A Rose by Any Other Name is a Profit Opportunity…and More


Rosaspamba, in Quechua (the language of the Andes), means "Place of Roses". This is the name of our hacienda in Ecuador, which is a huge tract of meadows and primary forest, five gigantic waterfalls…all with an incredible sense of peace and harmony. The hacienda looks down on lush valleys. Mists are rising, waterfalls fold in lacy cascades and bird songs thrill the clear air. A mountain river below rushes in harmony. There is a joy here that few have felt since we were kids. There's not a worry in the world except watching the roses grow.

Roses.

Merri and I stood on a bluff at dusk and watched the thin sun set into the distant Pichinca Mountains. The air was crystal and chilled, but a roaring bonfire erased the cold. Scents of the wild roses that grow throughout this land floated on the rising thermals. Rosaspamba has bouquets of wild roses growing at its entrance. Everywhere you turn you can see roses and at the end of the day we sat there talking about roses.

This hacienda has over 800 acres ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 feet. Though deep in the Andes we are only an hour and a half from Quito airport, yet isolated, rich with creeks and water falls and world class views, looking over layer upon layer of green velvet peaks that roll into the distance.

The hacienda was originally a sugar cane plantation with groves of oranges, avocados, and lemons as well as endemic and medicinal fruits and plants.

Here we live and work above the clouds, in the clouds, below the clouds and sometimes with clouds that just pass right through us.

It is impossible to describe these majestic, mystical, enchanting vistas that literally take your breath away, but we wanted more than just views. So this evening as we sat by the roaring bonfire, we talked about things we could do with the land. One idea we questioned was the viability of commercially growing roses there.

Perhaps this moment was the beginning of our fascination for this plant that is perhaps the most majestic of all flowers. The rose, a symbol of passion, care, the gift of lovers, the root of innumerable poems and the icon of obsession, attention and beauty.

Our quest to know more about roses taught us quickly that Rosaspamba was not the best place for commercial roses, but that Ecuador and the Andes were among the best rose growing areas in the world. Most roses in the United States come from Ecuador and Colombia.

The beauty and romantic appeal of these incredible flowers made this business attractive to us. When we learned that even during the worst depression America has ever known (the 30s) that the rose business still thrived (people would forego food to have flowers in their homes), we were further enthused. Being practical people, we saw that this was a business that would always have a market. Yet being a passionate couple as well the idea of being able to place the passion, care and beauty of a fresh rose into the arms of a waiting person within days of its being cut seemed so appealing.

We were hooked and started reading about roses, visiting rose plantations and talking to people in the business. Our goal was to find a practical way that we and any readers who shared our feelings could make a decent profit bringing fresh roses from the Andes.

This research led us to develop two ways to become involved in the rose business.

The first way we have become involved in the rose business is with the Fresh Rose Club. This organization, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona ships roses direct from rose plantations in Ecuador and Colombia to the user with guaranteed delivery of three to five days.

Before I explain how we can make money from this business let me explain that what I am interested in is selling FRESH ROSES.

If you have taken my course International Business Made EZ (if not, you can order it at http://www.garyascott.com/publications/22/) you know that one point I harp on in the course is to never let your product become a commodity. The only way to compete with a commodity is by price. Getting into price wars wrecks profits!

One main goal in our marketing will be to insure that we do not compete with WalMart, Costco and other giant retailers that buy millions of roses and sell them for as little as a $12 a dozen. I have two dozen roses sitting on my desk right now. One dozen was shipped direct from Ecuador by Fresh Rose Club at $39.95 (including shipping), the other dozen is from Colombia, but purchased at our local Super WalMart in a special promotion for $6.88. If we tried to compete on price we would be in trouble!

So it is important in our marketing to show why top quality FRESH ROSES are different and better.

The price of roses at the plantation varies based on bulb and stem size, color, quality, plus supply and demand. Deep red roses, for example will sell at a premium before Mother's Day because this is the biggest flower day of the year and this color is always most in demand.

Although FRESH ROSE stems can be obtained at a plantation for 35 cents per stem or even less, the shipping pushes the price much higher. Plus if dealing in small lots, there are consolidation costs and other hidden fees.

The easy part is getting the roses and shipping them to Miami. From there fast transportation is expensive and the way the Fresh Rose Club ships is the best and least expensive way without giving up freshness and quality.

The roses you find at supermarkets and discounters such as Costco and WalMart have smaller bulbs and are not of the same quality or freshness. These roses may appear cheaper, but in the long run are not, when you factor in vase life and time taken to get to the store and buy the roses.

Fresh Rose Club can compete head on with bulk sales (which we cover below) but single dozen shipments have a high packaging and shipping cost per stem.

Costco, WalMart etc. ship their lower quality bouquets in bulk to their warehouse and then truck them to their stores. The roses were not as nice to begin with, but by the time they reach the stores freshness is gone.

My research to date suggests that there is no way to get fresher roses without getting on a plane, flying to Ecuador and buying them at the plantation. Nor have I found any business that sells them for less, $39.95 per dozen including shipping.

Plus if you take quality into account, there is no competition. For example the dozen roses I have from Fresh Rose Club opened immediately and fully, so there are large bright heads with about nine layers of petals. The WalMart roses were so old and tired that these smaller heads barely opened. At best some of them have four layers of petals. Other remained closed and never opened at all. Now after four days, the Fresh Rose Club flowers look as bright and fresh as the first day. The WalMart flowers after just three days have started to brown at the petal's edge.

Part of the benefit of working in the rose business with Merri and me is that we will continually be looking for ways to market FRESH ROSES, using messages such as "Watch out for the lover's wilt" and "How important is your time and their love?"

Some email sites have had specials for roses at $29.95 per dozen, but this is excluding shipping which runs from $7.95 to $12.95 and there is no guarantee of freshness.

Finally the Fresh Rose Club has several patented methods of delivery to assure the best chance that each stem and bulb are in perfect condition.

There are several ways to work with the Fresh Rose Club.

The first system (if you have a website) is to be an affiliate. This simple program allows you to put a link to the Fresh Rose Club on your site. There is no cost to sign up as an affiliate. You then receive either a 20% to 35% commission on every sale that comes from your site, or they will pay you a per click fee instead. In addition if you sign up other affiliates you receive an override commission of $1.00 per dozen on all business they do.

The second system is a more active distributorship. The cost of signing up is $75. This fee covers the cost of setting up your program plus you receive a dozen roses delivered direct FREE.

There are two ways to make money as a distributor. The first is by selling roses a dozen at a time. You receive a commission of 20% to 35% on all sales you make (depending on volume).

The second way is to sign up other distributors. You receive a $25 bonus on the first dozen roses sold by each affiliate you sign up, plus a 2.5% to 5% overriding commission on distributors who work for you. This is not a multilevel deal by the way where you earn commission on a downline. You receive overrides only on the distributors you sign up and on distributors your distributors sign up (two levels).

All of the programs above are for delivery in the 48 lower states only.

The third way you can work with Merri and me is on bulk sales. We can arrange bulk sales and delivery anywhere in the world and we offer two options.

The first works with the Fresh Rose Club's bulk sales program (again only in the 48 contiguous states). This program starts at a minimum 150 roses for $150 delivered three to five days fresh. If you are a distributor or affiliate of the Fresh Rose Club, you also earn commissions and overrides on bulk sales.

The second bulk option is for anyone who desires regular, large orders (150 or more roses) anywhere in the world. We can get quotes for you from several plantations in Ecuador and arrange the same three to five day service from the plantation offering the best deal. Prices can be as low as 35 cents a stem plus shipping, depending on stem size, color, availability etc.

Now let me answer a very important question, why use us? If you wish, you can join the Fresh Rose Club on your own. The commissions you receive whether you join through us or not are exactly the same.

However we provide several additional benefits that will make your distributorship more effective.

#1: Marketing ideas. I will be continually coming up with new ideas on how to sell roses and will share them with our distributors.

#2: Rose forum. Merri and I are starting our own rose business here, so we can learn more and better ways to sell FRESH ROSES. We'll share these tips and encourage distributors who work with us to share what they learn as well.

#3: Ongoing Research. We will continually watch the market and try to find better, more efficient ways to increase out profits.

#4: Leads. We have over 20,000 readers around the world and will share leads we gain in your area if you are a distributor.

#5: Structural ideas. I will be looking and inform you of ways to structure your business for tax and asset protection advantages.

What to do now. There are several different steps you can take at this time.

#1: Order a dozen roses for yourself. This was my first test. I ordered from Fresh Rose Club, Proflowers and several others to see the quality, test the vase life and compare delivery and price. Make sure you like what they offer before you become an affiliate or distributor. To order from Fresh Rose Club go to http://www.garyascott.com/roses/

When you order please use (if you like) my sponsor's code 157.

#2: Become a distributor. If you want to proceed as an affiliate (no cost) or distributor (cost $75 including 12 FREE roses), again go to http://www.garyascott.com/roses/ and signup. Again if you wish to work with us use my sponsor's code 157.

Also I would appreciate it if you send me a note (gary@garyascott.com) letting me know you have signed up.

#3: Start the bulk process. If you wish to buy or sell bulk amounts (150 or more per order) please let me know at gary@garyascott.com and tell me the amount you would like to order and where it would be delivered. I'll then get you a bulk quote.

I look forward to working with you and until we communicate again hope that everything is coming up roses for you!

Gary


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