Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mary Kay is Too Complicated

From time to time, I've heard people tell me that Mary Kay is too complicated as a business. You have to know your products, find people who will meet with you, market yourself and "compete" against other Mary Kay Consultants. That may be true, but I hardly find Mary Kay a complicated business.

My wife is a pastry chef and a cake decorator. She's actually a very good one. She studied her craft in St. Petersburg, Russia (where she is from) and worked in a 5 Star Hotel and a high end restaurant on Nevskii Prospekt, the main street running through St. Petersburg. My wife wants to have her own business, where she is making custom wedding cakes and cakes for all occasions. To get an idea of what I am talking about, I suggest you visit her website: (and yes, that is a plug for her business at the same time).

My wife and I are realizing really quickly how complicated starting a new business is. There is a bakery for sale that we are interested in. It's much easier to take an existing business and go with it than start from the beginning. To buy the bakery, we need to have a business loan. To get a business loan, we need to have a business plan. To get a business plan, you need to have someone with a lot more experience than I have.

I have never written a business plan before. I'm slowly working through it anyway. And I am lucky to have a few people who are willing to look it over for me.

In addition to the business plan and the loan, I am the sole marketer for our business. I created the webpage (from Vista Print) and used the template for the business cards. We had to look for general liability insurance and we'll need a commercial kitchen in the future as well.

Basically, we are starting everything from the beginning, which is exactly where we are--the beginning. But there are so many things I never thought about. One solution leads to another question. One step forward creates 5 new issues that need to be addressed. I am not complaining, since this is my wife's business. But, I am overwhelmed.

My Mary Kay business, on the other hand, cost me $100 to start, plus tax and shipping. I do not need liability insurance with Mary Kay. The Company already has that. Mary Kay also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which makes it easy on me. I didn't have to create a website. I only had to pay for it (and add my personal information). It only costs me $50 for the year (our Vista page costs $10 per month). I didn't have to look for business cards. I just had to fill out my contact information, choose the style and pay for them.

The only other thing I had to purchase was my inventory (which is not required, but let's be serious--if you want to run a retail business, you need to have something to sell). Mary Kay does the advertising, marketing, even uploads videos to Youtube. Mary Kay puts together the catalog and prints them. I just need to decide who to send them to.

But seriously, if Mary Kay is really that complicated, I want to know which business (or job) out there that is less complicated.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Daniel,
    I agree with you. The reason most consultants consider any type direct sales or network marketing business complicated is because they fail to go through the many resources available to learn about their products and services.