Tastefully Simple founded in 1995 is a company based in Alexandria, Minnesota that offers a wide array of gourmet foods from appetizers, main courses, and even desserts. They also sell recipe books. They offer standard foods throughout the year, but they have seasonal menus too so that there is variety for their customers. Their goal is to provide easy to prepare dishes for those people who are busy and would like to spend more time with family or friends rather spending their time in the kitchen.
Tastefully Simple is a legitimate business that abides by high integrity standards. They are a member of the DSA which stands for the Direct Selling Association. Every member in this company pledges to abide by high integrity standards and procedures as a condition of admission into the DSA. Also, they’ve been a BBB accredited business since December of 2004 and have a BBB rating of an A+.
Starting Costs & Training
To start as a Tastefully Simple consultant, all you have to do is buy the Business Blast off Kit for $170. And if you can’t afford the $170 up front, you can make 3 payments to pay it off. The kit contains enough material for 4 taste testing parties. The kit includes party food kits, training materials, display products, food samples, training DVD videos, training audio, catalogs, and client order forms.
If the initial start up fee of $170 is too high there is another option called the Just a Taste Business Kit for $89. However, there is no payment plan for this option as you have to pay up front. This less inexpensive kit is almost the same except you get enough material for only 2 taste testing parties as opposed to the 4 taste testing parties with the Business Blast Off Kit.
An optional expense for a Tastefully Simple consultant is the web site. It costs $10.95 per month. Also, if you want your web sites to be able accept online payments; Tastefully Simple requires that you purchase a pro pay premium account. This is a credit card processor that costs $29.95 per year.
There are many ways to get trained. One is through the video and audio training received with your starter kit. Also, they have a back office where there is additional professional development. The good thing about this is that the training in their back office is self paced. You also are able to participate in conference calls with people in your position and attend webinars to ask any questions that need to be solved.
Taste testing parties are where consultants get their customers. It is considered the core of their business. These parties are held at a customer’s house. The customer invites their friends to attend these taste testing parties while the Tastefully Simple consultant will promote their products by allowing people to obviously taste the foods to see if they are interested in buying more. Also, these parties are a way for consultants to recruit potential people to join their opportunity and also a way to connect with other people to see if they’d like to host a taste testing party at a later date. So you can see how a consultant’s customers are mainly attained through word of mouth.
An example of how a taste testing party works:
1. When a customer decides to host a taste testing party, the consultant will give the client a food kit. It’s up to the customer to prepare the food kit and get any additional items at the grocery store to prepare the food for the tasting party.
2. The Tastefully Simple consultant shows up before the party starts. The consultant will bring additional samples for people to taste. Because some counties don’t allow the transportation of prepared food, it’s recommended that Tastefully Simple consultants only bring food items that can be easily opened and then consumed. The company has a list of food items that can be transported to a host party so that you are in line with the rules.
The Tastefully Simple Compensation Plan
As a Tastefully Simple consultant, you earn a 30% commission on sales. And because your food items are consumable, you will have a lot of return customers coming back to you to buy more food items or even wanting to buy or even sample additional food items from you.
When your customers want to buy additional items, Tastefully Simple provides you with a back office so that you can see your client’s order history. As a consultant you can offer recommendations of other foods based on what they’ve ordered in the past.
Like other MLM businesses each business has their naming standards for each level of consultant. For Tastefully Simple, the first level is called Consultant. The second level is called Senior Consultant and in order to be a Senior Consultant you have to recruit 1 active member to join your team. An active team member is a person that makes at least $400 in sales in a calendar quarter. You too must reach this minimum sales amount to be considered a Senior Consultant.
The third level is called a Team Leader. At this level you must have 3 active members on your team. All of them including you must also have sales of at least $400 per calendar quarter for you to maintain the Team Leader status. Once you and your team have reached these conditions you will qualify for 5% of you team’s sales.
Now there are more levels that you can get to with Tastefully Simple. All these additional levels depend on such factors as your sales performance, your team’s sales performance, and the number of active members recruited on your team.
There is no questioning the legitimacy of Tastefully Simple’s business. They offer high quality food products at reasonable prices. You can definitely succeed in this business.
In order to succeed with this MLM business, you have to be a proven leader or learn how to be a proven leader that knows how to create a high performing team. You want to be a person that is motivating. And the absolute most important thing you must have is a training system that will duplicate success. If you’ve established an effective training system that lays out exactly how to be successful, then your teammates success will translate into your success with the Tastefully Simple business.
Now if you’re a person that likes being able to taste test foods with others, socialize in a very comfortable environment, and doesn’t mind driving to people’s homes to promote your products, then I would recommend the Tastefully Simple opportunity to you. However, if you’re a person that truly wants to extend your customer base beyond your local area, learn how to leverage the power of the internet, and learn the latest smart online marketing techniques, then Tastefully Simple would not be your choice.
As you can see Tastefully Simple gets their customers primary based on word of mouth through home shows. Home shows are the core of each consultant’s business. So with this business you are restricted in your market geographically. It all depends on how far you are willing to drive to go to a tasting party and promote your business. Also, keep in the mind that the clients that you get can also be customers that will continually come back to you for more food to purchase.
I tell everyone the same thing. Before committing to the first business opportunity that comes your way, make sure you look at other options. Make sure to get the facts regarding compensation and training and don’t get caught up with the hype and all the testimonial videos. It’s best to call distributors and call the corporate offices as the people you talk to help you form an opinion of the companies ethical standards. I can tell you that I was impressed with their corporate office support in answering compensation and training questions. But don’t take my word for it. Make sure to take initiative to talk to others and ask questions as this is a very important decision for you and your family.