All posts by TheDSEF

DSEF & CBBB Facebook Adds Virus Protection

DSEF & CBBB Facebook Adds Virus Protection

Today’s highlighted blog post from the Council on Better Business Bureaus (CBBB):

Facebook Adds Virus Protection

 

Facebook has announced it will now check outgoing links for viruses, reports The Next Web.

Viruses, phishing attempts and Trojans have become increasingly prevalent on Facebook. People often fall prey by clicking on links on the social network itself or on their walls, which in turn posts to their own wall for others to click.

DSEF and Council on Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) fosters honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visitwww.bbb.org/us for more information.


Today’s Highlighted Video from the DSEF: Product Buy-Backs

Today’s Highlighted Video from the DSEF: Product Buy-Backs

Today’s highlighted video from DSEF:

Can’t see this? Click here: Product Buybacks

Learn about the buy-back policy that all DSA member companies adhere to.

To read more about the DSA Code of Ethics regarding Product Buybacks – http://dsa.org/ethics/code/#inventory

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Top 10 Reasons You’re an Entrepreneur

Top 10 Reasons You’re an Entrepreneur

Have you ever thought about why you became an entrepreneur? One day you thought it was a great idea and then it happened. Now perhaps you’re in the thick of it and can’t recall how it all happened so quickly!

These reasons might help you understand and/or remember why you became an entrepreneur.

Top 10 reasons you’re an entrepreneur:

  1. A passion for adventure
  2. Need for a challenge
  3. Seek self-improvement
  4. To be unique
  5. To find meaning
  6. Independent minded
  7. To inspire others
  8. To make a difference
  9. To find happiness
  10. To be wealthy

This list is a light hearted way to understand the characteristics of an entrepreneur, but it’s the work and unending pursuit that make true entrepreneurs.

Did I leave any reasons off this list? Which reason tops your list? Would love to hear your thoughts.

DSEF & Money Wise Women

DSEF & Money Wise Women

Today’s highlighted post from Money Wi$e Women Get Smart Teleseminar Series:

How to Escape the Money Life Drain

Do you have any money tips to share? Which teleseminar tip was the most useful? We would love to hear your thoughts.

DSEF proudly sponsors the free Money Wi$e Women Get Smart Teleseminar Series hosted by Marcia Brixey, Founder and President of Money Wise Women Educational Services and author ofThe Money Therapist: A Woman’s Guide to Creating a Healthy Financial Life. The series covers topics related to business and finances and provides women the opportunity to learn from professional experts in a safe, comfortable environment.

To find out about upcoming teleseminars, visit http://www.moneywisewomengetsmart.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSEF & CBBB For Businesses & Consumers

DSEF & CBBB For Businesses & Consumers

Today’s highlighted blog post from the Council on Better Business Bureaus (CBBB):

Social Media and Customer Service

Social media can be a tool to strengthen customer service and to give consumers an outlet to complain about a company. According to Convergys Corp, one bad tweet or one negative comment on Facebook can lose a company up to 30 customers.

How do you use social media to strengthen your customer service? Does your business have social media policy in place to deal with complaints? We would love to hear from you. Please share with us in the comments below.

DSEF and Council on Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) fosters honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit www.bbb.org/us for more information.

DSEF Shares Consumer Resources from the FTC

DSEF Shares Consumer Resources from the FTC

Today’s highlighted blog post from NCPW:

Free Trials Can Cost You

Trying something out for free? It sounds great, but there may be a catch — free trials aren’t always free.You may end up on the hook for lots more products and find it tough to cancel.

 

For 13 years, the DSEF has been proud to partner with the FTC and other organizations to offer a wide array of education events and resources that encourage consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their rights and make better-informed decisions.

You’ll find a wealth of resources at www.ncpw.gov that will help you protect your privacy, manage your money, learn more about credit and debt, decipher advertising messages, and steer clear of fraud and scams.

Please take a moment to share the resources on this Web site with others in your communities and companies and, together, we’ll help build a nation of better-informed and educated consumers.

Charles. L. Orr
Executive Director

Direct Selling Education Foundation

 

 

Impress For Success

Impress For Success

Remember that old shampoo commercial reminding us, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”?  As any direct seller knows, a first impression is crucial for attracting and retaining new customers.  In order to impress for success, focus on two components: your relationships with your customers and your own personal business style.

Relationships – The beauty of your business is the personal relationship you build with others. Here are some tips for nurturing it:

  • Tailor your services to fit your customer’s individual needs.  For example, that new mom with an infant at home? She would welcome free delivery!
  • Reach out to your customers regularly, not just to promote your product, but also for constructive feedback.  Even the most successful business owners have room for improvement!
  • Make it easy, fast, and convenient for customers to contact you for any reason.  Time is a precious thing, and you will certainly impress by making your business dealings simple and friendly.
  • Put yourself in the customer’s role.  Why would YOU buy from YOU?
  • Get to know your customers.  Treat them like friends instead of one of many potential purchases.
  • Follow up after a transaction is made.  Are they satisfied?  If not, how can you make it right?
  • Conduct business with integrity.  If something goes wrong, admit your mistake and correct it immediately.  Customers will appreciate your commitment to their satisfaction and keep coming back.

Personal style – Get to know your own personal strengths and incorporate them into your business.

  • Don’t be afraid to get creative.  Find your inner MacGyver; solve problems and market yourself in outside-the-box ways. After all, there’s only one you!
  • Plan ahead.  Set specific goals for how you can include new ideas into your daily business.
  • Dress to impress. When conducting business in person, you should always look the part.  By doing so, you will exude a confidence that appeals to others.  Go ahead and take pride in your appearance.
  • Smile!  It seems simple, but a positive impression starts with the expression on your face.  So brighten someone’s day with a warm smile that says you are happy to be interacting with them and you love what you do.

You started this business because you believe in your product or service.  When you show customers that you genuinely care, you leave them with a remarkable impression and put yourself on the path to success.

Free e-book “Business Owner’s Road Map to Success.” It has over 50 pages of techniques for everything a small business owner needs to master, from business planning and ethical selling to a success mindset. It’s all there and it’s free for you. To get it, just “Like” our Facebook Page here: http://on.fb.me/KsIN6P Pass it on!

Free Educational Series for Entrepreneurs

Free Educational Series for Entrepreneurs

Money Wise Women Educational Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and empowering women to live financially healthy lives. DSEF proudly sponsors the free Money Wi$e Women Get Smart Teleseminar Series hosted by Marcia Brixey, Founder and President of Money Wise Women Educational Services and author of The Money Therapist: A Woman’s Guide to Creating a Healthy Financial Life. The series covers topics related to business and finances and provides women the opportunity to learn from professional experts in a safe, comfortable environment.

Here are only some of the topics that can empower your business, money and life. Listen to past interviews with professional experts:

  • The 5-Keys to Unlocking Passion, Purpose and Prosperity: A Transformational Approach to Goal Setting
  • Managing Your Time and Multiple Commitments
  • Tax Tips For The Self Employed
  • Reduce Debt, Reduce Stress
  • Your Money Personality And Self-Employment
  • Power of Vision Using Dream Boards
  • So You Want to be an Entrepreneur
  • Give Your Elevator Speech a Lift
  • Create the Life You Imagine: Dream It, Believe It, Be It
  • Goal Setting for Financial Success and Prosperity
  • Train your Brain
  • Achieving a Lifetime of Financial Security
  • Women And Leadership – A perfect match
  • Email writing that counts

And many more! To see the complete list and access each recording, visit http://www.moneywisewomengetsmart.com/past_teleseminars.html

To find out about and register for upcoming teleseminars, visit http://www.moneywisewomengetsmart.com/

These People Are…Incredible – Guest Post by Joe Mariano, DSA President

These People Are…Incredible – Guest Post by Joe Mariano, DSA President

From The DSEF: Today we’re delighted to bring you a guest post by Direct Selling Association President Joe Mariano. Joe and his team at the DSA work tirelessly to protect, serve and promote the effectiveness of member companies and the independent business people they represent. The DSA also works to ensure that the marketing by member companies of products and/or the direct sales opportunity is conducted with the highest level of business ethics and service to consumers.

“These people are … incredible.”

That’s what one direct selling CEO recently emailed me during her conference. I know exactly what she meant. After 26 years working at the Association, I’ve seen more than just a few company meetings. Each company brings its own unique style and expertise to its get-togethers, but they all have one thing in common: the passion, enthusiasm and love that the salesforce brings to our business. There is nothing more exciting, invigorating and gratifying than to get out into the field and see this reflected in the eyes and voices of our salespeople.

In recent weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to thousands of company salespeople, from Philadelphia to Columbus to San Francisco. They are hungry for the messages that DSA, DSEF and our World Federation are uniquely suited to bring—the spirit of the industry, credible industry statistics and information, identification of our opportunities and challenges, a validation of what they do, a report on the government regulations that may affect them, and finally—a sense of being part of something truly phenomenal. Something larger than just a kitchen table crowded with receipts and paperwork, larger than their neighborhood party, larger than the sales organization they are working so diligently to build. Larger even than their great companies. They are part of a remarkable industry that is changing lives and helping people across the country and across the globe. A true phenomenon, 100 years and more in the making, that is offering an income opportunity to struggling people, that is changing communities, that is making unparalleled charitable contributions, that is capable of changing lives.

When we talk at these meetings of some of the 16 million people in the U.S. and more than 70 million across the globe, heads nod and notes are scribbled. When we tell the story of the direct selling representative floating down the Amazon River to sell her goods, or someone embracing entrepreneurship in China with the economic opportunity that direct selling provides, a collective “Ah” rises from the audience. When we describe the single mom who found her calling and herself in direct selling, a smile spreads across the listeners’ faces. Each of these sellers knows this story. Each of these sellers has seen this story reflected in his or her own life, and the lives of the people they have touched through their direct selling activities.

And when the remarks are done, the audience cheers. They cheer for themselves and everything they know they have accomplished and will accomplish. Each of you has probably seen this played out in some way at your own company events. I truly wish each of you could join me at all of these company meetings so you can see you are part of something even beyond your own great company. That you, as part of this great industry, are changing lives. That you are part of a community coming together through DSA. That all of these people are … incredible.

Joe Mariano is President of the Direct Selling Association. He also serves as Vice Chairman on the Direct Selling Education Foundation Board of Directors, and Chairman of the World Federation of Selling Associations (WFDSA) Global Regulatory Affairs Committee.  

Simple Tips for Saving Energy

Simple Tips for Saving Energy

If you’re a small business owner that works from home, your electricity bill may be doing double-duty…covering both your home and business energy needs. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to save energy throughout your home, leaving you with more cash for the bottom line!

Here are some simple ways to save energy around the house:

  • Caulk and weatherstrip your doors and windows. It keeps cool air in during the summer, and heat in during the winter.
  • Add a storm door to all outdoor doors.
  • Replace your windows with energy-efficient windows if possible.
  • Use heavier window treatments, such as shades and curtains, to help maintain the indoor temperature in your home.
  • Make sure all of your appliances are energy-efficient.
  • Unplug all appliances, including computers, when they will not be used. This keeps them from drawing power when not in use. (Alternately, plug into a power strip and turn off the strip when not in use.)
  • Turn off your computer if you’re not going to use it for more than 2 hours. If your monitor is separate from your computer, turn the monitor off if it will not be used for more than 20 minutes.
  • Use of new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in homes by 50%–75%. Upgrading 15 of the inefficient incandescent light bulbs in your home could save you about $50 per year. (source: energysavers.gov)
  • Use the lowest watt bulb practical for each space. The lower the wattage, the less energy the bulb uses when lit.
  • Turn off your lights whenever you don’t need them, and teach your family to do the same.
  • Turn down the heat in your home. By getting your family used to a lower temperature (even 5 degrees) you can save a lot of energy.
  • Consider using a space heater, rather than turning up the system in your whole house, if you’ll only be using one room in your house for long periods of time (like a home office.)
  • To conserve hot water, fix leaks and install low-flow fixtures.
  • An energy-efficient dishwasher can actually save more energy than hand-washing dishes in hot water several times per day, especially when using shorter wash cycles.
  • Get an energy-efficient clothes washer and dryer. In your clothing washer, use cold or warm water for washing, and cold water for rinsing.
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater. For each 10ºF reduction in water temperature, you can save between 3%–5% in energy costs. Most households are just fine with a setting of 120ºF on their water heater. Reducing your water temperature to 120ºF also slows mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes. This helps your water heater last longer and operate at its maximum efficiency.

By giving some attention to these small details, and teaching your kids to do the same, you can reduce your energy costs and conserve energy. And that means more money in your pocket!

How do you save energy at home? How does your business conserve energy? We would love to read your thoughts and tips in the comments below!

We are thankful to the US Dept of Energy for sharing these valuable tips on their website at http://www.energysavers.gov. For more information on any of the topics above, please visit their website.