Becoming a Scrapbook Consultant
by Julia Sandvoss (Aug 15, 2005)
So, you’ve been thinking about stepping outside of your scrapbook room and becoming a consultant. Maybe you are considering this for an added income, or perhaps for a discount for your own personal supplies, or just to share your love of scrapbooking or stamping with others.
Whatever your reason, look upon this quest as you would buying a new car. Although you can’t test drive it, you still can compare, window shop and see which companies best fit your needs. By taking the time to do this, you can feel confident your decision was well thought out and that you didn’t come home with a junker!
Here are some guidelines for starting your search for the right company.
Step 1: Search for consultant opportunities.
Do an internet search (magazines too) for scrapbook/stamp companies that offer consultant opportunities. Each year more and more companies are added to the mix, offering a wide range of choices. You can start to narrow down your focus if you know right off the top you prefer a company that sells both stamps and scrapbook supplies or perhaps one that is solely dedicated to stamping or even one that sells post-bound albums. Gather your list and get prepared to take notes.
Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the product lines offered by each company.
Make a list of all companies with information about what types of products they sell. You may only use strap-hinge albums and several companies may only offer post-bound or vice versa. That will affect your choice as well.
Step 3: Gather important information about the consultant programs.
This step may prove to be the most important, as receiving accurate and reliable information will be critical to your choices. Whenever you receive conflicting information from the same company, it’s best to go directly to the home office for clarification.
Here are some questions to ask when speaking to a consultant:
Step 4: Weigh the pros and cons of each company.
Once you have gathered the information to these questions, you need to make out your list of pros and cons. Most likely some of the companies will not appeal to you right off. Maybe their sales minimums are too high, or their start-up kit is out of your price range, or they require more gatherings than you would care to have. This is going to be personal to you as everyone has different expectations of what they would like. Keep in mind you will only get out of this what you put into it.
Step 5: Talk to consultants and look for feedback from customers.
Consider going to a reputable online message board, such as Scrapjazz, and posting for feedback from customers along with consultants. Keep in mind that most consultants will not have anything negative to say about the company they consult for. They would be silly to do that as they would like to recruit you. But customers will have unique points of view as they will have dealt with consultants, ordered the products and have a first-hand experience with the companies.
Step 6: Review your options.
Now that you have gathered information from the companies themselves and some customer feedback, it’s time to sit down again and go through that list you made at Step 4. You may have eliminated another choice or two based on consultant responses or customer experiences. But you’re just a step or two away from making your decision.
Step 7: Test out your favorites.
With your list narrowed to a few choices it would be beneficial to get a first-hand taste of them. Touch base with a consultant in your area to attend a home party, speak to them directly at a local convention or meet one-on-one to talk about your concerns and expectations. If this is not possible use the information you have to find the best fit for you.
Finally, after going through all these steps, you should have a better understanding about what company is best for you. You may even have decided that selling is not your choice and perhaps teaching or working at a local scrapbook store is in your best interest. Whichever choice you make, you can feel confident knowing you’ve examined your options thoroughly and won’t be driving home in a junker!