having your sales manager make some initial presentations will also help improve closing rates and shrink the overall sales cycle. The other advantage includes credibility.

7. Set up a web site. It’s easy and a great way to promote your new business.

8. Keep your new principals happy. The best way is to make sure they know you are actively promoting their products include:

a. Write Call Reports.

b. Get quotation requests.

c. Ask lots of questions.

d. Request travel time with your sales manager, if applicable.

International calling cards have many uses

International Calling Cards Have Many Uses

International calling cards can be used for many different uses. It is one of the easiest ways to call another country without having to spend too much money on long distance and international charges. Someone can purchase an international calling card that is specific to a country, like a Greece phone card that is used for people to call Greece. These specific international calling cads are helpful in reducing the confusion of country codes, etc. When a person is making an international call, they need a certain code to call specific countries. In addition to that, it takes up more time and minutes on a calling card if the person does nt have all the needed information. With a Greece phone card, however, someone is able to eliminate the charges and time it will take to connect a call.

There are general international calling cards, however, that can be used for those people that like to travel. Anyone taking a trip through Europe might find it more convenient to have a general international calling card in order to call either other countries in Europe, or to call home from those different countries in Europe. International calling cards are used world wide and offer a huge convenience to any person that uses them.

Recently, international calling cards have been used on the domestic level. Not only do they have the same low rates to call internationally, but they are used to reduce long distance charges as well. Typically, international calling cards are used on a country to country basis, and each one, depending on how far the call is going, will have higher or lower rates. For this reason, people like to use the international calling card domestically, in order to lower the calling rate.

When people use an international calling card for domestic long distance calls, the person is saving money not only on long distance fees, but also on the rates at which phone cards are sold. Many times international calling cards will have service fees and other charges added onto the rates of their cards, not only to make up for the lower calling rate, but also to add to the time it takes to connect an international phone call.

In order to lessen the burden of an international calling card, people have taken to using them for domestic calls. Not only are they saving money on their monthly phone biolls, but they are saving even more money by buying an international calling card than a domestic calling card; in most cases.

When it comes to finding the right international calling card, it is important to know what is being looked for. Again, it will save more money to find the calling card set for a specific country, whereas it might not help someone that plans to travel.

For more information about International Calling Card or even about Free Domestic Calling Card and especially about Free International Calling Card please review one of these links.

Internet home business – your dream job

Internet Home Business – Your Dream Job

1. Why the Internet home based business is a great option

Internet home businesses have been around for a years, but now they’re becoming more popular as more people would like to have the freedom of working from comfort of their own home without a boss standing behind and taking control of everything.

People want to make money while they sleep or they are out of home traveling and keeping in mind that cash keeps flowing in even when they aren’t working at the moment. Many people think that running a home business is a good idea to make some extra money and often consider to turn it into the full time job. Working from home is also a great way to supply the additional profit stream that people often need as they find income from their full time job insufficient. The good thing is that the possibilities of online home business are actually unlimited. An average person can generate extra income, control his own destiny and freedom running away from the corporate politics and rules in the workplace. Starting business at home can offer the income, flexibility and control as well as offer the opportunity to make people dreams come true.

All of this is possible in thanks to the evolution of the internet which is so fast that it now offers amazing home-based business opportunities for regular people to work from home and enjoy a good source of income online. Besides Internet is a medium making communication much easier which is one of the main factor deciding about successful online business and reaching potential customers.

2. Difficulties in getting business off the ground

No matter how great option home based business is, starting it off successfully is not easy. However some people get excited and don’t realize that running home business is difficult, and there are often barriers on the way that have to be passed to get positive results. Another problem is that many newbies hope to get started quickly and earn big money within a short period of time. This is wrong approach that usually drives most of beginners to confusion, disappointment, skepticism and finally giving up their business.

That’s why nowadays not to many marketers are successful working from home. Those are usually people who didn’t give up, worked hard, stayed motivated and passed all the barriers and the most important thing is they realized that Home Business is a LONG DISTANCE RUN which means that results don’t come immediately.

3. Are you Ready?

Working from home is seen by many people as the ideal job situation. However to get into position of full time worker you need to have what it takes to be the one.

If you are ready to give up a great deal of your free time and spend it on hard work, if you are motivated to focus completely on your business not getting distracted by anything else, if you are prepared for eventual problems you may face on your way to success and try to do everything in order to solve them then You are ready to take a step forward into the better future.

How to start a photography studio: estimating your cost of sales

How to Start a Photography Studio: Estimating Your Cost of Sales

The cost of sales for a photography studio represents the direct costs of each job. Costs which support these jobs, but are shared among a number of jobs, are accounted for separately on your income statement. Knowing your cost of sales helps you to determine the gross profit you earn from a given job. It is this number, rather than the price of a job, which you should use to study the profitability and value of different jobs and clients.

What goes into cost of sales?

For location shoots, cost of sales will include all of the direct costs of travel to and from the location (whether it is gas, taxi, train, bus, etc.) If you are delivering prints, an album, or framed work, the cost of materials and labor to provide those services should be included. If you hire an assistant or additional photographers on an hourly or project rate for the job, the cost of that additional labor is also part of the cost of sales. However, if you or other employees work on a salary basis, the portion of your time spent on a given job is not considered cost of sales. As this salary would have to be paid regardless of the job happening, it is considered a general operating cost or fixed cost.

What you learn from cost of sales?

By looking at the cost of sales for different types of jobs and different clients as a percentage of the revenue earned for each, you will be able to compare the profitability of each project. Over time you may develop a standard maximum percentages for cost of sales. You should keep an eye on jobs which threaten to rise above this percentage. You can then determine on a case-by-case basis whether it is worth working with that client again, if the project should be priced differently, or if costs can be decreased in the future. Sometimes higher costs should be borne  for certain clients because there are non-financial returns to take into account (such as the publicity and reputation you might earn by doing photo shoots for celebrity clients).

Irap’s accelerated review process (for projects under $50,000)

IRAP’s Accelerated Review Process (For projects under $50,000)

The National Research Council of Canada, through its Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) offers support to small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises to help them develop and commercialize technologies and products. They have recently introduced an Accelerated Review Process for small projects aimed at companies with less than 500 employees. With this program they can provide up to $50,000 in funding. The eligible activities include a wide range of technology, business and market oriented projects.

While IRAP is a federal organization, each provincial office tailors its approach to suit local conditions so the types of project supported and funds available may vary in your region. The following is a list of example projects in Ontario:

  • Small R&D project limited in scope and nature
  • Assessment of technology needs for adoption of technology
  • Lean manufacturing/productivity studies
  • Technical feasibility studies
  • Design: product design, engineering design, design for manufacture
  • Prototype engineering
  • Engineering process analysis
  • Productivity enhancement studies
  • Development of business, sales and marketing plans and image creation (branding)
  • Development of e-commerce enabled website (or upgrading website)
  • Development of international strategies
  • Development of supply chain strategies
  • Competitive market research and competitive intelligence studies
  • Feasibility studies / assessment for new service and product venture
  • Financial / corporate restructure for improved growth potential (e.g. investor readiness)
  • Intellectual Property (IP) assessment, planning and strategy assistance
  • First patent application (not CIPs nor other country fillings)
  • Licensing and commercialization strategy
  • Research and technology evaluation-related travel and expenses
  • Diagnostics (business or technical)
  • Other projects not entirely technical in nature

Kingsford Consulting can provide business planning, market research and strategy development services that might be covered by NRC-IRAP funding. Please note that in order to get approval for governmental funding of consultancy services, several requirements and regulations apply and each business needs to go through a formal application process.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to find out more.

Published in May 2009.

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