Business Tips and Tricks

Can You Beat Vacation Veronica?

How long is this sign on your business during the holidays?  For Vacation Veronica stepped into the picture right around Thanksgiving weekend.  She may have come and gone a few times since them but she is sneaking back to see if she can stay till the spring thaw.

Some will take a holimonth instead of a holiday.  I used to take a holimonth from the Christmas cutoff till after the first of the year.  The end result was the need to kick start my business every spring.

As we creep into the final days before Christmas then head into the week till New Years, the holiday season takes on a life of its own.  The time spent in the office is all about paper pushing.  Now, I am not saying this isn’t productive in some ways but can put a damper on the most productive, money making time of year.  Pushing papers and getting things in order are good things I do in between Christmas and New Years as I prep for the upcoming year.  The truth is, we need to keep working on building our business so in January, we are not sitting around trying to figure out WHY we don’t have any business on the books.

Here are some tips from JulieAnne Jones:

  • If you are a Leader, plan all your meetings for 2018. As Leaders with Thirty One, they help us stay on track with giving us all of the materials we need.
  • Schedule time to connect with your downline to see how you can help them with their goals in 2018.
  • Share with your team some fun ideas for theme parties as well as other tips on how to boost their business in the new year.
  • Call your September, October, November and December guests – you know the “pink bag calls” we talk about. Check in and make sure they are happy with their product.
  • Call your past hostess and check in. Don’t be afraid to ask them about hosting a party.
  • Commit to listen to/ or read at least one training program. Don’t just listen or read – IMPLEMENT it!

As for me, I am excited to be kicking of the new year utilizing the Tag Team Party format.  Since 95% of my business has been online, I have been on the hunt for a way to hold fast, fun and easy parties online.  The format will plant booking and recruiting seeds while guests enjoy a 31-minute party online.

I am tweaking my follow-up system.  With our new ship before the party closes, there have been some challenges.  So, I am trying to get a system together.  The money is in the follow-up and I need to remember it on a regular basis. It isn’t just about the emails or social media, it is also about snail mail AND the phone.

Here’s to hoping Vacation Veronica doesn’t linger long at my house or yours. Take a break and enjoy your family and friends during the holiday season but don’t neglect your business. If you had a store front, you wouldn’t close for 2 weeks would you? So why should you close your direct sales business for 2 weeks unless you are fully booked for the next 2 months – even then, I am not sure I would stop working my business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Budgeting

Budgeting Works

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For many of us, this was one of our New Year’s Resolutions.  The holiday bills have started to roll in.  Maybe bad weather caused you to miss some hours at work.  Maybe you lost your job.  Maybe hours have been cut due to lack of business.  Whatever the reason – this is probably the last thing on your list right now.  Great intentions when we start the new year but like most resolutions by the 3rd week, they are starting to lose their luster.

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Setting up a budget is tough.  Monitoring your spending is tough.  Believe it or not, when you have control of your money it is empowering.  You can also reach your financial goals one step at a time – even if they are baby steps.

The basic idea of a budget it simple – spend less than you make.  I know the kids need XYZ.  I know you will put it on the card and pay it when you get paid. I have heard (and used) all of these reasons as to why I can’t save or stay on a budget.

The truth is that once I figured out what I was actually spending money on, what I wanted to spend money on, and how to automatically save – life got so much easier.

Do you really know where you money goes?  I mean most of us will say we do but if we had to track every penny spent in a given week, could we?  How can you create a budget, if you don’t know where your money is going.  I have to admit this is the toughest part.

If you use a programs on your computer like Quicken or Quick Books, that is a great place to start.  Look at your spending from the past three months.  Now it may not count the Starbucks coffees or lunches if you use cash.  If you are like me and use your debit card for EVERYTHING, this will be very easy.  The key is to put ALL spending into a category.

Here are some categories:

  1. Needs: rent, utilities, basic groceries, car payment, paying off debt, etc.
  2. Wants: eating out, shopping, vacations, etc.
  3. Savings: retirement, emergency fund, savings for future purchases (such as a house down payment)

So, how does your monthly spending look? Are you spending more on wants than needs?  Are those needs being put off?  Believe me, I cringed when I saw that most of my budget fell into the needs category due to debt.   It was time to make some changes.

I started to prioritize my want spending so that I could save and pay off that debt.  I looked at my wants and decided which was the most important to me.  Then I started cutting some things out.  WaWa stops when I worked to pick up food when I could make and take it from home.  I stopped getting my nails done every 2 weeks and  made it a monthly treat.

Then I set up an auto transfer to start saving.  Okay, so it may not be the recommended 20% but it is a start. On payday, I automatically pay myself first.  I will admit that on months when I am short due to a smaller paycheck, I may borrow BUT I always do the transfer.  Start with $5 a paycheck and put it in a savings account.  It will slowly grow.  I actually do $25 a month then if I get a bonus or any extra money, I split it between debt reduction and savings.

Budgeting does work.  I stomped out my inner gremlins around budgeting and money management a few months ago.  It made a HUGE difference in how I look at my checkbook.  I have money saved plus bills are paid.  I am using the snowball method to pay down debt.  Honestly, it wasn’t easy but give it a try because it was so worth it.  Start somewhere even if it is figuring out where your money ACTUALLY goes instead of just guessing.

I would love to hear your best tips for budgeting.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!