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View Full Version : Any CM consults out there? Advise please


mommyceratops
03-04-2006, 06:48 PM
Hey! I am new to this part of the board. :thumbsup2

I am thinking about being a CM consultant. Anything I should know or be aware of before I do it?? :confused3

Thanks

Kim

BeccaGrace
03-04-2006, 09:25 PM
I was wondering the same thing. A CM consultant friend has been trying to recruit me for a while...and I'm slightly tempted since the start-up package is reduced to $119 this month.

Some specific questions I had (not to hijack the thread :goodvibes ):
--Do you have to know lots of people? How do you find customers if you have a relatively small social circle?
--Are there minimums you have to sell?
--Do you have to keep a lot of inventory?
--Is the start up kit the only out of pocket costs or are there hidden costs involved?

graygables
03-04-2006, 09:59 PM
I'm a former CMC, so here's my take on it. The start up package was GREAT when I signed up and I really thought it was a very good value. I have few IRL friends, so getting started is VERY hard, everyone can find something to buy in a Tupperware catalog or Pampered Chef...not so in scrapbooking. You really have to have an "audience". I've been at this on and off for 8 years, and I still don't have a customer base, so to speak.

There used to be minimums every quarter that were pretty hard to reach for a "hobbyist". My mom was my best customer. :teeth: I didn't feel like I *had* to maintain inventory, but I found that I did have to have some, just to be able to keep up with the minimum order requirements. I also felt like I was "outgrowing" CM, wanting to use different albums, wanting to wallpaper, and explore other techniqes that used to be really frowned upon by CM (and some still are). I couldn't even take any non-CM stuff to some of the crops I attended. Once I got beyond the CM style and the minimums were getting too far ahead of me, I quit. I'm now with another scrapbook company (which I LOVE) that allows for hobbyists as well as low minimums for intructors. There's a lot of levity as far as styles and products which I like. I will say, however, that I still recommend some CM tools. The personal trimmer, cutting system, and multi-purpose tool just can't be beat by anyone yet.

If your area has several CMCs, you don't have a wide "friend-base", and/or your home isn't the size where you can host things, I'd consider it carefully before jumping in. Just my 2 cents! Good luck with your decision!

scrappinmom
03-04-2006, 10:19 PM
I'll see if I can be of any help here. I've been a CMC for 10 years. At first, I really worked, did classes, crops etc. I had a kinda wide friend base to work with - I used my friends at work as a stepping stone. I became a hobbyist about 5 years ago. Since then I have made the min. without problems. (Now it's $500 every 3 months). I no longer have a "customer base" I have 5 friends & myself who use CM albums only, & only CM adhesive. So between the 5 of us (& we also scrap regularly) we meet the min. It's not a hard business to work if you are willing to work it. If you believe in the product it's even easier. BUT because of all the other scrap stuff that is now available...it will be harder to get started.

I still think the $117 is an awesome deal! Even if you only place a few orders & get your own stuff!!!

graygables
03-04-2006, 10:30 PM
Chris,
Is that $500 retail or consultant cost? I remember there being some confusion about that for me at some point. And has it gone down? For some reason, I was thinking it used to be $600/quarter?

cobbler
03-05-2006, 09:13 AM
Its 500 retail every quarter. And it doesn't have to be all in one month anymore, you can break that 500 retail over the 3 months.

Ok, I have been a CMC for almost 2 years and if you don't have a wide customer base it can be hard. I have a friends who use a variety of things and such. Even myself. I love the albums and the paper and the adhesives but that is about it. I have so outgrown stickers. I add things like eyelets, brads, some rub-ons, and scrappers floss to my albums.

Some CMC's this is very frowned upon so I don't tend to go to other CMC crops, my customers know I don't care what they use, it's their albums. In some ways CM has gotton a very bad rep from the consultants termed CM Nazi's.

Ok, so back to the friends, I used them as a stepping stone as well to get started but in my 2 years I have held 4 classes/get togethers and can't get anymore. And that was in the first few months of starting that I held these. People I have found just don't want to hold a lot of get togethers, or at least I am not finding them. My uplines don't seem to have a problem and this so baffles me. I think it really depends on the area.

I am getting to the point where if I don't step up my scrapping I won't be able to maintain the minimum because I have so much stuff.

I tried to keep inventory but I found that a lot of people just didn't expect me to have it, kind of like pampered chef and partylite, they don't really keep inventory and some of my customers were surprised that I did. Plus what I did build up I sat on for a long time and am still sitting on some items I would love to get rid of!

If you scrap regularly and your friends do as well and they like the products it shouldn't be too difficult to maintain a hobby level, which is where I decided I should be. I budget out 130 a month so I can maintain and order every 3rd month to maintain. It really is a good deal if you do scrap regularly to get your items at cost and to be able to get all the CM goodies that you have to "earn" as a customer and to attend crops and such. That is one nice thing that I can have these items when they come out without having to earn them, or buy so much and things like that.

If you have any more questions I know I and the others could help you out.

scrappinmom
03-05-2006, 09:47 AM
I agree Cobbler....what I found too is that most people already "know" how to scrap so the whole class/get together thing isn't for them. BUT I did find if I held crops in my house peopke bought more stuff. The min isn't really hard to reach. I guess it depends on why you want to be a CMC. Is it to make money? or is it to buy products for yourself?

ncmomof2
03-05-2006, 01:17 PM
I have been a CMC for two years. I have a small customer base that lets me maintain my minimums. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Think of your orders as costing about $430. That is about what it costs. Therefore you do not have to stress about getting $500 in orders, just $430 in cash. That thinking has helped me stres less about my minimums.

2. Don't worry about the 30-60-90 plan. If you get it, great! If not, don't go into debt for it! I earned the 30 and 60 day incentive and did not give the 90 a second thought.

3. When you are buying inventory, only buy things you would use if you stopped being a CMC. Keep albums, refills, PP, and tape runners. Don't keep pens, paper, tools, or stickers. CM changes things so often, you might get stuck with alot of discontinued things.

4. As a smaller business, find a good upline who can help you out. Since I don't have a large inventory, it is awesome that my upline is a UL. She has a huge inventory and orders about twice a month. So I am able to get anything my customers need when it is not my time to order.

5. Let your customers know that you plan on ordering every three months but that you can get them what they need in case of an emergency. My customers are very understanding about this! Even though you can get your $500 over three months, it is a waste of shipping costs!! The cost just went up to $18 (starting April 1st) for any orders under $800 (which is free).

I hope this helps! I say go for it!

ncmomof2
03-05-2006, 01:20 PM
One more thing! Most of my shows are at present customers homes. We have crops. The hostess lets me know before hand if any new people are coming so I am prepared for a demonstration.

mommyceratops
03-05-2006, 10:24 PM
Thanks everyone for you information!! I appreciate it.

What happens if you can't make the 3 month min sale?

mommyceratops
03-05-2006, 10:25 PM
I'm now with another scrapbook company (which I LOVE) that allows for hobbyists as well as low minimums for intructors. There's a lot of levity as far as styles and products which I like. I will say, however, that I still recommend some CM tools. The personal trimmer, cutting system, and multi-purpose tool just can't be beat by anyone yet.


GrayGables what do you sell? If you don't mind me asking.

TIA

graygables
03-05-2006, 10:49 PM
Don't mind at all...it's Leaving Prints, I'll PM you so you can see the products :teeth:

Belle0101
03-05-2006, 11:47 PM
My best piece of advice ... sign under someone that you feel comfortable with.

I'm with my 3rd CMC. The first 2 were very "you should sign on types", IMO. They really pushed hard for me to sign on with their selling point being that I could get my product at cost. I know the 2nd gal is deactivated, had tons of product that she had to sell at nearly cost. I'm pretty sure the 1st gal is deactivated by now too.

My current CMC never pushed me. She would bring up signing on at all crops / classes / workshops as an open invitation to everyone.

After a few months of getting to know her I approached her. And, I'm signing on this month! I have asked her all sorts of questions, probably some pretty stupid ones, but she has been great about answering everything.

I've asked the same questions you have presented so I'll give you the answers she gave me.

The Kit is $119 plus tax for the month of March.

What you see pictured in the catalog / flyer is subject to change. For example, I think a Ruby album is included now instead of the Sapphire album.

Each 3 months / 90 days you need to have placed an order or orders equaling $500 retail or you will be deactivated. I need to have her go over something with me on that ... she had mentioned having your order(s) equal $560 for some type of bonus.

Shipping for each order less than $800 retail is $18 per shipment.

Don't keep tons of inventory on hand. Should you have to deactivate you really don't want to have $$$ wrapped up in product collecting dust in your closet. Consumables would probably be okay - tape runners, pages - but I'd see if your Upline would be willing to make trades with you especially for non-consumable items, at least until you see if being a CMC will work for you. Mine has already said that she would. :thumbsup2

Resist giving your discount to everybody everytime. For me at least, where do you draw the line at and who do you draw it with? I'll be honest and say that I do plan on giving my best friend a discount but we're still "arguing" over the amount - she wants less of a discount than I'm planning to give her :crazy:

I haven't seen all the Business Enhancements you can buy as a CMC but they do cost so don't go overboard when you first start out.

I didn't think I had a large customer base either but once I started writing down names of every person I know - relatives, neighbors, church, parents of my children's friends - I was surprised. That's not to say they'll all be interested but maybe they'll have a friend who they can pass my name to.

I was encouraged to write a letter to everyone and let them know how excited I am and how I look forward to helping them preserve their memories ... then follow up with phone calls.

Worse case scenario - by the 90 day mark you realize it just isn't going to work ... at least you tried.

Let us know what you decide! And feel free to ask more questions ... I've got a small list going of things to ask my CMC. She's great though. I think she'd rather see someone ask questions and be informed than just jump right in and fail miserably.

ETA: I don't mean to imply that there is anything wrong with being a "hobbyist". I think that is how my 2 previous CMC saw their business and that's fine but I don't think I would have had much support from them. My point just being to sign under someone who you feel would support you whether you run your business as a hobbyist or as a career.

For example, my 2nd CMC would talk about how she got this great product from this company or that company, I totally freaked out when I saw another scrapper use Scotch Tape in her album but she just shrugged it off ... and that's fine, it was her business to do with as she saw fit but I think in the end it hurt her sales.

:wave:

scrapperjill
03-06-2006, 02:34 AM
Thanks everyone for you information!! I appreciate it.

What happens if you can't make the 3 month min sale?


Your dropped as a CMC...but are able to reinstate your self within a period of time by paying a fee (a restart fee) and making a FULL qualifying purcahse at the same time. The fee use to be $50..but it could be more by now.

Currently I'm doing CM as a hobbyist....I have a very small handfull of people that go in with me and somehow I've been able to make the min orders to remain active...but beleive me at times it's hard. I really only need to find a couple more people intrested in going in on orders every few months...then I'd be set. One great thing I've found is CM will ship the order anywhere...not just to the CMC...which for myself it has worked out great seeing that two of my friends that go in on orders are all the way on the other side of the US.

Any how...keeping an ongoing flow of orders does take work...Not only are you looking at evenings but quite often weekends. You have to be available when your hosts can hold their parties...which most of the time is evenings and weekends. Not only are you taking the time to do the shows and crops but also planning...and getting things in order.

PixieDust32
03-06-2006, 03:52 AM
What items are in the kit?

mommyceratops
03-06-2006, 07:49 AM
Wow! thanks for all the information. There is a lot to think about.

We just moved to a small town and i don't know many people here.

But I need to make some money! :confused3 to help make our Disney budget to go every year.

So here is the situation only a DIS board would understand. I got DH to buy into the DVC we live on a budget, I am a SAHM. So if I want extra spending money to spoiler my kids and me I have to come up with the money. :rolleyes1 I love disney souvinears A LOT so you can imagine why I want extra money. princess: I have looked into being CMC a couple years ago and liked it but the woman I would be my upline she rubbed me the wrong way, plus we went to the same church and school so everyone I knew already was her customer. So I decided not too. My new CMC I like a lot and she sent me the thing about the discount and I thought well I need to make some extra money..... :teacher:

Ok sorry for the babble...any input?

cobbler
03-06-2006, 11:25 AM
Honestly, if you don't have a large customer base it will probably be pretty hard for you to do it to make extra $$ for Disney.

I find that I put aside $$ every month so that way if I don't get enough orders - and I usually don't - I can come up with the rest to maintain. It's not bad because I do like to get the stuff at cost but I'm not really making any money.

npealer
03-06-2006, 11:30 AM
I think IMO as long as you don't plan on changing your "style" of scrapbooking than CM is great. I started out using their products, but like someone else said I changed what I liked to put in my books. I use lots of stamps, embellishments, fibers etc that are just not part of CM. They have great albums but I do a lot of wallpapering so there albums don't work for me. goodluck on your decision. There are so many home based businesses out there now, you will find one that is the perfect fit for you.

One thing to keep in mind, No matter what home based business you choose you have to actively work to make $. The $ will not come to you with minimal work. I have done the HBB thing and loved it, but my life changed and the business fell apart. You have to be comfortable to talk about your business to anyone and everyone whether you know them or not.

ncmomof2
03-06-2006, 12:04 PM
I would say it is not easy to make money at this. I have yet to make a dime unless you count the money I saved from not spending my families money. I have to keep evey dime I sell to keep up with my minimum orders. Obviously you can eventually earn money with a large customer base and if anyone signs under you. Just something to think about!

cobbler
03-06-2006, 01:46 PM
I would say it is not easy to make money at this. I have yet to make a dime unless you count the money I saved from not spending my families money. I have to keep evey dime I sell to keep up with my minimum orders. Obviously you can eventually earn money with a large customer base and if anyone signs under you. Just something to think about!

What I put in bold in the quote is how I feel EXACTLY. I use my profit to buy my own items and even then I still use some $$ that I put aside to maintain my minimum orders.

I don't mind because I do like getting my items at cost and using the profit to pay for what I want.

josanna
03-06-2006, 06:23 PM
I'm right there with you, ncmom and cobbler. I've been at this for a year and a half and I've yet to "make money". But, as you said I like the product, to know what is coming out and to get it at cost. Plus, I just love to get some people together for a crop. I personally have a really hard time with it, but just can't give it up because I like it! Good luck with your decision!

PaulaSue
03-08-2006, 06:32 PM
Putting on my protective suit....Has anyone joined just to get the stuff in the start up package and the discount? I am thinking it might be me ordering the first few months and stock up on stuff for me.

Everyone I know does CM but I also know 4 CMC around here so I am thinking some would order to help me out but everyone already has a regular CMC.

scrapperjill
03-09-2006, 02:02 AM
PaulaSue....Depending on who their CMC is can depend alot on if they'll come and buy from you...OR if their CMC will be Okay with it. I got started (introduced) to CM at the same time as two other friends...BUT when I signed up to be a CMC (thinking they'd start buying thier CM products from me) I was very mistaken. My upline (my CMC prior to me joining) turned...and those friends that I was sure would start buying from me....well to make it short they didn't.

The second time I signed up with CM...my new upline was wonderful...and said that yes all my friends that I had brought to her...would now be sent my direction.

And to answer you question...on does anyone join/sign up just for the discount...YES they do. BUT be aware of the amount you have to spend each quarter to remain active and keep the discount...It's not easy.

SalandJeff
03-09-2006, 12:19 PM
Graygables - sent you a PM

mommyceratops
03-09-2006, 01:12 PM
Thanks for all the input. I appreciate it.