1. What is a sustainable independent sales company?
Many small companies have terrific green products that are eco-friendly, socially responsible, fun, innovative, interesting, and inspiring. Many of these same companies are started by people who are innovators, who are passionate about the environment, have some design experience, and have some sense of what a customer wants….but don’t enjoy doing sales. Without sales, their companies flounder or unfortunately fail, no matter how interesting, fun and eco-friendly their product. There are other companies that do shows and expos and are terrific at organizing the event, but not very strong at selling sponsorships and booths at the event.
That’s where you come in. Your company does sales. You establish the right vendor relationships, connect through the right distribution channels, and meet all the right people. You manage accounts for these small companies, and you both win. You win because you make a living selling amazing, green products. They win because they stay in business, and get to focus on the parts of the business they truly love, like design, manufacturing, public relations, etc.
2. What required knowledge or skills are necessary?
There are no formal educational or training requirements for this job. However, the work of a great salesperson includes being able to be well-organized, a good ‘people person’, and providing outstanding service to your customers. You’ll need to know how to make your money stretch in the lean months while you are getting started and building your customer and client base. To protect yourself, because much of your efforts will be up-front, without payment from your clients, you’ll also want to know how to negotiate written agreements with these companies you are representing.
3. How much money is required to start?
$ (on a scale of $ to $$$$$)
4. What is the income potential?
$$$$ (on a scale of $ to $$$$$)
5. What is the best location for a sustainable independent sales company?
The location you begin your business is not very important, since most of your work will be done by ‘pounding the pavement’ (‘sales-speak’ for hustling and getting the product you represent out in front of the people who can buy it).
6. The best questions to ask yourself to find out if this business is right for you (if you can answer yes to these, this business might be for you):
Are you an extrovert (do you enjoy meeting new people, do you have a good memory for people’s names, faces, etc.)?
Do you feel you are a good communicator, both verbally and in writing?
Do you have a solid knowledge base in sustainability so that you can answer any questions that might come up?
If you are working on a commission basis, can you support yourself for 12 to 18 months from savings while you grow your business?
Interested in starting one in your community? Where do you begin? What permits do you need? Who is your target customer? How do you find them? What is the best use of your limited advertising dollars? What’s the best way to attract a great employee or volunteer? What does an average day look like? What strategic tips do veteran eco-entrepreneurs suggest for startups like you?
There’s a lot to think about. Rest easy. Our mission is to help you succeed, so drop us a line (Info@GreenBusinessVillage.com). We’ll get you a business planning document to get you on your way for ONLY $199! We also guarantee our work, so if you are not satisfied, you get your money back!*
Take a look at a sample table of contents and a few sample excerpts from similar plans here. In essence, we’ll provide you the What, When, Where, and How…you provide the Who!
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