Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 12

BeadforLife

DiversifyingRevenueStreams
DianaPesenti,RachelStrobel,IslaSchanuel

Devinwasmidwaythroughthe20hourtransatlanticflightbacktothestatesfromKampala,Uganda whenshewasstruckbythesignificanceofthejourneythatherorganization,BeadforLife,had undertakenoverthepastnineyears.Thishadbeenmorethanabusinesstripitwasavisitthathad renewedhersenseofhopeandthesenseofregenerationthatguidedeveryaspectofBeadforLifesvery existence. Devinspentthenextfewhoursrelivingthevisionthatemergedfromthefirstchanceencounterwith Millie,aUgandanwomanshehadmetbychancenineyearsago.Milliehadbeenmakingalivingby rollingstripsofpaperintocolorfulbeadsintheslumsofKampala.Devinandhercofoundersleftthis firstmeetingwithafewbeadednecklacesandthevisionforanorganizationthatwouldbeabletogivea voicetoMillieandthoselikeher.ThisbecametheguidingmissionforBeadforLife:toimprovethelives ofwomeninUgandabyprovidingthemwithbothavoice,andopportunitiesforabetterfuturefor themselvesandtheirfamilies. Forthefirstdecadeofitsexistence,BeadforLifesoared.Theorganizationhadestablisheditselfearlyon asaoneoftheveryfirstdistributorsofpaperbeadsinthedevelopedworld,anddidsoinsuchaway astosimultaneouslyestablishanameforitselfasasociallyconsciousenterprise,whilestillgeneratinga significantamountofmoneyfrompeertopeersales.Theorganizationreceivedalargeamountof positivemediacoverage,includingamentioninOprahsOMagazine,anddemandforBeadforLife productsexplodedintheUnitedStates,Canada,andEuropeasconsumersrushedtopurchase productswhichwerebothattractive,andcarriedwiththemthepromiseofabetterlifeforwomenin Uganda.

ExamplesofBeadforLifeproducts.Photocredit:BeadforLife

Duringthisperiod,BeadforLifeexperiencedarapidgrowthinsalesprimarilyduetothesuccessof BeadPartiesgatheringsinwhichthoselookingtosupportBeadforLifesmissionsellthe organizationsproductsdirectlytotheirfriendsandfamily.Thisparticulardistributionchannelhas showedasteadydeclineof15%overthepastthreeyears.DespitethefactthatBeadforLifehasbeen exploringnewpotentialrevenuesources,thedecreaseinthetotalamountofrevenuegeneratedthrough thebeadpartieshasraisedconcernsaboutthefinancialsustainabilityoftheorganizationscurrent businessmodel.Becauseofthis,theboardofdirectorshasbegunpressingforalternativeoptionswhich wouldmaketheorganizationlessreliantonbeadparties,andDevinandherteamhaveuntilthenext boardmeetingtodeviseastrategicplanforincreasingrevenue. Devinhadalreadyscheduledmeetingswithlocalandnationalretailersanddistributors,whichwould beginimmediatelyuponherreturntotheStates.Havingamoredetailedpictureofpotentialbusiness partners,Devinandherteamwouldbeabletoprepareasetofrecommendationstobringbeforethe boardintwoweeks.ThesustainabilityofBeadforLifeisatacrucialjunctureandthedecisionsathand arecriticalinestablishingthefuturecoursefortheorganization. Withthisinmind,DevinstriptoUgandaprioritizedtheneedforfindingalternativestrategiesand increasingrevenuewhilemaintainingtheintegrityoftheorganizationalvisionofempoweringwomen.The economicenvironmenttoday,particularlyinrespecttothegrowthoftheartisanmarketsectorhas changedthelandscapefornonprofitssuchasBeadforLifeandthereisagreaterneedformarket placementandvisibility. Thequestionhasbecomeoneofsustainability:HowcanBeadforLiferepositionitselfwithinasaturated marketwithoutdilutingthebrandandthestorybehindit?Stayingviablewithinthismarketwilldepend ontheorganizationsabilitytorepositionwithinthemarketinordertolocateandpursuenewsourcesof revenue.DevinrealizesthatthenextfewyearsaregoingtobecriticalinmaintainingBeadforLifesvision anddesigninganewbusinessmodelthatwouldallowtheorganizationtoscalemoreeffectively,while creatingsocialimpactandfinancialsustainability. OrganizationalBackground Foundedin2004byDevinHibbard,TorkinWakefieldandGinnyJordan,BeadforLifeisan international,nonprofitorganizationthatsellsjewelrymadefromhandrolledpaperbeadsandhas recentlyexpandeditsproductlinetoincludecosmeticproductsmadefromsheabutter(anoffwhitefat extractedfromthenutofthesheatreeandusedincosmeticproducts).Thebeadsandsheabuttersold byBeadforLifearemadebywomeninUgandaaspartofBeadforLifespovertyalleviationprograman incomegeneratingopportunityinwhichwomenmakeBeadforLifeproducts(beadedjewelryandshea butter)whicharethensoldatBeadPartiesinNorthAmerica(UnitedStatesandCanada)and Europe.AllnetprofitsthatBeadforLifegeneratesareinvestedbackintocommunitydevelopment projectsthatfocusonbusinesscreation,healthandeducation,andotherpovertyeradicationmeasures. 2

UnlikeatraditionalFairTrademodel,BeadforLifedoesnotworkwithonegroupofartisansyearafter year.Instead,theyprovideextensivebusinesstrainingtothewomen,helpingthemtostarttheirown entrepreneurialendeavorbeforetheygraduatefromBeadforLifeaftertheir18monthtermof employmenthasbeencompleted.BeadforLifebelievesthisisthemostsustainablestrategybecauseit createslongtermindependenceforthewomen,andallowsBeadforLifetoservethousandsofwomen overtime,ratherthanjustemployingasmallportionofthepopulationtheyarelookingtoassist.

WomeninUganda(Photocredit:BeadforLife)

BeadforLifeBeadParties Asalludedtoearlier,thesignificanceoftheBeadParty,BeadforLifesprimarydistributionmodel.In 20122013alone,BeadPartiesbroughtinover$16.6milliondollarsinrevenue.ABeadPartyisa gatheringofpeoplethatcometogethertobuyBeadforLifesbeadproductsthroughpeertopeer networkinganddirectsales.BeadPartyhostsarevolunteersthatsellitsproductstotheirfriends, coworkers,neighbors,andfaithcommunities.BeadPartiesaresimilartomanypeertopeerhome partysalessuchascandleparties,tuplewearparties,andmakeupcosmeticparties. ByusingBeadPartiesasastrategicdistributionchannel,BeadforLifewasabletotripleitsprofitsinthe firstthreeyearsofbusinessinthemid2000s.Akeyassettothesuccessforthisdistributionchannel,are theBeadPartyhosts.Asofthe20122013financialyear,BeadforLifehadover3,100active volunteers.ThisdistributionmodelallowsBeadforLifetocapitalizeonvolunteerresourcesandnetworks todistributeandmarketitsproductthroughpeertopeersaleswithoutaccruingadditionalcostsfor distribution,hiring,andmarketing.Inaddition,thestorybehindBeadforLifeisingrainedinitsproducts andhasbeenintegralinmaintainingaloyalcustomerbase.AlargecustomerbaseforBeadforLifes productsaretheBeadPartyhostsandBeadPartyattendees.Throughsuchnetworks,BeadforLifeis abletosellitsproducts,developaloyalcustomerbase,andreaffirmitscoreidentity.

BeadforLifepartnersinUganda(Photocredit:BeadforLife)

Intermsofdemographics,90%ofBeadPartyhostsareprimarilywhitenonurbanfemales,according toprivateconsultationresearchconductedbyPatrickRaymondin2011fromInnovatorInstitute,Inc. DuetothepeertopeernatureofBeadPartysales,thoselookingtobuyBeadforLifeproducts belongedtothesamedemographic.Thereportconcludedthatnovarianceexistedbetweenhostsand potentialhosts.Raymondfurtherstated: Similarities may be due to natural audience selection, whereby the homogeneity of white, nonurban women leads to no variance between hosts and potential hosts. This is good and bad news. Good because you can use one consistent message. Bad because that message may not resonate beyond the white, nonurban females Potential hosts are far younger than hosts. Thissuggestsa passingofthegenerationaltorch. Inaddition,thisparticulardemographicappearstohavebeenthoroughlytapped,astheaforementioned surveyalsorevealedover30%ofthehostssaytheyvetappedtheirnetworksalready,andhaveno reasontohitthemagain.IfBeadforLifeistocontinuetheirpeertopeerdistributionstrategythrough BeadParties,theymustdiversifysomeaspectoftheirbusinessmodelthroughtheirproducts,theirBead Partyhosts,ortheirproductchain. Furthermore,inrecentyearstherehasbeenanegativeshiftinboththepercentageoftotalsalesandthe totalrevenuegeneratedbyBeadPartysales.ThisleavesBeadforLifeinadifficultpositioninwhichit hasbecomecriticaltoidentifyandpursuealternativesourcesofrevenueiftheorganizationistostay afloat.Devinrealizesthatshehastodifferentiatetheoverallbusinessmodelsomehowbutknowsthatno matterwhichdirectionofchangeshetakes,therewillberiskinvolvedthatwillsignificantlyimpactthe futureofBeadforLife.Beforemakinganydefinitivedecision,however,Devinmustfirstlookathowthe artisanmarkethaschangedsinceBeadforLifewasfirstfounded. 4

BackgroundonArtisanIndustry AccordingtoartisanconsultingexpertKarenGibbswithByHandConsulting1,WhenBeadforLife started,noonewasdoingthepartybasedsales,butnowthathaschanged.Theartisanmarketis expandingmorethaneverbeforeandBeadforLifehasnoticed.BeadforLifecurrentlyhasalonglistof competitorsthattheyarewatchingclosely,whichincludesover85U.S.basedorganizationsand10 internationalorganizations. Handmadeproductshaverecentlybecomeoneofthebiggestsellerswithintheartisanmarket. AccordingtoTreehugger(2010)2,Etsy,theonlinemarketplaceforhandmadeitemsannouncedthat ithasraised$20millioninventurecapitalfinancingandhasnowtripleditsvaluationat$300million(not includingthefunding).Withsalesupawhopping72%fromlastyear,businessisbooming.Gibbs furtherstatesthattheartisanmarkethaschangeddramaticallyoverthepast5years.Thelinesare becomingmoreblendedintermoffinancialseparationbetweenthosethatwereworkinginthefairtrade marketwithamissiontoprovidefairwagesandotherswithinthemainstreammarketwithamissionfor increasingprofit. AccordingtoGibbs(2013)3,after2009,retailersandconsumerstookmoretimetoresearchproducts beforemakingpurchasesthantheyhadinpreviousyears.By2010,retailershadbeguntoshifttheir productorderstocountriesthathadmoreaffordableprices,wheretheycouldalsoordersmaller quantitiesduetodeclineddemandintheU.S.market.Thisinternationaleconomictrendallowed retailerstobuyuniqueproductswithcompellingstoriesfromuntappedartisanmanufacturers.Retailers alsofoundthattheycouldkeepcustomersintheirstoreslongerwithartisanproductsbecause consumerswouldbecaptivatedwiththeproductsstory.Artisanbecamethenewhandmadeto increasedsales.Evenlargemultinationalfoodindustries,seeminglyunrelatedtotheartisanmarket,are findingbenefitstocallingtheirproductsartisan.Inturn,theseeconomictrendsmadeartisanproducts moreattractiveforretailersandconsumers. Currentmarkettrendsseemtoindicatethatconsumersaredeliberatelyseekingoutproductswithlabels thatdescribemethodsofproduction,aswellasthestoriesofthecraftsmen.AccordingtoGibbs (2013),Artisangroupsarenotjustsellingtheirproductanymore,theyaresellingtheirstory.Sothey havetobegood,atnotjustcomingupwithagoodproduct,butalsotellingastorythatresonateswith theconsumertoday.Asaresult,thecompaniesthatarefindingsuccessinthisglobalmarketarethose sellinghandmade,ecofashionproductsthatreflectsustainability,culturalpreservationandaredirectly impactingpovertyalleviation.Thestory,words,andvocabularythatdefineproductsarenow consideredtobeapartoftheproductsthemselvesandcorporationsaremakingaconsciouseffortto
1 2

(Gibbs,KarenByHandConsulting,personalcommunication,October16,2013).

Mok,Kimberley,(September4,2010).HandmadeOnlineMarketplaceEtsyRaises$20MillionFinancing. Retrievedfrom:http://www.treehugger.com/corporateresponsibility 3 (Gibbs,KarenByHandConsulting,personalcommunication,October16,2013).

includeemotionallytriggeringterminologyinbothproductmarketingandpackaginginordertoincrease sales. TheincreaseincompetitionamongstnonprofitsalsorepresentsasignificantchallengeforBeadforLife. Themarkethasneverbeensosaturatedwithpapermachebeads,withcompetitivemanufacturing effortsunderway,notonlyinUganda,butalsoworldwide.Furthermore,severalofBeadforLifes competitorsarealsosellingtheirproductsthroughpeertopeersales,muchlikeBeadforLifesBead Parties. Despitethecompetition,however,therearestillopportunitiesforexpansion.Consumersremain interestedinbuyingsociallyresponsibleproductswithcompellingbackstories,thematterissimplyone ofhowtobestlocateandtargettheseparticularconsumers.Intermsofmarketing,itmaybein BeadforLifesinteresttoinvestigateexactlyhowtheirstoryisuniquefromthoseoftheircompetitors, andhowtobestaccentuatethosedifferencestoappealtonewconsumers. BeadforLifehasopportunitytoinnovateandexplorealternativedistributionchannels,whichwouldshift theresponsibilityformarketingandoutreachtootherorganizationsentirely.BeadforLifecouldalso developmorepartnershipswithothercompaniestoexpandtheirsalesopportunitieswithinthemarket, andindoingso,mayalsobeabletoexpandtheirproductlinesandhowtheorganizationsellsits products.TobetterunderstandhowtheBeadforLifecanbestadapttotherecentshiftsintheartisan sector,itisimportanttounderstandcurrentrevenuesources,aswellasalternativerevenuesourcesthat BeadforLifehasopportunitytopioneer. CurrentRevenueSources Financially,BeadforLifeisopentograntsandcharitabledonations.However,thebulkofBeadforLifes operatingbudgetcomesdirectlyfromproductsales.Inthefirstfiveyears,theorganizationexperienced rapidgrowthandstruggledtokeepupwithdemand.Thissuccesswasduenotonlytotheirefficient businessmodel,butalsoduetotheirearlyentranceintothemarketasthefirstnonprofitorganizationto sellhandcraftedpaperbeads. AlthoughBeadforLifeconsidersitselftobefinanciallysecureatthispointintime,theyarefacedwitha numberofchallengesasaresultofaweakenedeconomyandincreasedcompetitionwithintheartisan market.Atpresent,beadpartiesstillaccountforthelargestsourceofBeadforLifesyearlyincome, whilewebandphoneordersduringthisperiodcomprisedthesecondlargestsegmentandincreased from11%in2010,to15%in2013.Directsalesbycommunitypartnerscomprisedthethirdlargest segment,andincreasedfrom4%to12%duringthissameperiod.

Inadditiontopersontopersonsales,BeadforLifehasmadeaninitialattempttoexpanditsrevenue sourcesthroughspecialandwholesalesales.Inthecaseofwholesalesales(definedbythe organizationasanysingleorder,evenonetime,ofover$250worthofmerchandisebyanotherbusiness entitywiththeintentionofresellingtheitemspurchased),revenuegeneratedthroughthischannelhas onlyincreased1%overthepastthreeyears.SpecialandBulksalesmadetoothercompanieshave alsoremainedrelativelystagnantaccountingfor3%ofsalesin2010,andhadactuallydecreasedto2% in2013.Becauseofthis,Devinthinksthatunlessstrongmarketingandpromotionaleffortsareinvested intothesepotentialrevenuestreams,organicgrowthwillbeslowandnotprovidetheincreasedrevenue basetheywant. AdditionalsalesrevenuefromsalesmadethroughtheBeadforLifestudiohasremainedconstantat2%, whilesalesmadeinEuropeanmarketshasgrownfrom3%in2010,to5%in2013.Thisincomeis furthersupplementedbyincomegeneratedthroughshippingandhandling,rentals,andgrantsand donationsmadedirectlytotheorganizationitselfthelatterofwhichaccountedfor7%oftotalincome duringthe20122013fiscalyear. DevinisadmittedlyreticenttoabandonorscalebacktheBeadPartymodel,givenitspastsuccessand thecloserelationshipBeadforLifehaswithitsvolunteercommunity.Devinbelievesthesolutiontothe 7

decreaseinBeadPartysalescouldbesolvedbyfindingnewvolunteerstohostBeadParties,andby expandingtherangeofproductsofferedthroughthepartiesthemselvestoBeadforLifesexisting customers.ThishassparkedanumberofconversationswithHeather,BeadforLifesprogramdirector fortheU.S.andEuropewhowasrecentlybroughtontohelpincreasesales.Whileseeingthevaluein BeadParties,HeatherbelievesthattheresourcescurrentlybeinginvestedintheBeadPartiesmaybe betterspentineffortstopursuenewdistributionchannels,ashavingmoresourcesofrevenuewould betterprotecttheorganizationagainstchangesintheoveralleconomy,andmakeitlessreliantuponthe BeadPartymodelitself.IftheychosetomaintaintheBeadParties,Heathercontendsthatitisnecessary tocreatesometypeoftrackingsystemontheproductsaswellasmarketingstrategiesthatwilltargeta widerandmorediverseconsumerbase. PotentialAlternativeRevenueSources Inconsideringthematterofdiversification,theBeadforLifeteamhasproposedtwopossibleadditional revenuesourcesinadditiontotheexistingpersontopersonsaleschannels:Expandingtheretail distributionmodelforfinishedBeadforLifeproducts,oranewwholesaledistributionmodel,which wouldfocusresourcesonexpandingandmodifyingitsexistingwholesaleeffortsbysellingproduct components(rawsheaandindividualbeads)inbulk. NewDistributionModelforFinishedProducts Pursuinganewretaildistributionmodelwouldmeanfocusingorganizationaleffortsonexpandinginto newmarketsandpartneringwithothercompaniesinordertosellexistingproductsthroughnew channels.BeadforLifecurrentlyhasnoplanstodiversifyitsexistingproductlinesbutwouldinsteadbe lookingtoeitherfindnewbusinesspartnerswhomaybewillingtodistributeexistingfinishedproduct lines,orcompaniestowhomBeadforLifemaybeabletosellexclusiveproductlines. Inthecaseoftheformer,BeadforLifecouldeithersellitsfinishedproductsinbulktoaretailerpartner, orprovidesaidpartnerwithalargequantityoffinishedproductstobesoldonconsignment. BeadforLifewouldkeepitsowntrademarkandbrandontheseproducts,andwouldsplittheprofits fromsaleswithitspartnercompanies.Thealternativewouldbeeitherthecreationofentirelynew products(exclusiveitemsforeitheritspartnercompanies,oritsbeadparties,whicharedistinctfrom theBeadforLifeprimaryproductlines)orthere/cobrandingofBeadforLifeproductswithapartner company/organization. SellingBeadforLifeproductsthroughlarger,establishedcompaniescouldprovideBeadforLifewiththe spaceandresourcesnecessarytoexpandintonewmarkets.Suchatransitionwouldalsominimize financialriskandoverheadbyworkingwithbusinessesthathavealreadyestablishedthemselveswithin existingmarkets.However,thiswouldrequireBeadforLifetoevaluatethebrandpriortobeginningany
partnershipnegotiations.

Notonlyisthemarketalreadysaturatedwithpaperbeadproducts,butifBeadforLifepartnerswitha largercompany/organizationwhosevaluesarenotinlinewithitsown,BeadforLiferunstheriskof branderasureordilution.BeadforLifehasmorethan85U.S.competitorsatpresent,andwouldliketo ensurethatcustomersareawareofhowitsbusinessoperatesandthevaluestheyhold(e.g.Poverty eradicationandtheempowermentandeducationofwomeninUganda).BeadforLifeconsidersitsstory tobeitstrueproduct,andmoreimportantthanthephysicalproductsthemselves,andassuchthe companymayfinditselfforcedtoturndowncertainpartnershippossibilitiesifthetermsofthose contractsareincompatiblewiththevaluesBeadforLifeholds. ExampleCompetitor:NoondayCollection AmodelcompetitorthatsellspapermachebeadsandreliesheavilyonpeertopeersalesisNoonday Collection4.NoondayCollection,foundedin2011,hashada500%growthrateeveryyear.Noonday Collectionnotonlysellspapermachebeadsbutitalsosellsdifferentartisanproductsinthejewelry, accessory,homeandgiftmarket.

NoondayCollectionproducts(Photocredit:NoondayCollection)

Todistributeproducts,NoondayCollectionusesvolunteerstohosttrunkshows,essentiallythesame distributionasBeadforLife.However,NoondayCollectionsmission,productline,andmanufacturing locationsarebroaderthanBeadforLife.Themissionisbroaderbecausetheynotonlysellproductsthat helpwithpovertyeradication,empowerment,andeducation,buttheyalsoprovideopportunitiesfor nationalandinternationaladoptions.Thisisnotapartofthebusinessmodelbutratherthesocialmission isuniqueincomparisontootherorganizationswithintheartisanmarket.NoondayCollectionsproduct lineisbroaderbecausetheyaresellingproductsforthejewelry,accessory,home,andgiftmarket. NoondayCollectionsmanufacturinglocationsaremoreexpansivebecauseits1,000+artisanscome fromtwelvedifferentcountries:Ethiopia,India,Uganda,Peru,Rwanda,Guatemala,Ecuador,Vietnam,


4

NoondayCollection.Retrievedfromhttp://www.noondaycollection.com/

Haiti,Indonesia,Thailand,andtheUnitedStates.NoondayCollectionistransparentthatthe organizationwasfoundedonChristianprinciplesandheavilyutilizes(althoughnotexclusively) faithbasednetworksandgroupstoconductitspeertopeersales. Inadditiontousingpeertopeersalesthroughambassadors,NoondayCollectionprovidesincentives foritsambassadorsthroughmonetaryrewardsanddiscounts.Thisisakeydifferencebetween NoondayCollectionandBeadforLife,asBeadforLifesBeadPartyhostsdonotreceiveanymonetary incentiveswhatsoever.Noondayambassadorsaregiventheirownwebsite,$700worthofNoonday Collectionproducts,20%commissiononeverytrunkshowandsale,50%ofanyproducts,and capacitytrainingviatotrainingandbusinessbuildingtools. ThroughNoondayCollectionsexample,BeadforLifeisabletoobservehowanorganizationwitha broadermission,productline,andgeographicalmanufacturingreachcanstillcapitalizeonpeertopeer saleseveninasaturatedartisanmarket.However,akeystrategyforNoondayCollectiontoconduct andexpanditspeertopeersalesisbyrelyingheavilyonfaithbasednetworksandambassador incentives.Conversely,therearestillotheralternativerevenueavenuesthatBeadforLifecanexplore, suchaswholesaledistribution. NewDistributionModelforProductMaterials AlthoughBeadforLifehasmadesomeinitialforaysintowholesaleproductdistribution,theyhaveyetto attemptaconcentratedwholesalemarketingcampaignoraggressivelyseekoutnewpartnersinthe space.Atthemoment,theirwholesalematerialssalesareprimarilythoseofrawsheabutterforuseby cosmeticsmanufacturers.ThisisduetothefactthatBeadforLifeiscurrentlyoneoftheleadingU.S. distributorsofSheaNilotica.ThebeadsusedinBeadforLifejewelry,incontrast,haveneverbeen distributedinbulk,asevenunsoldbeadsfromdiscontinuedproductlinesarerecycledandreusedbythe organizationitself. Iftheorganizationweretofocusitseffortsonthisoption,itwouldrequirechangesatalmosteverystage ofproduction,marketing,andsales,asitwouldrequireasplitintheproductionprocesswherea certainpercentageofproductmaterialsareshippedoffearlytobesoldwholesaletopartnersinthe U.S.andEurope.Incomefromthesechannelscouldsupplementfinishedsalesinbothregions,anddo sorelativelycheaply,asBeadforLifewouldnothavetoinvesttimeorresourcesintothemanufacturing, marketing,anddistributionofthefinalproductsmadefromthesematerials. However,aswiththealternativeretailmodelproposedabove,thewholesaleoptionwouldnotbe withoutrisk.Notonlywouldtherebequestionsaboutwhetherornotsuchamodelwouldbeconsistent withBeadforLifesfocusonthestory,butthereareactualfinancialconsiderationstoaddressaswell. InUganda,decreaseddemandforfinishedbeadproducts,forexample,wouldmeanastructuralchange forthewomenwhohadpreviouslybeenmakingboththebeadsandfinishedjewelry.Withlimited 10

resources,itisalsopossiblethattheincreaseddemandforunfinishedproductscouldactuallyoutpace thedemandforfinishedproducts.Assuch,BeadforLifecouldbefacedwithhavingtochoosebetween continuingtomakeitsownfinishedproductsorshiftingexistingresourcestoinsteadfocusonlyonthe productionofrawmaterials. ExampleCompetitor:IndegoAfrica OneofBeadforLifesotherextantcompetitors,IndegoAfrica 5,hasmasteredwholesaledistribution. IndegoAfricaissimilarinmissionandscopeasBeadforLife,however,IndegoAfricafollowsadifferent distributionmodel.AlthoughIndegoAfricasmanufacturingmodelissimilartothatofBeadforLifeinthat themissionandsocialimpactisonlyfocusedinonecountry(Inthiscase,Rwanda),itsproductlineis morediverse.

(Photocredit:IndegoAfrica)

IndegoAfricanotonlysellsjewelry,butproductsfortheaccessory,clothing,gift,andhomedecor marketcateredtowardsmenandwomenaswell.Theseitemsaredistributedthroughacombinationof bulkandindividualordersplacedthroughanonlinestoreretailsalesthroughsmalltomediumsized boutiquesandlargescalebrandanddesigncollaborations.IndegoAfricahassuccessfullymergedwith small,medium,andlargeretaildistributorswithoutdilutingtheirbrandandoverallorganizationalmission. AnopportunityforBeadforLifetoexpandtheirrevenuestreams,inlightofIndegoAfricasbusiness model,isthroughexpandingonlinesales.Asshowninthegraphbelow,BeadforLifegeneratesa substantialamountofrevenuethroughonlinesales.Theorganizationslargestmarketforonlinesalesis concentratedintheSouth.TherearemanynewconsumertrendsthatBeadforLifewantstotapinto.For the2014fiscalyear,BeadforLifewantstostartsellingitsproductswithintheAmazonmarketplace. Theonlinemarketforfairtradecraftsandartisanproductsisahugemarketsegment.Howan organizationnavigatesthisspaceisintegraltotheirsuccess.AnonlineplatformwillallowBeadforLife toconnectwithalargermorediverseconsumerbaseandcreateuniquescalabilityoptions.
5

IndegoAfrica.Retrievedfromhttp://www.indegoafrica.org/

11

Conclusion WhileinUganda,DevinhadtheopportunitytomeditateonthepresentchallengesfacingBeadforLifeas wellasruminateoneverystepinBeadforLifesmanufacturinganddistributionprocesses,butnowthat shehadreturnedtothestates,itwastimetomakeacall. Withthecurrentmarketdemandforartisanproducts,howcouldBeadforLiferestructureitsbusiness modeltoincorporatenewstrategiesthatreflectmoreviableoptionsandmaintainacompetitiveedgeon themarket?HowcouldBeadforLifeholdontoitscorevaluesystemandstillincreasesalesinthe UnitedStates,EuropeandCanada? Thepastnineyearshadsolelybeenfocusedonrestrictedrevenuestreamsanddisseminatingthestory behindtheorganization.Havingassembledaveritablearmyofloyalsupportersandinlightofthe tremendousaccoladesbestoweduponthem,itsunderstandableonemightwanttoembraceits strengthsandsticktothesamepatternswhichfirstmadetheorganizationaleaderintheinternational nonprofitbeadmarket.However,astheglobaleconomytransformedthelandscapeandattitudesof theglobalmarket,Beadforlifecannolongerdependonthesamestrategies,noreventhesame demographicsthathelpedthembecomesuccessfulinthebeginning. Astheplanetouchesdown,Devintakesonelastmomenttoreflectonthepossibilitiesavailableto BeadforLife,andbracesforthechallengesandopportunitiesthatlieahead.Thiswasatransformational timefortheorganizationandthepotentialforgrowthisunlimited. 12