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Community Commerce – Industry Report

It's time for a wake-up call!

Community Commerce also known as direct selling is a growing phenomenon. Fortune Magazine Report described the industry as one with steady annual growth, healthy cash flows, high return on invested capital and long term prospects for global expansion.

It has grown steadily for the past 20 years jumping over 91% in just the past 10. Today, it enjoys annual sales of over 30 billion dollars in the US and 100 billion dollars world-wide. Many have said it is recession proof as each and every week about 175,000 new people in the US and another 300,000 plus around the world get on board. Yet with less than 1% of the worlds` population involves so far, it has tapped only a tiny fraction of its growth potential.

The truth is we are in a time of massive economic change. News we are hearing these days about increasing unemployment, massive dislocation of Jobs and industries. A lot of us are losing our jobs, our industries, even our careers, and it's happening to more of us faster than ever before. And the good news?well, it all depends on where you mind set is.

Distinguish economist and two time's presidential economic advisor Paul Zane Pilzer has forecast that in the decade from 2006 to 2016 there will be 10 million new millionaires in the US alone. That's more than doubled in the last decade. What's more? Professor Pilzer specifically says that many of those new millionaires will be from the emerging power house industry of direct selling.

Consider simply this: in any recession there will always be those who make it and thrive. Those who will always come across and become involved in newer, better opportunities, that are opening up just as fast and it's those people who recognise the trends and stake their claim in these new and emerging industries, who will stand a gain – enormously.

US president Bill Clinton said this about it "your industry provides core values all around the globe and gives people the chance to make the most of their lives."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair declared it makes a "tremendous contribution to the overall prosperity of the economy" and Billionaire investor Warren Buffet called it simply" the best investment I have ever made".

Why it has become such a powerful global economic force? And why so many people are appealed by it?

Reason number 1:People TRUST personal recommendations.

We are all citizens of the information age consequently we are constantly bombarded by media. From TV commercials to billboards, online banner ads and pop-ups to magazines inserts with endorsements and product placements screaming at us at every turn! We just don't trust those media messages anymore but we DO TRUST our friends and their word or mouth recommendation. That – is the power Community Commerce, aka direct selling.

According to a claimed economist Paul Zane Pilzer, "yesterday's fortunes were in physical distribution the wall mart targets and Home Depots who delivered goods as quickly and cheaply as possible. Professor Pilzer states: "for those looking to create long term wealth today educating people about new products and services is now the number one business opportunity." Pilzer calls this "intellectual distribution" and adds: "direct selling is the perfect intellectual distribution business for today's economy".

Seth Godin best-selling author of permission marketing "Unleashing the Ideavirus" and "Purple Cow" says when it comes to selling "what works is delivering personal relevant messages to people who care about something remarkable. Direct sellers are in the best position to do this".

Reason number 2: The Home Based Business Boom.

Companies everywhere are downsizing. Going "virtual" or off-shore, and taking the jobs with them. That's the bad news. The good news the world keeps growing anyway.

U.S. household income went from 13 trillion in 1991 to 40 trillion in 2001. And during the recession years of 2002 to 2004 it increased another 8 trillion. And it's accelerating. More than 1 in 8 households today contains a home based business. How did this happen? In large part - because of home based businesses.

According to the US Small Business Administration in its report to President Bush, small business accounts for about half the country`s total output and employ about half of the private sector workforce and more than half of those are home based businesses. The global employment landscape has changed forever. A generation ago the safest path to success was to go to school, get an education, get a good job and work hard; going into a business for yourself was risky. Today it is just the opposite.

Harry Dent, best-selling author of "The Roaring 2000s" and "The great next bubble boom" forecasts ''In the network economy there won't be jobs, only businesses. We will all become Entrepreneurs. You'll run your own business; make your own decisions and that means you can work at home.''

One of the biggest reasons for this model success is that people love the benefits of working for themselves and enjoying the freedom they have from designing their own prosperity. No more commute, no more boss. You get to choose when you work, how you work and with whom you work. Best of all – you don't have to make a choice between time for family for time for business.

Today, the internet makes it easier than ever before. Now you can expand globally have a business in Japan, Australia, US or Hong Kong.

Senator Olympia Snow said that values, flexibility and innovation are the hallmarks of a home based business. ''Americans need more options to help them provide for their families and the ability to work from home is an essential means of achieving that goal.''

Zig Ziglar: ''For the committed, self-motivated individual a home based business offers enormous benefits including elimination of travel, time saving, expense reduction, freedom of schedule and the opportunity to make your family your priority as you set your goals.''

Reason number 3: Low investment generates high return and high earning potential.

The ease of entry makes Community commerce a practical accessible method for millions to earn additional, part time residual income without having to quit their job. The typical Company provides you with all the tools and training you need to be up and profitable immediately and with only the most nominal entry fee.

This was the aspect that caught the eye of David Bach financial planning expert and author of the New York Times best seller "The Automatic Millionaire": ''the beauty of direct selling is that it is all done for you. There isn't really any start up time, you don't have to create a business plan, you don't have to create a product, the only thing you need to do is find a reputable company, one that you trust that offers a product or service you believe in and can get passionate about. Direct Selling gives you the chance to make a little extra money and with that you can buy your freedom.'' And for many, that little extra money that Bach talks about turns out to be quite a bit.

While more than 80% of direct sellers do it on a part time supplemental income there are hundreds and thousands of success stories who make it their full time passion. Of these – many become wealthy.

One financial expert who was stunned by the fortunes being made in direct selling is Robert Kiyosaki: ''Direct selling gives people the opportunity with very low risk and very low financial commitment to build their own income generating asset and acquire great wealth.''

Reason number 4: Access to national and international markets.

The combination of growth overseas, emerging industrial markets and relaxed trade regulations makes it possible for many companies to expand worldwide. The internet provides the practical tools to cash in on exploding global trends. You can leverage the internet to do everything from promotion to conducting meetings to managing and viewing real time organizational information. You can manage a national or global empire from your desktop, growing business from coast to coast or around the world.

Reason number 5: Significant tax advantages.

Having a pension and good health care coverage used to be two of the biggest reasons to work as an employee of a company. Not anymore! Recent changes in tax laws have given the self-employed home based business person the ability to enjoy the same kind of tax differed savings and benefits as corporate employees; What's more - having a home based business allows you to claim substantial legitimate deductions, suggest for certain home office costs, a portion of rent or mortgage, travel and related expenses often resulting in significant tax savings.

According to Professor Paul Zane Pilzer ''Congress has finally created a level playing field for entrepreneurs. These changes now make it possible for you to accumulate millions of dollars with ordinary cash flow from a home based business in ways that were not available before."

Reason number 6: Residual income.

Trading time for money is a treadmill leading nowhere, and it is the same whether you are the fast food cashier earning minimum wage or the highest priced attorney or accountant. In both - the day you stop working is the day you stop being paid. If working for a salary won't buy you financial freedom, what will? There is an answer. Residual income. Income that keeps coming in long after you complete the work that created it. This can include a monthly income from rental property, dividends from stock investments, oil, gas, a book or song royalties.

Regardless of the source - Residual income is the name of the game. The genius of the model is that it makes residual income become a real possibility for anyone, regardless of age, background, education or skills. Not everyone will own valuable real estate or write a best-selling book but ANYONE can enter direct selling.

Donald Trump ''It has proven itself to be a viable and rewarding source of income.''

Reason number 7: Community Commerce is open to everyone.

As the ultimate equal opportunity solution, it represents the present form of equality through free enterprise. In fact, that is one of the most striking features of the industry. It involves men and women from all walks of life, all ages, and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Over half of the success stories are women because this is one industry that has no glass ceiling. It doesn't discriminate wether for gender or any other reason. In fact, the top earners represents as diverse groups of successful case histories as you can imagine. Direct Sales Association in Washington says that 24% of direct sellers have a high school diploma or less, 43% are college graduates and 1 in 12 have post graduate degrees.

Success doesn't require special background or sales personality. Those who excel are not always those with the most polished sales skills. In fact, "Permission marketing" author Seth Godin said that being good at selling is largely irrelevant. ''What is relevant is offering a special element that people can get nowhere else. Great sellers offer something of real value, not the price but the way the transaction makes someone feel.''

Reason number 8: The solid ethics and values that it promotes.

Today more than before, it's not enough to earn a living anymore. People today want to make a difference while living a life with passion and purpose. More than ever before, people are hungry for a proven way to prosper through a lifestyle that contributes to the greater good of all.

Jim Collins best-selling author of "Build to last" and "good to great" said he marvels at the energy and enthusiasm of direct sellers. He suggests their professional attitudes exemplifies how the best organizations of the future might be run ''…in the spirit of partnership and freedom, not ownership and control.''

The most successful in the industry know that in this business the ONLY way you succeed, is by HELPING OTHERS succeed. That sense of satisfaction that comes from helping others succeed is one of the strongest reasons many successful direct sellers chose this profession.

Robert Kiyosaki says it's the training, education and life enhancing skills people learn in direct selling that impresses him most. ''This is the only industry that comes close to the values my rich dad taught me at an early age. Direct selling teaches you basic, critical life skills, real life training you can actually use, not the theoretical business stuff you learn at school.''

Stephen Covey used to say: ''direct selling helps affirm people's worth and potential and can open up a whole new alternative income stream that can make a huge difference in their life. It is an entrepreneurial opportunity where people can use their talent and their passion towards a greater good.''

President Clinton spoke to the same issue while in office in his address to a group of direct sellers ''you strengthen our country and our economy not just by striving for your own success but also by offering opportunity to others. You also are a part of a global movement that promotes free enterprise and awards individual's initiatives in a very real way. Direct selling promotes core values all around the globe.''

If it is so great --- why haven't we heard more about it?

Chances are good you actually have. You just may not realize it.

From the Avon lady, to the Kirby vacuum man, Mary Kay to Shaklee to Tupperware --- direct selling companies have been a part of the American fabric for 100 years. A recent survey conducted by the Direct Sellers Association found that 3 out of 4 Americans have purchased from a direct seller at least once.

In the words of Roger Barnett, a New York investment specialist who recently became owner, Chairman & CEO of a major multinational direct selling company himself, direct selling has been "the best kept secret of the business world. " But in the last few years that's all changed and the best kept secret is getting out.

According to Neil Offen, President of the DSA (Direct Selling Association): ''we are now a presence to be reckoned with. Our entrepreneurial spirit is a driving force that will bring more than 200 million people worldwide into our industry over the next decade.'' Barnett adds "In the next 10 years the industry will have more growth than in the last 50" The emerging success of direct selling has been featured extensively in such journals as Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek, Time, US News and World Report, USA Today, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Success from Home, Empowering women and your business at home Magazines.

One reason is the industry`s growth in sheer numbers. Another is the high profile business experts and Fortune 500 companies' themselves who are buying into the industries phenomenal success. In 2002 famous stock market investment expert Warren Buffett startled Wall Street when he purchased The Pampered Chef- a major direct selling company through his holding Berkshire Hathaway. Buffet now owns 3 direct selling companies and had said ''It is the best investment I have ever made.''

And Warren Buffet is not alone; other major investors have seen the future and are now eagerly buying ownership. Sir Richard Branson, one of the world's most innovated billionaires founded Virgin records and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Todays he owns Virgin Cosmetics Company. One of the leading cosmetics firms in the UK and yes it is a direct selling company.

Jones Apparel launched a direct selling company. Time Warner launched Southern Living at Home. Citicorp, ranked by Forbs as one of the world's largest companies owns Primerica, a direct seller of financial planning solutions with more than 2 billion dollars in annual US revenue.

The list is long and getting longer: The body shop, Nestle, Reader's Digest, Remington, Sara Lee, Vanity Fair and Unilever.

Douglas Lane, of Consumer Product Equities Analysis tracks direct selling closely. ''After years of scepticism the investment community is finally waking up to the viability of direct selling as a good investment opportunity. They have become true believers.''

Professor Paul Zane Pilzer forecasts 10 million new millionaires in the U.S. over the next 10 years. He predicts that many of them will be people who are getting involved in the direct selling business today.

Now you can see why for 8 compelling reasons, your success is driven by personal referrals. For the 13 million American and 57 million worldwide that are already engaged, business is absolutely booming.