Sweet smell of success: Herbalife in deep water
While researching this article on the on-going melodrama that is Herbalife I decided to just go to the source and get my own take on things. It didn’t take very long: A few phone calls to the local Herbalife contact and the next thing I knew I was invited to an information meeting with other distributors, team leaders and potential Herbalife members. A couple of things jumped out at me, namely everybody gets a piece of the pie: if I sell a bottle of shampoo my team leader gets a cut and the leader above him/her gets a cut and someone living in Belize gets a cut.
Invest in Herbalife
The other thing is that I need to purchase all my products. I need to purchase the initial presentation kit and any other products I may need along the way. This is neither good nor bad. I assume everyone from Avon to Sweet Scent Candles or Mary Kay Cosmetics operates the same way. Ultimately the big money isn’t selling, it is in building a team and having that team create a team and so on and so on with the team leader getting a percentage of whatever it is those teams/individuals are selling.
The buck stops…somewhere
OK enough of that. I’ll probably kick myself in the morning but I opted out of becoming an Herbalife member. Not everyone can remain so cavalier: Billionaire investor William (Bill) Akman (who by his very nature has invested heavily in Herbalife and lost) has spent more than a year locked in a legal battle with Herbalife accusing the company of operating a pyramid scheme. Naturally the company contests Ackman’s claims.
Akman’s Herbalife odyssey has run a winding road in the last few years: initial accusations led to the case being dismissed back in March 2015 but then going back to trial and now Herbalife is looking to find some type of resolution (read about it here)
Enter the FTC
So now the FTC is involved and Herbalife is trying to resolve this is such a way as to not put a dent in its multi-million/billion/gazillion dollar empire. The ramifications go deeper than just William Akman trying to recoup his losses. Plenty of other independent sales organizations (see above) are paying attention to see how this plays out because they risk falling victim to the same accusations.
Herbalife. It’s not just a job. It’s a lot of other people benefitting from each and every sale you make.
Are Gen Z more fickle in their shopping, or do brands just need to keep up?
(BUSINESS NEWS) As the world keep changing, brands and businesses have to change along with it. Some say Gen Z is fickle, but others say it is the nature of change.
We all know that if you stop adapting to the world around you, you’re going to be left behind. A recently published article decided to point out that the “fickle” Gen Z generation are liable to leave a poor digitally run site and never return. Now of course we’ve got some statistics here… They did do some kind of due diligence.
This generation, whose life has been online from almost day one, puts high stakes on their experiences online. It is how they interact with the world. It’s keyed into their self-worth and their livelihoods, for some. You want to sell online, get your shit together.
They have little to no tolerance for anything untoward. 80% of Gen Zers reported that they are willing to try new brands since the pandemic. Brand loyalty, based on in-person interaction, is almost a thing of the past. When brands are moved from around the world at the touch of your fingertips there’s nothing to stop you. If a company screws up an order, or doesn’t get back to you? Why should you stick with them? When it comes to these issues, 38% of Gen Zers say they only give a brand 1 second chance to fix things. Three-quarters of the surveyed responded saying that they’ll gladly find another retailer if the store is just out of stock.
This study goes even further though and discusses not just those interactions but also the platforms themselves. If a website isn’t easy to navigate, why should I use it? Why should I spend my time when I can flit to another and get exactly what I need instead of getting frustrated? There isn’t a single company in the world that shouldn’t take their webpage development seriously. It’s the new face of their company and brand. How they show that face is what will determine if they are a Rembrandt or a toddlers noodle art.
The new age of online shopping has been blasted into the atmosphere by the pandemic. Online shopping has boosted far and above expected numbers for obvious reasons. When the majority of your populace is told to stay home. What else are they going to do? Brands that have been around for decades have gone out of business because they didn’t change to an online format either. Keep moving forward.
Now as a side note here, as someone who falls only just outside the Gen Z zone the articles description of fickle is pompous. The stories I’ve heard of baby boomers getting waiters fired, or boycotting stores because of a certain shopkeeper are just as fickle and pointed. Nothing has changed in the people, just how they interact with the world. Trying to single out a single generation based on how the world has changed is a shallow view of the world.
Chasing Clubhouse success? How the audio chat room trend affects products
(BUSINESS NEWS) It is inevitable that when a new successful trend comes along, other companies will try to make lightning strike twice. Will the audio chat room catch on?
Businesses are always about the hot new thing. People are the always looking for the easiest dollar with the least amount of effort these days. It tends to lead to products that are shoddy and horribly maintained with the least amount of flexibility in pleasing their customers. However, you also have to look at the customer base for this as well. You follow where the money is because that’s where its being spent. It’s like a merry-go-round, constantly chasing the next thing. And the latest of these is the audio chat room.
During the pandemic the entire world saw an eruption of social audio investments. Silicon Valley has gone crazy with this new endeavor. On the 18th of April this year, Clubhouse said it closed on some new funding, which was valued at $4 billion for a live audio app. This thing is still in beta without a single penny of revenue!
The list of other companies who have pursued new audio suites (either through purchase or creation) include:
This whole new audio fad is still in its infancy. These social media and tech giants are all jumping headlong into it with who knows how much forethought. A number of them have their own issues to deal with, but they’ve put things aside to try and grab these audio chat room coattails that are running by. It’s a mix of feelings about the situation honestly. They are trying to survive and keep their customers.
If a competitor creates this new capability and they stay stagnant then they lose customers. If they do this however without dealing with their current issues then they could also lose people. It’s an interesting catch 22 for people out there. Which group do you fall in? Are you antsy for a new toy or are you waiting for one of these lovely sites to fix a problem? It’s another day in capitalism.
This web platform for cannabis is blowing up online distribution
(BUSINESS NEWS) Dutchie, a website platform for cannabis companies, just octupled in value. Here’s what that means for the online growth of cannabis distribution.
The cannabis industry has, for the most part, blossomed in the past few years, managing to hit only a few major snags along the way. One of those snags is the issue of payment processing, an issue compounded by predominantly cash-only transactions. Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon company, has helped mitigate that issue—and it just raised a ton of money.
Technically, Dutchie is a jack-of-all-trades service that creates and hosts websites for dispensaries, tracks product, processes orders, keeps stock of revenue, and so much more. While it was valued at around $200 million as recently as summer of 2020, a round of series C funding currently puts the company at around $1.7 billion—approximately 8 times its worth a mere 8 months ago.
There are a few reasons behind Dutchie’s newfound momentum. For starters, the pandemic made cannabis products a lot more accessible—and desirable—in states in which the sale of cannabis is legal. The ensuing surge of customers and demand certainly didn’t hurt the platform, especially given that Dutchie is largely responsible for keeping things on track during some of the more chaotic months for dispensaries.
Several states in which the sale of cannabis was illegal also voted to legalize recreational use, giving Dutchie even more stomping ground than they had prior to the lockdown.
Dutchie also recently took on 2 separate companies and their associated employees, effectively doubling their current staff. The companies are Greenbits—a resource planning group—and Leaflogix, which is a point-of-sale platform. With these two additions to their compendium, Dutchie can operate as even more of an all-in-one suite, which absolutely contributes to its value as a company.
Ross Lipson, who is Dutchie’s co-founder and current CEO, is fairly dismissive of investment opportunities for the public at the moment, saying he instead prefers to stay “focused with what’s on our plate” for the time being. However, he also appears open to the possibility of going public via an acquisition company.
“We look at how this decision brings value to the dispensary and the customer,” says Lipson. “If it brings value, we’d embark on that decision.”
For now, Dutchie remains the ipso facto king of cannabis distribution and sales—and they don’t show any plans to slow down any time soon.
Business Entrepreneur2 days ago
Why receiving big funding doesn’t guarantee startup success
Business Entrepreneur6 days ago
‘Small’ business was once a stigma, but is now a growing point of pride
Business Marketing2 weeks ago
6 tips to easily market your side hustle
Opinion Editorials2 days ago
Be yourself, or be Batman? A simple trick to boost your self-confidence
Business Entrepreneur6 days ago
3 types of clients you should fire as a freelancer (without feeling guilty)
Business Entrepreneur1 week ago
Tesla: One company, or a collection of innovative startups?
Tech News21 hours ago
Google is giving back some privacy control? (You read that right)
Business Entrepreneur1 week ago
If you’re an employer, don’t hire without knowing about these hidden traits