Gives Program

Giving Tuesday

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Today, we celebrate #GivingTuesday.  Today marks the fifth year of a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

#GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  I know you are thinking “we give all year long”, right?  The truth is many times we plan to give but the moment passes us by – lack of funds, lack of time or just “a senior moment”.

#GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.  As individuals, we have causes near and dear to our hearts.  Those who may have helped us personally over the years or maybe made a difference in the life of a family member.  Maybe it is just because you can relate to an organization’s mission.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community is through #GivingTuesday……

Here are a few of my favorite causes …

  • Redeem-Her was born in 2005 to create second chances for those who need it most. Their mission is to offer help and hope to women reentering the community from rehabilitation facilities, jails and prisons.  They have helped more than 150 women and your support will help them to make a difference in the lives of women in need of a second chance. No donation is too large or small.  If you would like to help us them with their vision of providing second chances for more women, donations can be made at: http://www.redeem-her.org/donate
  • South Jersey AIDS Alliance is a caring, compassionate Organization dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS.  Located in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Camden Counties , their vision is to be recognized as a dynamic organization able to efficiently and effectively provide the diverse and integrated program delivery needed to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing nature of the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • Bethel AME Church which also houses Bethel Development Corporation and Bethel Learning Center is the oldest church in the City of Millville.  It houses the longest running soup kitchen in Cumberland County providing hot home-cooked meals four days per week.  The Learning Center is open to children 6 weeks to 5 years of age as well as offering Before and After Care programs.    All programs at Bethel are focused on giving a hand up to those who are struggling – the addicted, the chronically unemployed and the homeless.

#GiveBackWithMe is my way of bringing a smile to someone who is struggling.  Every month, I select one individual who will receive a gift from me along with some encouraging words to let them know they are special and worthy.  To remind them, no matter what the struggle there is someone who cares for them.  Click HERE and help me to make a difference in the life of someone.  Nominations are taken 365 days a year…. one selected each month.

This November 29th, join the movement and give – whether it’s some of your time, a donation, gift or the power of your voice in your local community.   #RandomActofKindness will #makeadifference in the lives of others.  It’s a simple idea. Whether you come together with your family, your community, your company or your organization, find a way to give back and then share your idea.

Share with us YOUR favorite cause with a link on how others can donate to them…Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Unclutter Your Life

Shopping on a Budget

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Have you ever heard the saying “one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure”?  Okay, so maybe I paraphrased a little but you know what I mean.

Growing up, I can’t ever remember shopping in a thrift store.  In fact, I am not even sure they were around in the 60’s and 70’s.  I remember donating items to those who were less fortunate but I don’t think I ever saw where they ended up.

As a single mom, thrift stores were a fun place to go – not just for me but also for my daughter.  We checked out rummage sales at the local churches and scoured the thrift stores for goodies.  From toys to books to kitchen stuff to clothes.  We always found some treasures that would make the day a success.

There are two sides to all thrift stores in our area – you get to help out a charity by donating and then again when buying from them.  You get to make a difference in the lives of others.  When donating items you no longer need or want the charity is then able to sell it to someone who needs or wants the item.  The money raised helps others in need with food or other essentials.  A win-win for everyone.

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Let’s bust some of those myths about thrift store shopping:

Myth #1: It is shameful to go into a thrift shop.

Remember that you are giving to a great cause and getting yourself a bargain at the same time.  The items you are getting aren’t dirty but have been carefully sorted. Give your items a quick wash once you’ve bought them and they will be just like new. I even think for a period of time, this was the preferred way to shop.

Myth #2:  Sometimes thrift shops can be considered ‘expensive’

I know you think that is kind of crazy, right?  The truth is that everything is not “cheap” – a dollar or two.  Things will be cheaper then buying brand new but there are those occasions when they could be a little bit more expensive than what you expected.  Thrift store employees know value too.  Their goal is to offer items at a reasonable price while helping raising funds for their cause.  So, that designer dress may be cheaper than a brand new one but it is not going to be given away for just a few dollars.

Myth #3:  You should just stick to one thrift store

The truth is that frequenting the same thrift store on a regular basis is good.  Don’t limit yourself to just one – find your favorites and stick with them.  How else are you going to bag yourself some amazing bargains?  Check in once a week to see what they have new.  My mom and I spent the day a few weeks ago exploring some new thrift stores.  We met some great people, got some bargins and will definitely head back to a few of them.

Myth #4: You can’t try the stuff on!

Yes, you can actually try the clothes on in most of them. Don’t see a dressing room, ask if they have one.  If they don’t, ask what their return policy is so you can try it on at home and return it if it doesn’t fit.  Don’t be afraid to ask!

Just like shopping at the mall. the most important part of all this is to have fun. Thrift store shopping isn’t grimy or dirty.  It’s a fun thing to do while grabbing bargains at the same time.

Remember to keep to your budget.  It can be just as easy over-shopping in a thrift store as it is at the mall.  The idea is to keep within a budget, when the purse strings are a little tight. Don’t go overboard otherwise you’ll defeat the objective of thrift shopping!

Let me know what you think about second hand shopping. Share some of your favorite places with us

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Business Boosters

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Things are pretty busy at our house – we are 1 week away from leaving for North Carolina for our daughter’s wedding.  Tonight I am blessed to be able to be with my Thirty One sisters because we are “Better Together”.  It is our bi-monthly meeting/training.  I love being able to share and learn from each of them.

Today, I want to talk about business boosting ideas and some AWESOME tips that I got from Desiree Wolfe.  I LOVE this Rebel Badass Mom-preneur.  We are heading into the busiest selling season of the year when many of us will do 80% of our business.  Consultants that have been quiet for months will want to grab a piece of the action this selling season.  So, here are a few tips to keep you consistently in front of your customers:

1. Post Your Website on EVERYTHING.

Do you list your website on EVERYTHING – return address labels, signatures in your emails, or business cards in your bill payments if you use snail mail? Is it on every social media site you are on?  If not, you are loosing business.  Consistently driving traffic to your website will increase your visibility and your business.

2. Update your website regularly.

I know you are wondering what to do if you are in direct sales and have a company website, right?  Update your bio on the website, share other links, update your social media profiles, and maybe even write a blog.

3. Participate on other websites and blogs.

Now, this does not mean post your monthly sales or plead for business/recruits.  Engage in conversation that will get your name out there. Use a tag line that when they hear it, they will immediately think of you.  Mine is “Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!”.  Working on one so that I can use my name as an acronym.  Any suggestions?

4. Participate in Charity events.

This is my FAVORITE thing to do.  Be a sponsor and advertise.  Give back a percentage of your sales to the event.  Volunteer your time and be a walking billboard for your products.

5. Create partnerships with other business owners

This is a great way for you BOTH to expand your circle of contacts.  Place a fish bowl to collect cards at a local business.  Hold a joint event (mini vendor event) with other consultants or business owners.

6. Run a contest right on your website.

I do this on my VIP customer group but with a canned direct sales website, this one is tough.  We need to be creative to ensure that the word is spreading beyond your normal circle.  Maybe start a #hashtag that is just yours.  Share it on social media but encourage people to visit the website or answer a mini survey to enter.  I am looking for suggestions for this, share your best tip.

7. Share resources.

If you found a cool site that your audience might benefit from share it. Or maybe you purchased a really awesome gadget. Share the link or even give away a copy in a contest.  I do this on my blog with my Saturday Spotlight.  It is a great way to expand your circle.

8. Be Yourself.

I think this one goes without saying.  When you are genuine in your marketing and your business you’ll attract customers who want to do business with you.

For the complete article, check out Desiree’s blog.  Marketing your business doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Consistency will pay off.  I had someone local request a catalog this week – a friend of a friend.  When I stopped by to drop off the catalog, she said “I knew to reach out to you because I see your face & name everywhere.  You have been doing this a LONG time”  I share and don’t sell.  No pleading for business just sharing the specials and the opportunity in a non-sales way.

So, what is your favorite way of spreading the word about your business? Share your tips with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Promote Your Business for Free

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Today is all about promoting your business for FREE!  Yes, I said FREE.  In our direct sales  business we usually put little or no money aside for promotion and marketing.  Most of us are a party plan business so that is where our business comes from, right?  What happens when the well of customers/ hostesses starts to run dry?  What do you do?  Where do you go?

Social Media.  Isn’t this everyone’s first stop – Facebook, pinterest, instagram and the list goes on.  We have seen the pleas for orders, recruits and parties.  This is a GREAT platform if you are share what you have to offer instead of being the pushy sales person.

Get involved in community groups and associations.  The best way to meet new people is to get involved in our community, in a parents group if you have kids or attend a local fundraising event.  Just son’t be “that gal” that’s always talking about her business – let the conversations come naturally.

Use constant branding.  Make sure that everything you do for your business is promoting your brand – the more consistent you are, the better chance that people will notice.  Carry or wear your products, wear company logos or quotes that start conversations.

Generate more referrals.  Get in touch with past clients and offer them an incentive to send you referrals – maybe a cut of the sale, or a discount on future work.  Include referral forms in your hostess packets and give you hostess a gift for getting you new contacts.

Network online.  Get out there and make yourself known! Comment on other peoples’ blogs and articles, or write guest posts for other sites.  I also use “Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!” when I end a posting.  It reminds people that I am a Thirty One consultant without selling them something.

Cross promote.  Contact other brands that share your demographic and brainstorm some cross promotions that will benefit both of you. This is part of the reason that I have a Saturday Business Spotlight in my blog.  The businesses that I blog about share the blog and as a result I gain new contacts and customers.

Distribute regular press releases.  Press releases are still a good way to get information out to the public. Make sure yours are interesting and informative or they’ll get lost in the crowd.

Run sweepstakes or giveaways.  A giveaway is an awesome way to get people excited about your products. Chances are, some of the people who didn’t win will still buy something from you, especially if the prize was something you sell!

Donate products to a charity event.  Ok, this one isn’t completely free (you have to pay for the products) but it does give you more than one benefit. Not only are you getting your company name out there for people to see, but you’re also giving back to your community.  I always include a gift certificate (which is FREE until redeemed) with every basket.  This encourages the winner to shop more and maybe even have a party.

Offer a free class or seminar.  Everyone loves free stuff, so use that as a hook to get people to visit your site. A free seminar will give users some great tips or information, but probably leave at least a few of them wanting more.  Share tips that utilize your products without being the “pushy sales person”.

Send thank you notes.  This is my favorite and gets such great response from my customers.  Showing gratitude will make the likelihood of getting return customers much higher. If you have time, a handwritten thank you card will be more beneficial than a form letter.

Out and About bags for kids and adults.  These are the treat bags filled with goodies.  For kids, I include a coloring sheet with my contact information on it along with stickers and 4 crayons. For adults, a bookmark and a few pieces of candy.  All of the treat bags include a mini catalog, a business card and a discount offer.  A great conversation starter or to quiet a crying child.  Not totally free but I get things at the dollar store and use them in multiple bags.

What are some of ways you get free promotion? Let us know in the comments section below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!