As with any business, a lot of thought and at least a little time needs to be spent on business organization. A small amount of time spent in organization can have huge results in payoff both immediately and down the road. This is true both for time and financial benefits for your business.
This may end up being a multi-part post because there are so many things that can be considered in business organization. As a Direct Sales Husband, you can definitely help out in each of these areas.
Today, I’ll start with…
Setting Up A Physical Office
Every direct sales company is going to be different in certain areas like product inventory and necessary paperwork, but I’m going to go with the assumption that most have the same basic requirements as any small business office.
Create a Physical Space For Her Business
This is very important. If your wife doesn’t have her own business space, then the first thing you have to do is create a space her business. All too often, people entering direct sales think of it as a hobby. I suspect most people who aren’t in the industry also think direct sales businesses are “just a hobby.” Nothing serious, right? This is probably one of the major reasons most people starting in direct sales only stick with it for 6 months to 2 years. Having a physical location for her to perform business activities legitimizes this as a business in her mind and yours. It’s no longer a hobby. That alone will likely increase her chances of being successful.
It doesn’t have to be a huge area. I’ve seen functional “offices” that were no bigger than a desk (and a small one at that). A corner in a spare room works well. As the business grows, the space devoted to it will probably grow as well.
Start With a Good Desk
Every business person needs to sit down and write or perform computing tasks (email, word processing, correspondence, etc.) She needs to have her own workspace for this. If she already has a suitable desk, go with that. Otherwise it’s a good business expense/investment that will be used every day she works on the business. You can assemble the desk, set it up for her, and customize it as you need to.
Outfit the desk with the tools she’s going to need. Pens, pencils, notebooks, tape, paperclips. Whatever you think she’s likely to need. Remember, you want her to use this space, so make it functional.
Files & Shelves
At some point you’re going to have enough records of parties, business expenses, tax information, order forms, and business supplies that you’re going to need to store them in an organized fashion so she’s not freaking out trying to find where she put something. A filing cabinet works great for this. Label tabs on folders and keep everything nice and orderly.
It’s hard to work efficiently in a messy workspace (though many people do it). Use those files consistently.
Shelves are great for keeping reference materials handy. She may end up purchasing educational materials from various industry coaches like Shari Hudspeth, Belinda Ellsworth, or others. There are tons of great books out there that can help her learn to grow her business. Having those handy at her workspace will make them more useful.
This is going to look different for every direct sales business. With Thirty-One Gifts, Holley has absolutely TONS of product. It’s everywhere. We’re in the process of creating a room with a lot of shelving just for that. Even in our rather large house, the 31 products are constantly underfoot. Don’t let this happen to you!
On the other hand, with Rodan + Fields, there is almost no product inventory. Holley does have two bags which she uses to keep her “kit” for showing as well as business cards. Be smart with your own situation
The Paperless Option
Think about this as an option. I’ll be doing a future blog post about this in specific.
Thirty-One has great products for organizing an office. Most of the people reading this blog are involved with Thirty-One, so you all know exactly what I mean. But if you are with another company and setting up an office, then definitely check out Thirty-One for this. If you have a consultant, she can get you hooked up. If not, then contact me or my wife Holley Cox (an SED with Thirty-One) and she will definitely be ale to help you out with products that will help you get organized.
Girls: What stories do you have about setting up an office for your business? What do you think is essential? What are the best Thirty-One products for organizing your home office?
Guys: Is your wife’s office organized or a crazy mess? Tell us about it!