While they come from different walks of life, diverse cultures and nearly every corner of the world, successful entrepreneurs share one trait: passion. It’s what gets them up each morning, makes their businesses hum and fuels their aspirations for more – money, flexibility, family time and personal growth.
They also share a need to have certain tools – think how-to guides, tips and simple ways to learn how to do things faster and more efficiently, all with the mentality of a leader – at their fingertips.
Amway Independent Business Owners are no different.
“The trend of individuals seeking to work independently and with greater flexibility is on the rise,” notes Suzie Fiore, Director of Training and Education, Amway North America. “We know that being in business for yourself isn’t easy – it’s tough to start, grow and lead. We want to help in any way that we can. That’s why we’ve invested in the best education and training possible.”
The newly launched Amway Education is built on entrepreneurial experience and expertise, and the curriculum was carefully designed to put the company’s Independent Business Owners on the pathway to success from day one. It not only reinforces Amway’s mantra that “you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself,” but also goes above and beyond teaching what it takes to be successful in Amway, into areas of general business growth, such as reading body language, communicating across cultures, listening actively and more.
As more and more industrious individuals pursue building their own businesses, the demand for this type of education and support intensifies.
The Case for Education
“Are entrepreneurs born or made?” The Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER), an annual survey measuring the public pulse of the state of self-employment around the world, posed this question. In 2014, AGER surveyed 43,000 men and women across 38 countries, and a resounding 63 percent said they believed that entrepreneurship could be taught and learned. Millennials held the strongest beliefs, scoring five percent higher in the United States than the global average.
By elevating the critical role education plays in entrepreneurship, the study encourages government, academia and other public institutions to heed the demand for creating the opportunities and tools entrepreneurs need to start up and sustain their own businesses.
American respondents rated the most crucial aspects of entrepreneurship education as “leadership and management skills,” at 47 percent, and “basic business skills,” at 39 percent. Yet, of those surveyed, 61 percent said they felt they lacked access to entrepreneurship education.
Therein lies the catch-22: Business owners want to learn, but where can they go? And who can they turn to for valuable insights, based on real-life successes and setbacks.
“Amway is unique in that in our business, IBOs can and should turn to their uplines – the person who sponsored them into the business – for help,” said Fiore. “And that’s also why it was important to design Amway Education with IBOs from the very beginning. This laser-sharp focus on creating these courses for IBOs, with IBOs, is enabling the platform’s success.”
The Rise of Entrepreneurship
Amway’s global entrepreneurship report spanned 45 countries and 50,861 men and women, aged 14-99, when fielded in 2016 – its seventh year. Findings revealed that Americans hold an increasingly positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, at 84 percent, a striking seven percentage points above their international counterparts at 77 percent. The study correlates this continued optimism with age, gender and education levels.
“The 2016 report reaffirms the growing positivity we’ve seen toward entrepreneurship in the United States,” says Dr. David B. Audretsch, AGER partner, professor and director of the Institute for Development Strategies at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. “At seven percentage points higher than the global average, it is clear that positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship in America show no signs of receding.”
Millennials aged 35 years and younger were the most enthused about starting their own businesses, yet confidence in one’s entrepreneurial capabilities peaked in respondents aged 35 to 49 years.
“Optimism toward entrepreneurship is gaining significant strength in the U.S. and is expected to continue in 2017,” affirms Jim Ayres, Managing Director, Amway North America. “This momentum isn’t surprising, as the U.S. is a hospitable environment for cultivating entrepreneurs. This year’s report mirrors what we see on a day-to-day basis as an increasing number of Americans are placing a higher value on entrepreneurship and expressing a stronger desire to own and operate their own businesses.”
Further, 40 percent of American respondents saw self-employment as more likely in five years than today, and a remarkable 66 percent felt comfortable searching for and acquiring customers – a critical element of self-employment. “Resoundingly, Americans not only have a strong desire to become entrepreneurs, but they also feel that they have the requisite capabilities and tenacity to realize their entrepreneurial goals,” adds Audretsch.
Education sharpens this focus on achievement. That’s why Amway has matched these increasingly positive attitudes with more and more learning tools that empower entrepreneurial success. By engaging business owners early and often, the company is enabling IBO success from the point of activation while fostering a culture of lifelong learning.
More to Learn, More to Earn
Whether they come up through universities or the school of life, all entrepreneurs are guided by a spirit of individual freedom through free enterprise. They relish their right to earn an income on their own terms, govern their own schedules and pursue a better life as they define it. Along the way, they cultivate the work ethic and resilience a successful, sustainable business demands.
Yet even the most sophisticated business owner can’t do it alone.
Success, like strength, comes in numbers. That’s why companies like Amway are ramping up their investment in entrepreneurship education. Amway arms IBOs with not just the best quality nutrition, beauty and home products but also the best education and training to sell those products, sponsor others to do the same and, ultimately, build sustainable businesses that fuel their aspirations for themselves and their families.
Amway Education empowers IBOs to put their best feet forward as they begin the journey into entrepreneurship. From the moment of registration, business owners get full access to a library of print materials, complemented by an equally comprehensive online curriculum of more than 80 forward-thinking courses and activities, each designed to help IBOs take their businesses further, faster.
“One of the best things about the Amway business is that everyone surrounding you is committed to you and your success,” notes Ayres. Amway Education courses are provided free of charge, to ensure that all IBOs are given the opportunity to learn at their own pace. “The new Amway Education deepens our commitment to our IBOs.”
Created with IBOs, for IBOs
Best practices are the lifeblood of Amway Education. To ensure authenticity at every stage of curriculum development, Amway leveraged the experience and expertise of proven IBO leaders.
“We created our new education courses in partnership with these successful IBOs because they understand the unique challenges our business owners face,” said Fiore. “Our objective was to create the best training for the most people, so IBOs can use it to achieve their goals and create success for themselves.”
When it comes to laying the foundation for entrepreneurial success, the first three months are critical. Those initial 90 days are a deeply engaging and energizing period that can set the pace for an IBO’s future. To make the most of it, Amway has designed a startup experience called Pathway to Success. From sign-up through sales support, IBOs are encouraged to chart their course using a series of educational tools that make quick work of becoming product experts, growing their businesses and realizing their earning potential and achieving financial incentives – all with built-in encouragement every step of the way.
Amway Education meets IBOs where they are on their business ownership pathway, so they can effectively learn new skills as they live through each stage of growing their businesses. The robust online curriculum includes more than 80 virtual courses and activities organized into four series, each focused on a milestone stage in an IBO’s entrepreneurial journey:
Series One: Get Started
The curriculum kicks off with 26 courses that delve into how IBOs can optimize sales across the Amway product portfolio, make money through product sales and harness basic business skills. Courses teach how to calculate and earn a retail margin on Amway products; take advantage of Amway’s Fast Track Incentive Program that rewards new IBOs for making their initial sales; build a compelling product testimonial; follow the rules of the road and more.
Series Two: Build Your Business
The curriculum continues with 36 courses that hone key strategies and skills for helping IBOs build successful, sustainable Amway businesses. Content includes how to leverage social media; close a sale; maximize customer volume; sell new products and master business etiquette.
Series Three: Grow to Leadership
The next 13 courses teach aspiring Leaders how Amway rewards them for developing sustainable business and mentoring others to do the same. Key concepts explore how to reach new heights in business by effectively managing your time, developing public speaking skills and understanding how to read body language.
Series Four: Be a Leader
The final 11 courses center on cultivating the attitudes and behaviors of proven IBO leaders. Topics span learning how to elevate leadership; expand your business internationally; effectively negotiate and manage a dynamic and growing group.
Each short, animated Amway Education video offers easy-to-learn, essential strategies and tools that speak the language of business owners – literally. To meet the diverse needs of the IBO population, courses and activities are offered in five languages (English, Spanish, Mandarin, French and Korean). The multilingual experience gives individuals from many cultures equal access to learning and growing their businesses.
Amway Education is a substantial element of Amway’s 90-Day Pathway to Success for new Independent Business Owners. The pathway has three elements:
Online: The Digital experience for new IBOs teaches the proven “Switch, Share, Duplicate” sales methodology, provides an interactive goal-setting tool and links to help new IBOs answer any business or product questions they might get from friends, family members and potential customers. As IBOs complete each section, a progress bar fills to track accomplishments and allow them to easily move through content and pick up where they left off.
Offline: Designed to be portable, a printed version of the materials listed above are delivered to every Amway IBO as part of their registration fee. Contents include a workbook, Getting Started Guide, product catalogs and informational brochures.
Product Starter Kit: Confidence is key to sales success and perhaps nothing is more important than making a positive first impression. Product knowledge is especially critical in building relationships with prospective customers. This optional kit introduces our business owners to some of Amway’s bestselling nutrition, beauty and home products.
Flexibility is Fundamental
Entrepreneurs are agile – their careers defy traditional workplace norms of time and place. This inherent flexibility is often what draws people into starting a business. With this in mind, Amway Education can be tailored to meet this lifestyle, whether IBOs work their businesses part-time or full-time, at an office or on the go. From any mobile device, tablet or computer, IBOs have the ability to learn wherever, whenever and at whatever pace fits their lifestyle best.
Because engagement is critical to success, Amway added a gaming element to the online trainings and activities. As they tackle trainings and increase their use of the education platform, IBOs are awarded badges. Doing so adds to the overall experience and makes learning more interesting. Every online course even links to essential Amway resources that help IBOs apply their newly acquired skills sooner and more effectively.
Mentorship Makes the Difference
Teamwork is another key to entrepreneurial success. Guided by their sponsors, IBOs create and navigate a customized learning path – the Pathway to Success – using all the Amway Education tools and trainings. The online curriculum recommends courses, to ensure that IBOs continually build on their knowledge, stretching opportunities for learning and leading.
“The mentor relationship magnifies your success,” says Bhargavi Arrunategui, an IBO since 1997. “I could have started any type of business, but would not have gotten this level of support and training. It has greatly impacted my life, professionally and personally.”
Entrepreneurial couple Claudia and Ricardo Zermeno, IBOs since 2006, concur. “We love challenging people to pursue their passions by writing down goals and developing a path for realizing them. Success is in the planning.”
Cultural diversity amplifies the need for education as well, admits Lilia Sixtos, who has owned a successful Amway business with her husband, Alberto Mayagoitia, for more than 25 years. Amway Education being offered in five languages helps build a bridge between new IBOs who want to be mentored by those with extensive experience who just happen to speak a different language.
“Education creates a different kind of business owner,” adds Sixtos. “I’ve made it my purpose to lead people to discover their true potential. With education, that potential is limitless.”
A Growing Legacy
Amway has been in business for over 60 years, supports more than 3 million IBOs worldwide and since 1959 has paid out more bonuses and cash incentives to its distributors worldwide than any other direct sales company in history.  The company’s commitment to education reinforces its founding families’ core belief in helping people reach their potential.
Still have more questions? We invite you to visit Amway Education to learn more about the courses offered.
Source: Euromonitor International Limited, www.euromonitor.com/amway-claims