Your name: Jennifer Hoyer
How many years have you been living life in the Foreign Service?
More than 15 years!
Where have you been posted?
Mexico, Kenya, Cyprus, Washington DC, Israel, Philippines.
Briefly describe your career path:
I have been an independent health/beauty consultant with Arbonne International for about 20 years. I have been able to continue this business while overseas as most expats still order from the States things they really want/need.
What is the name of your business?
Arbonne Independent Consultant
Do you have a website for your business?
Briefly describe your business:
Arbonne is a Network Marketing company. I invite people to parties or seminars where I either present an informative overview or lead them through a sampling of products. They can then purchase desired products, win prizes, and receive discounts for hosting. I receive a commission based on personal sales and team success.
Why did you start this business?
I needed extra income and found I was a walking commercial for this company anyway…so it made sense to get some compensation for giving them referrals!
When did you start this business?
15 November 1994
What makes you stand out from your competitors? What makes your business unique?
My competitors are online stores, drugstores, and department stores. What makes my business unique is that I don’t airbrush the truth. I educate my clients. I teach health and skincare knowledge, I give personal service, I follow up. I build a team by teaching others to do the same. Yes, there’s a lot of competition in the health/beauty industry, but I’ve found a company with an edge. It pays good commissions, it works within the regulations, the products are in demand–and I use it to help bring the embassy community together–everyone loves a party.
How does your business fit into the Foreign Service lifestyle?
As an independent consultant for an international company, I don’t have to “start my own business,” when I can share one that already exists.
I can’t generalize my business because it is linked intrinsically to one company, Arbonne. There are hundreds of FS spouses who have or are currently representing companies like Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Nerium, Young Living, Silpada, etc. Not all of these companies can work within the regulations. Mine does. This makes it a viable option aside from the fact that it’s portable and not a lone business startup where you have to do it all yourself.
We can work as much or as little as we like depending on our circumstances, which in the FS, change constantly. Arbonne has distrubution centers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Mexico and Poland. In these countries anyone can order–there are no selling restrictions. Outside of these countries, only the embassy community is our market, since they have DPO access. We don’t keep stocks of products and are not using the DPO for business purposes since we’re not reselling products.
What has been your biggest challenge with your business so far?
The biggest challenge has been retaining my client base. Some are “lifers” who, like me, have found the one thing that works. Out of sight, out of mind is a real obstacle to network marketers. I basically have to start over every time we move.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
My biggest accomplishment has definitely been seeing with my own eyes the amazing “Before/After” difference in my clients’ skin. Many have been asked if they had work done. In my 20 years, I’ve made a difference in hundreds, no, thousands of lives.
What resources have been particularly helpful to you when you were starting your business?
Although not available when I started, Arbonne has online business aids, training, and video presentations. Skype is great for personal training and support.
Which resources do you use to maintain your business?
My personal supply of products that I share and promote. Embassy DPO. I had a website for a number of years but it really wasn’t cost effective. The CLO newsletters have been very helpful for advertising parties & skin fitness presentations which are always very well-received as they help the embassy community get to know each other, especially in the fall when newcomers arrive.
Any advice for any EFMs thinking about starting their own business?
What’s your market? Are your products consumable? People make buying decisions based on information. When we inform people and offer a product that makes a difference, they are happy. Just remember that ‘sales is what makes every business sink or swim!’ – no sales, no business.
Are you on LinkedIn?
Yes, see my profile.