Great Ideas for your Small Business: Consider Multilevel Marketing
Fran lyles-harper was a physicist working on the Space Shuttle’s main engines when she attended an in-home art party. “The art really touched my soul,” said Lyles-Harper. “It wasn’t only beautiful, but it was quality art at affordable prices.”
Lyles-Harper didn’t buy anything that night, but agreed to host a showing in her home a few weeks later. Impressed by everyone’s response to the art, she signed up with Personal Preference Inc. (PPI) to sell art on a part-time basis.
For a few years, she kept her day job, selling lithographs and paintings on the side. When she earned $65,000 one year, she decided it was time to sign on full time.
Janet Madori, founder of PPI, has created a very fair and lucrative business concept, which you could apply to other kinds of products with the right price points and wide consumer appeal. Instead of charging thousands of dollars upfront for the business opportunity, she sets people up in business for under $300 by giving them about $3,000 worth of art and providing extensive training. Art consultants earn a minimum commission of 20 percent, plus monthly bonuses. If you sign up at least two new consultants, your commission and bonuses can reach 34 percent, she said.
PPI, based in a 52,000-square-foot headquarters building in Bolingbrook, Illinois, recently added a 35,000-square-foot extension to keep up with the growth. The 100-employee company sells more than 200,000 pieces a year and generated $22 million in sales in 1997.
Madori continues to grow the company through incentives. For example, she set up a program to reward managers who built $1 million sales divisions. She put 20 percent of her company stock in a trust to give to her top salespeople. “They have ownership and a lifetime override on sales, even after they leave the business.” “About 35 percent of my people are making over $100,000 a year,” she said. “One of my best people was a presser in a dry cleaners. There she made $23,000 a year.
Last year, at fifty years old, she made over $118,000, has a new company Cadillac, and bought a new home. To see where she’s come from and where she’s going thrills me.
When I heard she used her $20,000 bonus as a down payment on a house, I cried like a baby.” Personal Preference Inc. is located at 800 Remington Blvd., Bolingbrook, IL 60440. Its motto: “A painting is created by the blending of beautiful oils. A company is created by the blending of beautiful people.”