Monday, May 23, 2011

FAQ about Becoming a Tastefully Simple Consultant!


Frequently Asked Questions about Tastefully Simple and joining the team!

So you are thinking about starting a business with Tastefully Simple? Here are some of the common questions and answers that I and many others had before we started our own businesses. I hope these answers will help to answer your questions and clarify the amazing business opportunity with Tastefully Simple.
Michele Capozzi
Tastefully Simple Independent Consultant
919.500.8905
www.tastefullysimple.com/web/mcapozzi
SimplyMichele2011@gmail.com

What is Tastefully Simple all about?

At Tastefully Simple, we offer a wide variety of delicious, easy-to-prepare foods designed to help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the rest of your life!
Our products are marketed primarily through home taste-testing parties by independent consultants nationwide. So if you're looking for a business opportunity that captures your passion, chat with me!

What is the investment to become a Tastefully Simple consultant?

There are two options:
You can start your own Tastefully Simple business with the Business Blast Off Kit for only $170 or three payments of $56.66*! It contains everything you need to complete your first four parties: Party Food Kits™, printed and training materials, display products, party samples and supplies. You'll also receive training audios, videos, catalogs and client order forms.

Your second option is the Just a Taste Business Kit. It lets you start your business with a smaller investment of $89** (payment plan not available). It contains everything you need to complete your first two parties; Party Food Kits, printed and training materials, a small assortment of display products, party samples and supplies. You'll also receive training audios, videos, catalogs and client order forms. The great advantage to this option is that if you host a party, you can use your host rewards towards the business kit!  Let's say you hosted a party that had $800 in sales, instead of using the $100 in free products, you can use that towards your Business Blast Off Kit!  Then, it will only cost you $60 plux tax!  That is an AWESOME deal!!! This kit contains everything you need to launch a successful business including supplies for your first 4 parties and our Perfect 10 Collection for your display.

One other thing I'd like to mention is that if you decide to sign up as a consultant any bookings from the party that you hosted will be YOUR BOOKINGS to help you get your business off to a fantastic start!
*$195 or three payments of $65 in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
**$99 in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

How much money could I make as a Tastefully Simple consultant?

The beauty of being a consultant is that it's completely up to you! The more parties you hold, the greater your income potential. You'll earn up to 30% commission on sales, plus you can earn travel rewards, leadership income for building your team and much more!  Our average party is $400 in sales. With our 30% commission that means you would make a profit of $120.  This means from a $400 party I would make $100 in about 4 hours. That is an average of $25 per hour!! You cannot make that at very many other jobs where YOU make your OWN schedule.

Can I earn additional income by sponsoring other consultants?

Yes, you earn additional monthly income for recruiting, training and supporting new consultants. Building a team can start as soon as you start your business. The most important thing you can do is offer the business opportunity to your guests and answer their questions about the business. There are people who will come to you to sign up and there are people who you will need to approach to start the business. It is up to you how much you want to focus on building a team if at all. However the benefits and income potential from being a Leader are endless.

What are the benefits to building a team?

Tastefully Simple pays me a 5% commission on all team members in my first line, these are team members that sign up directly under me. As you promote within the company you will earn a 3% commission on your 2nd line and a 1% commission on your 3rd line. There are also many perks, extras and bonuses as you step into Leadership.

Can I set my own schedule as a consultant?

Yes! One of the perks of being a Tastefully Simple consultant is that you create your own schedule to fit your needs and your lifestyle. I work full-time as a paralegal -- PLUS, I have twin toddlers and I STILL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME to have this business!  I love it and I love making extra money :-)

I've tried other direct sales companies. How is Tastefully Simple different?

There are so many differences that we hardly know where to begin!  People are busy, and our delicious line of easy-to-prepare products is geared to that lifestyle! Since food is a consumable product, it gives you the perfect opportunity for reorders.  Tastefully Simple provides a 100% guarantee of satisfaction. Award-winning packaging complements the upscale image and quality of our products. As your sponsor, I will provide you with support every step of the way.

Are there any hidden fees?

Not at all....Everthing that you need to start your business is included in either kit. There are OPTIONAL marketing materials available, such as business cards, decals for your car, etc.  But that is up to you!  I made my own business card magnets myself and saved some money.  If you are creative, you can market yourself on the cheap!
One option that I recommend is the signing up with Propay, It costs only $29.95 per year and it gives you the ability to accept credit cards from your customers.

Also, I highly recommend getting your own Tastefully Simple website. It costs only $10.95 per month and it is also auto deducted from your checking or savings account. This is a great resource for my customers, makes your name appear when people are searching for a consultant in your area and my website pays for itself every month through online orders. It also allows you to send E-Newsletters, E-Cards and E-Vites to parties.  I send those out alot :-)
Please remember that these are optional -- not required.  They can be added when you sign up or at a later date.

What’s Included in the Just a Taste Business Kit?

Your Just a Taste Business Kit contains tools for you to get a taste of your business through your first two parties. Although you’ve chosen a smaller business kit, all Consultant Business Policies still apply. Use your Success Made Simple workbook and visit HQ Office Live, which includes your online Consultant Guide*, for additional training materials and more details on how to use the various tools in your kit.


Two Party Plus Kits

Each kit includes a party food kit, sampling rotation samples, catalogs and order forms for one party.
Display Products
Use these products to display at your parties.
• Bountiful Beer Bread Mix®
• Garlic Garlic™
• Seasoned Salt
• Absolutely Almond Pound Cake Mix
Party Supplies
Watch The Party DVD and talk to your sponsor to learn to use these supplies.
• Party Script Cards
• Taster spoons
• 5.5 oz. soufflé cups & lids
• 2 oz. soufflé cups
• Black sampling plates
• Plastic gloves

Additional Materials
• The Party DVD
• Success Made Simple workbook
• Consultant Business Policies
(Also available on HQ Office Live)
• Incentives and special offers

What’s Included in the Business Blast Off Kit?

Box #1: Welcome to Tastefully Simple!
Our delicious, easy-to-prepare foods - a sampling for you to enjoy

Box #2: Your Samples and Display
The Perfect 10 collection - an assortment of our
best-selling products for your party display
• Absolutely Almond Pound Cake Mix™
• Bountiful Beer Bread Mix®
• Corn, Black Bean Salsa
• Garlic Garlic™
• Key Lime Cheese Ball Mix
• Nana’s Apple Cake Mix®
• Onion Onion™
• Perfect Parmesan Biscuit Mix
• Seasoned Salt
• Spinach & Herb Dip Mix
 (4) Party Food Kits (#1) for your first four hosts

Box #3: Marketing & Training Materials, Sampling supplies for your parties & Display enhancements
• Cozy Comfort gift set
• Host program tabletop flyer
• Collections tabletop flyer

Marketing materials for your parties
Sample Assortment (A) to taste-test at your parties in addition to the Party Food Kit
• Awesome Amaretto™ Cocoa Mix
• Bayou Bourbon™ Glaze
• Cheese It Up! Crisps™
• Corn, Black Bean Salsa
• Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Mix
• Merlot Sauce
• Sweet Pepper Jalapeño Jam
• Twisty Grahams™
• Warm Up!™ Mulling Spice

Recruiting tools to share the business opportunity
• What Do You Want? ® brochures
• What Do You Want? DVD

Training for you
• Success Made Simple workbook
• The Party DVD
• Business Policies booklet

Additional information to grow your business
Your Business Blast Off Kit contains tools to get your business off to a strong start. You have what you need for your first four parties. There are cards throughout the kit to help you identify each piece and explain it in more detail.
• Taster spoons
• 5.5 oz soufflé cups and lids
• 2 oz. soufflé cups
• Black sampling plates
• Plastic gloves
• Bountiful Beer Bread Mix®
• Perfectly Potato Cheddar Soup Mix
• Absolutely Almond Pound Cake Mix™
• The Trio
• Standard and seasonal
Suggestion Card pre-packs
• Catalogs (75)
• Party invitations (200)
• Planning Your Party brochures
• Client Order Forms (100)
• Party Script Cards
• Merrill flyer – our logo partner
• Share Our Strength® flyer and bracelet
• Conference brochure
• Awards & Recognition brochure
• Gift brochure
• Tastefully Simple® Gazette newsletter

How can I pay for the Just a Taste Kit or the Business Blast Off Kit?

You can pay for your "Just a Taste" or "Business Blast Off" with either a personal check or Credit/Debit card. If signing a consultant agreement online you will have to pay with debit or credit card. If you prefer to mail in a paper consultant agreement you can use a personal check or a debit/credit card.

For the Business Blast Off kit, you can pay in 3 monthly payments or all at one time. Note if you host a party and decide to sign up and use your host rewards as $ off the cost of the Business Blast Off Kit, you will have to pay the remainder of the balance at one time. You cannot use the 3 month option for the remainder. There is no payment plan for the Just a Taste business kit -- that must be paid for up front.

How do I sign up?
To sign up as a consultant you can meet with me personally and fill out a paper consultant agreement, provide payment and we can mail it in to Tastefully Simple Headquarters.  If you are in another state you can still sign up with me online.  I am available to help you anytime you need me.
You can also sign up online at my personal website. Simply go to www.tastefullysimple.com/web/mcapozzi and click on Become a Consultant.

Click on Sign Up Today.

IF you are using host rewards, check YES to use your discount code. If you are not using host rewards click NO.
You will then Select Your Sponsor.
You can search me out by Last Name- Capozzi or by my consultant ID # 0115229
Select Your State
Check the box to accept me as your personal sponsor.
Hit Continue.
Now you will go through the process of entering your personal information into the Consultant Agreement and CONGRATULATIONS on starting your Tastefully Simple Business and joining my team!

What is the sales requirement to remain a consultant?

In order to remain an active consultant with Tastefully Simple you are required to sell $400 in part one retail (retail products, not samples or business supplies) every calendar quarter. Quarters are Jan-Mar, April-June, July-Sept, and Oct-Dec. If you in the middle or end of a quarter you have until the end of the NEXT quarter to meet your $400 requirement. This means no matter when you join you always have ONE FULL QUARTER to meet your sales requirement.

Since our average party is $400 that means you should plan to do a minimum of 1-2 parties per quarter to remain active. I personally recommend that ALL consultants aim to do at least one party per month to keep a consistent business. The number of parties above 1 per month that you wish to do will depend on your personal goals, schedule, availability and amount of money you wish to earn.

Do I have to pay a fee to stay active each year?

NO! Some companies require you to pay a fee yearly to remain active. The only requirement to remain active is to meet your $400 quarterly sales requirement. Note if you use Propay to accept credit cards you will need to pay that $29.95 each year. Also if you choose to have a personal TS website you will pay that monthly.

Do I have to carry inventory or invest in large inventory?

No, No, NO! Tastefully Simple does not recommend that ANY consultants carry an inventory. We do take a select few display items to parties and IF YOU WISH to keep products on hand that is at your discretion. I have NEVER carried an inventory of any kind and have had great success in this business. This is a wonderful perk to being a Tastefully Simple consultant. Our orders go straight to the client with our direct shipping, making it easier for YOU the consultant and for your HOSTS who do not have to deliver, bag, separate party orders. Less money sitting on a shelf and more flexibility to not have extra cash tied up into inventory.  Many years ago Tastefully Simple consultants did carry an inventory. This is no longer recommended by the company and very few people still choose to do so.

What other charges can I expect to pay?

I don't  recommend spending alot of money to get your business started. The only things you might need to invest in are a planner, a calculator, a box of pens for your party. Extras like business cards, car decals, etc. can always be purchased later when you make a profit.  I tend to put a set amount of money aside after each party to reinvest in my business -- like to purchase more catalogs, party kits, samples, etc.  The rest is ALL MINE!

What is Party to Success?

Party to Success or PTS is a program for consultants in the first 100 days of their business. By reaching sales goals and holding 4 parties per month you can earn free business products like catalogs, order forms, etc. This program sets your business up for a successful start and will help you start making a profit faster! This program is optional.

Do I pay host benefits or does Tastefully Simple pay for host benefits?

Tastefully Simple pays for the host rewards on all parties where there is a host other than yourself!! This is a wonderful perk to our business. We keep our 30% commission and there is no extra math involved! Simply place all party orders and then submit your host’s order to Tastefully Simple. Tastefully Simple will ship the host rewards directly to the client and you are done!

How do I prepare for a party?

YOU do not prepare all the foods for each taste testing party. You will provide the host with a Party Food Kit for her/him to prepare in advance of the party. You also provide them with invitations, a few catalogs/order forms (for outside orders) and a “Planning Your Party brochure” which walks them through the party process.

You will bring your catalogs, order forms, suggestion cards, display items, check out items, planner, and open and serve samples to complete the taste testing products. I fit everything I need for a party into a small rolling bag and one small Tastefully Simple shoulder bag. You do not have to spend hours prepping before every party or load in/out 5 boxes of inventory or supplies. Keep it simple!

Do I have to buy all the products that are sampled at each party?

The first 2 or 4 party food kits and sample rotation are included in your Just a Taste of Business Kit or Business Blast Off Kit. Then in your first 90 days of business you have the chance to continue earning those business supplies through Party to Success at NO cost to you. If you choose not to participate in Party to Success you will need to purchase Party Food Kits for your upcoming parties. These are $7.95 and you need one for each party you hold. You will also need to purchase a Sample Rotation. This includes all the open and serves samples you need for each party. Each Sample Rotation costs around $34 and includes enough samples for SIX parties.  The sample rotation kit does not have to be purchased.  I purchase single items of my choice to be sampled at parties which is less of a cost.

So if you bought 6 Party Food Kits at 7.95=$47.70
Plus one Sample Rotation at $34 = $81.70
$81.70 divided by SIX parties = $13.62 your cost per party.
Something I asked when I was joining was if I had to buy all the full size products for parties. NO, the Party Food Kits are preassembled for you in bags with Sample Sizes of the products. The Sample Rotation also uses sample sizes.

What about business supplies like catalogs and order forms?

After you have used the catalogs and order forms in your business kits you can continue to earn these supplies for FREE through Party to Success.   After Party to Success is completed you will order these items. As your sponsor I am always willing to help you figure out how much you should order of any item.     
   
            Catalogs are $7.50 for 25 catalogs. This is enough for 2-3 parties.
             Order Forms are $3.95 for 50 order forms. This is enough for 3-4 parties.

How soon will I make a profit?

You start making a profit at your first party! Often your first 1-2 parties are enough to pay yourself back the cost of the Business Blast Off Kit. After you have paid yourself back it’s all about making a profit!

How much time do I have to invest in my business?

The time you invest in your business is up to you! It’s your business and you are the boss! The most important thing to remember is that while our hours to work our businesses are flexible they are not optional. In order to build a successful business you should plan to dedicate time to your business. You can do this in as little as 3-5 hours per week or you can work your business every day! It’s up to you!

How many parties am I required to do each month?

There is no monthly party requirement, just the $400 quarterly sales requirement. I do recommend that all consultants try to do at least one party per month in order to maintain a consistent business. Better yet, determine how much money you want to make or what you want to achieve and set consistent business goals for your party schedule. This is the best way to build a solid and successful business!

How do I book parties?

The EASIEST and BEST way to book parties is to book parties AT parties. Your hosts are rewarded for bookings at their parties so they are your partner in getting bookings. You will also sell the benefits of hosting a party to party guests and it is best practice to JUST ASK everyone at checkout if they would like to host a party.

The other way to book parties is to JUST ASK. Just ask your friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers, church members, etc to host a party. JUST ASK is the 2nd best way to fill your calendar with bookings.

 No one is going to FORCE you to call people to book parties. However the phone is a powerful tool to use in your business and if your clients have given you permission to stay in contact it is a great way to fill up your calendar or spots you need to make the money you want each month!

What do hosts get for holding a taste testing party?

Our new and improved host program is an awesome perk! Tastefully Simple PAYS out our host rewards directly to the customer. With a party of at least $200 in sales the host starts earning free products. In addition to free products they can also earn ANYTHING in the catalog (incl. gifts and collections) at 50% off for each booking at their party. They can even rebook their own party for this reward! *up to 5 half price items for 5 bookings*
If they have 15 orders for their party they get another $15 in free products.
They can also opt to convert their free product dollars into dollars off the business kits if they decide to start a TS business.

Can I advertise online?

Tastefully Simple does allow us to advertise our independent business on a blog, Facebook, MySpace, and in email signatures. We are NOT allowed to sell on Ebay and if you want to setup a TS website you must do it through TS Connected for $10.95 per month. The website is a valuable but optional tool in your business.

How will I be trained?

If you are local, I will personally train you in your Blast Off Party and help you perform the party for your ease and comfort. You are also welcome to “shadow” my parties (or ANY consultant's party -- I'll help you with that) to learn more about how I work parties. I can train you as little or as much as you prefer.

Are there outside training opportunities for me to be involved in?

Tastefully Simple offers regional conferences, National Conferences, training calls, buddies, consultant forum, and other training opportunities for consultants who want more training and skill building. Consultants who attend these trainings build their businesses faster and more successfully than those who do not. And they are a tax write off and a BLAST.

Are there a lot of required meetings and phone calls?

There are no required meetings or phone calls.  I will hold quarterly team meetings and call you to see if you need any assistance but you are not required to spend your valuable time in meetings or calls if you do not prefer to.

Can my business be used as a tax write off?

Yes!  Anything you purchase for your Tastefully Business can be used on your taxes.  Be sure to save all of you receipts for purchases from Tastefully Simple or from other businesses.  You will also be able to write off part of your home ie.  Mortgage interest, computer, electricity, etc.  You will also be able to claim your mileage.  Speak with your tax advisor to find out what information they will need from you at tax time so you can keep track of everything.
I hope this information has been helpful and if there are any other questions that I can answer, please feel free to contact me!

Michele Capozzi
919-500-8905
SimplyMichele2011@gmail.com
www.tastefullysimple.com/web/mcapozzi

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