Staff Meetings?

monday morningOkay so it is really Wednesday and it is HUMP Day!  For some it may seem like a Monday with kids heading back to school. Back to school usually means a new routine for your business.  No, our kids are grown but I still remember the struggle of back to school week.

I am getting things set up as I leave on Saturday for 7 days of NO WIFI and limited phone connection.  Yes, I am putting down the electronics for a few days (by force since I will be cursing – LOL).

Mentally, I am already gone… it is really hard to focus BUT I am trying to ensure my business does not suffer from Vacation Veronica this month.  August was AWESOME, actually the whole summer was good even those “dreaded J months”.  My numbers weren’t as high as last year but close enough.  So I definitely want to keep up the momentum.  How many of you coasted through the summer meeting your minimums? Maybe you lowered your goals to be sure you met them.  I’ve been there…I did it for my first 5 years as a consultant, then I decided to do things a little different.  Did you set a goal to do better over the summer but then fell into the same Vacation Veronica syndrome?  Admit it – we often let life run our business.  Our lack of structure or systems has kicked us in the butt!

Well, the kids are back to school.  The busy holiday season is rapidly approaching and I for one am ready to grab as much business as possible.  What about you?

Deb Bixler, a home party plan coach, posted this comment in the Women in Business Facebook group:

At the end of every week, have a meeting with yourself. How did I do this week? What do I need to accomplish next week? Am I stuck on anything, and if so, who can help me?

I have an AWESOME planner (Passion Planner) which hubby got for me (this is year two).  which pushes me to do this every week.  I know, it is crazy BUT it has really helped me to focus on my business.  Yes, I squirreled….

Have you or do you currently work some place where they have weekly staff meetings?  You know the ones you hate – come together to talk about what needs to be done or the status of current projects.  I had them all of the time when I was managing a non-profit.  I never thought of having one in my own business.  Why would I – I have a team not a staff.  The truth is this is a great way to take the LONG To Do list and narrow it down for the week.

Summer is over, and it is time to put some structure back in your business.  I always thought structure was for everyone else NOT my home based/direct sales business.  Crazy, right?  I used to avoid structure and fly by the seat of my pants.  Where did it get me?  Decreasing sales each year.  Low party numbers. Low recruiting numbers.  Overall, a poor example for my team. WOW!  If this isn’t a reality check, I don’t know what is!  Tell me I am not alone!!!!When we reframe our thinking, we change the perception and the Universe blesses us with abundance.  Structure doesn’t have to be boring.  Structure doesn’t have to suffocate you.  Structure helps us to set systems in place so we can reach our goals.  When I look back at earning LIT (Leadership Incentive Trip), my systems were working (I didn’t even realize I had any)!  I know for some this was a no brainer but for me it was a new thing.

I thought my system was sitting in my office every morning with a daily checklist of things to do.  I marked them off the list and thought I had accomplished something.  The truth was, it was (and sometimes still is) busy work – not income producing activities.  The truth was I didn’t have a system.  The tasks were just tasks.

About 6 months ago, I totally revamped my systems and included a weekly meeting.  Yup, any Sunday night, you can find me talking to myself as I lay out the upcoming week and reflect on the past week.  Has it worked?  I would have to say YES!  My sales have been consistent over the last 6 months.  I am seeing some growth in my business – new customers and new hostesses.  Recruiting is not where I want it to be BUT I keep sharing and keep asking.  I know God is waiting for the right people to join my team.

What is on YOUR agenda for your weekly meeting? Share your best tip for staying on track in your business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Page versus Customer Group?

The last week of summer here at the Jersey Shore… well, at least the last full week for the roads to be full of “shoobies”.  Today we are going to battle the great debate – should I have a business page, a customer group or both in my direct sales business?

I will admit there are days I battle this too.  I wonder who really reads either of them especially when I hear crickets.  The truth is both can help you develop a community of customers or potential customers to help you grow your business.

My personal Facebook page has been a little light lately.  Not much posting going on since I am trying to stick with family things, personal thoughts and a slight mixing of business stuff especially when I am using products.  I was posting my blog on my personal page but I have decided to switch it up.  It will post  to my business page and then I will share it to my personal page.  Mainly because WordPress won’t let me share it at the same time on two different Facebook accounts.

I developed a “CLOSED” Facebook group for my customers and hostesses but you have to friend me in order to join. That can be a problem for some so they have shied away from it. NOW, I have a business page where they can simply “like” the page to get information on Thirty One. It is so much better. I can actually separate business from personal. A novel concept, huh? In trying to find ways to attract people to my NEW business page, I found this article in Direct Sales Education Foundation with a few tips:

Let’s talk about closed groups or as I like to call it “My VIP group”.  This is where I build relationships with customers and potential customers.  It isn’t all about the sale, it is about having fun, sharing some product ideas and getting to know people.  Plan content to interest your fans. Here is an interesting fact – up to10% of your fans will actually see any one post. WHAT? I know it is crazy right?  I have over 400 in my VIP group so when I hear crickets, it is time for a change.  Games and interactive posts are a great way to get things moving.  At least once a week, I try to play a game with my members.  I ask questions to get them talking.

Now, on your business page….First, think about why your fans liked your page and then give them what they want. Plan ahead. Take into accounts holidays, company specials, catalog changes, etc.  Invite your online friends and contacts to like your Page. Go back an “uninvite” friends who haven’t accepted the invitation and then either re-invite them or move on to some others.  Be sure to link your business page to your closed Facebook group.

Your business page is where you showcase your business.  This is where I share the monthly customer special – about 2 days before the it starts.  I post inspirational quotes int the morning.  Then product information in the afternoon.  Offer opportunities to help community service organizations. Encourage others to not only like your page but to share it with their friends and family.  Make sure you check the policies and procedures of your direct sales company. Thirty One does not allow us to offer special deals on our public page ONLY in our closed groups.

Be sure to Interact as your page on other relevant Facebook Pages. Every time you place a comment on Facebook, make sure it is through your business page instead of your personal account. If you are commenting on another business or network group, ask questions, thank people for great information, etc as your business. In this way you become a useful member of the community.  They also get to see your business page when they scroll over your name on the post.

Are you convinced you?  I am sure your friends and family will be glad to see something besides business items on your personal page. Remember with a little thought and attention, your Facebook Page can become a place where your biggest fans gather.

What are your tips for successfully growing your Likes? Would love to read your thoughts…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Cinchshare for Consistency

Do you long to be consistent in your postings on social media?  Are you crazy busy and despite your best efforts, you never seem to have time to post on social media?  Would you love to be able to interact with your customers during a Facebook party and NOT have to worry about posting at the same time?

I was one of those people……

When I got onto Facebook or Pinterest, I would spend hours.  I always said it was for business but it never really produced any income.  I love the fact with Cinchshare I can post to Facebook and Pinterest on a consistent basis WITHOUT opening either website? Think it is impossible? Well, welcome to Cinchshare...

Cinchshare has given me time – time to work on more income producing activities; time to connect with customers during Facebook parties, and most importantly time with family. Sound to good to be true, right?

I designate about 2 hours per week, usually on a Sunday night, planning my week of posts to Facebook. This includes my team page, my VIP customer page, my business page and sometimes even my personal page. How can I do it in two hours or less? I recycle posts previous posts, I use saved posts I saw during the week and I sometimes create my own with Cava right in Cinchshare.  I don’t troll the endless posts on Facebook to see what I want to post. My posts are intentional and designed to create conversations. I am technically challenged so if I can use Cinchshare – anyone can!

At any given time, in addition to my regular daily posts, I could have up to  5 Facebook parties going on. It was becoming an all consuming task and left little office time for anything else. I tried the FREE posting programs which were okay but they had a lot of glitches. I have tried many of the other paid posting programs BUT CinchShare is the one  I LOVE.

Are you on Pinterest? You can use Cinchshare to post on Pinterest as well. No need to just copy and “pin” others posts to your boards. Create your own so they are pinning you!

For a mere $10 a month or $100 a year, you can get started. In fact, you can get a FREE trial for 37 days, too. You simply click Cinchshare and use the code CSFREE. It is so easy to get started. The videos will walk you through step by step so that you can post to ANY Facebook page where you are the Administrator or the host. There are so many great features including linking videos, batch posting and importing Facebook pictures. Give it a try…you will NEVER go back to posting on you own.

Have you tried CinchShare? If so, what is your favorite feature? If not, what are you waiting for?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Work Smarter

I have always struggled with the concept,”working smarter”.  I think it is finally starting to sink in…. since I have my own business.  Over the last week or so, I have been talking to friends in direct sales who have been feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  Some because of life while others are learning to find a balance between home, work, business and family.

Working my Thirty One business full time can sometimes feel like I am spinning my wheels.  Now if I could lose weight while doing it, it would be perfect but sadly, it just seems I spin my wheels and get stuck in non-productive activities.

Building a direct sales business (or any business really), doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful.  The best part of direct sales, is the ability to make your own hours so whether you have a few hours a week or several hours every day to work your business, you want to be able to get results and reach your goals, right?

So, since you aren’t loosing any weight by spinning those wheels, why not try these five ways to work smarter in your direct sales business (or with any goal).

#1. Know your goals & break them down into action steps.

The best way to work smarter is to actually know what your goals are and the activities you need to be doing to reach them. I am great for saying I want to make “$1000 or more per month income from my business” or “I want to promote to Senior Director” but knowing what the steps are to get there are not always as easy.  Saying it is great.  The truth is you need to break it down into smaller milestones and activity goals so you know what to focus on each day, week & month to reach them. Sometimes it is easier said then done.

How many parties/shows/demos will it take per month?  How many customer orders?  Of course recruiting plays a big part, so how many do you need to add to your team?  Honestly when breaking down my goals, I focus on things I have control over.  Yes, team sales play a factor because I can’t control what someone else does in their business.  Break down your goals, how many parties or customer orders do you need each month? How many active team members do you need to promote?  Once you have the monthly activities,  you can break them down even further to weekly goals and daily activities.

#2. Work your Business Like a Business.

I know you have heard it 1,000 times.  If you want to earn the income of a business, you have to treat your business like a business.  If you have a “day job”, think about the things you do going into work on a regular basis to earn a paycheck.  Yes, it is the same with a direct sales business. Your business is “flexible BUT NOT optional”.  You still have to put in the hours and work to have a paycheck and grow your business.  Create a schedule to work your business which fits into your current lifestyle and family.

#3. Focus on Income Producing Activities.

This is an area I struggle in.  Now you have a schedule, you are ready to treat your business like a business by learning where to focus your limited time. I sometimes find myself wasting time on things which don’t generate income or move me closer to reaching my goals. Social Media can be a time sucker.  Re-creating tools and training can be a waste of time.  What are income producing activities?  Things which lead to a cash transaction like customer orders, parties, recruiting and team building. You should focus 80% of your time on direct marketing, follow up, building relationships, holding parties, recruiting, and helping your team build their business.

#4. Set up Streamlined Systems

Systems equal success & less stress. I can attest to this since I have set up a system which seems to work, at least with follow-up.  I am still a work in progress for hostess coaching.  Don’t have a system?  Start by writing all the things you do in each area of your business.  Now, write down the ones you should be doing but aren’t.  Where can you batch similar tasks together to save time?  Can you delegate activities?  How about automated emails or training videos or documents with frequently asked questions you can refer people to?  With these things, you can streamline the processes in your business so you don’t jump around or or miss out on important steps in your business.

#5. Develop a mindset of success & stop procrastinating.

Don’t let your fears rule your thoughts. Don’t let procrastination hold you back.  Don’t make excuses.  Procrastination is the #1 killer of productivity.  It is a form of fear. It means stepping out of your comfort zone.  YIKES!  Scary stuff, right? The only way to overcome procrastination is to make a real commitment to reaching your goals.  Have a plan, have set goals with activities and have an accountability partner to connect with to help you stop procrastinating.

Basically, ask yourself these three question before you do any activity:

  1. Is this going to get me closer to my goals?
  2. Will this make the best use of my time?
  3. Does this honor my mission in life & business?

If the answer is yes, go for it!  What is keeping you from reaching your goals?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Sizzle not Fizzle

Here we are at the last day of June and rolling into another “J” month.  For some in direct sales, they dread these two months.  WHY?  The summer is here, people are headed to the beach, lake or pool to have fun with little thought of hosting a party.  For those of us who rely on our business to pay our bills, it means getting creative.

I honestly used to hate “J” months but it is definitely a mindset.  Yes, what you speak into the Universe will happen.  I used to say “no one wants to party” or “sales are awful in the J months”.  The result, horrible sales with few parties in January, June and July.  Truth be told, I headed into June this year with NOTHING on my calendar.  I am ending the month with over $2,000 in sales. Why?  Because I changed my mindset and got creative.

Your direct sales party plan business doesn’t have to stop when the summer heats up.  You actually can make money and have fun during the summer months.

Here are some tools from Misty Kearns, CEOofMe.com you should pack in your business beach bag so you can have a sizzling hot successful summer.

Swim Suit = Parties! Parties are the core of our business so be sure you always have parties booked. Cancellati­ons and reschedule­s are higher in the summertime so be sure to over book. Offering fun, summer time themed parties will help you book more parties and have higher attendance at your parties too. A few of my host & customer’s favorite party themes include Luau, Garden Party, Party at the Park, Pool Party & Ice Cream Party. You can do these as home and online parties and even have fun with themed catalog parties too.

Sunscreen = Don’t let yourself get burned out in your business! You should apply training often. Attend your team and company’s regular training events. Stay connected with your fellow team members for accountabi­lity, motivation and support.

Sunglasse­s = Have your Business Glasses on & look for new business everywhere­! Always be on the lookout for new people, places and opportunit­ies to share your business this summer. Take your business with you as you are out and about, doing summer activities and traveling.

Water Bottle = Stay hydrated & motivated. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated physically and mentally. Make personal developmen­t a daily habit. Surround yourself with positive influences and other motivated business owners. Read some new books this summer, catch up on training series you signed up for but didn’t finish or complete some business projects you have been putting off. Take care of your health too so you are able to work to the best of your ability.

Shovel = Determinat­ion! Be prepared to dig deep & work hard this summer to reach your goals. Don’t let yourself get lazy. Stick to a (flexible) schedule and be sure to do all the weekly activities you should be doing in your business.

Beach Ball = Build a Team & Bounce Up to Leadership­! It’s not really much fun to play on the beach by yourself. You need a team to play with. Focus on recruiting­, finding new team members and helping them get off to a strong start this summer. You’ll enjoy an increased income, leadership promotions and most of all be able to help others reach their goals.

Bucket = Something to carry all the money you will be making! That’s right, if you work your business consistent­ly and apply these ideas you will be carrying home a big bucket full of money instead of just sand at the end of the summer. Buy yourself a beach bucket from the dollar store and write your goals for the summer on it. Put your beach bucket on your desk for daily motivation­.

Flip Flops = To remind you to keep on moving. Remember NO means “next opportunit­y” and gets you one step closer to the next YES! Keep on sharing your business & moving forward no matter what!

I am teaming up with three other friends in direct sales for a BINGO night.  A chance to book some parties, get some sales and expand our customer base.  

What are you doing to make your summer sizzle?  Share your best tips with us..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!