My Product is no longer Available – HELP!

27 03 2010
Second Income Specialists

Hawgwash, LLC

Last week we discussed ideas on what to look for when your home based business is not earning as much income anymore. This week we are going to cover an even more uncomfortable topic, what happens when the product you offer is not available for you to sell anymore.

This is every home based business owner’s nightmare.  It is also the nightmare for anyone in an Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) opportunity too.  How many MLM’s did you know or hear about that are no longer selling the products they initially did, or worse, how many MLM’s did you hear about that are no longer in business?  This problem is what has given the MLM industry a very black eye and has caused many home based business owners severe heartache.  It is an inevitability though.  As the economy continues to decline, more companies and manufacturers will be going out of business or will be scaling back production.  What are you prepared to do if the product that you offer for sale is no longer available by your supplier, or even worse, what will you do if your product is no longer being manufactured? 

You may want to go out and look for other manufacturers that produce either the same or similar items to what you currently are selling.  You should be doing this on a regular basis, because if you find out today that your product is no longer available for sale, it is too late.  You want to be in a position to be able to negotiate with an alternate supplier before it becomes an urgent need.   If your supplier is the only one who manufacturers your particular product, is there someone else out there that produces a similar item?  Is this other company something that you can believe in and get behind?  If possible, it would be in your best interest to find another manufacturer of your specific product, and locate someone who manufactures a very similar product.  The reason for doing both is that you want to have the ability to negotiate, and in order to effectively negotiate, you must have options. 

To keep your options open, go out and re-investigate who else carries or manufactures your product.  You would have done this research when you first got involved in the business, basically all you are doing is updating your information.  You want to have current information since the economic climate has been changing so rapidly and radically.  Another place to look is to your competitors.  Are they selling the same product?  Are they getting it from the same supplier?  Do they have alternate plans? 

What else you could do in order to lessen the impact of you losing one of your product lines is to have other products / opportunities already operating in your business.  As nice as it may be to offer one product, by only having one item or class of product, if your supplier folds, you are stuck.  It is always wise to have backup plans and other products to offer your customer base.  That way, if one item is no longer available, you already have another product in place that you can move the emphasis towards.  The key is to remain flexible and keep a few different products active for your home based business.   You never know what is going to happen, nor are you entirely sure that your customers may change their purchasing patterns and no longer desire what you are offering.  By having a few different product lines available, you are able to meet more varied needs of your customer base.  By expanding into a few different areas, you keep your home based business flexible and prepared to meet the economy’s changing demands.

If you are looking for other opportunities to add to your existing arsenal, or you are looking for that first home based business opportunity, please feel free to contact us for suggestions or recommendations.  We have several home based business opportunitites available, from waterless vehicle cleaning products, to cutting-edge nutritionals, to Pre-Paid Legal Services.  If we do not have anything that would complement what you already have, perhaps we can provide you with suggestions for what would work with your business. 

Until next week…

Help, My Home Based Business is not Making Money

21 03 2010

If you have a home based business, what do you do when your core products or service does not produce the income you used to recognize?   The first thing you would probably do is to check and see if you are doing anything differently from when you first started your home based business.

If you have been growing your home based business over years, with luck you will find that you have changed what you used to do in reply to market pressures.  But, if now you find that all the things you had done no longer work and you are not making money, it is time to go back to the drawing board to determine what needs to change.  You should not change your business plan for change sake.  If you do not know why your business is falling off, you should not just make changes willy-nilly.  You need to sit down and determine what is not selling and try to identify the why the sales are falling off.

Are your products or services a one-time purchase, or are they a consumable item?  If they are a one-time purchase item, have you saturated your market?  Does everyone in your area already have your product?  If so, take a look at what you are willing to do to expand your market area to obtain new customers.   One way to do this may be to offer existing customers a rebate or gift card.  You may want to ask your existing customer base to refer your products to their friends and acquaintances.  In doing that, keep in mind, customers will not usually offer referrals unless there is something in it for them.  Before you start offering rebates or gift cards, find out from your customers what they want.

You need to understand what your customers want from your and your products before you can even begin to meet their needs.  Just because you think that you have an awesome product, does not mean the majority of people out there agree with you.  You might want to have a little survey card for your customers to complete so that you can be sure you are meeting their needs.  There may be times where you think you know what your customers want, but after collecting survey data, you may be shocked by what your customer base wants.  You won’t know unless you have the courage to ask. 

Most customers will appreciate offering suggestions to improve your services.   You need to be honest in asking them for information.  If you ask questions and then don’t implement any of the suggestions, your customers will stop providing useful information.  Instead of providing a survey, you may want to talk with your customers to determine what is going on in their life.   You don’t want to be nosey, but you want to know what their concerns and issues are.  Not only may you find out what is going on with your particular product, but you may discover an untapped market that you could add to your business arsenal.  Is there an opportunity that you may have the tools to solve for your customers?  Again, keep in mind that your products and services need to benefit the customer, not just you. 

If your products are consumable, how often do customers come back to purchase from you?  Are your sales falling off because a competitor has come into your area?  Was your product a “Fad” type item (like pet rocks…)?  Has the fad run it’s course?  Has some report or study come out that places your product in a negative light?  You will have to look around to determine why your sales are decreasing.  Again, if possible, ask your customers if they have found a similar item somewhere else.  This can be a touchy way to find out, but sometimes your customers may have wanted to tell you but weren’t sure how to approach you… 

We have found that if you have developed a relationship with your customers, even if they find a similar and less expensive product elsewhere, they will tell you because they trust you and like you.  They may even provide a lead for you to purchase those products at a lesser cost to you.  You won’t know if you don’t ask.

If you would like to discuss this issue more with us, please contact us via e-mail at  If you are interested in other income opportunities, please visit our website

Next week we will continue this discussion to include changing or modifying your product line to suit your customers changing needs.

Reacting vs Responding – Part 2

13 03 2010

Last week we opened the discussion with the difference between reacting and responding.  This week we will continue this discussion and how to learn to respond instead of react to stressful business situations.  We left off last week talking about if you are in a bad business situation not to react but to thoughtfully respond.

Keep in mind that the business decisions you may not be able to do now may be able to be completed in a year or so from now.  You should take a good hard look at what you are doing and be sure that your objectives and goals will work with the current economic situation.  If it looks like your decisions may not work now, can you defer them for a bit?  Is there an alternative decision that can be made that would achieve the same result, even if it may take a little more time?  The key here is to learn to respond to business challenges, not to react to business challenges.  Reacting to a problem may fix the immediate situation, but may not put your business in a good position for the future.  You need to be able to step back from your business and look at as many different angles as possible when presented with a challenge.  By toughening yourself up, you are preparing to respond to anything that life has thrown in your way, you don’t react.  Reacting is necessary in a life-or-death situation, but it is not required in business decisions.  You should take the time to think through decisions, take the time to ask the tough questions, and try to find alternative paths before committing to a business decision.  Reacting may cause you to just go for the immediate fix, which may bite you in the butt down the road.  Not all reactions are bad, but it is always better to take your time and calmly review the situation before jumping.

Your reactions to situations may be based on your prior experience and observations of an event.  If you see something occur in your business that you have seen happen in prior businesses, your first reaction is that ‘you have been down this road before’ and based on your past experiences, you reaction and subsequent decision may not be in the best interest of your current business.  Just because you have experienced a similar situation in the past, does not mean that the same decision is called for in the current situation.  The key is to respond to the current situation, analyse it, do not take the situation personally and make a decision based on current facts. 

You do want to rely on your past history and experiences in order to grow your current business, but you need to methodically think things through.  When times get tough, you may become agitated, but harness that fear or agitation and turn it into something constructive.  Once you understand what is making you uncomfortable, you are now in a position to solve the problem instead of just reacting to the problem.  If your business starts to encounter financial difficulties, you do not want to get angry and blame the banks for not lending you money.  That anger and blame will not cause the banks to lend you the funds you need.  What you should do is harness that anger, and begin looking for alternative methods of raising the funds you need.  The money is out there, the key is finding out where it is and then using it.  By redirecting your anger and frustration into something constructive, you are responding to the financial crunch instead of reacting to it.  You will find that people will respond more positively towards you if you do not get as excitable. 

Even when things may look very bad for your existing business, you need to keep a positive attitude.  By remaining positive, I am not talking about being unreasonably happy, but positive, you will find that people will be drawn to you and opportunities will open up that you would have never expected.  Being positive is not just laughing and smiling, but is intended to have an upbeat attitude overall.  You react to a bad situation by being angry, you can respond by being upset, but then taking a deep breath and deciding to do something positive to change the situation. 

By learning to decide to respond instead of react, you will find that your business outlook will improve and most likely your health will also improve.  You need to always keep an eye out for opportunities, and responding to situations will allow you to keep your eyes open to those new and possibly great opportunities.   When in doubt about a decision, choose to ask another person in the profession that you are in for their advice and opinion.  Once you receive their advice, do not dismiss it out of hand, but honestly look at it and then decide if it is useful for your particular situation.   If that valued professional gave you a negative opinion, do not react by ignoring the opinion, but look at it and compare it with your experiences.  You may then decide to ignore the opinion, but at least you would be ignoring it based on a response, not a reaction.  In order for your business to succeed, you need to take extreme emotions and reactions out of your decision-making processes.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them here or e-mail us at  You can also view some of our business opportunities on our website.  We are available to answer any of your questions or help you to grow your business.

Until next week…

Reacting vs Responding – Part 1

7 03 2010

Many thanks to Marsha Petrie Sue and her new book, “The Reactor Factor” for inspiration.  I have had the opportunity to read Marsha’s new book several times now, and each time I go through it, I learn something new.  Tonight we are going to discuss reacting versus responding in handling your small business during these difficult times. 

Marsha’s book talks about how to handle various work situations and how not to lose control while dealing with difficult situations.  Her observations and suggestions are targeted to people employed by others, but can very easily be applied to the small business owner.  What has been very helpful has been her grid of “Take it, Leave it, or Change it“.  It is a method for deciding when and what to do, or as Marsha aptly puts it, “deciding to decide”.

Many of us who decided to leave the standard corporate world behind, already applied one of Marsha’s principles, “change it”.  We decided we wanted to work for ourselves either because we were unhappy with our current work situation, or we had a passion for a new opportunity.  Starting a business, especially in today’s economy, can be very challenging.  There is no reason why, if you have planned well and have a solid opportunity, that you will not be able to grow your business.  You just need to keep an eye out for some pitfalls that may trip both you and your business up.

One of the topics in Marsha’s book is to on toughening up or giving up.  Many people hear the dire news reports about how bad it is out in the business world, they may even see that same financial difficulty in their personal  and business situations.  Just because you are bombarded with bad news does not mean that you should accept that everything is bad and quit what you are doing.  The bad news is actually only one reporter’s view of the situation.  If you just reacted to the dire economic news, you would be very tempted to close your business doors and hide in a dark closet somewhere until the bank foreclosed on you.  If you toughen up, you would hear the bad news, but make your own good news.  You would not allow your business decisions to be swayed by what you have heard.  Granted, you should not just continue your business as if nothing was wrong.  You need to be aware of what is occurring in the world around you, but do not base your business decisions solely on what you heard on the news.  You need to go out and discover for yourself what you can and cannot do. 

Next week we will continue this discussion about reactions versus responses and how responses could improve your business situation.  Again, many thanks to Marsha Petrie Sue and the inspiration her book, “The Reactor Factor” has provided.  If you are interested in Marsha’s book, it can be found on her website or  If you are interested in starting a small home-based business opportunity, there are a few that may be of interest on our website.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

Until next week…