Memorial Day, The Gulf Coast Leisure Life, & MLM's!
Monday is Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day set aside to remember everyone who died serving our country. Please take a moment to reflect on all of the men and women that selflessly gave their lives for our freedom.
Memorial Day Closures: The Joint Chiropractic, Mobile Marble Company, Apollo's Paws and AlaCoast Insurance Agency will be closed on Monday.
The Gulf Coast Leisure Life
One of the perks of living in South Alabama is the proximity to some wonderful beaches, quaint small towns and luscious outdoor parks. After a week's worth of rain, our yards are bursting with color. I imagine many landscapers will be working over the holiday weekend since it is supposed to be wonderful weather.
Last week, I was in Fairhope, one of my favorite small towns in Baldwin County. After enjoying a wonderful happy hour at Tamara's Downtown, I stopped into Provision to check out the live entertainment. If you have never been in this spacious establishment, I encourage you to visit. It has a wonderful bakery and coffee area, a wine bar and rows of interesting things for sale. You'll find wonderful wines, unique kitchen items and everything you need to make a charcuterie board for your next gathering (including a new board). It is a modern market with a relaxing vibe. It is located at 100 N Section Street just a few doors down from Tamara's. It is open Monday thru Saturday.
Every once in awhile I crave a great pizza and Portabella's in Foley, Alabama never lets me down. I stumbled upon this eatery after a local suggested I give it a whirl. After "trying" it at least six times, I can say with confidence it is great! The fact that you leave with a "to-go" box is an added benefit!
Be prepared to wait for a table, since it only seats a small number of folks. There are plenty of Italian dishes on the menu including their very own Tiramisu. My husband opted for the Lion Pizza that is loaded with meats. I had the Florentine; a white sauce pizza with spinach & chicken...it was delicious!
Portabella's Restaurant is located on South McKenzie in Foley. Check out their Facebook page by clicking here. They will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday.
It is "Nappies" time along the Alabama Gulf Coast. Be sure to visit www.votenappies.com by the 29th and cast your vote for all of your favorites. I suggest you vote for Triple T Farm for Wedding Venues and Apollo's Paws for best groomer! Both of these businesses have been boss partners for several years and I highly recommend them!
The Pros and Cons of MLMs for First-Timers
You’ve probably had a friend or relative lunge at you with one of these offers: Sell products and gradually get others to sell, too. Then, before you know it, you’ll be getting a cut of their commissions. Multilevel marketing (MLM) businesses have become fabled as dead-end losses, if not outright pyramidal rip-offs.
Is that a bad rap?
But some people have actually done well in MLMs...especially women (a lot of them stay-at-home mothers).
How did they do it? By knowing exactly what they were getting into and being realistic about the opportunity.
Nothing’s for everybody
Recent research shows that more than one in 10 American adults has participated in an MLM – and that nearly 60% quit soon after starting. Yet, a third of Americans have also purchased products or services from one of these companies, and only a small percentage of those folks report being dissatisfied.
People are selling what seems to be a good product, yet they still bail. Why?
Basically, distributors recruit workers like you to sell to family, friends or communities, or others, sometimes historically through get-togethers and more recently using social media. In addition to face-to-face selling, you also often have to recruit junior sellers (aka your “downline”) so you’ll earn commissions on their sales.
Surveys found that only one in four people make money.
Triangle of trouble?
Some folks join these companies hoping to save money on products they’d buy anyway or even make extra cash selling goods they enjoy and believe in. But most who sign on to legitimate MLMs make little – and sometimes lose a lot.
The feds take a dim view of the downline structure of some MLMs. “Scams,” the Federal Trade Commission warns. “They can look remarkably like legitimate MLM business opportunities and often sell actual products, maybe even ones you’ve heard of. But if you become a distributor for a pyramid scheme, it can cost you and your recruits … a lot of time and money.”
The problem, the FTC adds, is that your income would be based mostly on how many people you recruit, not how much product you sell. Often, you’ll be encouraged – even required – to shell out for a certain amount of product regularly, even if you already have more inventory than you can use or sell.
So, how come MLMs work out for some?
These businesses do have good points, and the people who excel in them have the right personality – doggedness and a passion, not just an interest, for sales. More importantly, most do their homework before signing up.
MLMs are an opportunity for entrepreneurs with the right mindset: easy and cheap to start, with a cost-effective way to reach many potential customers. For the bosses, there are no fixed salaries or benefits to pay. It’d be hard to find a more flexible schedule, and multiple layers of participants (in the right program) means mentorship can be easy to tap (resistance to helping a newcomer can be a sign of a bad MLM).
Do you want to sell? Does selling make you feel better than any other job? Got a solid sales plan – who’s going to buy this product from you? What are your goals for income? Can you risk the time and money?
Then come the questions for the MLM people. Search them online and in the news and seek out their distributors. What do they say? Does everybody make just a few too many claims about “big money?” What about the product supposedly at the center of all this sales hubbub: Is it any good?
Direct questions for whoever tries to sign you up:
How long have you been in the MLM, and how much did you make last year after expenses?
Have you borrowed money or used your credit card to fund your business?
Do you need to have recruits to make money? How many people have you recruited – and how many of them have left the business?
How much inventory did you buy from the MLM last year? Did you sell all of it?
Understand all the costs and ask about refunds. Study the paperwork and have someone help you study it. Until you sign anything, the fine print is your best friend.
No talk about a new business is complete without taxes. In an MLM, you’re an independent contractor, which means you’ll have to pony up estimated tax payments every quarter.
It also means you potentially be able to take certain business deductions such as home office, travel, supplies, and other areas. Be warned: This is not an “open sesame” to tax breaks – there are several catches (recordkeeping’s intense, for one). Sit down with us to discuss this in detail.
And sit down with yourself for a deep discussion before you join an MLM. They can work – if you’re genuinely a good fit for one.
Richard A. Lindsey, CPA
Your Small Business Tax Expert
Author of Fairness or Folly, Crazy Little Shorts for These Taxing Times, and
Co-author of the Best-Seller, Breaking the Tax Code
Lindsey & Waldo, LLC
"You see the numbers, we look for the opportunities"
Healthcare Resource Center Mobile with Jessica Zoltek
Are you turning 65 soon? Do you know about Medicare supplemental insurance options? Jessica Zoltek with Healthcare Resource Center works with every insurance provider licensed in the state of Alabama. She would like to meet with you and show you all of your options. She takes the time to review everything available and will guide you to the best coverage solutions. Click here to visit her website.
If you are ready to schedule an appointment simply give her a call at 251-751-5434. Jessica is your source for Health, Medicare, Life & Hospital Indemnity plans. For those of you wanting to review your present coverage, she will be happy to go over your options during open enrollment beginning in October of 2022.
This has been a challenging week filled with sadness and disbelief. Remind yourself that there is no stronger power than love. Take time to love yourself, your family, your friends, your community and your world this week. ~ Charlsie