Friday, December 19, 2008

How to Make Your Direct Sales Business Profitable in Your First Year

The key to making your direct sales business profitable is to run it like a business, not a hobby. Often times I hear consultants telling prospects "you can work whenever you want to" which is true - if you want a hobby. In which case, you won't care if you make money. If however, your goal it to make money, here are some tips to help you do so.

1. Work your business consistently. Two shows a week should be standard.
2. Invest in yourself with continuing education, ie: attend meetings, workshops, conventions, tele-seminars, etc. And USE what you learned!
3. Improve your sales skills and master hostess coaching.
4. Sponsor right from the beginning, don't wait to become a "success" first!
5. Write out your goals and a plan of action.
6. Invest back into your business. You need a sufficient amount of product samples to create a strong business. When new products come out, you should have some of those on hand as well.
7. Have a separate checking account and credit card and ONLY use it for business.
8. Pay yourself from your profits each month or twice a month.
9. Don't use up all your profits on product for yourself that you want just to have and don't need. Those personal items should be purchased with your personal, not business, account since they will be for personal use and you want to be able to see your profit fairly.
10. Work with a CPA who KNOWS the direct sales industry and can advise you on how to maximize your profit through wise tax management.
11. Be patient! It takes time to build a client base and repeat customers while you're learning the business. Expect to learn the business the first 6 months, and make money the next 6 months. Year after year remember that you are the determining factor if your business is making money.
12. Have fun! Watch your attitude. Get help when you are challenged and realize that there is always someone else who has been through what you are experiencing and fortunate for you, they're willing to share the info with you. Never take a complaint "down-line," always take a concern with an optional solution to your leadership and then, listen to their advice.

Share with me your top ideas for making money the first year in the comment box and help others!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Make it a Merry Christmas

While it's very likely your schedules are filled right now with parties, concerts, shopping, baking, gift wrapping, and spreading Christmas cheer, it's still really important to take a little time for two things.

One, yourself! Be sure you do something for yourself during these next few weeks. Take time to go to lunch with a friend, time to read a good book, time to work on a hobby you long for and often put off. When you take care of you, you'll find it much easier to continue taking care of your family and your team.

And two, your business. Yes, that's right, you still need to work your business. Don't be a slave to it, but do take some time to prepare for the new year so you can really Shine in 2009. Take time to dream about if the best that could happen in your business happened, what would it be? Dream about how you want your family life, spiritual life, social life, financial situation, health, and personal well being to be in 2009. Then, imagine it's December 31, 2009 and you're looking back on an incredible year. Write yourself a letter of how the year unfolded. Write about how you felt, all the great things that happened, the unexpected joy that your business generated for others. Write it all as if it had happened.

Writing a letter to yourself will leave you feeling excited and energized, and maybe even a little anxious about your dream. However, now you know what your goals are for the new year. Turn your dreams into goals with a time line. Write out how to accomplish it, all the steps you'll need to take to make it happen.

Then enjoy the Christmas activities and look forward to a great New Year! You'll be ready for it all.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Do You Ever Put Yourself First?

Attention WAHM - Do you ever feel like being a WAHM means that you give your all to your kids? I know that being a WAHM for me means being able to be available to my kids, to be present here at home when they need me. However, that does NOT mean that I have to be at their beckon call! I have boatloads to accomplish today, including 12 loads of laundry (I'm not kidding either!), decorate for Christmas, and I'm writing an incentive book for leaders I want finished by January, just to name a few. So, when my daughter walked in my office today asking me to take her to the play at school at 2:00 - the answer was "NO."

Yesterday during coffee with a friend who has already walked the path of motherhood I'm in, she laughed at me as I told her all the things I was doing and all the activities my kids were in. She said I was in "Elegant Denial" meaning, I was stressed out and ignoring it because I kept putting everyone else first.

Sometimes I find moms get caught up in putting their kids first so much that they fail to honor themselves. Me too. I don't know about you, but my mother said "no" sometimes. While I may not have been happy about it, it didn't hurt me. So Moms, recognize it won't hurt your kids to say "no" sometimes too so you can finish what's on your agenda. Being a WAHM does not mean you have to attend every practice, every game, sit through every lesson, cater to your kid's every wish, and serve on every committee at their school and in your church.

I've got orders to package and my kids have a lot of laundry to start folding!
Take a break today. Do something for your business. Go to lunch with a friend. Your kids won't be hurting if they miss a play date so you can have a some time for you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Learning Leads to Earning!

I just finished another great book, "The Secrets of Great Rainmakers: The Keys to Success and Wealth" by Jeffrey J. Fox. His book is filled with ideas to grow your sales. I know I'm excited to put some of his strategies to work because ultimately, it's all about the service you can provide. The vocabulary words he offers in chapter 24 are important for direct sellers to know and understand. Do you know the difference between "cost", "price", and "investment"? If you are recruiting you'll appreciate his insight about silence in chapter 29. It's a quick easy read, not a bunch of fluff, but loaded with info and insight. I read his book "How to Become a Rainmaker" long ago and recommend you start with that and then read "Secrets of Great Rainmakers."

Every time you learn something new to put into practice in your business, the better you become at servicing others. When you help others, ultimately, you are able to help yourself too.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Overwhelmed? What?

Lately, I've been hearing a lot of consultants say they are "overwhelmed" with all that is going on for them. After all, there are Christmas specials to offer, incentives to to finish up, a new year to get ready for, and that's just business! Then there's the holiday shopping, baking, decorating, parties, and on and on.

Wait a minute! Let's see, in May we have graduations, receptions, summer vacations to plan for, and so on. In August it's time to get ready for back to school, last minute vacations, product sales before the holiday products are introduced and more.

Every month could be hectic. It's all about how you look at it and how you think about it!! Drop the word "overwhelmed" from your vocabulary and use something more positive. How about "I'm keeping it all together" or "Life is full but fun!" or "I'm keeping up." Give yourself credit for what you can do and what you are doing and stop thinking in terms of "overwhelmed" because you're not. If you really were, you'd be at the funny farm and not reading this!

Smile, what you focus on you get. One day at a time, one event after another, one foot in front of the other. All is fine, full, fun, and crazy maybe, but all is well!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Many Benefits to Your Business!

My oldest daughter, Karin, is a senior this year and getting ready for college. We've toured a number of them, the applications are in the mail, and now, she's applying for scholarships. It's been enlightening to read her essays for her applications and scholarships.

In every essay, there's a real tie to the life experiences she was able to have growing up and what she wants to pursue in life. Karin writes about all the travel opportunities she's had, the responsibility she's learned, and that she is ready for the next phase in life.

In the DSWA scholarship essay she wrote that growing up in a direct selling home has set her in the direction she wants to pursue in life. Not only has she had these great life experiences but she's also learned " to manage finances and money by helping her (my mom) with her business. That balancing a career and a family is not difficult if one learns time management and priorities."

My 15 year-old, Ellen, informed me yesterday that she's been giving a lot of thought to her future too. Given that she wants to be a writer, she's going to build a direct sales business like I did so she can make a living, write, and be a mom.

If you ever question why you're in direct sales or if your children are benefiting from your business, let me assure you, on so many levels, you are benefiting your family.