Hi All –
How about if we start a post of sharing some of our best business tips?
Why don’t we tell a little bit about ourselves and our businesses?
Good way to start and get to know each other!!
I’ll start –
My name is Stephanie Hay and I live in Massachusetts. I have been in direct sales for over 20 years. I started with Tupperware in the mid 80s, BeautiControl in the early 90s, PartyLite, Creative Memories and NuSkin. I am currently with Tastefully Simple and have been with them for over 6 years.
One of my tips is to talk to everyone and to always keep catalogs with you. I have a catalog bag with a clear pocket on the outside that I carry with me at most times — great way to advertise your business. I also have commercial plates and have advertising on my windows. I get a decent amount of calls from my window decals.
I also leave business cards under my rear window wiper and find that people take my business cards from there also. I have had a magnet holding business cards in the past and that worked also.
I also make my own business card magnets by laminating them and them trimming and putting on a business card magnet. I give everyone a business card magnet. I find that the laminating gives it a more professional look and wasn’t very expensive when I bought the laminator. I paid about $30 or so for it a few years ago and has been a very good investment.
Looking forward to sharing info and getting to know each other.
Have a great weekend!!
THESE ARE SOME GREAT EMAILS I GET FROM THE SUCCESS FACTORY — ENJOY!!!
SUBJECT: $$ Saving Quick Tip #1
Today we start a new “mini-series” on saving money. Over the years, we have watched with dismay as some consultants abandon their party plan business far too quickly. “I wasn’t making enough money”, can be a common complaint. In our next several emails we will give some practical tips on how you can make more and spend less in your party plan business.
Tip #1 Give it time! Most accountants will tell you that a new business takes 3-5 years to be truly profitable. In the party plan business, that cycle is far shorter. Give your business at least a year, preferably two, before declaring it unprofitable. In our organizations, we have reaped many of the rewards of ‘seeds’ that were planted by consultants who chose not to stay in the business long enough to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of their labors.
******************************************************************************SUBJECT: $$ Saving Quick Tip #2
Tip #2 Feed your mind…but do not break the bank. In this business, feeding your mind is one of the keys to staying on track, motivated and educated. Remember, that your local library is a resource available to all. A library card opens the door to valuable books, tapes, CD’s, magazine articles and internet access and the best thing is that it is FREE!
If your upline or recruiter is local to your area, she may also be a source of books, tapes and CD’s such as the ones available through The Success Factory. (Always be respectful of returning these resources to her as she has most likely invested in them for the benefit of others on the team as well.)
******************************************************************************Subject: $$ Saving Tip #3
Tip #3 – How are you choosing to re-invest the money you earn? The rule of thumb is to ‘re-invest’ no more than 25% of your earnings back into your business. Make wise choices when reinvesting.
Here are our thoughts on good vs. not so great ideas for ‘re-investment’ of funds:
o Conventions and seminars – HOWEVER… be committed to using to the tips and ideas that you gather at these events to grow your organization, sales and income! When you do this, you will find that the investment that you made will pay back ten times over.
o CATALOGS…Better and bigger than a business card, but only as good as the follow-up you do!
o Bulk mailings…again, only as effective as the follow up phone calls!
o CANI (Constant and Never Ending Improvement) – Feeding your mind and slowly building a library to help feed your team’s mind.
o Magnetic business cards vs. traditional business cards. Shop for the best price, but magnetic business cards will bring back business MUCH more frequently than a paper business card.
Not so great choices…
o Too much inventory on hand. Now this we realize can vary depending on your company (consumables can be a different). We are talking about regularly purchasing inventory in order to earn company promotions. A wise accountant once said, “Inventory is just money sitting on the shelf and it doesn’t pay bills!”
o Giving ‘extra’ hostess gifts. Most hostess plans are lucrative enough on their own. Sell that at your parties! Extra gifts subliminally send the message that your company’s hostess plan isn’t rich enough and can send a message to prospective recruits that it costs a lot of money to run a party plan business.
o Fliers for your neighborhood…cost is your time and $$ spent on ink and paper. Return is usually less than 1%. The personal touch is always best!
o Advertising in general – like going to Las Vegas and gambling. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. You have to be able to afford to make nothing on an ad before running it.
o Bulk mailings with no phone work involved.
· “Logo wear”…ok in moderation, but wearing the logo does not make the sale, book the party or recruit the prospect.
Subject: $$ Saving Quick Tip #4
Did you know that guests at parties give back RED pens? Think about that the next time you shop for office supplies!
$$ Saving Quick Tip #5
If you use and recycle pocket folders for guests at your parties, consider using manila file folder containing a catalog and order form at your parties. They are cheap (about 3 cents each) and something you WANT them to take with them. On the tab, print a label with your name, phone number and email address. They can take it home and file it with their important papers so they always know how to get in touch with you for future orders.
SUBJECT: $$ Saving tip #6
Avoid spending extra money and time reshipping items to customers. Most companies will drop ship catalog orders directly to the customer.
When you do need to reship, if you can, save old packaging and bubble wrap or peanuts from orders you have received at home. Avoid costly “mail it” services. Taking items to the post office or shipping UPS or FEDEX ground (depending on the weight of the item), is the most economical way to reship. Use the internet to websites of these services to “shop” for the best price for the package you are sending.
Subject – Summertime Strategies – Part 1 – dealing with cancellations
We have been hearing from some of you that you are having challenges in two areas of your business as summer approaches. The first area involves party cancellations and the 2nd area is the challenge of balancing family and business. Our next “mini-series” will address both of these potential trouble spots.
Today, we will look at the “why’s” so that you can keep things in perspective. Tomorrow and for several days beyond, we will look at some solutions.
Summertime party cancellations are just a fact of life. Do not take them personally! This is something that those of us who’ve been in the business for a length of time learn to expect and we strategize accordingly. Summer comes and people leave town, kids are sent off to camp, and baseball and soccer season are in full swing. Schedules are, if it is possible, even more hectic and unpredictable than during the school year. Add to that weekend get-togethers – family reunions, weddings, graduations, First Communions, etc; and you find that people are not as available to attend parties as other times of the year.
Balance of family and business become an additional challenge due, in part, to all the aforementioned scheduling challenges that we ourselves are experiencing. Also, for those of us with school aged children; we now find ourselves in the position of “camp activities director” constantly in a position of coming up with activities to keep our kiddos busy so that we can not only have time to make calls, but to get all the other household duties under control. Add to it the fact that it’s even trickier to catch people at home when you do have a few minutes to make some calls and you potentially have a recipe for disaster.
Even if you don’t have children in your life, do not ignore this next series of emails. We know that you too have balance issues and you probably have team members who are challenged with having the kids at home. You will need to be able to brainstorm solutions with them.
So, the easy thing would be to just say, you aren’t working this summer, right? WRONG!
It is more important than ever to keep your business rolling in the summer, it’s just a matter of working it differently. Keep in mind that business is a 90 day cycle. Count 90 days from now and you will find yourself right smack dab in the middle of your fall season. When your fall harvest isn’t producing the “bumper crops” you’d hoped for, rest assured that you will be able to trace it back to your CHOICE of inactivity in the summer.
Subject: Summer Strategies – Part 2 – BE PROACTIVE to avoid cancellations
Summertime can present its own unique set of challenges in the party plan business. Our last email tip discussed the “why’s” of those challenges. For the next several days we will be offering some solutions.
Hostess coaching is always a critical aspect of our business, however in the summertime, it is more essential than ever. Stay in close touch with summer hostesses giving them specific strategies to help their parties to be successful.
Strategy 1 – OVER INVITE! Normally we say double the number you’d like to attend; for a summer hostess that should be triple…(Yes, we did say triple).
Help her to remember people from a variety of places in her life. She should not just invite neighbors or her Bunko Group. She should invite people from a variety of areas of her life. What does she do? Does she work or volunteer? Does she attend church or does she belong to any clubs? How about the wives of men her husband works with? Also, don’t forget the mothers or mother-in-laws of any and all of the guests on her list. You get the idea.
Strategy 2 – Personal invitations are KEY! TRUE STORY – TSF received a party invitation of someone we’d been in a small church group with several years ago. We’ve since lost touch so it was a bit of a surprise to receive her invitation to a home party! While she typed a personal note and included it in the hand written invitation (that described the wonderful dessert to be served); TSF has to admit that (shame on us), set it aside and promptly forgot about it. Imagine how embarrassed we were to find it amongst a stack of bills, the date long since past. A personal invitation via the phone or at the very least, a reminder call, would certainly have made this date more of a priority!
SUBJECT: Summer Strategies – Part 3 – Give your hostess WORDS!
Strategy 3 – Help your hostess with “words”. Believe it or not, some people do not know what to say to invite their friends to a home party. Help her with some ideas for scripts of what to say when inviting. Her enthusiasm for the product will make all the difference in the world with her attendance. Sharing specifically about a particular product that her friend might enjoy looking at is a great way to start.
“Hi Mary, this is Sheila So Swell from the bowling team last fall. I know it’s been forever and I’m dying to catch up with you; but I wanted to let you know why I’m calling. I’m having a Party On! Party this coming Thursday night and I know how much you love to have friends over for dinner. This company has a cool thing called the TACO-RAMA that I KNOW you’d love to use the next time you have one of your famous Bring Your Own Taco nights for the girls in your neighborhood. Do you think you’d like to come by and bring a friend? I’d love to have the chance to sit down and catch up with you!”
You get the idea. Even though Sheila and Mary haven’t talked for a while, we have coached our hostess Sheila to get straight to the point of her call (otherwise, Mary will be wondering the entire time if they are chit-chatting idly). Sheila is enthusiastic, mentions something that Mary will enjoy seeing (The TACO-RAMA) and also makes Mary feel special because Sheila sincerely indicates her desire to catch up with Mary on what’s going on. Getting to the point, enthusiasm, and sincerity are key aspects of a positive response to the personal invitation.
SUBJECT: Summer Strategies – Part 4 – Effective methods to reach your customers
Today we will continue our strategies for summer business with more specific ideas you may want to try to keep your business rolling…
Strategy 4 – Challenge – “When I DO have time to phone people, it seems all I talk to is answering machines!”
All we can say to this is… “been there, done that!” Here are some of the things that we’ve done to combat this common summertime malady. Perhaps they will help you!
1) Call early, call late, but call! With summer comes more hours of daylight. This usually means that people are up later and up earlier in the morning. You will usually find people up and still rolling at 9pm and as early as 8am. So try adjusting your calling times from during the day, to first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. Also, as we have mentioned in earlier emails, we have found 8:30-11:00am on Saturdays and 6-9pm on Sunday evenings a very good time to reach people. If you have your list ready, using one of these two times on the weekend, you may find you can get all your calling for the week done in one block of time. Now wouldn’t that be great?
2) Phone appointments. Whenever possible, make use of phone appointments. By pre-arranging with a hostess or recruit potential a specific time that the two of you will talk, you will save yourself a lot of “phone tag” frustration.
3) Don’t forget to leave a message when you call! We have found that some phone communication issues can be dealt with by a simple exchange of phone machine messages.
4) As we have mentioned in previous emails, traveling prepared (with appointment book or date cards, hostess and recruit information) saves time and frustration. By being prepared no matter where you go – swim lessons, baseball games, soccer practice, etc; you can do the bulk of your business in the summer face-to-face rather than by trying to reach people by phone.
5) Get email addresses! While we absolutely positively encourage PERSONAL contact with your customers, 24/7 email can be very helpful in the summer months.
SUBJECT: Summer Strategies – Part 5 – THEME party ideas
Summer theme parties! What a great way to help your hostesses make her party a fun reason for her friends to get together. After all, it’s all about having fun, isn’t it?
Here are some ideas to try:
1) Pool party! The kids can swim while the moms gather for the party. Hire a local teen to supervise. OR (when your hostess doesn’t have a pool), your hostess can fill a blow up pool with water (and perhaps wine coolers?) and have a Ladies only gathering. Everyone can sit outside and dingle their feet in the water while you present your products.
2) Margarita party! Says it all…frozen margaritas and a Ladies night out…could anything be more fun than that?
3) Ice Cream Sundae party! Ask all the guests to bring one ingredient to make a great ice cream sundae. The hostess will provide the ice cream but what’s a Sundae without the whipped cream? When the guest has an important ingredient to bring, she’s sure to come.
4) Taco party! Same idea as an Ice Cream Sundae party but the hostess provides the taco meat and guests bring the rest.
5) Pizza party! Hostess provides the pizza dough and sauce…guests bring along their favorite topping
6) Appetizer party – Pot luck appetizers brought by the guests along with copies of her recipe to share with all the other guests.
You get the idea…fun, combined with asking guests to bring something needed for the party to be a success (it can even be extra chairs or ice!) is a sure “attendance booster”.
Have YOU tried a “theme” party that has worked particularly well for you? Please share! We’d love to hear from you and post your responses for everyone else to read!
SUBJECT: Summer Strategies – Part 6 – THE KIDS are home…how can I work?
This is from Success Factory. Enjoy!!
Today we discuss the other factor in the summer that can make running a home business a challenge. HELP! The kids are home from school and I’ve lost all sense of balance!!!!!!!!
PLEASE! Read on… Even if you do not have school aged children in your life, the chances are good that you have (or will have) a team member facing this challenge.
With the children home, all semblance of a reliable schedule goes out the window. Does this mean you put your business in the closet until September? Certainly not! THIS is where the advantages of a home based business are fullest. Parents working traditional jobs outside the home scramble in the summer, often piecing together childcare for their children normally in school in a catch-as-catch can manner. Expensive day camps or dependence on friends, relatives or college aged children becomes a necessary and often expensive necessity.
As home-based business people, we have the best of both worlds; the ability to have fun with our children in the summer as well as the opportunity to earn an income.
Thinking outside the box, as well as using some of these tried and true solutions will help you to work and build your business this summer into a bountiful fall.
REMEMBER THE BUDDY SYSTEM! Just as we teach our children not to swim or hike without a buddy, a “summer buddy” is key to your summer business as well.
Trade time for time with another home-based business mom (preferably with kiddos your own children’s ages.
A summer buddy can be a great source of encouragement for both of you as you work towards your business goals.
AN EGG TIMER ISN’T JUST FOR EGGS ANYMORE! School aged children and preschoolers alike can understand the concept of mommy does phoning for 30 minutes and then mommy plays for 30 minutes. A simple egg or oven timer does the trick!
BE IN THE MOMENT! Here’s the deal…when you promise that you will read a story or play a game for 30 minutes with the kids, then DO IT! Answering machine on….NO EXCEPTIONS!
HEY MOM, what’s in it for me? Have a special “activities” box. Let the kids make suggestions of fun things they might like to do this summer. Check out all the free and low cost activities in your area…many places like the zoo and local museums have a specific FREE DAY. Then, designate one day a week that is “field trip” day. That’s the day the kids get to pick something out of the box to do. Remind them, that when Mommy’s out doing parties, she’s making some extra money so that you can afford these extra summer fun activities.
Make sure your calendar is extra full! After all the “fun” you are having with your kids home all the time during the summer, you’ll want to be sure that your calendar is extra full. You will probably be ready for a break by the time evening roles around. It’s a win-win situation. You’ll be earning extra money that really comes in handy in the summer, you’ll get some “adult” time, AND you’ll be building a strong base for a dynamite fall.
One of the smartest things you can do is to entertain the possibility that you may be mistaken. Because if you are mistaken, and you’re able to see it, you have the opportunity for great progress.
There is no dishonor in being mistaken. Yet there is great folly indeed in being so stubborn that you refuse to admit your own mistakes.
Mistakes can be powerful teachers. By knowing firsthand what does not work, you gain much greater understanding about what does work, and why.
If you’re not willing to accept the possibility of mistakes, you’re not going to make much headway. Though there’s no need to purposely make mistakes, there’s no reason to live in fear of them either.
Even if you are already effective, there likely are ways to be yet more effective. Even if your mistakes are not disastrous, there is still much that you can learn from them.
Embrace the fact that somehow, concerning something, you’re probably mistaken. And in your mistakes, find the wisdom that will take your performance to an even higher level.
– Ralph Marston
courtesy of Great Day
Ok – we’re up and running!! Looking forward to sharing some great tips and new ideas.