Is there a better way survey results


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Is there a better way survey results

  1. 1. Is There A Better Way? 2 0 1 3 R E S U L T S
  2. 2. Is There A Better Way? In April 2013 we issued a survey entitled ‘Is There a Better Way?’ We asked four different questions that we hoped would reveal ‘a better way’ to find good quality distributors to represent our new energy saving product line. The number of responses we received was overwhelming. But perhaps even more unexpected was the willingness of respondents to spend their valuable time contributing detailed, constructive and insightful comments on how we might improve our offering. We want to thank all who responded for your valuable feedback. We’ve done our best to listen and respond to your suggestions by significantly revising our distributor opportunity, which you can read about in detail in our new Prospectus: files/7qqfcw. We believe our new approach will be better for Enigin, better for you and most importantly better for our customers. The results of the survey are presented below, along with a brief summary of how we have responded to this feedback. We have also included a small selection of comments from respondents: 1. Do you think requiring a License Fee is the best strategy for finding good quality distributors? We received the following feedback: Is There A Better Way? > Knowledge Base No Yes84% 16% Enigin Response: We will no longer charge a license fee to become a distributor of our products. It is interesting to note that most respondents agreed that a form of commitment is appropriate, but believed it should be based on products not fees. What’s more, it seems many view fees with suspicion, which sadly detracts from our core goal to make great products that save energy for our customers. For more details on our new approach, download our Prospectus here:
  3. 3. Nizam: First of all let me congratulate you for the good move and decision you made to review your strategy. I really believe that the high licence fee was a big barrier to real success. I think you have done what was right for your company at the time you started the business. Now things has changed. You should have different options tailor-made according to the business plan of the new applicant. Bile: Many energy professionals are qualified to promote and sell Enigin products but distributors fee has been a hindrance. Pascal: I think requiring a License Fee is good for the simple reason that Enigin Plc. has to cover its high investments. Peter: I have found when selling franchise licences, in the past, the person looks for everything done for them will little effort on their part and constant complaint. Would not a probation period be more suitable then perhaps implement a licence fee for the successful Traders to carry on. Tony: A quality distributor is not always the one with the most money in his pocket. You cannot always buy your way. Trini: Upfront fees are a bit of a turn off. I was so impressed with your products and the solution as a whole, but when it came to paying cash in order for us to continue with the relationship I had my second thoughts. Timothy: Requiring an upfront fee under the pretext of eliminating “unsuitable” candidates is both illogical and self-defeating. Candidates should not be viewed as a customer but rather as a partner. Is There A Better Way? > Knowledge Base Dennis: I would rather spend 100,000 dollars to develop my clients than a franchise fee upfront. Jose: I fully agree with the requirement of a License Fee. It is fair enough to charge a down payment but I suggest you to review its initial value (to a lower amount) and link subsequent payments to the development of sound and effective relationship and evidence of progress of the Distributor. Eric: I was interested in the Enigin product but the Licensing Fee was prohibitive in many respects. I believe the key for Enigin is to find partners/distributors who believe in the product and provide the necessary means by which these “champions” can profit from bringing it to market We invited you to make your own comments. Here is a selection:
  4. 4. 2. If there was no License Fee, what do you think would be a fair minimum requirement for product purchases in the first year of a distribution agreement? We received the following feedback: Roberto: My opinion is that you could have 2 or 3 partner programs with different discounts based on the amount/quantity purchased by the partner. Cole: Implementing a minimum purchase amount will weed out “tire kickers”. If someone is willing to risk capital to purchase product, they believe in their abilities to thrive and be successful and are committed to the business. However, an arbitrary “privilege fee” smacks of “scam”. Wayne: Any upfront license fee puts additional cash flow pressure on a new distributor. It would be better to set a minimum stock purchase for year 1, 2 and 3 and suggest the minimum cash- on-hand required to support a new business. New businesses often fail because entrepreneurs underestimate the cash flow requirements to support a new growing business. David: There’s a cost to everything! So YES, I believe that Enigin should place a value on the products/services offered to new entrants...and yes entrants must be in a position (financially) to meet these demands. What you may consider is to tier your entrance packages. Chia: I think it is important to have some form of commitment and security to be a licensee for Enigin, However, I would also like to emphasize that it is important for there to be an amicable negotiations on the quantum required for the security and commitment. Bob: My answer would be to ask over two years in which case it would be most likely 80K year one due to training and learning the “trade”. Then probably a minimum of 150K year 2 and over 250K beyond. We invited you to make your own comments. Here is a selection: Is There A Better Way? > Knowledge Base GBP £15,000 GBP £20,000 GBP £40,000 GBP £80,000 GBP £150,000 GBP £250,000 59%19% 13% 6% 2% 1% Enigin Response: We will now offer three Distributor entry levels. Many respondents made the point that ‘one-size doesn’t fit all’ so our three options will carry a different initial commitment to product and a different discount structure. The initial commitment to product will start at £12,000 and discounts will range from 30-80% off MRSP. Many individuals stressed the need for flexibility because of the variances across different territories so a Distributor will be able to choose their mix of products and negotiate ongoing targets based on their location and circumstances. For more details on the three levels, download our Prospectus here:
  5. 5. Pete: Distributor fee’s help keep the business name you have built stable, recognizable and in your control so asking for these fee’s in the manor you have done is not a bad strategy - but remember Americans usually want something for nothing which leads to 90 percent of your prospective individual distributors worthless. I am unsure of your margin base but I would thing a minimum of 80k GBP would have to be a base line for it to be of value to you and the distributor. Vaughan: There needs to be some agreed target that needs to be hit to keep a territory etc. I believe the carrot is better than the whip... but the shadow of the whip does also make for a very strong carrot! Asraf: Let them try for a year. If they don’t get the minimum sales offer them training or terminate their contract Jose: People like myself who make this their career and who have left other opportunities because of our strong belief in the energy saving industry are the people who in my opinion are worth more than an initial License Fee. I know spending $40,000 in Enigin is worth it, but maybe it should be allocated more towards product, training, and support so that the new distributor can also have money left to spend on marketing, hiring staff, training of staff etc. Is There A Better Way? > Knowledge Base
  6. 6. 3. Is it appropriate to ask for evidence of a potential distributor’s financial status, aptitude, resources and proven business experience before entering into a long-term agreement? We received the following feedback: We invited you to make your own comments. Here is a selection: Paul: When entering into a professional relationship, some due diligence is necessary, at least for reputational risk purposes, so asking for evidence of a distributors ability to sell and service clients is appropriate, however one size does not necessarily fit all, especially in new markets. Roger: It would be wise if Enigin PLC will give a 6 month probation period during which it can assess if the Distributor can deliver desired results before giving the License which can be renewed after every two years of satisfactory performance. Josip: It is appropriate to know who you are dealing with. Vaughn: I believe that your filtering system should be able to weed out those that have no aptitude for the business. Obviously there is no guarantee, but your filtering out process should not be so burdensome that it puts off those that would likely be fantastic distributors. Vlatko: Way should I tell You My financial status did I know Your financial status? Is There A Better Way? > Knowledge Base Yes No68% 32% Enigin Response: We will be introducing a more stringent application process, but there will still be opportunities for start-ups. Many respondents rightly suggested that successful Distributors provide a good template of what to look for in a suitable candidate. Clean-tech and business-to-business experience features prominently among our successful partners, so this will be placed higher on our criteria. However, there was an opinion split regarding high-risk candidates. Perhaps, we should have used the phrase ‘higher-risk’ candidates. We agree with many of you that ‘high-risk’ candidates should not be considered. However, as many others of you pointed out, we all need to start somewhere. If a candidate can demonstrate a strong mix of skills, desire and professionalism we agree they should be considered even if this will be their first business. For more details on our new approach download our Prospectus here:
  7. 7. Jerry: It is appropriate to ask evidence of business track records, but it should not be a requirement. Some people are starters and others have made mistakes in their previous business conducts. Now they return with aim to success and to have learned from the previous mistakes. Rodrigo: Asking for financial or business experience evidence is not really truthful of what someone is really capable of doing. Joseph: Yes, it is absolutely appropriate to ask and know these evidences including one’s attitude, reliability and availability to market the products. Rui: Any business has risks, and with crisis in the Economy they are even higher. So, in my view sharing the risk with the candidates is the key, and that means lowering the fees...and maybe, research a little more about candidates, ask for credible and validatable referrals, place specific goals and targets for them to do in a reasonable timeframe, and thus do your own evaluation of the candidate over time. That’s what I’m doing with my clients and with good results. Raja: I think that the selection criteria should focus on the capability and skills of intending distributor. However financial soundness should also be ascertained. Volume incentives based on a formulae linked to the minimum product annual sales should be given. Raimundo: Are you involved in education? If no, just discard those in hi-risk. I would rather develop a scoring system, based on the information you have about your current distributors, identify those characteristics that are common to successful or “good” distributors, those that are common to failure or “bad “distributors, and go for that information when you have a new applicant. With this you are going to create a base of distributors that perform according to what you define is “good”. This is a statistical modelling that maybe could work for you. Is There A Better Way? > Knowledge Base
  8. 8. 4. If the request for evidence reveals the applicant to be a high-risk candidate with a limited business track record, what would be an appropriate charge for the extensive additional training, support and infrastructure that would be required to help mitigate the high chance of failure? We received the following feedback: We invited you to make your own comments. Here is a selection: Alex: If you think a candidate is high-risk or with limited business track record you should discard this candidate right off the bat, it doesn’t make any sense to charge for extra training. You will be polishing an old beat up VW beetle. It would be a much better investment of your time to just wash a Ferrari. Sanjeeve: Everyone has great potential. There is no high risk candidate. There is only failure of adapting and understanding that candidate’s capacities and help him/her perform better. It’s all in individualized training. George: The answer to the last question will depend on how experienced the entrepreneur is in this industry. Someone with little business experience (but with available capital and willingness to learn) will need more training and support = higher fees. In my opinion, a £15K licence fee + initial & ongoing training fees would be an ideal solution. Caroline: Charge may have to vary and be targeted to the level of training needed. Is There A Better Way? > Knowledge Base GBP £3,000 GBP £5,000 GBP £10,000 GBP £20,000 66% 19% 9% 6% Enigin Response: Higher-risk candidates that meet our revised criteria will be required to enrol in our MINDSHARE start-up training and support programme. We agree with many of you that training and support should be provided free of charge, and it will be. However, many respondents agreed that ‘extra’ training and support for what we will now refer to as higher-risk candidates should be charged on the basis of how much support is required/given. Unlike existing business owners, start-ups have zero momentum and typically require more fundamental business training i.e. financial planning, setting up a website, marketing the business, refining a business model etc. We have created a programme for that very purpose, MINDSHARE. While it will be optional for existing business owners, for start-ups it will be mandatory (though minimum sales will be waived for six months). We believe MINDSHARE will give that new business owner everything they need to get to profitable trading in the shortest possible time. The basic MINDSHARE training and support package will cost £3750 and includes 10 critical components. You can examine the programme in detail by downloading our Prospectus here:
  9. 9. Antonio: Great questions! High-risk candidate could be a huge challenge. It needs to be addressed on case-by-case basis. Daniel: If too high risk, don’t recruit. If they have gaps in their experience/skills, then agree up front the specific additional support required and charge them the real cost of this. The amount charged should vary depending on how much support is required. I imagine it could easily be at the top end of the scale above. John: High-risk candidates create high-risk problems and damage the brand. If there is a perceived chance of failure, why go down that road and waste time that could be spent with more productive clients. Kenneth: If the applicant is a high-risk candidate, then the process should not proceed. Gerard: The extent of the cost would really be directly related to the extent of training etc. that would be required for the particular individual. Barry: I personally would reject a high risk candidate with a limited business track record. If the vision and experience is lacking at the outset, I believe that training, support etc is not likely to bring about a successful outcome. Victor: Honestly I disagree that the only distributor that can succeed is the one that has business experience! Its good but what about new entrants to the business? There is always the first time. They too should be given the opportunity to prove themselves. George D: I think it is better to negotiate it case by case based on specifics. Diana: I think entering into a high-risk candidate proposition is management discretion depending also on the background of the potential candidate. Is There A Better Way? > Knowledge Base
  10. 10. Other things we are changing thanks to your feedback: Sample Packs Enigin Response: Interested parties will now be able to purchase a sample pack of products in advance of making an application to become a distributor. We invited you to make your own comments. Here is a selection: Enrique: Proving a product like yours is the key to successful selling. In such case, I would start first with demo unit before ordering any requirements. Lincoln: Your above questions put all the emphasis on the distributor and you do not seem to be putting anything on yourself. One of my biggest concerns when I tried in the past to work with you, was getting equipment form you to do my own field testing. I am not willing to risk selling anything to my customers that I am not sure is going to perform as specified, as I run the risk of destroying my present business and losing my customers. You refused to let me have at any cost products that would allow me to do field testing. One then asks the following question; if you have nothing to hide, then why don’t you allow me to do my own independent field testing? Shitalkumar: There should be NO license fee. In the initial stages, ask interested party to purchase sample piece. Make the survey in the local market, see the live and practical results of the product. Once party is satisfied, then definitely ask for License Fee. Total Distributor agreement should be in some steps so that it should be win-win for both that is you and interested party. Imad: All we need is samples for your products plus the certificates of performance to set a presentation and experiments to the government’s organizations to get approval for this issue Felipe: We already did some installations of your products and we name it as a great technology in doing energy saving business. Hassett: Every effort should be made to encourage facilitate support a monitored pilot project after which informed decisions could be made based on empirical data Is There A Better Way? > Knowledge Base
  11. 11. Affiliate Opportunity Enigin Response: We will shortly be releasing a new affiliate program, which will provide interested parties with a very low cost method of entering this rapidly expanding and highly rewarding sector. We invited you to make your own comments. Here is a selection: Arman: You have a superb product but the requirements for a distributor is so high and risky on the part of a potential distributor. The criteria that were imposed by the company were also valid for security purposes. Therefore, I would recommend that the criteria would not be changed. Instead, open a position for Sales Representative that would sell the product and scout a potential Distributor in every country. Nestor: To exponentially increase your market reach, thus increase sales, you would need to tap into the talents of entrepreneurs who are starting up. Some will succeed others will fail. For those that shows promise you can opt to increase support to boost performance. A reseller network under a distributor umbrella could be helpful. Patrick: There’s a lot to be said for people who have great contacts and possibilities, yet, little financial freedom to invest in something that they believe in. As I realize the potential, and have many contacts through my business dealings, any other form of opportunity to embark on what seems to be a solid idea would be more than welcome. Eric: I think ENIGIN should put in place mechanisms, which will ensure that all potential distributors who do not have extensive business track record but who are willing to do business the ENIGIN way are not left out. Fredrick: you should also consider individual salesmen or agents who do not have the required finances to start up business but are capable of reaching out to potential customers on a one on one basis and persuade them to purchase your products. Keith: How about using someone on a self employed commission only basis for an initial period, say six months. If you covered the training costs then by paying a commission rate of say 10% then I assume that you could easily recoup those costs from sales. After the trial period both parties could consider whether to place things on a more permanent basis. Frederick M: it is unfortunate that capital, experience determination and will power does not always come in one package. I find myself with lots of some but little of the others. Lou: I would advise that you give a thought to the NEW business starters, the SMEs , those young intelligent people who are freshly embarking in the business world, who have brilliant ideas but due to lack of funds or capital can’t proceed with their project. Elizabeth: My hope is to sell on a commission basis until I can afford my own district distribution. Is There A Better Way? > Knowledge Base Enigin PLC © copyright 2013. EN329 | Issue no 2 | Effective date 04/07/2013