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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


When it comes to self-employment, perhaps no other industry has provided quite the volume of opportunities as direct sales businesses. In fact, Women’s Day Magazine reports that, in 2009, over 16 million Americans generated more than 28 billion dollars in revenue from these home-based, consultation and party-style enterprises.

Some names - Avon, Mary Kay, Amway - are those you’ve probably heard. These are companies that have been granting extra income to home-based entrepreneurs for decades. But, there’s a whole new crop of direct-sales companies rising in popularity.

If you’re one of the millions of people kicking around the idea of joining this industry, take a peek at this list of 4 up-and-coming companies you might want to look into.


Founded in 2012, this direct-sales cosmetics company has been expanding rapidly with an extensive inventory of natural cosmetics. Distributors, called “presenters,” typically make sales via an online presence, along with home and online demonstration parties. Online research finds presenters need to spend $99 on a start-up kit, and can expect to make a 25% commission on sales. Basically, $1,000 in sales nets the seller about $150.


According to their website, Thirty-One Gifts formed 10 years ago “with a simple goal of helping women by giving them an opportunity to own their own business.” The business boasts a wide-ranging inventory with everything from handbags to stationary to creative storage solutions - and a nationwide consultant force of over 80,000. While not as new as some of our profiled companies, Thirty-One Gifts has staying power; it ranked 5th for fastest-growing Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) companies in 2011, with over $100 million in profit.


This direct-seller, formed in 2010, has seen marked success with women by selling ready-to-wear decorative nail strips. Like all reputable work-at-home businesses, Jamberry has an online presence for customers to shop without a sales agent. However, the company employs thousands of sellers around the US who actually stand to earn a fair amount through commission. After a $99 startup cost, a Jamberry consultant will earn 30% commission from all sales.


While not particularly new when compared to other direct-sales companies, Lilla Rose bears mentioning simply because it’s got a solid reputation. The business formed in 1992, selling all varieties of hair accessories. Like many other home-based businesses, consultants are encouraged to host parties to lure more customers and possibly consultants. The model has worked well for them; according to Find the Best, Lilla Rose consultants earn a 40% sales commission, one of the highest in the direct-sales universe.

Direct sales is a huge empire, and folks interested in venturing into it are not going to have trouble finding a product or company that interests them. Are you self-employed as a direct sales consultant? What’s the experience like for you? Leave us a comment below - and good luck!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Client Profile: Solid Rock Home Innovations

Here at Safe Shield, our business success is reflected perfectly in the successes of our clients. Today, we talk with Dale Gronhovd, the founder and CEO of Solid Rock Home Innovations, LLC. here in St. Cloud. Dale is a passionate small-business owner with years of experience, and we’re honored to be able to share his story. Here’s Dale:

How long have you been in business?

I started in November 2013 - so about 5 months.

Why did you first get into business for yourself?

I have a degree in Carpentry and have worked in the construction field for the past 20 years. I absolutely love working with homeowners to help them enjoy their home. I had always dreamed of owning my own business, and have done projects for family and friends for years. Even though there are plenty of remodeling/repair technicians in the community, I saw a gap in customer service and expertise - and knew I could fill that gap. My fiance was very supportive, so when I needed to make a job change just a few weeks before our wedding, we decided it was a great time to start the business. Solid Rock Home Innovations specializes in remodeling, repair and DIY consulting.

What is the most rewarding part of owning your own company?

It is so rewarding to talk to a home owner or business owner who has a challenge with their home or office and be able to offer a solution they didn't realize was possible. Because of my years of experience, I'm often able to find a more cost-effective solution than they had imagined. Knowing my work is helping people enjoy their home gives me tremendous satisfaction.I also know that the buck stops with me and I can perform each job to my own high standards. I truly enjoy each day and come home at night with peace knowing I gave my clients my all.

At what point in your business journey did you start using Safe Shield? How has using them helped you? What feature has helped you the most.

I could have started my business under the radar and waited awhile before getting set up legally; in fact, there were people who suggested I just take cash jobs for the first few months. However, as our business name suggests, we wanted to run a business with integrity and wanted to start by doing things right; I just had no idea where to get started. My wife, Tara, had worked with Kent in the past and had respect for Safe Shield. Meeting with Kent was one of the very first things I did in getting started and he brought tremendous value! He helped me understand my options for setting up my business and advised me on a number of business issues I had questions about. Not only did SafeShield help us set up our LLC, but taking Kent's advice brought incredible peace of mind as I started my business. What could have been a very stressful process, was exciting and motivating!

How do you see your future?

Solid Rock Home Innovations is growing at a steady pace and once I obtain my contractor's license this summer, the opportunities will be endless. I'm excited to grow Solid Rock Home Innovations into a respected brand in our community as we continue to delight our clients. In addition to providing for my family, we pray Solid Rock will grow so that we can also give back to our community.

What makes Solid Rock unique is the ability to find creative, cost effective solutions combined with carpentry expertise (high end attention to detail) and a sincere heart for our clients. This combination of skills and values aren't found in many businesses nor are they being taught, so one day I hope to take on apprentices to teach and mentor the next generation.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Being a Business Partner with Integrity

At Safe Shield we strive to help protect your business while allowing you more time to focus on the day-to-day needs of your customers. For a wonderful example of this, look no further than Integrity Auto and Truck, an auto repair business in St. Cloud. Founded by Jason Brehmer almost five years ago, they have been a Safe Shield Client for the past two years. It has been satisfying to work with Integrity Auto and Truck because we are able to provide Jason with the peace of mind that his business is compliant and he doesn’t have to worry about it.

In Jason’s own words: “I could go on and on about the challenges that I face in business. As the business grows, new ones come up and I start to see my shortcomings just as much as my strengths appear. One of them was realizing that no matter how much ambition or drive I have, I simply can’t do it all. It either doesn’t get done or slips through the cracks. A perfect example of this is my corporate documents. I always thought “yeah, I’ll get to them”, but I didn’t. The other component is that I’m a car expert, not a corporate expert. I started to ask myself, “if my LLC isn’t bullet proof, then what good is it?” and “do I know how to make it that way?” After that, the choice was easy. Kent and his team have been great to work with. They call me and remind me, even hound me if need be, to make sure that my ducks are in a row. It is good piece of mind, and priceless.” Jason started Integrity Auto and Truck as a life goal and the work that he does is very rewarding. Safe Shield has strived to help Jason accomplish his goals and run a successful business, while being able to directly see the fruits of his labor.

“There are so many ways they have helped” said Jason. “From making sure I keep my documents in order, to things getting filed as needed. My bank likes them too because of the online access to all of my records. Best feature for me out of all of it, is them calling me and making sure things get done because it is far too easy to keep putting things off.”

We look forward to helping Jason deal with the new challenges that come with owning a business and are excited to see continued growth at Integrity Auto and Truck over the years to come.