Entries by Mitch Ratcliffe

Distributor Retention: Accelerating Time-to-First Sale

Direct selling is challenging work, but the distributors who achieve early success do build long-term businesses, often as a sideline to a day job. The emerging gig economy presents direct selling companies a rare opportunity to claim more revenue across markets traditionally dominated by retail. As workers become more mobile, many are opting to mix […]

Onboarding: Turning Training Into First Sales

Direct-selling organizations have some advantages over traditional sales organizations during employee onboarding. Instead of being locked into a Human Resources-defined schedule, direct-sellers start people off in the field with experienced sponsors who collaborate daily. They can start to deliver training in many geographic locations every day. Each direct-selling advantage also comes at a cost, especially […]

Can you train contractors without becoming a legal employer?

The gig economy is a powerful force in commodity service markets, such as driving or “ride sharing.” More sophisticated services that require training, which courts have repeatedly ruled put companies in the legal position of employer, creating liability and increasing costs, especially legal costs, will reshape the development of business tools. The evolution of software […]

Food Delivery, Part 3: Restaurant Evolution

Prepared food delivered to the home from local chefs and restaurants is the most significant area of investment and activity in food delivery based on capital raised to date. The notion that prepared meals delivered to the diner will supplant home-cooked meals, as well as the need to shop for ingredients, as logistics matures is […]

Lyft Embraces Consumer Subscriptions

Lyft is reportedly testing consumer subscriptions for rides in several price ranges designed to get people to skip using a personal car. Trips included in the subscription must be for distances that cost less than $15 for non-subscribers, according to Mashable. You can check how far you can get for $15 using the Lyft Fare […]

On-demand in small business: Four ideas for growth

Where is your place in the on-demand economy? Many workers and small businesses, including retailers, see the encroachment of Amazon, WalMart, and myriad other services as destructive. Yet media-enabled global brands are consistently challenged when engaging home- and office-based customers. The future of your business, whether a physical location or as an independent contractor, depends […]

MIT Paper Suggests the Gig Economy Is An Illusion

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research has released a paper that purportedly blows a hole in the ship of the gig economy. The findings are already much contested, and I’ll lay out in this posting where more research is needed, the flaws in the paper’s methodology, and the policy […]

Giggers should think twice before jumping in

Think creating consumers, not just saving on labor costs CNBC explores the “greased slide” created by the new tax law, which encourages independent workers to embrace freelance work. Now that small businesses run by individuals can “pass-through” 20 percent of revenue untaxed to the business owner, it appears to be a great time to become a […]