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Book Review: One Smart Cookie

I’m always looking for books to read that will help my own business.   I found one that was published over 20 years ago. It is an easy read and has some unexpected low hanging fruit (simple ah-ha moments) that will help any start-up business owner or anyone who needs a little inspiration to recharge an existing business.

One Smart Cookie: How a Housewife’s Chocolate Chip Recipe Turned into a Multimillion-Dollar Business: The Story of Mrs. Fields Cookies
by Debbi Fields

This book was published in 1987 and the content is still relevant today. Whether a direct sales consultant, freelancer, WAHM-wannabe or any other entrepreneur this book will inspire you; and is sprinkled with humor. Debbi was a stay at home wife and mom who took her passion to build a thriving business doing what she loved.

Mrs. Fields Cookies is a true success stories.   The book talks about her guiding principles and some the struggles she encountered starting her business. She rejected conventional advice with regard to marketing and promotion. Debbi and her husband focused first on making a spectacular cookie, then coupled it with sales staff training and customer service to become a multi-million dollar franchise.

If you’re thinking of starting a business or just needing some motivation to relaunch your existing business, I highly recommend you grab a copy of this book.

About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a Michigan work from home mom and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping men and women start and maintain a home based business in the US, Canada, Poland, Mexico, Australia, Puerto Rico, Germany, Ireland, UK, France, Austria and Spain. To download a FREE Start Up Guide which provides more details about how to start a home business as well as to learn about our compensation plan go to www.thrivingcandlebusiness.com/how-to-start-a-candle-business/ or for updates on Facebook LIKE www.facebook.com/ThrivingCandleBusiness and twitter @directsalesblog

Is Your Scentsy Business in a Funk?

Is your direct sales business in a funk?Ever hear a fellow consultant say, “I’m in a funk”?   I think we all get the idea of what that means when we hear it.  Basically that something isn’t quite right; nothing seems to be going well; in a slump, right?

Songwriter Steven Greenburg wrote the popular “Funkytown” when he became bored with Minneapolis and wanted to move to New York.   Some of the lyrics go: Well, I talk about it, Talk about it, Talk about it, Talk about it, Talk about, Talk about Talk about movin”

Sound Familiar?

When consultants say they nothing is working, it  reminds me of Funkytown. I have had conversations similar to that below more than a few times over the years:

Downline:   Help! Help! I’m in a funk
Me:   Okay, tell me what you’ve been doing that isn’t working
DL:   I can’t get any parties booked and my sales are really down
Me:   What are you saying to potential hosts?
DL:   “Do you want to have a party for me?”

Then we go into a conversation about how hosts don’t do consultants favors.   The consultant has a fabulous product he or she wants to share and give others the opportunity to earn free items.   Actually the consultant is doing the hostess a favor. It’s an important change in mindset.

Me:   What else are you doing for your business?
DL:   I’ve talked to everyone I know.
Me: What have you said?
DL:   Everyone is broke

Notice a pattern of evading my questions?

Me:   Have you called your past customers and hosts recently?
DL:   I sent a text
Me:   Have you called your past customers and hostesses recently? Just let them know what the current specials are and tell them that you’re placing an order and ask if you can them anything.
DL:   Oh.

Then three months go by and the same consultant contacts me again: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Tips if You’re Struggling With Summer Sales

slow summer salesIt’s middle of July and your direct sales volumes are down. That’s not uncommon. So what do you do about it?

Whatever you do, do not – repeat: do not take the summer off from your direct sales   business. If you have taken the first half of summer off, then break is over.

It is true things do tend to slow down a bit during summer months, but that is all the more reason to make sure you keep working your business.   Otherwise you will have a non-existent paycheck during the summer months and your fall sales will not be set up to succeed.

Ready to quit?

Worst yet, if you’re feeling frustrated and are ready to throw in the towel, quitting in the summer is a horrible idea. Why? Because the slower summer signifies that the crazy, hoppin’ busy, holiday season is right around the corner. Many direct sales companies do over 50% of their business in the last three months of the year.

It’s like an accountant complaining there aren’t any/many taxes to prepare in May. Right…. it’s not tax season, that’s why some only work seasonal or they find other bookkeeping gigs to keep some income coming in during the off season. But it’s not realistic to decide to “quit” because they don’t have enough 1040s to file in the summer!

What to do about slow summer sales

Below are some summer suggestions from experienced direct sellers to help get you through the lean months. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

How to Keep the Convention Motivation Going

zig ziglar motivationIt’s summertime. That means many direct sales companies just held or will soon be holding their annual convention.  Most who attend such gatherings will tell how your inspiring, exciting, motivating and energizing the experience is.  Most will come home on fire – ready to take their direct selling business to a new level.

However just like any post-vacation or other post-positive-experience event, once you get back to the real world, surrounded by real life and an abundance of personalities, it’s not long before you lose that honeymoon feeling.

Is the Honeymoon over?

Just like any relationship or marriage, the honeymoon phase doesn’t last. Though there are some steps you can take to keep your positive momentum going, long after you’ve finished laundry, uploaded your trip pics and put the suitcase away.

Consider why your convention was so inspiring. I’m sure you can come up with a number of reasons and the number one contributor was because you were inundated with positive, energetic people who share the same goal. Attitudes are contagious. If you’re in a convention center with thousands of pumped up consultants, how can you not catch the fire? →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

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