The purpose of the SISTERS Club is to create an environment where women can come together to share knowledge and experiences, generate ideas, and create investments and business ventures that will provide on-going retirement income for the members of the Club. It is a community of women helping women and helping themselves to improve their retirement planning success. The members could invite speakers, share books, recommend websites, give referrals, use each other’s services and generally further the success of the Club members. The tone should be friendly and social by nature. The Club will maintain a business focus and interact in a business manner. Respect, confidentiality and trust are the hallmarks of SISTERS Clubs. SISTERS Clubs should be fun and profitable – and importantly, create retirement income enterprises.
Each Club must start with a minimum of two members. There is no maximum number of members. The first order of business is to choose a Club name. This may include the Club location, product, slogan or any other appropriate name.
SISTERS Clubs should register their Club at sistersretirement.com. SISTERS Clubs are encouraged to update their membership, keep an online diary of progress and share success stories at this site.
The members may create individually owned businesses (IOB). In this case, each member would create and control her own business venture and investments. The members would come together to share their experiences, offer each other advice, professional contacts and moral support.
The Club may decide to create a Club owned business (COB). In this case, the Club will create and record member shares. Each member automatically gets one share, the assumption being that each person will bring some human value other than monetary. Thereafter each share is purchased for $1000, or in fractions or multiples thereof, and approved by majority vote. It is recommended that all profits be reinvested back into the business for the first three years. Thereafter, profits, above and beyond operating needs, as approved by majority vote, are distributed according to the number of shares each person holds.
All Club members agree to meet regularly and commit for one year. The Club will choose a regular meeting place or rotate between members’ homes.
Members should switch roles every six to twelve months, as agreed upon by the members.
All members of a Club Owned Business must sign a Contractual Arrangement of Fairness (CAF). An attorney, financial advisor and CPA should be consulted to vet the legality and fairness of the document, particularly where money, investments or other valuable assets are involved.
It is recommended that every SISTERS Club enlist a team of advisors to establish and help manage their businesses. These include:
As the business grows, it may be necessary to enlist additional specialists.
Define your Club’s interests, strengths and skills. This will help you recognize natural abilities of individual members that can be best used to create a business. It will also point to the most suitable product or service for your Club’s skill set.
Define your Club’s product or service. Try to define it in depth. For example, if you decide to start a T-shirt company, define what kind of T-shirts you want to sell and to whom. Who will design and produce the T-shirts. Why would someone buy your T-shirts? Where will you sell your T-shirts? How will you deliver them? How much will you charge for them? The more you can define your product or service the better you can market it.
Consider carefully any hobbies your Club members may have. Hobbies hold tremendous potential because it is something that you or one of your members already loves and understands. Chances are she already knows how to make a product and has the tools and supplies to do so. Can the other members rally round this product? Can you transform it from a hobby into a viable business?
You and/or your Club may decide that you want to have a service-based business. If you are good at cooking, you could start a catering company. If you have good bookkeeping skills, you could start a bookkeeping company. If you have a green thumb, you could start a gardening company, and make an arrangement with the local nursery to service its customers.
Define your business strategy. Strategy means “how.” How will you make your business a success? What is unique about your business that will give you a competitive edge? How will you market your product or service? Will sell your product on the Internet? How will you generate interest? Will you compete on price? Will you sell unique artistic products available only through your business? How will you beat out the competition and make your business a success?
Create a marketing plan to sell your product or service. How will you get the word out about your fantastic product?
Set business goals and financial goals. Be specific and measure your results.
Every legitimate business has a formal business plan. Take your business seriously and write a business plan. It should include the seven “P’s”:
Get creative. Start small. Sell one T-shirt, use the profits to buy two more. Sell two T-shirts, use the profits to buy three more, and so on. By starting small and reinvesting your profits back into your business, you will be able to finance your business out of your own pocket.
Club owned businesses may agree to each invest a small amount as a start-up in the business. Just be sure that you have a Contractual Arrangement of Fairness signed by all members first.
Since your business is specifically to generate income for retirement, it is critically important that you do not go into debt to finance your business. Let your business gather momentum, direction and positive results first. Consult your financial advisor, CPA and attorney.
Analyze your business successes and challenges. Repeat your successes. Look for creative solutions for your challenges.
New members should be sponsored by a current Club member and approved by a majority vote. New members are encouraged to visit the Club to ensure compatibility.
Disputes should be handled in an open and fair manner by the entire Club in a way that reduces discord among the members.
Members who wish to resign from a Club should do so in writing. If the Club wishes to terminate a member, it must be approved by a majority vote. The Treasurer should ensure that the terminating member is brought current on account if she is a shareholder.
Clubs may be dissolved by a majority vote of the members. The Treasurer should ensure that all financial obligations are finalized and accounts closed.