Legends of stay at home million dollar businesses are everywhere. They’ve been mythologized. The actual ultra-successful businesses, however, are all about practical business, talent and excellent products.
Case study- Cherry Blooms
Australian site Cherry Blooms is perhaps the definitive, market textbook approach to a home business:
- Industry: Beauty
- Product range: Extensive
- Industry reviews: All over the industry, including a very hard to get Cosmopolitan review
- Prices: Mid-range, nothing really expensive
- Purchasing: All major cards, PayPal
- Purchasing incentives: Big range with built-in, ongoing discounts
- Distribution: Stocked in 1,000 stores worldwide, widely sold online
- Promotions: Featured at Golden Globes and Oscars “swag bags”.
Put it this way- You either sell or you don’t in this market, and Cherry Blooms sells, well. Remember, this is a home business we’re talking about, not some major chain or top of the line uber-designer. The only way you get access to this kind of distribution is by delivering top quality products. This is marketing ABC in the beauty industry, and Cherry Blooms has got it all right, on a global scale, competing in the heart of the market.
If you’re getting the impression that Cherry Blooms is a very professional, well-organised operation, yes it is. The Cherry Blooms business model is also extremely practical and cost-effective:
- Virtual admin- No time wasting, nuts and bolts business operations outsourced.
- Cloud-based accounting- Super efficient, using Xero Accounting, a standardized, no-fuss invoicing and receipting process.
If you’re looking for proof of Cherry Blooms’ success, all you need to do is look at a couple of their best sellers:
Eyelash Growth Serum- This is the pickiest of picky cosmetic products. Anything to do with eyelashes is ultra-competitive. There are literally thousands of brands, and types of products, all about eyelashes. Cherry Blooms is competing in a super-tough market, and succeeding.
Value Pack- Beauty essentials, including a tote bag range, bag organizer, lip gloss (four choices), and eyelash extension mascara, moderately priced, high quality. Do people get fussy about buying things like this? Very fussy, indeed, and they care very much about what they buy. This is another super-competitive product range in which Cherry Blooms is thriving.
In the beauty industry, if you don’t sell, you’re dead. Cherry Blooms has very strong market penetration in one of the toughest, fastest-moving markets on Earth. This is an industry that kills and eats new businesses like a 5 year old eats M&Ms. Success is primarily defined by sales performance.
Success is also very much defined by who’s prepared to distribute your products in the first place. This is a basic commercial principle, applying to all types of businesses, and particularly relevant to home businesses.
I’ve worked with online retailers, and they’re extremely demanding in terms of product performance. They’re also cost experts. They expect products to move, and move in large amounts. They simply do not carry anything they can’t sell or anything that doesn’t sell. You don’t even make it on to “virtual inventory” (listing only, no stock held) unless you do.
Cherry Blooms is selling in a thousand retail ground outlets that base themselves on high turnover. These guys don’t breathe unless they make a profit on it. (Rightly so, too- Their overheads are truly carnivorous.) They also don’t carry stock that doesn’t sell, at all. If your products don’t sell, you take the losses.
The brains behind Cherry Blooms
Jellaine Ross is the person who took Cherry Blooms from a home operation into a global business. She’s also a mother of a young child, with all the time and space availability that implies, and able to run a global business as well. If that’s not efficient, what is?
Reasons for success
One of the reasons for choosing Cherry Blooms as an example is the nature of the industry. There just aren't any tougher markets. This industry is ferociously competitive, cost-driven, and consumer-based. Product manufacturers have to sell in this environment. To succeed, you have to be good at everything, from the way you do business to the way you sell your products.
Cherry Blooms succeeds through three key elements in its makeup:
- Expertise- Jellaine Ross knows her market, her products, her business associates, her business, and her industry. She’s delivering what the market wants at the right prices, proof of exceptional competence in this truly savage industry.
- Business model- Her business has grown into an extended network, using a basic business design which has evolved from the original home business model. Cherry Blooms is a decentralized network, always online, using Skype for meetings and maintaining real time communications. This is about as efficient as you can get in doing global business, and Cherry Blooms is the result.
- Quality- A single look at any Cherry Blooms product will show you that the design quality is excellent. The industry may be all about cosmetics, but there’s nothing “cosmetic” about Cherry Blooms quality control. Quality also happens to be the core issue for consumers. Beauty products buyers expect top quality, and if they don’t get it, products don’t sell.
Cherry Blooms as a model for home businesses
Cherry Blooms is a virtual roadmap of a successful home business. This home business is a combination of natural talent and good business sense. Most home businesses fail because they lack one of those two elements. Most conventional fashion and beauty businesses don’t have this level of market penetration.
Cherry Blooms started with a realistic, low-risk, low cost, home business model. The current Cherry Blooms model is essentially an evolved version of that business model. It still is, in effect, a home business!
It doesn’t matter if you design beauty products or provide consultancy services- Expertise, a good business model and good quality will define the success of your home business. Get the fundamentals right, and you will succeed.
Image sourc: theage.com.au