Category Archives: Home Businesses

Top Tips for Success in Direct Sales

I’ve been meaning to add a top tips post for a while, so when the lovely Joanne Dewberry asked me to write a guest post for her on direct selling, it got me to stop and actually do it! She featured it on her blog a couple of weeks back, so I thought I’d include it here for you now, too.

Top Tips when considering a Direct Sales opportunity:

  1. Is the company a member of the Direct Selling Association? This association ensures dsamembers adhere to a code of practice that is fair and ethical. They also impose maximum initial investment standards. See more over on their website, which also includes a list of companies involved, which you can filter by product type.
  2.  Which brings me to my next, and possibly most important tip, choose a company and a product that you genuinely believe in. You’re going to be promoting and selling these products as your own business so, I believe for it to be successful, you need to be honestly enthusiastic about what you’re talking about, as it will shine through to others.
  3. Look into how the company ‘manages’ you. Each company will have a different structure and set up, so you need to consider what would work best for you. Some have assigned areas and managers to report into on your sales or bookings, some have monthly minimum order levels and targets, some have no targets imposed on you at all. Do ensure you research this and commit to the method that you feel most comfortable with.
  4. What support is available? Look into who will be there to help you get going and continue on your way. What training is available? How are you kept informed about new products/developments? Are there social media groups you can join in with to keel you informed and motivated? It’s your business, so you’ll want to keep up to date with a happenings.
  5. Think about your potential customer base. Who is it? Where are they? Ask your sponsor/manager for a list of who/where you can sell. Would you buy the product and who else do you know who would? These will be your first customers and so they are the seeds from which your business will grow. If you’re undecided, show the products/brochure/website to a few friends and get their reactions – these could be your first orders!

And so now you’ve chosen your company and are eagerly with products! These are my top tips for success..

Top Tips for a Successful Direct Sales Business:

  1. People buy from people. I always remind myself of this. However brilliant your product is, you are it’s USP. Be friendly and efficient and always deliver great customer service. Look after your regular customers with the odd little freebie, voucher, offer etc., as it shows your appreciation of them, and recommendations can go a long way in any business.
  2. Always be prepared  You never know when an opportunity to chat about your business may arise, and you never know when someone will want some information from you. I always carry my business cards, the latest brochures and business information leaflets with me. I also tend to have a little product stock in my car, as I’ll often be at a friends and they’ll just need a couple of cards while I’m there!
  3. Find the right support system. It can feel quite a lonely job, if you’re working from home on your own, so it can make a big difference to you and your business to get some support. In my case, the trader who actually sponsored me didn’t offer that support and is no longer trading. I muddled on through and still managed to make a great start to my business (phew!), and have since found a few other traders that I know I can call on with queries or just for a quick ‘well done’ or pick me up. I’m also fortunate in that the company I trade for actively encourages ideas sharing, stock swap shops etc. so there is always someone around to help me out. It really helps.
  4. However busy you are, whether you’ve a family, other jobs, commitments etc. try to do a little bit each day. The odd 5 minutes spent here and there do add up, so a brochure in the post, a phone call, samples dropped somewhere etc. is all advancing your business that little bit and you never know where it might lead. Every time you tell someone about what you do opens up a whole new avenue of possibilities for you, so every time counts. And by doing a little each day, it’s easier to keep the momentum going as it keeps it in your mind.
  5. Enjoy it! You need to be pretty self motivated to do this, so enjoying it really helps you top get out there and do something with your business. If you’re excited about the latest products, you’ll be happily shouting about them, and there’ll always be people listening! They may then buy from you, book you, or want to join your team as they can see your enthusiasm for it. And so your business grows…Direct selling is not a get rich quick scheme  It’ll be a business like any other, so be prepared to give it energy and time to develop.

Hope my tips helped? And if you’ve done your research and are loving the cards I sell, then I’m always happy to welcome new traders to my team, so please do get in touch 🙂

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Home Businesses – Their Stories #2

OK, continuing the theme of bringing to you other people getting out there and doing it for themselves, in the hope to inspire (there’s more about it on my older post here), I’d like to introduce you to two lovely ladies….

Firstly, let me introduce you to Karen Deverson of Lavender Garden, @lavenderbabies, selling natural crystals and essential oils. Taken from her website ‘Inspired whilst I was pregnant with my fourth baby last year, Lavender Babies was born when I could not find TOTALLY natural calming products for me and my new baby. Every spray is handmade with carefully chosen natural crystals & essential oils, safe for newborn babies and pregnancy. Lavender Moon was born shortly after, to offer a stronger blend of sprays for adults and older children. No alcohol, no nasties, 100% natural. Made with a lot of love, and a little magic. I am a qualified crystal & holistic therapist who has been running my own therapy and teaching business for almost eight years.’ Pop over and take a look now..

Next up is Linzi, with both Paige’s Handmade Boutique and Simply Showcase, which she runs with a few others – busy lady! This is her story ‘I’m a 25 year old single mummy to one little girl, a two year old, and I generally work out of the comfort of my kitchen. I initially started as cosy comfy cushions and made custom quilts and cushions, but didn’t have a real passion for it so I closed for a while, re-branded and re-opened as Paige’s Boutique, named after my daughter Paige. I work part time as a support worker for autistic adults, but I am aiming to develop my own businesses and work from home to spend more time with my family. I do have a partner, but he’s new :-), and is very supportive – I often have him base coating things for me! As much as making something for a customer is nerve racking and I am always terrified they won’t like it, I love the idea that something I created is out there brightening up someone’s home or occasion and I enjoy giving handmade gifts tailored to the person I am giving them to. It was from there I decided to develop Simply Showcase to help other small businesses a long with my own flourish.’ Brilliant! Simply Showcase is a community for other similar small businesses to share their makes and offers.

You can read about another group of inspiring women here, too. I’m writing these posts and sharing these stories as I’m very happy to be working for myself around looking after my children, with my Phoenix Trading business, so want to help others find their happy way of doing it, too 🙂 If you’d like to find out more about my journey, or to join my team of traders, working for yourself selling greetings cards and stationery, find out how I got started here. All details of these business will be on my blogroll where there is a blog!, and also over on my Pinterest board, aimed at giving ideas for you to work flexibly, too.

Home Businesses – Their Stories #1

As promised in my post last week, I will be bringing you stories of others, like me, who are working for themselves, giving them family flexibility. Hopefully, they will inspire! These weekly posts will include a round up of the week’s new joiners, with links to their blogs for you to go and investigate further. All blogs will be displayed on my blogroll and Pinterest board, so you’ll always be able to find them. And I’ll add more every week, so follow to keep on reading, or comment or get in touch for me to pop your blog on here, too. I am looking for blogs, not websites/business adverts, as I’d like to hear about stories and businesses in your own words, so we can all get a feel for what it’s all about 🙂

First up this week, we have Iris’ Baked By Me. Taken from her blog ‘I am Iris, lover of food and beautiful things for the home. Passionate about fuss free baking. This is a blog featuring delicious goodies baked by Iris (me!), our cookie mixes, bakeware items and practical partyware.’ – so check it out and follow if baking’s your thing, or if you just like cookies!!

Next up, we have Keren Baker’s crafty blog. In her own words ‘I’m living in Liverpool, married with 5 great kids and for my sanity I create. I reckon its cheaper than therapy and I love making stuff. Scrapbooking, papercrafting, cards.. you name it, I will craft with it.’ Keren also offers craft classes, so check out the blog for more details.

Now it’s Rachel at Pretty ParTea. Rachel’s blog explains ‘The inspiration behind Pretty ParTea was her 2 girls who are very girly and enjoy hosting tea parties, picnics and pretending to be Princesses. Being a Stay At Home Mum getting to the shops can be challenging at times, and online shopping can become tedious having to source the best products, at best prices and would eventually spend hours searching and ordering from different sites. With this, and her love of parties, Rachel decided to set up Pretty ParTea.’ Pop over there and browse all of her gorgeous goodies!

And last, but by no means, least, we have Fiona over at Coombe Mill, family farm holidays. Her brilliant blog can be found here, and brings us news of all the latest fun on the farm, as well as how it all fits in with her family life – she’s a mum to 6, so there’s a fair bit to fit in!

As it’s the very first week of doing this, I also have one brand new start up story that I’d like to share with you. There is no blog here, so I’m sharing Jacqueline’s story in her own words…

jacqueline‘I launched my website in March 2013 after being a single parent for a year. I was just about scraping by on benefits, but as I want to Home Educate my daughter I decided I had better do something to ensure I can finance that once she is school age. She is 3 in June, so that gives me a couple of years to make it work.

I have always had a passion for wooden toys and home decor – they have a beauty about their look, feel and even smell that you just don’t get with other materials. Having a background in IT and specifically html, I decided to combine the two and created my website, ‘It’s a Wood Thing’.

I’ve been registered as self employed for just over a month now and I can honestly say – bar having children of course – it’s been the scariest, most challenging and nerve racking yet most liberating and exciting experience yet!

I still have a way to go to turn it into a successful business, but I’m enjoying the challenge. My daughter only attends nursery 6 hours a week so most of my hours are made up between 8pm and 1am, which is exhausting, but I always fall into bed satisfied that I am doing something positive for our future.’

Good luck, Jacqueline!

So 4 new additions to the blogroll and 1 brand new start up story. And, of course, there’s always my business story that you’re welcome to come and be a part of! Are you raring to go and try it for yourself now?!  Do check them out, and keep following for more inspiration……

Calling all home business people, please!

Why am I calling more people? I work from home because I’m determined to build a business around enjoying and being there for my family – you can read my story here. And just so you know, that’s not my actual office pictured, but it’s the one I’d have if I could 🙂

the home office I'd like to have...Not that this is all suddenly news to me, but since I started blogging about this, I’ve come into contact with more and more people who are looking to do exactly the same thing. Now, whilst I firmly believe that Phoenix Trading is the way to go here (it’s not like I’m biased or anything?!), I do accept that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so I got to thinking that if I can’t help other people achieve this goal by spreading the Phoenix message, then maybe others can by spreading their own messages. The point is, I’d like to be able to help others to achieve that family friendly working life, in one way or another. To this end, what I want to do is share other blogs by like-minded people, so that we can all be found in one go. My blogroll is ready to be filled up with other people’s stories of how they’re striving to do this, and I’ve got a board all ready and raring to go over on Pinterest where I’ll add everyone’s blog, so all can be collected and browsed together. I must stress, this is not going to be a load of links to adverts, or website’s about business opportunities. I want it to be your very own story about what you do and how it works for you, so that interested people can read and follow you to get a feel for how you work. If you have a blog that’s a mixture of parenting, crafting, cooking, and work from home etc., that’s absolutely fine – I just want to get lots of ideas and inspiration out there. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new idea yourself, do follow me so that you can be updated with new stories.

So what do you need to do to be a part of this? Get your bloglink to me, whether that be via commenting on this, Twitter, emailing me – doesn’t matter, just get it to me! I’ll add you to my blogroll and the Pinterest board, and then I will be writing a weekly post on family friendly working, where I’ll highlight all new additions to the site and tweet them, too. Sound easy? it should be…!!