Is Usborne Books and More a legitimate business?
I get it. It seems like there are a million direct sales companies, and we are skeptical of all of them. One feels very pushy and another feels very expensive and another time consuming. Direct sales as a whole gives off a vibe of “pushy salespeople” that those not in direct sales like to stay away from. In fact, some of us (like I used to) make a general policy to not even attend direct sales events (parties, workshops, whatever) because you don’t like feeling pressured. Can I get an Amen?
But overall, the reason direct sales works is because there is a product that is really valuable, fulfills a need, and hard to get elsewhere. Combine an awesome product with consultants who are really excited to share about it, and you suddenly have a pretty successful business model. And the thing about it is, most of the time the consultants who sign on to sell a product, no matter what it is, most often sign up because they want more of that product, not necessarily to grow the most massive business ever. So, for the most part, we can trust the consultants, because they speak from personal experience and believe in sharing their product.
Let’s take a second and run Usborne Books and More through the test to see if it holds up to standard, and if it’s worth considering for a little extra income.
What are some things a typical business start-up needs?
- A great product
We believe strongly in the value of physical books in children’s hands, not only to propel them forward in school and success far beyond, but also to expand their attention spans, enhance their creativity, and engage them in many forms (through sight, sound, and touch). Usborne Books & More has created books that surpass most books you’ll find because the publishers believe in filling every page to its full capacity in challenging and engaging children, plus they create the physical product with such high quality, they can stand behind their books with a lifetime guarantee! That is most definitely a product I can support and need in my home for my children.
- An investment
I heard a podcast recently that so aptly compared the direct sales investment against that of a stand alone start-up, where the minimum investments are in the thousands, if not tens of thousands typically, and where the return on that investment is over several years. With Usborne Books and More, your investment is the purchase of a consultant kit that costs $75 or $125 (but valued much greater), and not only can you earn that amount back in one party’s commission, but you can actually earn a refund check for the amount you paid for your consultant kit when you hit certain sales goals in your first thirty days. To earn your investment back in just 30 days is unheard of in the stand alone startup world, yet it happens regularly and successfully with Usborne Books and More.
- A commitment
To start your own business, you’ll need to commit to work it. That is true no matter what. If you open a storefront and choose not to unlock the door, no one will come in and buy your product. But when you open a storefront, that comes with rent and utility payments at the very minimum that you will be responsible for, so it hurts you to not open your doors. With Usborne Books & More, signing up as a consultant does not obligate you to sell a single book. There are never any minimum quotas to meet, and it is completely up to you whether you “unlock your door”. You could have the totally legitimate option of purchasing a consultant kit full of discounted books for your family to enjoy, and never sell a single book from that point on. But if you do, you’ll make a commission! And let’s take it one step better–you can choose to “unlock your door” and begin to sell any time after you purchase your kit, you do not lose your consultant status at any time.
- A dedicated staff
For some start-ups, a dedicated staff is a staff of one. But that one person has to be committed, as mentioned above. With UBAM, not only are you surrounded by team members which I’ll mention later, but you are also fully supported by a President/CEO and Vice-President who are family-focused and consultant-centered, and truly work to make sure they are serving the requests of the consultants. This, I can say, is a key factor that drives the company to more success year after year. Just last month, we got to celebrate as our CEO rang the closing bell at NASDAQ for such incredible forward growth since starting out over 40 years ago, showing commitment and dedication, the product continuing to show great quality, and happy consultants and customers!
- A plan
The direct sales model is tried and true. Most of us know someone who was in direct sales 20 or 30 years ago through Tupperware or Mary Kay, and those companies continue. The fact that the model of direct sales (which is NOT a pyramid scheme… which is illegal…) includes excited consumers sharing with other excited consumers who help each other share their product — it’s really quite a genius plan! The beauty of sharing the products Usborne offers is that you can really bless a family when they host a party for you, enabling them to bring fantastic books into their homes for almost nothing–and that is exciting!
- A training and support program
The other side of the direct sales model is teamwork. Throughout Usborne Books and More there are many teams. When you sign up, you join under a consultant who is part of a bigger team, and you are grafted in! Many teams have different styles, and they offer training to whatever degree you are interested in working (remember, you can choose to do as much as you want!). You’ll find encouragement and support because your Team Leader really wants you to succeed! He or she, along with your teammates, will be your resource as you try new things in your business and learn the ropes.
- A pricing system
Ok, this one is huge. As a former professional photographer, I spent hours agonizing over pricing. It felt personal, like the prices I listed for my services reflected my own worth, and that was miserably hard to decide on. I felt compelled to give discounts to friends or work for free sometimes (always from my own need to please, not that others were pushing), and then when I charged full price, it felt wrong because I had given discounts to other people. So needless to say, I didn’t make much money and spent a LOT of time working. Having someone else set prices for you is a blessing many don’t even think about. Our products have prices listed on the back of our books, so there’s never a question! And our hostess rewards and commission and more are explained up front, no variation for the consultant unless he or she makes a personal decision to offer something extra (we are given so many amazing deals that we don’t need to offer much to be successful!).
- A vision
You’ve heard it said, “Without vision, the people perish”. The same is true for business. The Usborne Books & More vision and mission statement have stayed true over time and have propelled us forward. Consultants are encouraged to make their own personal visions if they would like to move forward with their business, which helps them stay focused. I have found the business training has applied greatly to life and has given me an unexpected personal growth in confidence, bravery and vision that I attribute to being a part of a greater cause to spread literacy to children, and that I am extremely grateful for.
I think I’ve covered the basics of starting a business, and why I know Usborne Books & More competes exceptionally with other start-ups, but I think we can go a few steps beyond to show why I believe in Usborne as the direct sales business worth working with.
7 Bonus Reasons:
- We are really changing lives through our books.
- The opportunity to give back:
–Our book fair and book drive program gives back to organizations in loads of free books! Usborne Books & More is INCREDIBLY generous with this program! And our Cuddle Bear program even supports Pediatric Cancer Research as well.
- The chance to bless your own family with tons of great books
–I get a new stash of books in every few months for my kids!
- Friendships that support each other as professional men and women
— Something I never knew I needed was a group of teammates supporting me to push forward to be successful who are alongside me on the same journey. My Uzzie Buddies have made a huge difference for me!
- Continual incentives (prizes, commissions, recognition, etc.)
— From day one of joining and continuing monthly, you can earn so many things for free. The challenges motivate us to push a little and grow while we spread literacy… what’s not to love!? (You’ll just have to join to see what they are, but I can tell you the big one…. a fancy tiara!)
- Many ways to make the business your own
— You don’t love Facebook parties? We have the opportunity to work with preschools and give back to the teachers in free books! Other options include everything from home parties to coloring parties to book drives online to fundraisers to story times to personal connections to social media and youtube sharing! You can successfully run a business without being that pushy salesperson, because you’ll find the way to share the books that is personal to you and makes you excited.
- No need to carry inventory
— Did you know you have the option if you want to carry inventory or not? And here’s what’s even better: if you do want to carry inventory, you pay for it after you sell it, not before! Yet again, this is optional based on how you’d like to share the love of reading!
So, is Usborne Books & More legit? It’s certainly worth the tiny investment to try. There’s no limit to how far you can go! As is Usborne’s motto, you can “Open a World of Possibilities” today!
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