Starting a direct selling or small business is a lot like driving a car. You are in complete control of where you are headed and how fast—or slow—you get to your destination.

But on those days when the road gets a little bumpy and unfamiliar, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a road map to help navigate through those roadblocks that can cause your business to stall?

Well, guess what? There is.

DSEF has added another tool to its rich archive of resources to help small business owners implement innovative ideas to take their businesses to the next level: the Business Owner’s Road Map to Success, a free, downloadable ebook.

The Foundation continuously provides informative and helpful content on its blog that offers direct sellers insight on a variety of topics, from finance and ethics to sales and personal development. Those blog posts form the basis of the 53-page ebook.

“The DSEF blog posts collected in the Business Owner’s Roadmap to Success reflect the Foundation’s commitment to championing ethical entrepreneurship and standing up for consumers on behalf of the direct selling industry,” says Nancy Laichas, DSEF Director of Marketing & Communications. “This free e-book gives direct sellers—and any small business owner—actionable techniques to increase their confidence, reach their goals, deliver outstanding customer service and operate with the highest of ethics.”

Jennifer Fong, the Founder of Jen Fong Media LLC, worked with her team to create the ebook, which was made available in May through DSEF’s Facebook page.

“We looked at all of the great content that DSEF had been putting out, because there is so much that business owners can use to build their businesses,” says Fong, whose company manages DSEF’s social media presence. “We wanted to put it together in a package that would make it easy to take to the field.”

The Foundation’s goal was to help entrepreneurs, including direct sellers, learn the skills necessary to become successful small business owners, and provide seasoned veterans with techniques and ideas to help them grow their businesses. The ebook offers success tips for everything a small business owner needs to master—from business planning and ethical selling to creating a success mindset. Sections include:

  • Do What You Love
  • Business Planning
  • Targeting and Identifying Your Customers
  • Finding Prospects and Customers
  • Ethical Selling and Marketing Yourself
  • Generating Leads
  • Leading a Team
  • Success Mindset

“The response has been tremendous,” Fong says. “We’ve had a ton of people download it and people call us to tell us they love it.”

Leigh Bordelon, Field Training Specialist at Shaklee Corporation, is one of those people who found the ebook extremely helpful. Bordelon, who teaches Shaklee Independent Distributors how to market their businesses online and use back-office tools, incorporated the ebook into her training.

“I found it easy to understand and easy to implement,” says Bordelon. “My audience is, for the most part, new to any form of technology, even the computer itself. So they can use this book to take specific steps to build their businesses and reputations online.”

Coletta Haskin, a long-time Shaklee distributor, says the ebook helped her improve her leadership skills.

“I learned that, in spite of my mothering spirit (wanting to help them rather than letting them go), I may be holding them back,” says Haskin. “The ‘Leading a Team’ section reinforced what I needed to do years ago, which was to delegate the task so their reliance is not totally on me. Yes, be there for them, help them, show them, and say now it’s your turn.”

Learning to challenge her team was another tip Haskin picked up from the ebook. “I have challenged them to think outside of the box with Bold Goals and Dreams,” she says. “They might have been fearful in sharing them, but each member was made accountable for what they really wanted. When the team member accomplished their goal, the whole team would get excited.”

Haskin also liked that she could show her distributors that they don’t have to run a blog themselves, but could partner with several bloggers and write a single article every so often to drive traffic to their retail sites. “That takes a lot of pressure off of a distributor so they can continue to focus on their core income-producing activities,” she says.

“I learned for myself so many easy ideas to help distributors find even one marketing idea that ‘fits’ for them. This ebook will build confidence in our distributors because you’ve made it so easy to understand and follow,” Haskin says.

If you feel like you are spinning your wheels in regard to generating new ideas for your business, download the Business Owner’s Road Map to Success ebook today.