Here is another example of a mum who has made a success of a multi level marketing business. Today’s entrepreneur is Kate Sparrow, who works as an independent distributor with Phoenix Trading
When considering starting up a business of my own, I discovered it’s much less risky to join an existing organisation, with a start-up kit, a ready made market and in-built support.
I’m the sort of person who always likes to have lots of pies to stick my fingers in. Some call it crazy, but I call it being ambitious and motivated! I was never going to be happy doing the school run and meeting up with other mums for coffee, but at the same time I didn’t want to miss out on that life either. I’m pleased to say that I have found a way to combine my business with doing all the things I like to do as a mum, and all those that my children demand of me too!
After my first child, Rosie, now 7, I returned to work part-time. When she was about a year old I became a cloth nappy advisor which spurred me on to finding other jobs I could do from home, with flexible hours. I soon realised that the only way to have true flexibility is if you are your own boss. I looked at all sorts of franchises, but the majority of these demanded a huge amount of my time, and usually a huge amount of start-up costs too.
A friend of mine had recently become an Independent Phoenix Trader and she showed me the fabulous greetings cards and stationery. I loved the designs, the quality and above all the great value so once I’d stocked up on cards from her I grilled her on how it all works and joined up myself within a couple of weeks! A year later our second child, William, now 3, arrived and I gave up my part time job. Rosie was starting school so the hours would become increasingly difficult, but I was able to continue with my Phoenix Trading business.
Phoenix is a great opportunity for those seeking to get established as self employed business people. You pay a start up fee of just £30 which provides you with everything you need to get going – including brochures, samples, order forms, display boxes and stationery – and you also have the opportunity to buy a hugely discounted pack of stock at the same time. Products can be sold through the brochures, through your own website (also include in the start up cost!) and at parties and events. The products can’t be sold to retail outlets.
I started selling the cards very easily by showing them to my existing network of friends and family, but this rapidly grew as I started to do coffee mornings and events. Once people have bought Phoenix products once they tend to return again and again! I am about as far away from a ‘sales person’ as you can get, and it’s just not necessary. The products really do sell themselves.
Of course, it’s always handy to have a stock of cards in a cupboard for the many parties that my children seem to go to. They always turn up with a present wrapped in beautiful Phoenix giftwrap with a Phoenix card attached!
There are many benefits of running your own business. The flexibility is key for me. There are no targets set by the company, so there’s no pressure to do a certain amount in any month. I am my own boss so I can fix my hours and change them when need be with no consequences. I had excellent support from the person who sponsored me and it’s also great that I was able to step up the business when I felt ready. With continuing support, I sponsored a few people to help them start up their own Phoenix businesses. I now have a small team and so the focus of my business has changed slightly from purely retail to also supporting and advising the team whilst they develop their own businesses. As a result, you have the choice of starting up a business to just have a bit of extra pocket money and a feeling of satisfaction at the end of the month, or you can develop a team and earn more of a part-time income from it. I have also met some fantastic people – both customers and other Traders. All a lovely bunch!
The company itself is great – they are very ethical and support British industries wherever possible. Last year, Phoenix hit the milestone of having donated £1 million to charity since the company was formed! They are continually coming up with fantastic new designs and products and are very supportive of their community of independent traders.
Statutory Notice : It is illegal for a promoter or a participant in a trading scheme to persuade anyone to make a payment by promising benefits for getting others to join a scheme. Do not be misled by claims that high earnings are easily achieved. The promoter of this trading scheme is Phoenix Trading, Unit 6, 307-309 Merton Road, London, SW18 5JS.