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Pumpkins, cashews and business acumen

You can have a lot of fun with pumpkins – this week especially.  Clean one out, carve a funny face into it and set a candle inside and voila!  you have a jack-o-lantern for HalloweenBe sure to keep the seeds…clean them, lightly salt them and bake them in a 200 degree oven for awhile until they’re dry…great snack.  Doesn’t take a lot of astuteness to make and appreciate a jack-o-lantern.

Cashews are good eating.   The “nut” itself grows at the tip of the cashew apple, a delicate fruit enjoyed in its native habitat along the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil.  Were you to grow the cashew, you’d need keeness and perception because harvesting and processing the cashew nut for market means knowing something about this food: you never find them in the shell at the market because inside the shell is a caustic resin that is not consummable.  That resin is actually used as an ingredient in some varnishes and insecticides. 

Acumen.  A very interesting word.  It means keeness and depth of perception; astuteness; the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions.

You don’t necessarily need a lot of acumen to pick a pumpkin and carve a jack-o-lantern.  You do need a high degree of acumen to be a grower and producer of cashew nuts for market.

What is your business acumen?  In your own business do you have a high degree of perception about your market niche?  About your product?  Your customers?  Your competition?  Are you astute and knowledgeable?  Is your knowledge base of your industry, company, product and marketplace big and deep enough that you can make good judgements and quick decisions when presented with opportunities ?

My business is a direct selling or network marketing business.  I’m constantly trying to “up” my business acumen.  What do I know about this industry right now?  I know that direct selling is a rapidly growing industry. U.S. sales totaled $32.18 billion in 2006, up from $26.7 billion just five years earlier, with more than 74 percent of the American public having purchased goods or services through direct selling. Worldwide sales are also strong with more than $109 billion in sales. [From Direct Selling Association]

I know that network marketing is a business distributrion model that allows a parent multi-level marketing company to market their products directly to consumers by means of a relationship referral…direct marketing.  In other words, the only way you the customer can get This Product is from me directly, the independent distributor.  This Product is not available at a retail store outlet. 

I know that Independent Distributors develop their businesses by building an active retail customer base and by sponsoring a downline of Independent Distributors who also build a retail customer base and who also sponsor a downline of Independent Distributors and so on.

I know that Independent Distributors earn commissions based on their personal retail sales and commissions based on the overall sales of product of those Independent Distributors in their downline.  There are also various bonuses paid for differing combinations of sales efforts.

One of the things I know about my product is that it is perfect for its market niche, and that particular market niche is huge and growing.  My product is consummable making it a perfect retail product.  My company suits me personally because there is only one product: juice.  I know that the network marketing business model is perfect for me because it meets my desire for a home-based business that has residual income growth potential.

I can make quick decisions when presented with opportunities because I know my product, my business and the marketplace well.  I also know my customer and how to reach them.

What is your business acumen?

photo taken at Disneyland

photo taken at Disneyland

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