Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

SPRING CLEAN YOUR BUSINESS

What is the old saying about March – “in like a lion and out like a lamb”?  Well that was definitely NOT the case this past week at the Jersey Shore.  Yes, the weekend got warmer but not before we had that last blast of winter.  I am SO over winter, the cold and SNOW!  As we approach April 1st, some start to think about spring cleaning.  I know that my mom does this ALL the time.  I am not one for the whole house cleaning in preparation for Spring but I am ready to Spring Clean my business.

Spring cleaning your business gives you a chance to take a look out what you did during the winter (or the first quarter of the year) and make some changes to either get you back on track for the rest of the year or to keep you moving forward towards your goals. So, here are some steps from Matthew Anderson of theselfemployed.com:

Evaluate Your Overall Goals – The first quarter of the year is done, are you on track?  If not, what happen?  Did you get a case of the winter blues?  This is the time to JUMPSTART your business.

Eliminate Anything That’s Not Working – This can be a difficult since you have to take responsibility for what is NOT working in your business.  What are the things that are NOT working and that are holding you back?  Don’t be afraid to prune these things and make room for what you truly want – growth.

Begin New Growth –  Now that you know the direction that you want to go in, and you’ve gotten rid of practices that will hinder you, set out to begin to grow your business. Double your customer care calls. Commit to a new level of customer service to attract more repeat business. In short, break out of your comfort zone and watch your business improve!

Straighten Your Office – Don’t let this be a time waster – Take a day or two and overhaul your workspace to get ready for spring. File old documents, organize your desk, and take care of any old business. Make sure you have your systems in place.  You may even want to move your furniture around to give everything that “new” feeling. 

After Boot Camp Thirty One style this past weekend, I am ready to spring clean? Do you do any entrepreneurial spring cleaning this time of year? Share your stories with us in the comments section below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING

Yes, I have (okay, almost over it) FEAR of public speaking.  I am sure that it stems form my lack of slef-confidence and low self-esteem that I have been blessed with overcoming over the last year or so.  For those in the “home party” business, this is probably a crazy statement, right?  You would be surprised at how many of my fellow team members and other consultants that I meet have said “I don’t like to talk in front of groups”.  Really, how is that working for your business?  I know, that is probably a bit harsh but the truth is the negative energy/talk will take you down a road that will hurt your business.  I am learning to ONLY put out POSITIVE energy especially when I am talking about things related to my business.  “I hate public speaking” or “I am not good at recruiting” are statements that I have eliminated from my conversations over the last 2 months and believe it or not, it has made a difference in my business.

An article on “theselfemployed.com” by Steve Strauss had a few tips that might help you in overcoming “the FEAR”. So see what he has learned along the way:

1. Chunk it down: Think about what you want to say and the break it down, outline it even. In the end, you probably have three or four main points that you will want to get across. Create each idea as a separate section of the overall speech, and treat each one as its own little speech.  For direct sellers, this is EASY!  I use cards all of the time to keep me on track.  It also shows any new potential recruit that they don’t have to be PERFECT to be in business.

2. Over-prepare. Notice I didn’t say “Prepare.” No matter what type of presentation you need to give – whether it is a sales pitch, or a Rotary speech, or a class presentation, of course you will be prepared.  Preparation is not enough, especially if public speaking is not your thing. What seems to work best for most people is over-preparation.  Know what you want to say and how you want to say it. Practice, and practice some more, and then practice some more. Knowing, really knowing, your speech will do more to ease jitters than almost anything else. And also, all of that practice will help you iron out any kinks in the presentation, and it is far better to do that at home than in front of that big client.  Okay, so this is NOT something that I do but I know that there are many out there who find this helpful.

3. Tell stories: People love stories, and love to listen to stories. Stories engage the audience. So, 1) think of some good stories you can tell that personalize the points you want to make, and 2) think of the overall speech as one big story, with a beginning, middle, and end.  

4. Visualize: Take a few quiet minutes for the week leading up to the big speech to see it working out just great in your mind’s eye. Watch the movie in your head of you nailing it. Most importantly – make yourself feel the feelings you would feel as you succeed. Feel excited as you watch this movie. Feel confident. See people smiling, laughing at your jokes, nodding in agreement with your points.  It works.  It ABSOLUTELY does work!  I LOVE to do this and actually has helped me a lot.  Positive energy flow!

5. Breathe: Right before you start, take a deep breath. Call it a dramatic pause, whatever.  Don’t worry if you are nervous, we all get a little nervous before a speech. The trick is to use that energy for you instead of having it work against you. If you notice it, nervousness is just about the same feeling as excitement, so channel that energy positively, into excitement, instead of letting it instinctively be channeled negatively, into nervousness.  

6. Be yourself: We’ve all heard it before, but it bears repeating: You will do your best work if you don’t try and copy someone else’s style. Be yourself. Let your personality shine through.

Finally, give yourself a break. You don’t have to be perfect. Don’t worry if you flub a line. Smile and keep going and knock it out of the park.

So who is ready to go out and conquer that FEAR?  What are some of your best tips for overcoming a FEAR?  We would love to hear it… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Work at Home Struggle

When I tell people that I am self-employed and work from home, their first response is “I wish I could do that”.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being my own boss.  I LOVE being able to make my own schedule!  I LOVE being able to decide NOT to go anywhere and work in my sweats on any given day.  My struggle is in TIME MANAGEMENT.  More precisely is my inability to get into a routine.  I know all about setting work hours, etc.  The truth is, I haven’t figured out if I am trying to cram too much into a given day or week OR am I just not disciplined enough and get side tracked easily.  WOW!  That was definitely a tough thing to admit.  Have you ever heard “the busier I am, the more I seem to get done”?  Well, that is how I feel.  Of course, that really is a negative way of looking at things, isn’t it?  So, if I am not busy, I am not going to get things done?

With today being Monday, the start of a new week and the start of some new ventures, I am hoping (and praying) that I can get my act together.  I came across an article on theselfemployed.com about being productive at home…let’s see if I can make any of their suggestions work:

Don’t Be Afraid To Say No – I don’t have a problem saying no to outside appointments based on my schedule.  I space my appointments out based on my part-time schedule, my Thirty One party and event schedule and hubby’s schedule (that seems to be the toughest to manage).

Take Time To Socialize – WOW!  I almost wish that I was home all day just once in a while.  I feel like if I could work in my office for about 10 hours straight, I would at least be able to play catch up.  Does socializing include spending time with hubby just because he likes to have you working in the same room?  I know that sounds weird, right?  Rob loves when we are both having out in the living room even if we are both on the computer.  Just wish I could learn to make that a productive time.

Schedule Email and Social Media Time – Things like checking your email or catching up on Twitter and Facebook may seem like small tasks that can be fit into your schedule, but the truth is that these seemingly small things can easily become time sinks that will destroy an entire day’s productivity. Instead of trying to squeeze these activities between scheduled tasks, write them on your schedule instead and allocate enough time to use them properly to enhance your business. I LOVE this idea and I actually did it for awhile.  Time to go back to some of the things that worked.

Set Up An Office Space – LOVE my office space now that we have changed the “general office” into a working Thirty One office.  Rob even said how great it looked – less cluttered.  The only thing I didn’t hang back up was my “video camera” picture to remind me to work as if someone is watching what I do. Now, where did I put that?

Take Break Time Into Account – Not a problem.  I take period breaks all the time in my office.  Maybe dialing back my to-do list to make it a bit more manageable and realistic is a better place to start..

I would love to hear about some of your struggles working at home and how you have overcome them…Share your best tips with us so that we can help each other out.  I am definitely teachable.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Is being Self Employed On YOUR New Year Wish List

Have you ever dreamed of being your own boss?  According to “theselfemployed.com“, there is a list of 55 reasons it’s better to employ yourself but these are just a few of mine:

  1. Set your own hours.
  2. Opportunity to make unlimited income.
  3. Can work from home.
  4. Can work literally anywhere.
  5. Are able to put family priorities first.
  6. You don’t just work for a paycheck.
  7. Able to do something you are passionate about.
  8. Can work in your pajamas if you want to.
  9. Take vacation or sick time whenever you need to.
  10. In today’s economy, being self-employed can have more job security than a traditional job.
  11. True flexibility in everything you do.
  12. Work doesn’t feel like work.
  13. Every day can feel like an adventure.
  14. Only you need to believe in yourself. You don’t have to sell your ideas or vision to higher-ups.
  15. You can set up your office however you want.
  16. You are not limited to the money you earn each paycheck.
  17. Every day is like a new challenge – a chance to grow as a person.
  18. You will be able to spend more quality time with your family.
  19. You can take control of your own personal and career development.
  20. The more you put into your business, the more you will get out of it.
  21. You will have more freedom to work, play or rest when you want to.
  22. Being self-employed is the ultimate DIY project.
  23. You can be yourself.
  24. Get to meet new people that you might not have in a typical job environment.

For some, direct sales may be the answer to your self-employment goal.  For $99, the Thirty One enrollment kit changed my life.  It not only allowed me to make my own hours, it helped me to find a confidence in me that I had lost so many years ago.  When I am doing a home party with Thirty One, I am not “Belinda’s mom” or “Rob’s wife” or “Joan’s daughter” – I am “Hope, Thirty One Director and bag lady”.  I love all of my roles as wife, mom and daughter but I also love that I have my own identity too.  Did it start off that way?  No, I wanted the discounts (25%) and maybe to make some extra money.  It is so much more than just a purse.  

Thirty One may not be for you but it may be for someone you know. Share this link with them giving them the opportunity.  If your passion isn’t bags, try some of the other wonderful direct sales companies around – Mary Kay or Beauty Control or Dove Chocolate.

Share with us your reason for wanting to be self-employed..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Free Business Promotion

Did I get your attention?  Today is probably a slow moving day for some.  The kids are off from school till the new year.  The lines at the stores are NOW all about returns, exchanges and finding a great sale.  For me, I am thinking about the new year and the changes that I can make to help my business grow and prosper.  See, the workaholic always is thinking even if they aren’t talking about work, they are thinking about it.

There was an article on “theselfemployed.com” that talked about FREE promotions.  I am always looking for a good deal or new ideas so I thought I would check it out and share some with you…

Being in direct sales (or any business), the cost of getting our name out there can sometimes be very costly.  Catalogs, postage, website, vendor events and the list goes on.  What if you could create a balance between some of those things AND some free marketing/promotion opportunities?  Sounds like a plan, right?  Here are just a few of the tips:

Social Media.
Social media is free, and it’s pretty much the best place to find potential customers. Pick the platforms that you think will give you the most benefit, and get posting!  I know you are probably tired of hearing me talk about this one but it is so true!  Facebook, Pinterest, Tumbler, Instagram and more since new ones seem to be popping up all of the time.  It is not just about the sales, it is about building a relationship with people.

Get involved in community groups and associations.
This lets you network while also giving you a chance to help out in your community. Don’t be “that guy” that’s always talking about his company – let the conversations come naturally.  Looking for a good women’s networking group, try Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms (NO, it is not just for moms).

Using 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.  Branding is about YOU not what you sell.  I am not JUST a Thirty One Consultant and I needed to learn how to STOP saying that.  I am a blogger and an entrepreneur with my own business.  People want to know more than instead of saying “I know about Thirty One”.

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.  Don’t be afraid to ASK for them.  I ask for referrals but I haven’t tried offering a discount except when it comes to recruiting.  

Network online.
Get out there and make yourself known! Comment on other peoples’ blogs and articles, write guest posts for other sites, or take part in Tweetchats and Google Hangouts.  This is something that I need to make time for.  I am so afraid of getting LOST and wasting time.  Time to get the timer out and pace myself.

Use Q&A sites.
Answer sites like Quora are a great place to show off your expertise. Help people with their questions, and you’re sure to generate some leads.

Cross promote.
Contact other brands that share your demographic and brainstorm some cross promotions that will benefit both of you.  I actually have started to do this with some of the local crafters.  Heather’s Diaper Cakes did this AWESOME cake using an Organizing Utility tote

diaper cake and out

Donate branded 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 towards a future purchase so that the winner has to come back to me and we can connect.

Bonus Tip: Send thank you notes.
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.  This is the BEST form of promotion.  Make a habit of writing some each week or each day, but make sure you do it!

What are some of the ways you promote your products? Let us know in the comments section below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!