Building a home-based business is a worthwhile endeavor, but getting started is tough.
This is why many people join an existing business system like Kaeser and Blair. They are tapping into a proven model. Like any business opportunity, however, it’s important to do your homework before jumping in.
In this review, I’ll show you what to expect if you decide to become a distributor.
Kaeser & Blair Review
The company launched back in 1894 as the Cincinnati Printing and Paper Products Co. It wasn’t until 1923 that Dutch Kaeser and Bill Blair purchased this company, that it became known as Kaeser and Blair Inc.
Both founders have since passed, but the company was handed down three generations of the Kaeser family lineage. Today, the CEO is Kurt Kaeser who works alongside his sister, Christy Kaeser, the managing director.
The company sells a range of promotional products through its network of distributors in the United States. Promotional products, or advertising specialties, are products businesses use to promote their brand.
If you’ve ever received a free pen or mug for free from a business branded with their logo, that’s a promo product. The key concept is that businesses use these products for promotional purposes of some kind. Done correctly, this can help businesses generate more repeat business and acquire new customers.
The Kaeser & Blair Business Opportunity
Your job as a K&W dealer is first and foremost to generate leads and close sales.
Almost every business can benefit from using these products in one way or another, and there are many types of promotional products. Meaning, there are many opportunities to profit.
You could go out and start door-knocking or cold calling every business in your area, but there are better ways.
For example, some choose to specialize in a particular type of business, industry, or product type. This way they can tailor their product samples and sales pitch to suit. While others focus on a particular marketing strategy such as attending industry events or some form of online marketing.
In any case, this is a big part of what you will be doing so it’s important to think this through.
Once you have leads, you need to meet with the owner/ manager of that business and attempt to close the sale. This primarily involves presenting the catalog/s, explaining the benefits, and taking their orders.
Assuming you made the sale, you simply submit this order to K&W who processes everything from that point forward. More importantly, you get paid a commission for doing this which I explain in more detail below.
It is also your job to follow up with your customers if you want to maximize repeat sales.
There are three ways to get started with this company.
Trial Launch Package (free): This appears to be some introductory information and guidance on how to get started. You submit the application and the pack is sent to your address, free of charge. This is not really enough to get you started, but it’s a nice way to learn more before committing to anything.
Standard Business Owner Package ($85): This is the basic way to start and qualify as a K&W business owner. It comes with training, catalogs, and samples to help you get rolling.
Premium Business Owner Package ($299): This gives you all of the above, except you also get a replicated dealer website along with additional samples and catalogs. They also give you 1000 business cards and pens to brand your new business. There is an ongoing yearly fee of $200 to maintain this site. The replicated website is a must because you want to give your customers the option to order online.
Also worth noting, they will refund the cost of either of the above packs once you’ve made $1,500 in sales or if you decide to cancel within 30 days. That’s pretty cool.
Quick Note About Catalogs
The same products for the same prices are sold on your replicated website and through the digital and physical Best Buys Catalog.
For your comparison:
- Distributor replicated website example (http://greenepromos.com)
- Best Buys Catalog (http://kaeserbestbuys.com)
Aside from being something worth knowing, it appears as though distributors are responsible for purchasing these catalogs.
With the basic $85 membership you only get 1 such catalog, whereas with the $299 membership you get 50. They don’t disclose how much these cost, but they could be integral to building your business.
Some of your prospects will happily scroll through the online version, but some may want you to leave the physical catalog with them.
My point is that it’s worth asking how much these cost as it could soon add up if you’re handing out hundreds of these. Not to mention, a lot of time running around getting them back from businesses that don’t buy.
Ways To Earn Commissions
Once you purchase a starter package, you are qualified to earn commissions. There are no monthly sales quotas and there are no ongoing fees to maintain your business.
However, in order to be known as ‘active’ you must be making product sales to businesses in any given 90-day period. This only matters if you want to make money from the dealer overrides explained below.
This is the bread and butter of the business opportunity.
Distributors earn 50% commissions on the gross profit of each order placed through them. Gross profit is just the margin on top of the actual cost of the products, and you can set your profit margins from what I can see.
For example: imagine you sold 100 ‘promo widgets’ to your hairdresser with a wholesale price of $2 each, or $200 total. You put a 250% markup on this and sell them for $7 apiece, or $700 total. Thus, the gross profit on this order is $500 and you get paid 50% of this, or $250.
It’s a simple model, the profit potential is good, and the terms are fair and flexible.
Distributors that generate over $50,000 in annual sales revenue qualify to start earning 65% of the gross profit from sales.
Business Owner Referral Program
The Business Owner Referral Program allows you to earn commissions without actually making sales yourself.
The idea is to refer other dealers/ distributors to do what you are doing and earn a 20% commission on whatever they earn each month.
You can refer as many dealers as you want, and grow a passive income this way over time. This is not multi-level marketing, since you only earn on the dealers you personally refer.
There are no ‘levels’ as with an MLM company and there are no products to purchase in order to stay qualified. More importantly, the profits are based on the sale of genuine products to genuine customers.
This is a legitimate direct sales company.
There are various monthly and yearly bonuses on offer depending on the performance of the distributor. There is also an annual convention where dealers are invited to learn and network, and where top performers are given awards.
Training and Support
There appears to be a good amount of training and support included for reps via the Kaeser University portal.
According to the company website, there are over 60 presentations and courses given to distributors. These are designed to help you start and grow your business successfully and are presented by David Blaise who is a leader in direct selling.
I watched one of David’s YouTube videos and he does offer some useful tips, so there could be some real value in this.
In terms of support, the company offers distributors access to support reps over the phone for the basics, and a regional manager for help in other areas. One you reach the $100k annual revenue mark, you can join the ‘Century Club Support’ program which is a more specialized level of support top performers.
For anyone interested in starting a business selling promo products, this is worth considering.
The great part about this business is that you are joining a proven business system. Rather than trying to figure it all out on your own. Product sourcing, order fulfillment, and shipping are taken care of, and since the company has been around for over a century, it must be doing something right.
Essentially, your biggest task is acquiring new customers and maintaining the ones you have. Get this right, and you will make money.
However, just because it’s a business you can ‘plug into’ doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy ride. Not at all. There’s a considerable amount of time involved in developing good sales skills. So it will take time to build your income just like any other business.
From what I’ve seen though, Kaeser & Blair operate in an ethical and transparent manner. They provide dealers with the tools and training you need for the most part, and the right person can do this. If direct sales is your thing, this could an opportunity worth considering.