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Illegal Immigrants? Follow the Money!

As Deep Throat said in “All the Presidents Men” … Follow the money.

It’s no secret that the United States has an immigration problem. People flow in and out of our borders faster than shoppers on Black Friday when Walmart opens its doors.

And the debate for the last 20+ years, especially since 911, has been how to stop them.

Granted, we there are a nefarious few that are bent on trying to hurt the United States of America. This discussion really doesn’t focus on them. While building a wall will help keep some folks out, it really won’t do much for those seeking to commit atrocities on U.S. soil.

Pew Research CenterWhat I do want to address are the immigrants, which those of Mexican descent seem to be the focus, who come into our country each year without a lot of regulation. The pew Research Center estimates that the number of illegals within our borders has stabilized at about 11 million since 2009, and that about 8 million of those are in the U.S. labor force.

The claim by those wanting to get rid of all illegals is that they are taking jobs in that U.S. citizens could have.

The claim by those who don’t want them exported is that they are doing jobs that Americans don’t want.

So how do we solve this problem?

As Deep Throat said, “Follow the money.”

It seems that if we simply beef up and rigorously enforce the laws that we already have on the books regarding the employment of those in the country illegally (Cornell University Legal Information Institute), the problem will solve itself. Let me explain…

If you read the code linked above, you’ll likely end up in a deep slumber. Suffice it to say there is a lot there that to my untrained eye seems to be fluff. But I think by shortening up the statute, cleaning up the language and making it clear that violators will be prosecuted, we can get this done.

In my view, the whole problem with illegal immigration is that the prospect of coming to America, even be it under bad working and living conditions, is evidently still better than living in their own country. If that’s the case, we need to take away the reasons for their reason for being here: a.k.a. The Money.

With that said, here is my proposal:

  • Establish a uniform I.D Card for American Citizens – This will alleviate some of the issues currently Hiring Employeesexperienced by states that have not yet met the requirements of the Real ID Act. It can even have electronic attachments to it like your state of residence, whether you can drive a car, motorcycle or none of the above and if you’re an organ donor. Oh yeah, if you have a criminal record that would be on there as well.
  • Impose a financial penalty for hiring someone who is not in country legally – For some places like Walmart and Target, fining them something like $10,000 would be the equivalent of hitting a star baseball player with a $10,000 fine for using a corked bat. It looks good to the public, but when they guy makes $20 million a year, it just doesn’t hurt. So the fine for hiring a non-citizen of the United States would 10% of the company’s gross earnings.
  • Impose a jail sentence for hiring a non-citizen – This is where it would get real for people. The jail sentence would be 2 years with no probation for the company’s CEO/Owner and anyone who helped facilitate the hire. If they are found to have done it knowingly and attempted to cover it up, the fine and the jail time automatically double.
  • All employment records are cross-checked with employee tax returns – It’s the computer age. If my son can play something like Call of Duty across the world wide web with a few dozen people, this should be easy pickins. But this allows businesses to prove that they people that they say are working for them actually do. And all of these records are made public, so everyone can see who’s doing it right and who is not.

This means that the United States needs to start talking to each other electronically. It means that people need to be verified BEFORE they start working for you, whether it be on Wall St. as a trader or on Maple St. as a day-laborer building your new deck. It means that people will have to be – Heaven forbid – responsible for what they do.

I know, I’m such a bastard.

The creation of a singular ID card for citizens will also be immensely helpful in other areas like voting and healthcare. If you walk into vote during an election and you don’t have a card, then you don’t vote. Same with health care. I know that seems harsh, and there will be some very unique exceptions, but while the United States is a charitable nation, we need to make that decision in our homes and offices and not because someone just decided to come here and get something for nothing.

Now I’ve heard the argument before that requiring ID to vote will prevent some folks from voting. Sorry, but that’s just ignorant. We’re not charging for this card, you get it when you prove you’re a citizen of the United States. It gives you access, it doesn’t take it away. And it would give those with it in their possession preference over those that do not have it.

Without a source of income and healthcare, illegals will find living here a lot tougher. They will clearly have more options and opportunities in their home country then they would here when they enter the U.S. illegally.

Building a wall? Decent P.R. move but poor execution.

If you really want to get illegals to leave and not have some gigantic police state where actual citizens are getting tossed over the border by mistake, you have to take away their reason for being here.

No money, no reason to be here.


5 is the friendliest number

One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do
Two can be as bad as one
It’s the loneliest number since the number one
~ Thee Dog Night (1969)

There may have been a good reason for the classic rock band to have stopped at two back in the day, but likely not because they figured out what we now know today about the number five.

pool_ball_5_rolling_lg_whtThere are lots of ways to get the message out about your business. But its generally accepted that the best form of advertisement is word of mouth. There is something about the personal referral that really seems to hit home with people.

So how do you get people chatting about your business, and particularly in a favorable fashion?

A good product helps. But even great products have gone bad when service isn’t part of the equation. People like to feel special.

Lyoness, like a lot of other home based businesses, relies on people sharing it for those involved to be successful. But when hit with the initial though of sharing something like that, people tend to freeze.

I recently did a survey where I asked people to think about something in their life that they were at least somewhat passionate about. It could be a person, a project or a cause, but the important things was that they cared about it to some degree. And when asked to consider that, I asked them how effective they though they could be sharing it with others.

Of those that responded, just over 86% thought they could share that passion with others and recruit at least five people they know to help with that cause and be somewhat passionate about it as well. Another six percent thought they could share their passion with others, but not get five people.

I also asked if they thought they could accomplish the task in 30 days? 77% thought they could do that while 6% thought it would take them longer than that. Eight percent though that they could do it in less than that amount of time.

So in summary, about 4 out of 5 people thought they could recruit the five people and do so in 30 days.

“OK Allen, why all the stats? Are you gonna start talking about your days as a high school basketball player again or something?”

No, I only bore my wife and kids with that stuff.

But what those stats show is that roughly 80% of people in my survey thought they could share something they believed in.

So the question is: Do you believe in Lyoness?

Recently some seminars have shown that by just sharing the Lyoness cash back card program with five people, and helping them do the same thing, can have dramatic results.

Let’s say in a month you share Lyoness with five people, so there are six of you. And in the next month those five people share it with five more of their own. That means that your Direct and Indirect referrals now number 30. Not too shabby. And if you all spend $1,250 a month with Lyoness merchants on the things you already buy, you get a minimum of $12.50 in cash back and get $187.50 in Friendship Bonuses.

Not too shabby!

But let’s assume that you and your 30 friends all take your cash back rewards and route them into your back office. I mean, seriously, what are you going to do with $12.50 but blow it on lattes and scones, right?

The reason you’d put it into your back office is that it would give you a minimum of $25 a month in your Loyalty Account. That means that every three months like clock work you and your friends would create a Shopping Unit. More on that in a minute.

Back to you 25 Indirect Referrals for a moment. What if they kept up the trend and in 30 days referred five more of their friends into Lyoness. That would add 125 more people to you tree. And if that replication process continues every 30 days, with everyone spending $1,250 with Lyoness merchants, at the end of month four you have 625 more people in your tree. At the end of five months there are 3,125 new people and after six there are 15,625 more.

So what do all of these people mean? Well, remember that every three months they generate a Shopping Unit. And as they do the sheer number of units passing through your group of referrals will establish you in the Volume Commission and Volume Bonus sections of Lyoness. When those 3,125 people generate their units, they establish you at Level 5.

Agents_of_SHIELD_logoNo, that doesn’t make you one of the Agents of Shield.

What it does do is qualify you for a $4,500 monthly payment and at least $1 for each of the 3,000-plus units that got you there. That’s a payout of at least $7,000.

And once you’re established as a Level 5, you’re good for six months. Hit the Level 5 qualifications again just once in that period, and the clock resets for another six months.

Those are just two of the 10 ways to get paid in Lyoness, and Level 5 is only halfway up the Volume Commission schedule. A little hard work and encouragement of your team could pay off big down the road.

All because you saw fit to share Lyoness with just five people.

So how much can you do?

If you’d like more information about Lyoness, send me an email or leave a comment below. You can also open your email program by clicking on the Lyoness link on the right of this blog. As always, the information and the membership are totally free.

Please help with Survey

Please click the link and respond to the short survey I have posted. I’m doing some research for a future blog post and would like to get some input from people. Thanks.


Research Assistance

Please click the link and respond to the short survey I have posted. I’m doing some research for a future blog post and would like to get some input from people. Thanks.


Research Question

Please click the link and respond to the short survey I have posted. I’m doing some research for a future blog post and would like to get some input from people. Thanks.


Tis The Season For Shopping

It’s a wonder Santa Claus hasn’t taken a cue from Costco and Sam’s Club and started making his rounds in August.

santa_claus_lounge_on_beach_11_30_08_pc_proBut even as ol’ St. Nick spends his final three months of vacation in a thong somewhere on a Bermuda beach (Yeah, try and get THAT mental picture out of your head) we’re turning the corner on that time of year when we our thoughts turn to presents, snow and tons of great food.

And with all of that we’ll spend a ton of money.

That’s right, beginning October 1, we’ll begin the biggest single spending quarter of the year. What with presents, big meals and people traveling everywhere, Americans spend more in the last three months of the year than at any other time.

So as consumers and small businessmen, how can we take advantage of that?

As business owners, finding new ways to attract customers is key. If we can get them now we may be able to keep them well into the new year.

As consumers, we know that businesses are fighting for our hard earned dollars. So we should be looking for the best deals and savings and any way that we can increase our buying power.

Lyoness gives both sides of that equation just what they’re looking for.

I Buy, Therefore I Am

Think about all of the stuff you’re going to buy in the next few months. For most of us the expense of gifts alone with be several hundred dollars, if not a thousand. We’ll probably hit a few dozen stores to collect just the right gifts for the people on our list, even though one in seven of our recipients (14.3%) will return them.

christmas_presents_bouncing_lg_whtYeah Aunt Edna, I’m watching you.

Gift cards have grown in popularity over the years, with one study showing that nearly 61% of adults would rather have one of those than something they may end up returning or not using.

As a gift giver, Lyoness gives you the perfect opportunity to make the best of both scenarios. Whether you shop online or in person, whether you’re buying actual gifts or loading up on gift cards, Lyoness can help you save money and earn extra cash.

If you remember from a few posts back, we saw a stat that showed the average family of four spends about $1,500 a month on things that a Lyoness membership would help save money on. So over the final quarter of the year that would be $4,500. And for the sake of argument, let’s say that same family is going to spend about $2,500 extra on presents, food and travel to get to grandma’s house (driving over the river and through the woods is not cheap). So all in all, about $7,000 in expenditures.

I think my wallet just had a seizure.

But then it remembered it had a Lyoness card in it and all is well.

Over the course of the coming quarter a Lyoness member could earn as much as $140 in cash back, not to mention what could be going into his piggy bank (aka Back Office). With some retailers giving as much as 10% in Loyalty Benefits, that could add up to an additional $700. That’s almost 10 shopping units.

But remember the Lyoness mantra – Shop, Share and Repeat!

So if you make any kind of an effort to share Lyoness and they made similar expenditures in this final quarter, your Friendship Bonus for their purchases would net you $35 per family. Share it with just 5 people and that’s $175. Share it with 10 and its $350.

And if your five friends share it with five friends, all of similar family size, that’s $1,050 in Friendship Bonuses. If you had shared it with 10 and they shared it with five, (that’s 55 people contributing to the bonuses) you’d earn $1,925.

That simple act of shopping and sharing could  pay for your normal $1,500 in expenditures for all of January, and leave you a few hundred bucks to start planning your wife’s Valentine’s Day gift.

Yeah guys, I’m lookin’ out for ya here.

Ummm … What’s In It For Me?

So I’m a business and all these shoppers are able to make money by using Lyoness over the holidays. Can I use it to make money too?

Lyoness will hit more than 100,000 members in the U.S. well before year’s end. At this time last year when I first registered I was member 28 thousand and change. And at that time, there were only a few hundred businesses online. Now there are more than 2,000 merchants in the states and thousands more around the world.

man_riding_graph_higher_lg_whtLyoness is growing and growing fast. And as a business, you need to take advantage before the opportunity passes you by in more ways than one.

First, don’t miss the opportunity this holiday season to become a Lyoness Loyalty Merchant. Lyoness members are looking for deals, for ways to save money and make money while they shop. They are fiercely dedicated to finding deals. Become one of their choices.

Secondly, Lyoness will only allow up to 50% of the businesses in a given industry to become part of their network in each city. That allows their loyalty merchants to have a leg up on the competition. So if you owned one of 10 restaurants in a given city and five of them registered, you’d be out of luck unless two more came along.

Don’t sell your hair to wig shop, become a Lyoness Loyalty Merchant today.

Another big advantage of getting on board before this holiday season starts is that you can register customers as Lyoness members when they come in. They’ll shop with you and get cash back and loyalty benefits. They’ll be happy, come backl and tell their friends.

But they won’t likely spend all $2,500 of that extra money in your store (but if they did, WOO HOO!). So as they scurry about getting gifts and fruit cakes for their loved ones, you’ll be earning Friendship Bonuses on all of their purchases with other Lyoness merchants.

The average person maybe has eight or nine friends they’ll be able to easily register for Lyoness. As a business, you have hundreds of customers every day that are all looking for savings. What better way to help them out by offering them a free Lyoness membership that saves them money in your store and thousands more around the world?

And what a great gift for your employees? Register them, let them register your customers and they could start earning a great holiday bonus that will show up every month throughout the year!

If you get any of your suppliers to become Lyoness Loyalty Merchants, or maybe you already shop at some place like Sam’s Club for a bunch of your stock and supplies, you could be earning even more cash back.

Joining Lyoness is smart move any time of the year, but getting on board now with the holidays closing in is a great chance to take advantage of the extra shopping you and others are going to do anyway. Don’t miss out.

If you’d like more information on Lyoness or would like to get registered so you can start turning your expenses into income, leave a comment below or drop me a line via email. The information  and the membership are always free.

Are You Ready For Some Business?

It’s really a shame that Hank Williams Jr. wasn’t able to communicate his political views as effectively as his love for football. I really miss him opening up Monday Night Football games.

But tell me, are you ready to do business? Really, really ready?

With all due respect to those like my wife who go through life making plans that have all the attention to detail of a third-grader’s water color project, making a business work takes detailed planning and effort. So let’s take a look at what we’ve got to do to get things moving in the right direction.

And in business, the right direction is any upward movement in the bottom line.

To be successful we have to consider the four basic elements of any good marketing plan. Dr. Jabs at California Baptist University (Riverside, Calif.) drilled these into my head over and over back in the day, and no matter how hard you try everything boils down to them.

Product. Price. Place. Promotion .

Goods and Services.

What you’re selling is perhaps the most important of these four. Dr. Jabs might beg to differ, but over the years I’ve found that if you don’t really believe in what your trying to sell, you’ll never give it 100 percent. Oh, you might for awhile to impress some supervisor, but eventually you’ll slack off because you just won’t be that passionate about it.

Pet Rocks circa 1975

Pet Rocks circa 1975

Over the years I’ve had the good fortune to be involved in several industries where I really loved the business I was working for and the products we were promoting. When I was teaching, that look of accomplishment and understanding on a student’s face was the best high ever. When I was giving seminars on financial literacy in schools and to the community, hearing stories of how I had effected someone’s budget and quality of life did it. And as a sports editor for nearly nine years, getting to tell exciting game stories every day was just incredible.

For me the trigger seems to be making a difference. And that is a big reason I latched onto Lyoness when it was presented to me. Lyoness allows people to earn a few extra bucks back on their every day shopping without any buy in whatsoever. And with that same free membership, they can share the program at a minimal cost and create a small to medium revenue stream.

Lyoness helps people help themselves.

So what is it that drives you? Is it making a difference? Is it the pride and prestige of being the leader? Is it the almighty dollar? Look at your past jobs and what has made you really happy in them. Ask people you’ve worked with when they thought you were at your best. You might  be surprised.

Now that good feeling aside, you really do have to have a product that people want and, at least in their mind, that they think they need. Real need versus perceived need is unimportant, as the latter becomes the same as the former if people believe it. Don’t believe me? Why do you think we have a gazillion fast food places? It ain’t because we really need them, it’s because we think we need them. Get rid of them and America’s obesity problem ceases to exist.

My nephew once had a great idea for a trash can that stopped the bag from bubbling up with air when you put a new liner in. It was a plastic can like every other one you see in the grocery store, except it had small holes in the bottom to let air out to prevent the bubbling problem. He had a patent company give him rave reviews and they took some of his cash and even got to a development stage before finding out that no one really wanted the product.

Why? Well, there were two reasons. First, anyone with a hand drill could easily punch a few holes into their one plastic trash container and solve the bubbling problem. Second, anyone who has done that knows that no matter how clean you are, the inside bottom of your trash container gets stuff on it and starts to stink. And when there are holes in your can, you whole kitchen stinks.

Nice idea. Bad execution.

So check your idea to make sure it meets an actual need, that it works and that it can’t be easily replicated. That’s a great start.

But as P.T. Barnum once said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” And as a culture, Americans are some of the biggest suckers around.

I say that to point out that not every product is going to have some logical use or function. Don’t believe me? I leave you with two words: Pet Rocks.

I rest my case.

How Much Is That Gonna Cost Me Again?

As Madonna told us, we’re living in a material world, and we’re all pretty much material girls.

Price is really the center point of whether or not your product will survive. It’s the key player on the Supply-Demand Curve that will determine whether you make it big or make nothing at all.

quarter_guy_walking_lg_whtI’ve always found price to be a funny thing. You can have a great product and determine that you want to make just a little on each sale, but sell a lot of them to make a substantial profit. But when the consumer looks at it they say, “Well, it doesn’t cost very much so it must not be very good quality.” It makes no sense to the businessman trying to crack into a new market, but we’re not selling to ourselves. Again, the perception becomes the reality and reading what the consumer is thinking is the key.

Most recently I saw this in my freelance photography business. I take great pictures but couldn’t get enough gigs as my prices were evidently too low. I actually had people tell me they thought I must be giving them a cut rate product, when what I was trying to do was make the youth sports picture buying process more affordable for the masses. Having been through that as a player and a parent, I knew how much is spent on my kid’s athletic endeavors.

But when I raised my prices, the gigs started coming. It made no sense, but it made me more money.

It’s been my experience that people will buy into a 10%-20% discount on the going price and not think there is a drop off in quality. But go much beyond that and their wheels start turning, even if its done with bogus inferences and information.

And that may be one of the biggest hurdles that Lyoness faces. While multi-level-marketing (MLM) companies keep trying to bring people in with promises of big money only after some initial buy-in, Lyoness seeks to do exactly the opposite. The returns are small at first and are completely dependent on your business savvy and effort.

The price is definitely right, its just not what people expect.

Where’s Waldo & Your Product

Where you plan to sell your product is also important, but less so in today’s internet-driven market. But unless your Chris Henson, a buddy of mine from college, you better look into it closely.

travel_map_lg_whtChris was a unique guy who I’ve always said could probably sell anything to anyone. One day while chatting I told him just that, stating “I bet you could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo.” Without missing a beat he replied, “You bet! To them its a heater.”

That kind of thinking eludes me most days. I have flashes, but that thought process is rare and does not come easily for most of us.

I’ll state the obvious by saying that you’re likely not going to do well selling snow cones in the middle of the Christmas rush, unless of course you’re below the equator. So look for a natural fit – either one that seems logical or one that people think seems logical.

One of the great aspects of Lyoness is that it can be used just about anywhere. From groceries to autos to travel and everything in between, you have a lot of options that can help Lyoness work for someone. You simply have to show them the places it works and let those that referred you and the program do the rest.

And delivering it is very easy. Moments after they are registered they have an electronic version of the membership card they can use on their phone or one they can print out if they really need something in their hand.

Takin’ it to the Streets!

Once you’re ready with the first three P’s, get the word out. Many a great product has died on the warehouse shelf because no one ever knew it was there.

The Internet makes it really easy to get the word out these days. Places like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are great avenues to tell people what you have and where to get it. But everyone is using them, so how do you make yourself stand out?

For starters, be unique. Now that sounds obvious, but its not easy. There has to be something special in what your product does or how you present it. Your product may be an updated version of some old standby, but if you give it a twist that catches the attention of your target market, it could be a winner. Even a flash in the pan could be enough capital to get you to the next bigger project.

One of the trends today are viral videos. Something weird is always making its way around the net, so get creative. If you can find the hook that becomes the next Harlem Shake, you’re in.

Lyoness’ hook is what we talked about earlier – its free. That tends to bother some people because they immediately hear the old adage in their head about “You don’t get something for nothing.” True enough. Lyoness is free, but it requires the shopper to be a little more discerning in their purchases to make money when they shop. And if they want to make a little more at it, Lyoness requires that you share the program with others.

But it’s overall uniqueness is what drives Lyoness ahead of the others. Merchants drive the benefits, not the members. And that make it very unique.

Product. Price. Place. Promotion.

In large part these four items will determine just how successful you’ll be in any business. Knowing how to address each and how to best represent your product within those four areas is a big step in getting your product off the ground.

If you’d like more information on Lyoness, or would like to get registered for a free membership, leave a comment or drop me a line with one of the links on this page. As always, the information and the membership are free.

Smart shopping can lead to dividends

Like a run away truck on a steep mountain pass, we head to the store weekly, sometimes daily, to buy the things we think we need to survive. And like Wilma and Betty, we seldom think twice about what we purchase or where we buy it from.

But in this day and age, we have find a way to stop our expenses from going higher while our income gets smaller.

And Lyoness is that answer.

In previous posts we’ve talked about how Lyoness is the world’s largest shopping community with more than 3.5 million people. And we’ve discussed how merchants are looking for loyal shoppers and are willing to give some of their advertising dollars back to customers who shop with them.

Today we’re going to look at the practical application of how a family can make their expenses turn into income. That first step is changing how you shop.

And remember, the savings may look small but collecting them all up in an easy and systematic way can payoff big down the road. Just like Gus Gorman (aka Richard Pryor) in “Superman III”, you just have to know how to get them all working for you.

The Internal Revenue Service has compiled some shopping numbers that are very interesting, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to figure out just how much we all spend on the basics of life each month. Here’s what the table looked like as of September 2, 2013:

Common Expenditures ~ Bureau of Labor Statistics 09/02/13

Common Expenditures ~ Bureau of Labor Statistics 09/02/13

For the basis of this post, we’re going to look at how we can use Lyoness to affect the expenditures above for a family of four. According to the BLS chart, additional family members would be an additional $281 each added to the bottom line for the total.

Chowin’ Down

Food is the number one thing we all think about when we consider our monthly expenditures. After rent or a house payment to make sure we have shelter from the elements, we have got to get some food to keep us going.

As yet, Lyoness doesn’t have any major grocery chains as loyalty merchants, well if you don’t count Walmart. Walmart will figure into just about every other category in this budget discussion, and offers some great options to make your dollar go farther when used in conjunction with Lyoness. But as far as food goes, if you have a Walmart that can handle most or all of your grocery needs, you’re in good shape.

On that $777 projected spending for a family of four, you can earn 1% cash back. Not a ton, but remember that Walmart’s coupon policy is that they take everyone’s coupons. So just think of your Lyoness card acting as an extra 1% on every coupon you clip as well as the stuff you don’t.

But in the end, that $777 turns into $7.77 in your pocket. If there is a local Lyoness loyalty merchant that can satisfy your grocery needs, you’ll likely double your cash back to 2% and a total of $15.44.

And don’t forget – Near many a Walmart there is a Sam’s Club next door with great prices on bulk items and gas. One more way to save.

Home (and everything else) Is Where The Cash Is

Guys, once you purge the bachelor mentality from your head and start getting serious about finding that special girl, you’ll totally get this. Until then, You’ll just keep asking yourself, “What’s he mean, cleaning supplies?”

Cleaners, soaps, deodorants and everything else that makes your house a home are also available through Lyoness loyalty merchants. And while Walmart is great at 1% cash back, its chief competitor Kmart is trying to get some of their action with a 2% offering. So while the ‘Big K’ may not have a blue light special on meat, they will likely have it on just about everything else.

So on the remaining $688 in household, apparel, personal care and miscellaneous items you can glean another $13.76 without a lot of effort.

On The Go

The IRS’ chart leaves out one huge monthly expense from their estimate – Gasoline. You’ve got to have some go-go juice to get to your job, school and everywhere else. And at a national average of $3.78 ( on 09/03/13) it’s certainly nothing to be overlooked. reports that the average American family has 2.28 cars per household. We’ll round that down to two for the sake of our post and my less than stellar math skills. But let’s figure that will all of the commuting going on that each vehicle gets filled with $50 in gas three times a month. That may be a little high, unless one of your drivers is a teenager and then you’re probably thinking, “I spend that in a week!”

Believe me, I feel your pain. I can’t wait my teenage son gets a job and starts paying for his own gas, which will unfortunately mean he’ll never leave the house again.

But my problems aside, most of the gas stations in Lyoness will give you 1% cash back or $3.00 on those monthly purchases. Again, it’s not a lot, but its better than a poke in the eye with a stick.

Adding It All Up

adding_machine_dollars_hg_whtNow these are the basic needs that a family has and doesn’t include a night out once or twice a month or even gifts throughout the year. But on those essential purchases – things you’re already buying anyway – you could be making $24.53 a month on the low end. Find that 2% grocery store and it could jump to $32.30.

Now take a good, hard look at that number. If we use the $24.53 number, we’re talking about a free tank of gas every other month. That’s $294.36 a year. If we use the bigger monthly total it becomes $387.60.

Now who’s laughing at the small change?

But it ain’t over until the fat lady in the back office gets done singing.

La La La

In previous posts we’ve discussed how Lyoness gives you cash back with every purchase and puts money into your back office. And that’s exactly what’s happening with every one of the purchases we talked about above.

On every purchase on those essential items made through a Lyoness loyalty merchant, you’re earning the cash back plus at least 1% into your back office or “piggy bank”. That means that every month another $24.53 (yes, Kmart pays 2% into the back office too!) would be getting added to that piggy bank until it hits $75 total. A night or two out or maybe a gift purchase once a month would easily push that $24.53 to $25.00 and you’d be making a Lyoness Shopping Unit every three months.

I’m going to let those who wish to catch up on how units work do so by reading my post “A Unit by any other name“, but needless to say that they are a great bonus from the merchants for being loyal to them. As those units build and you share the program with others, they will pay big dividends down the road.

Oh, did I mention sharing Lyoness right there? I sure did.

Remember that if you shared Lyoness with just 10 people who shopped like what we’ve described above, you’d be getting 0.5% of all of their qualifying purchases with loyalty merchants in the program. So on $1,465 in purchases each month you’d realize $7.32. Multiply businessman_woman_shaking_hands_lg_whtthat by 10 and you’d earn an extra $73.20 in cash for sharing.

And if your 10 friends shared with 10 friends of their own, your Friendship Bonus would balloon to $805.75 a month.

That’s more than a few tanks of gas. In fact, it’s almost enough to keep my 18-year-old son in chicken nuggets and Gatorade for about a week. I swear that kid has a hollow leg.

So you can see that just by shopping and sharing the program, you can actually turn your expenses into income. It takes a little work, but then again anything worth having in life requires at least a minimal effort.

If you have further questions on Lyoness and how to earn cash back with every purchase, please post a comment below, drop me a line or follow this blog. As always, the information and the Lyoness membership are absolutely free.

Growing Big While Staying Small

Income Strategy:

Lesson 3

Small Businesses

As the economy seesaws between recovery and failure, what’s a small business to do?

Variable incomes make projecting anything into the future a guess at best, and employees are constantly looking for their next gig.

What if you could give your employees some help with a bonus that you don’t have to pay for and get new customers while generating an additional revenue stream?

Lyoness can make that happen for you.

In our third installment we’re looking at how to give your business an edge in the marketplace. An edge that will put you ahead of the national chains and those local competitors with less foresight.

In a previous post (“Lyoness: A Common Mistake”) we looked at the basics of how Lyoness works. In short, you can get cash back by shopping with Loyalty Merchants and earn a small cash bonus when your share the program. We also talked about how Shopping Units work in “A Unit by any other name“. So with all that in mind, let’s answer the question, “How can Lyoness really help my small business compete, especially with the ‘big boys’?”

Getting The Word Out

techie_yelling_positive_thru_megahorn_hg_whtAdvertising is always a gamble. You’re never really sure if your message is getting in front of the right people, even if you do tons of research. But becoming a Lyoness SME (Small-to-Medium Enterprise) Loyalty Merchant, your business gets put in front of people looking for deals and most importantly: looking for you!

When you become an SME, your business is added to the Lyoness Phone App. Ok, whoopee do! I hear ya. But in Lyoness this is a key way for people to shop. They can access details on merchants and search for nearby places that have what they need.

Best of all, the app shows people the businesses in the immediate vicinity and it shows only those businesses that are physically headquartered there. So, if you’re a restaurant and there’s an Outback Steakhouse nearby, the Aussies won’t show on the app because their corporate office is in Tampa, Florida. That means that if someone is ‘jonesing’ for their Bloomin’ Onion, you’re probably out of luck. But if they are just looking for a great place to eat, then its just you and the other local Lyoness merchants they will see first.

And if Lyoness members do their search online by zip code, same deal: You show and they don’t.

Reeling Them In

Now that you’ve got their attention, how do you keep ’em hooked?

Quality service is always a good start, and word of mouth is a big help.

fisher_tugging_lg_whtBut through Lyoness you can now offer a loyalty merchant program that pays the instant customers make a purchase. We’ll cover just how to register your customers in a second and why its a huge advantage for you to do so, but getting them on board means they can get their benefits the moment they pay their bill. No stars, butterflies or points to collect. Just immediate benefit and gratification. How great is that?

As a Lyoness SME you’ll be able to offer customers a percentage of their bill in return for their patronage, a sort of ‘Thank You’. You negotiate with Lyoness how much that percentage is, giving you a chance to set the tone in your market place.

Finally, you don’t have to manage some program to figure who gets what when. Lyoness does it all after you report the sales to Lyoness each week via the Internet.

It’s all done with a scanner that allows a Lyoness Loyalty Merchant to scan either the customer’s membership card, or the virtual card that can be found on the phone app. And merchants have the option of using the just the membership card, taking cash straight from the member’s Lyoness Purchase Account or both.

Getting Everyone In The Boat

Now that you’re an SME, here’s a tactic that I’ve developed and am seeing used as businesses consider Lyoness for their loyalty merchant program.

The SME registers their employees into the program. This works great for people on your staff that deal directly with the public, but everyone could join. Think of it as giving them a discount card they can use for the rest of their lives. Employees like servers or clerks that will be doing the bulk of your sales are perfect. This gives them the ability to benefit from Lyoness when they shop. Win number one.

As customers come in, your staff is trained to ask if they are part of your loyalty merchant program called Lyoness. If they are, great! If they aren’t, then the employee can ask if they’d like to sign up for free. (People love free stuff! Don’t you?!) Depending on your setup, the employee could register them right then – sending a confirmation email to the customer’s smart phone – or they could wait until they get home. If they have the smart phone, the can confirm the email, download the Lyoness Phone App and activate their card right then and there! And, as a new Lyoness member, they’ll get their first cash back that night.

The key here is that when the customer is registered that they will be signed up under the employee. The employees would bear the small $1.50 online registration fee and would also see benefit from the new Lyoness member whenever they shop.

And that leads us to our next topic …

The Phantom Bonus!

What do your employees get for signing up customers into your loyalty program? That’s where the Lyoness Friendship bonus comes in. As those customers use their Lyoness membership at your business, and at any of the more than 2,000 Lyoness sheet_ghost_flying_lg_whtmerchants online and around the country (and even more worldwide), they earn a 0.5% cash bonus on those purchases. The amount from any one customer may not be much, but as they register more and more customers they’ll see the amount grow from a few dollars to a lot more.

They get a bonus with your help! You get happy customers receiving a discount whenever they shop with you, your employees get some extra cash in their pocket and no one has to worry about coupons or one-time deals!

Ah, but there’s more!

Make Money Without Selling A Thing

Remember, the Lyoness Friendship Bonus goes two levels deep. That means that if you referred your employees, you get 0.5% from everything they spend at Lyoness merchants as well as everything their Directs (aka your Indirects) spend! When they shop with you or any Lyoness merchant, even if they are a competitor, you’ll be seeing income from those purchases.

quarter_rolling_in_circle_money_hg_whtAnd as those people share Lyoness with others, there are even more ways to create an additional revenue stream that will support your efforts well into the future. That’s where the above article on Shopping Units comes in.

Lyoness gives small business owners options that no other merchant loyalty card can. It keeps track of the benefits, it promotes your business and gives you and your employees a chance to make a few extra bucks by sharing it for a small, one-time fee. And Lyoness SMEs never pay another thing unless they make a sale. No monthly fees, minimums or processing charges.

Do you have another idea about how to use Lyoness in a small business environment? Maybe you have questions about becoming a member or getting your business on board with the world’s largest, fastest growing shopping community? Drop me a line or leave a comment. I’d love to discuss it with you further.

As always, the information and the membership are free!

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