Archives For Small Business

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Around this time every year I see a pattern start taking effect in the direct sales business. The months of September, October, and November (especially early) are a flurry of activity. Everyone’s having success. It’s a great time to sell, to recruit, and to promote. Honestly, autumn in the direct sales business is a wonderful time.

But towards the end of November and early in December these are the things I hear:

1. “It’s hard to get a party in December, everyone’s so busy.”

2. “I’m too busy to have parties! We have so much family stuff going on!”

3. “There are just too many distractions! It’s so hard to run my business right now!”

4. “I’m absolutely worn out from the last couple of months! I’m just tired right now.”

5. “I’m just going to take a break for the next month or so and then I’ll get ‘right back to it.’”

And you know what, a lot of that is true.

But BEWARE! There are pitfalls here…

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Upsanddowns

Direct sales is like most other businesses in more ways than not. One of the biggest differences is to what degree the direct sales consultant is in control of the outcome of their business. Generally speaking, the harder you work, the better your results and the better your income.

But it’s not always that way.

There are ups and downs like any other business. Sometimes it seems achieving the same results is twice as hard, or next to impossible.

And here’s the thing: You can’t let the downs “get you down.” It’s just as dangerous to allow yourself to “slow down” when things are going (and growing!) great. Either of these situations can be personally devastating because as a direct sales business owner it is all so personal! 

So… what do you watch out for for the Ups & Downs of the direct sales business? And how do you break out of it if you get “down”?

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This is the 3rd in a series of posts about Team Newsletters for Direct Sales. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t had the chance to see them yet!

Tipstricks

Newsletter Notes For Direct Sales Leaders (Part 3)

Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Newsletter

Don’t Do This:

  1. Overwhelm the reader with long passages of text.
  2. Change the style or format of the newsletter every month.
  3. Let the scope of the newsletter creep into something else.
  4. Fall for the temptation to use the newsletter for “soapbox issues.”
  5. Go crazy with too many different colors, fonts, etc.
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This is the 2nd in a series of posts about Team Newsletters for Direct Sales. Check out Part 1 if you haven’t had the chance to see that yet!

Tipstricks

Newsletter Notes For Direct Sales Leaders (Part 2)

Things That Make A Newsletter Work

Do This:

  1. Remember to keep it recognition-focused
  2. Keep it as short as possible.
  3. Whenever possible use pictures instead of words.
  4. If you include an article, either keep it very short or include highlights of take-home points of some sort.
  5. Listen to feedback you get on your newsletter and be responsive to it.
  6. Pick a style for your newsletter and stick to it.
  7. Use the tools that you have already.
  8. Find out who is actually reading the newsletter.
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As a leader in a direct sales company, you’ve worked hard to build a team. The people who belong to your downline are incredibly valuable to you because they are the key to achieving big dreams with your direct sales business. That makes keeping your recruits (and their recruits!) engaged one of the most valuable things you can do as a direct sales leader (the other thing you can and should do is model for them a high-quality personal business that they can emulate and duplicate).

In order to keep your team engaged, it’s important to reach out to them in different ways. Build that relationship and be there for them. Consistently. One of the things that can be most demotivating for girls on your team is when they need you and you’re not there. It happens, and it has happened to Holley. But do everything you can to avoid this! Trust me!

Ways you can engage with your team:

  1. Personal calls, emails, texts.
  2. Team Facebook groups.
  3. Group calls and training.
  4. Team meetings (business and social!)
  5. Monthly newsletters.

This post is going to focus on tips for your team newsletter.

One of the reasons I’m writing about this is that this is a great area for a Direct Sales Husband to step in and help out. I do a lot for Holley’s newsletter. Maybe you can help your wife with hers. (And if not, hopefully this article will still help!)

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The 3 T’s of ATTiTude

JasonC —  August 12, 2013 — Leave a comment

I recently had the opportunity to hear a great former coach (Bruce Pearl, former head coach of the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team) speak for a high school football team and really had some good take-aways that I think would be great for the direct sales consultant or small-business owner.

Bruce started out by saying how your year turns out depends on a lot of factors, but the key is your:

ATTiTude

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Rundown

 

Rundown Part 3

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a compendium of posts which I consider to be my “Direct Sales Husbands’ Handbook” (DSHH). So here I go with part 3!

If you’re new to this blog, here are links to my 2 previous Roundups for your perusal:

Roundup Part 1

Roundup Part 2

These posts are a great place to start. I started “blogging” several years ago, but had to “reboot” the blog in Spring of last year due to technical issues. Although a lot of my posts are DSHH related, I also do reviews and other series when I think of something I think is interesting. These Roundup posts avoid all that other stuff and get straight to the meat of the Direct Sales Husbands’ Handbook.

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Check out Part 1 of this series for answers to a number of common questions.

Running a business may seem like a daunting task for someone who has never done it before. Especially when you hear stories on a regular basis of people starting up a small business only to find it actually loses them money. And more money the longer they’re in it.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Choosing the right company goes a long way, and there are several good ones out there. Thirty-One Gifts is a great example.  Then follow these pretty simple rules to avoid getting in over your head:

7 Rules For Running Your Direct Sales Business On A Shoestring:

1. Don’t spend money on anything in the business unless the business generates income  to purchase it.

2. Don’t buy (and show) products people don’t want!

3. Host your own in-home parties using yourself as the hostess.

4. Talk to other consultants, find out what expenses they think is actually worth the cost.

5. Make use of every incentive the company offers.

6. Fundraisers are your friend!

7. Make a budget for your business, and stick to it!

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Now, let’s dig into each of these a little deeper:

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If you’ve been reading my blog over any appreciable amount of time, you’ve heard me go on about how important it is to run your direct sales business like an actual business (as opposed to a hobby). Recently I was reading an interesting question on Facebook that went something along these lines (and this is specifically about Thirty-One gifts):

Do you have to invest money into the business (over and above the starter kit) in order to be successful?

The answer is “Yes, and no.” (Of course!) And the question got me thinking about how a direct sales business can be run like a business and with the least (or at least reasonably little) investment from the consultant.

Let me spend a little time explaining what I mean…

Thirty-One Gifts New Consultant Kit

An early Thirty-One new consultant sign-up kit. Oh, how times have changed!

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I’ve blogged before about setting goals and how important that is to the success of your business. But the idea I’ll cover here is subtly different. Today I’m going to talk about the importance of creating your own definition of success.

One thing I’ve noticed in the direct sales industry is that so many women let other people define “success” for them. Whether that means society, family, friends, or co-workers. Whenever you’re letting someone else define success for you, it creates an empty or hollow end point. The sense of achievement you get from accomplishing something big will never really be there when you let someone else define your success point.

Common Pitfalls For Defining Success In Direct Sales:

1. Comparing yourself and your business to another person’s business.

This is especially true when girls who are either new in the business or who’ve recently become interested in working their business “hard” start looking at the superstars in their company. There is a temptation to compare themselves and create this expectation that they’ll be able to do the same. Most of the time, this is just plain unreasonable. For instance, going from consulting level to director and then senior director (in other words promoting multiple levels) within a short period of time.

This is a dangerous trap. Your situation is almost certainly different from theirs, whether that be your location or life situation.

Holley & Traci Strutting

Holley & Traci strutting across stage in recognition for earning the leadership incentive trip to Cancun last July.

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