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Here’s an email I got yesterday.

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I am taking your advice on getting a small health food co-op going in my local area. I thought I might could round up 10 or 15 people that would show some interest. However, we are now up to 50!!!

One thing I noticed on your website is that you only have orders once a year? My group is beginning to ask questions about how often we will be able to order. So, this is a question I need to ask since I am sure this will affect the amount we order this time around. How often can I place an order?

This is such a fabulous idea and I had no idea there would be such a demand for it in our area! I am really excited! It’s actually attracted so much attention and folks are asking for produce and other items (such as grains and legumes). So, my husband and I are looking to expand.

By the way, I saw you are making an affiliate program. I am so interested in this since all I do is sing the praises of your 12 Step book! When are you planning on doing this???

Answer: Thanks for your support of and my efforts to educate people and flatten the learning curve towards a healthy, whole foods lifestyle. I’m thrilled that you’re finding lots of people interested in the great deals on high-nutrition items to have in your pantry. Remember Sally’s comment, which parallels my experience: every time you do a buy, your list will double.

We have done the group buy once a year, each of the past three years. This year is a much bigger undertaking, with many more products available and a longer window to order (60 days). I don’t know if we’ll do it more than once a year, so I don’t dare promise. Tell your folks to order based on these items being available just once a year. Our main problem in a second buy would be obtaining enough raw almonds, because once the growers declare them to the almond board, they are pasteurized. So getting in as the crop is harvested is helpful. I will evaluate the situation based on supply and demand when we close this one, after Nov. 30.

You can place as many orders as you want in this once-annual event. But unless each order is 1,100 lbs. or more, you won’t be getting the best shipping rate. So consider that as you plan.

You asked about the affiliate program. For those who don’t know what that is, you’re assigned a unique URL, and anyone you send through that link tracks to you, so you’re paid commission on any purchases they make. We’ll have a link to get your own GSG business cards. The program is so that BlendTec or VitaMix Costco demo folks, naturopaths, M.D.s, chiropractors, clinic owners, mom bloggers, or health site owners can refer people to GSG and earn money doing so. We have done absolutely zero advertising in the 2 years since I put the site up, so growth of GSG and 12 Steps has been totally organic, word-of-mouth. Those who are referring people here already might as well be paid to do so.

I have a list of people who have expressed interest, and I will notify y’all via email when we kick it off. That will be as soon as we have the expanded 12 Steps course manufactured and ready: printed and bound steps and recipes, journal, demo DVDs, audio CDs. That way if you are building a business around health, you have a more substantial product to earn a commission on. This should happen in the next month.

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