All posts tagged direct sales

How To Be Persuasive Without Being Pushy

How To Be Persuasive Without Being Pushy

Low angle view of two business executives shaking handsA big fear that many who enter the sales field have is that they may be perceived as “pushy” when seeking sales. It’s important, of course, to ask for the sale, but at the same time you don’t want customers to come away feeling uncomfortable about their encounter with you. So how do you find a balance? How can you be persuasive and get sales without crossing a line and becoming pushy? Here are some tips:

  • Focus on what they need, not what you want. This is the single most important thing that every salesperson must take to heart in order to be effective. If you are driven by quotas and your own bottom line, you will not be successful. The most effective salesperson takes the time to build a relationship with each and every prospect, discovering the challenges that he or she faces, and then crafting solutions with products or services that meet those needs. You may not sell as much at first as you would being pushy (at least not the first time), but what you will do is build customer loyalty that results in many more sales over the long term.
  • Make your solution realistic, applicable and concrete. In order to truly present a solution that is valuable to the prospect, you must understand WHY they need what you have to offer. If you sell to other businesses, take some time to learn about their business. If you sell to individuals, take the time to interview people who are in the target market of your product line and learn about their day to day needs. Invest time in truly understanding where your prospects are coming from and what problems they face. Then the solutions that you offer will come from a place of understanding, rather than sounding like you’re making them up as you go along based on what you want to sell. The best solutions are realistic because you understand the need, apply to the problem at hand, and truly offer concrete help to the problem at hand.
  • Tell stories. When presenting a solution, one of the best things you can do is tell stories that the prospect can relate to that draws similarities to their situation. Talk about another person who had a similar situation (this is one of the place your research pays off!) and how your product or service helped resolve that situation. The phrase “facts tell, stories sell” is quite true, because it helps people to imagine how what you have to offer is applicable to their situation. Many people are visual learners, so create a picture for them that helps them to understand why what you have to offer is compelling, and meets their needs.
  • Listen more, speak less. Even if you feel that you understand the prospect’s situations perfectly because you’ve seen it a hundred times before, let them tell you anyway. People are more likely to feel comfortable with the solution you offer if they feel like they’ve been heard. So be sure you listen more than you speak when working with a prospect. And when you do speak, rephrase what they’ve said and ask them to confirm that you’ve stated it correctly. Everyone wants to be heard, and too often we don’t listen enough in our society. Give the gift of total attention and listening to your prospect, and they will walk away from the experience feeling positive about the interaction.
  • Accept “no.” If you’ve done your research, listened well, shared stories and offered good solutions that meet the customer’s needs and they say no, that’s OK. While you will, of course, ask questions to confirm that they aren’t missing relevant information related to your product, not every single person will buy. If the prospect begins to avoid eye contact with you or their body language indicates that they are trying to distance themselves from you, it’s time to stop. Thank them for their time, offer a card and a willingness to help in the future, and move on to the next prospect. You don’t have to close every single person every single time. There are plenty of other prospects who need what you have to offer, and rather then spending lots more time on someone who won’t buy, focus on finding people who will be interested.

Think about your last good and bad experience with a salesperson. What made those situations what they were? Chances are the good experience was with someone who knew their product line and could answer your questions competently. It was someone who could point you in the direction of a good value that would solve your problem. The bad experience was probably with someone who was ill-informed about the product line and was simply trying to sell you something. Remember, a service-oriented salesperson is one who is focused on solving problems and meeting needs. This type of salesperson is the one who creates the good experiences that people remember and tell their friends about.

How do you avoid being pushy when selling your products? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

DSEF & BBB: Navigating New Technology – Why is This Model Better Than That One?

DSEF & BBB: Navigating New Technology – Why is This Model Better Than That One?

blue_with_website-225x30022By Howard Schwartz

I bit the bullet a few weeks ago and went shopping for a tablet. I decided my smart phone was fine for many purposes, but I was finally able to justify getting a tablet to watch videos and read articles without torturing my eyes.  The print seems to get finer as I grow older.  I don’t need my technology to constantly remind me about that.

Reading consumer reviews about the different makes and models only served to confuse me.

Online reviews were numerous but not very specific.  Customer reviews were based largely on brand preference and price – not performance.

Just when I thought I knew what I wanted, I went to a retailer to check it out, I was told “That model isn’t as good as the others.”

As I continued my research, it seemed that I was getting closer to finding the best device at the right price when tech-smart employees told me “I personally prefer the XYZ with the 10 inch screen.”  I figured I could make a decision with a few more visits to stores for the recommendations of employees who use these devices.

I have been working with computers since 1995, and realize the learning curve is constantly evolving.  However, I only started to understand which model and brand would be appropriate for me once I asked an obvious question I neglected to ask earlier: “Why do you prefer this particular device?”

The answers were revealing.   One clerk said his choice was because of brand loyalty.  Another said his store had a great price on a particular model and that’s what drove his decision.  The last one I asked showed me the difference between my two top choices and explained that one of them had a lot of storage space, but the other model’s screen was less jerky and the model was faster than the others.  He showed me and I agreed.

It’s a lot easier to choose a dessert in a restaurant.  If you ask a waiter or waitress which is their favorite, one might recommend the peanut butter cupcake because they love peanut butter.  Another might steer you towards the chocolate cake because of their love of chocolate.  However, when we as consumers tread on unfamiliar territory, it is important to understand the details of why a product or service is better, and in the case of home improvements, why one design is different than the others, and why it is best choice.


DSEF and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) foster 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 for more information.

7 Ways to Get More Customers

7 Ways to Get More Customers

7 Ways to Find New Customers from http://dsef.orgThe lifeblood of your business is your customers. You must attract them, meet their needs and keep them happy in order to build a thriving business. But how do you start the cycle? How do you find new customers for your business? Here are some ideas:

  1. Family and Friends: The best place to start looking for customers is among the people you already know. You know what your products can do, so think about how they can meet the needs of your family and friends. Reach out to them, ask them about their needs and talk about how your products can meet those needs. And also ask your family and friends for referrals. Since they already know, love and trust you, they’re more likely to refer you and your business to others.
  2. Community Groups: A great way to get to know new people who may be potential customers is to join community groups. Whether it be a town improvement committee, a local commission, or a church choir, look within your community for opportunities to serve and get to know others. This is not only a very satisfying use of your time, but it also enables you to meet people who may be interested in becoming customers of your business.
  3. Online Interest Groups: Do you love cooking? Hiking? Swimming? Find online groups on Facebook, Google, and other websites dedicated to the topics you love, and become an active member. Get to know the people there, and start conversations. Over time, you’ll learn their needs as well, and may be able to privately offer your products in conversation.
  4. Vendor Events: A great way to meet a lot of new people in a day is by joining a vendor event. Set up a table at an event with a chance to sample your product line and learn more about what you have to offer. Give people a chance to enter a drawing to win a free product in order to build your mailing list. Keep notes on the people that seem most interested in what you have to offer during the event. After the event, it’s important to follow up with the people that have left their contact information, starting with the people that have shown the most interest, and offer a discount for shopping with you the first time.
  5. Community Service: There are many opportunities to serve your community and build your business at the same time. For example, a local ice cream store periodically hosts a blood drive, and offers a free ice cream cone to all who donate. This not only creates good will in the community, it also brings more people into the store and builds the customer base, which benefits the business. Think about the needs in your community, and sponsor drives to meet those needs.
  6. Facebook Advertising: Facebook Ads enable you to target specific demographics who may be most interested in what you have to offer, and they don’t have to cost a lot. Set up a specific landing tab on your Facebook Page where people can fill out a form to get more information about your business (thus building your mailing list…a tool like Pagemodo will enable you to do this) and direct your ads to the landing tab. Just be sure to keep it brief, and be sure that your landing tab has only one conversion objective. Have a series of ads, and change them up regularly. This can be a great way to find new people who may have an interest in your business.
  7. Sponsorship: A scrapbooking consultant annually sponsors her son’s Little League team. Her business is proudly displayed across the backs of each of the young players during games, parades and other Little League Events, in the Little League schedule when people check to see who they’re playing, and on the Little League website. For an entire season, her business gets visibility through her sponsorship. And she’s visible at those events, so people who are interested can purchase supplies and get more information about her business. Sponsoring teams, races, and other community events can be a great way to build visibility for your business along with goodwill, and help you find more customers for your business.

In order to find more customers, you have to get out there and be active in the community you serve. You’ll find that there are a constant stream of new people, the more involved that you get. Which one of these will you use today? What can you add to our list? We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

Three Ideas to Improve Your Business Scripts

Three Ideas to Improve Your Business Scripts

Three Ideas to Improve Your Sales Scripts from

It’s no secret that creating a script for a sales pitch or other type of meeting can be extremely helpful. A script can prevent you from forgetting to include important information, can make you feel more prepared, and can increase your confidence. All of these benefits increase your chances of achieving your desired outcomes.  Here are some ideas for making those scripts even better.

  1. Build in time to listen. Much of your presentation probably consists of you doing the talking and the audience doing the listening. However, there should be specific parts of your script where you engage the audience in a way that gets them thinking about something in particular. For example, you might pose a rhetorical question and give them time to silently come up with an answer for themselves. Encourage active listening as much as possible to maintain their attention.
  2.  Include a Q & A session.  A question and answer portion of your script is a wonderful opportunity for you to gauge how effective you have been in presenting your information. The types of questions asked will give you some insight into how the audience perceives your message. Furthermore, a Q & A allows you to clarify important talking points and add new information where appropriate. To maximize the effectiveness of the Q & A, ask the client to be more specific with a question or to explain what is meant by it. This helps others who may have the same type of question in mind.
  3. Allow time for your audience to process the information and provide feedback. Perhaps you can assign a small group activity where your audience breaks off into groups of 2-4 people to discuss a question you’ve posed to them. Doing so allows you to circulate, give each group some individualized attention, listen to feedback, and make suggestions and recommendations. For example, if you are training a batch of new employees on how to handle a difficult customer, consider assigning them a role-playing activity to act out and then discuss its outcome. As you circulate the room, observe each group, interject and guide them when necessary, answer questions as they arise, and offer positive reinforcement. All this increases the likelihood that your audience will get the most out of your message.

To maximize the effectiveness of your scripts, make sure they are well-rounded and allow the audience a variety of ways to engage.

What suggestions do you have for improving scripts? Please share your ideas below!

12 Tips for Successful Online Virtual Events

12 Tips for Successful Online Virtual Events

12 Tips for Successful Online Virtual Events from http://dsef.orgWhen was the last time you purchased or sold something online, or hosted an online gathering or meeting? There are many venues and sites out there where you can use to host events, from Facebook to Forums and more. As a business owner, the big questions about virtual events are: How do you get people to come? and How can you encourage people to buy from you once they get there?

Today it seems like everyone is connected on social media, and that makes virtual events more attractive than ever. People don’t have to live in your backyard to participate. However, there are some specific steps you should take to enjoy more successful events. Here are some tips:

  1. Have a clear goal for the event. Will you be looking for sales? Encouraging people to network? Share an opportunity? Be very clear about what you want to happen so that people who come know what to expect.
  2. Invite several ways. Don’t just set up a Facebook Event and forget about it. Text, evite, call (gasp!)…let people hear from you BEFORE you send the official invitation, so that they know that it isn’t just spam. And then send 1 or 2 reminders leading up to the event, including an hour or so before, so people remember to log on.
  3. Make the invitation special and fun. If your event sounds boring they won’t come. So jazz up your invite with some personality, and make sure they know how much fun your event will be.
  4. Special offers. Be prepared to offer a discount, promotion, or other special to encourage attendance. People are more likely to come when there’s something it in for them.
  5. Be brief. Most online events are most successful when they are 30 minutes or less.
  6. Pick up the pace. Online, pace is everything. So be sure to keep things moving with new content and conversation pretty regularly during your event, so people remain engaged.
  7. Make it visual. Images and video clips can help your event remain engaging. Have several of these prepared so you can share them at the right moments during your event.
  8. Don’t overwhelm. If you try to pitch too many products or too many details, chances are you’ll turn off your audience. Instead, focus on a handful of reasonably-priced products or a few well-chosen details and schedule follow-up conversations with those who would like to learn more.
  9. Be social. Make sure you provide plenty of prompts and opportunity for conversation. People are more likely to convert if they are having fun interacting with others.
  10. Provide a call to action. At the end of your event, be sure to provide a clear call to action related to your goal. If you want people to shop, tell them (and offer free shipping if they do so in the next 15 minutes(! If you want people to join, give them a link where they can do it. But be sure to ask for what you want, and provide an incentive to do it within the next 15 minutes.
  11. Get their contact information. Online events are a wonderful way to make new connections, but be sure to follow up! The personal connection you can make with people comes after the online event is over. So send a message to each attendee asking if they have any questions, offering help based on conversations they’ve had during the event, and so on. The personal touch is likely to encourage those on the fence to make the leap.
  12. Stay online after the event. Some people may not share their questions during the event. So be sure you let them know you’ll be around for another 30 minutes to offer personal service, answer questions, and provide help. The more available you are, the more likely it is that you’ll reach your goals for the event.

Today, online events are a part of the ever-evolving business landscape, and the ways we do business create great opportunities for those who can keep up and make business social. When you solve problems and position your business as easy and reliable, you can win customers who keep coming back, and refer their friends.

Have you attended or run online events for your business? What was the experience like? What would you like to improve about the experience? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments!

Five Ways to be Unforgettable

Five Ways to be Unforgettable

Five Ways to Unforgettable from http://dsef.orgThe most effective networkers and salespeople have certain qualities that make them unforgettable. Whether you are meeting a prospective customer or presenting a new marketing campaign to your staff, it is important that you leave a lasting impression. Your impression is as important as your content, so keep the following tips in mind when you want to leave a memorable impression.

1      Maintain a positive attitude. Your own attitude about what you are saying is the first thing that people will notice. Not only must you truly believe in your words, but you must display a positive attitude and enthusiasm as well. Demonstrate this with your bright smile and light-hearted tone of voice. Most importantly, let your personality shine through, and your positive attitude will be contagious.

2      Use logic in your presentation. Using facts and reason injects logic into your presentation, and if done effectively, can eliminate any doubt or hesitation. For instance, in a sales pitch to a prospective customer about high end cutlery, one experienced representative always asks the customer to show him the drawer full of cheaper, lower quality knives that are no doubt stashed in the kitchen. The salesperson then asks how often the customer must replace the utensils and how much it costs each time. After showing the prospect on paper the amount that has been spent on low quality products over the last ten years, he then presents the cost of his product to show that because it never needs replacing, the customer is actually saving money in the long run. Numbers don’t lie, so this is an effective way to use logic in a presentation.

3      Tap into emotions. Logic will take you far, but not all the way. Your prospect needs to feel something about your content in order to take immediate action. The cutlery salesperson can tap into a customer’s feeling of accomplishment after preparing a delicious meal for her family with ease. A team leader can tap into the staff’s excitement about beating out the competition with the new marketing strategy. Do your research ahead of time to find out the best way to appeal to people’s emotions.

4      Be concise. No matter how infused your presentation is with a positive attitude, logic, and emotional appeal, it will all mean nothing if you go on for too long. Say only what is necessary, and don’t lose focus by going off on tangents or straying from the topic at hand. Be respectful of others’ time and mindful of average attention spans.

5      End with a creative idea that has impact or something visually powerful. The ultimate part of your presentation must be memorable. Don’t waste the opportunity to pack one last punch by summing up what you’ve already said. End with a creative call to action or a stunning visual that will solidify your overall presentation. The cutlery representative, for example, strategically places his different product samples throughout the customer’s kitchen during the pitch, and ends with asking him or her to take a good look at this new and improved cooking space. Having given the customer’s kitchen a makeover of sorts has a lasting impact and provides a visual that is hard to refuse.

The keys to being unforgettable are to truly believe in what you are presenting and to infuse your own individuality into your pitch. What would you add to our list? Please share your ideas below!

Six Easy Ways to Attract More People

Six Easy Ways to Attract More People

Businesspeople Applauding --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisWhether you’re looking to attract more customers, recruit new employees, or network with influential people, there are a few simple things you can do to increase your chances of success. Take a look at our list to see how you can attract more people to you and your business.

  • Engage everyone with a friendly greeting. Sometimes we get caught up in our own worlds and don’t take the time to greet each person properly. Initiate a friendly exchange by greeting each person. A simple opening such as, “How are you this morning?” or “It’s a pleasure seeing you again,” can suffice. More often than not, such pleasantries can lead to a friendly conversation. When people know you are genuinely interested, they will not only remember you, but will look forward to interacting with you again.
  •  Focus on the individual. Although your ultimate goal may be to attract a certain number of people, forget that number when interacting with one person. For that moment in time, focus solely on the individual. What are his or her needs? How can you be of service to the person? What message is the person trying to convey to you? Don’t inadvertently turn people off by engaging them in generic conversations. Tailor your interactions to that particular person.
  •  Avoid arguments. You will not always see eye to eye with each person you come in contact with. Arguing, however, is unprofessional and will turn people away. Be proactive and avoid potentially controversial topics such as politics and religion. Even if you do these things and a disagreement happens anyway, take the high road and “agree to disagree.” People will respect and appreciate your honesty and courtesy.
  •  Assume everyone is good. By doing so, you demonstrate that you are a positive person who sees the good in others. This feeling is contagious and often reciprocated. Everyone makes mistakes, but giving others the benefit of the doubt will encourage a sense of trust and will likely strengthen your relationship. Besides, wouldn’t you want others to think the best of you?
  •  Be helpful. This can be done in so many ways, and a good deed will definitely be remembered by others. For example, the owner of a local pizzeria found a gold bracelet on a table left behind by one of his last customers of the night. He had no idea who she was or how to contact her, so he put it aside in case she came in again. She returned a few weeks later, and he asked her if she had lost it. The woman was so grateful she was nearly in tears; it turns out the bracelet was left to her by her recently deceased grandmother. She told everyone who would listen how generous the man was and became a loyal patron of the establishment. It would have been just as easy for the owner to toss the bracelet or keep it, but his helpful nature earned him something that was priceless for his business.
  •  Get involved. Reach out to your customers, your staff, and your community. Involving yourself in a good cause will show others that you truly care. People are attracted to others who are generous with their time and skills. Demonstrate your sincere desire to give back to those around you.

You can attract more people by treating others kindly and going the extra mile to show them you care. What can you add to our list? Please share your ideas below!

Five Ways to Find New Opportunities for Your Business

Five Ways to Find New Opportunities for Your Business

womensuccessBy doing more of the things you love and are good at, you can actually maximize your chances of finding a great opportunity for your business. Tap into your desire to interact with and help others, and you’ll find that it benefits your business. Take a look at our list to start making the most of your talents right away.

  • Talk to more people. Perhaps it sounds too easy, but striking up a casual conversation can lead to countless positive outcomes. Whether you’re at a professional workshop, on the train during your evening commute, or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, initiate friendly conversation when appropriate. Sometimes even just the mention of what you do for a living will evoke more questions from the other person, and you never know what lies ahead. For example, a former schoolteacher who operates a tutoring business out of his home initiates some small talk with a fellow customer while waiting in line at the grocery store. It turns out the person is looking for contributions to an article she is writing for the local newspaper about the pressures high school students face applying to college. Someone who works so closely with these students in a different way than their regular teachers would make a great addition to the article, and a mention about his business certainly would increase his exposure. Not every casual conversation will end in such an opportunity, but taking this step may lead to more opportunities, so stay alert!
  • Be more curious. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. What else can you learn about running a successful business? What is happening in the industry right now that could directly affect you? How do your employees and customers feel about your business? Asking yourself such questions on a regular basis will renew your motivation to move your business forward. If you aren’t constantly looking to improve, you may be in danger of falling behind. Make a commitment to be more inquisitive in your pursuit of success.
  • Show your passion. What exactly is it that you truly care about? What drove you to start your business in the first place? The former teacher decided to start up his tutoring business after realizing how much he enjoyed the small group extra help sessions he used to hold after school. He was able to connect with his students, which in turn increased their achievements. The regular classroom setting didn’t allow for this, and he found himself wishing his job consisted solely of these after school sessions. Becoming a professional tutor has allowed him to do just that, and his passion for helping young people is finally being fulfilled. Demonstrate the things you are passionate about, and others will be drawn to your drive and enthusiasm.
  • Constantly ask for introductions. This is similar to asking for referrals, but on a much broader level. Ask friends and family to introduce you to people in their lives that could provide a business opportunity. Take it even further and introduce yourself when possible, such as when at a social gathering. Even when you’re “off the clock,” don’t forget that possible business opportunities can be just a conversation away.
  • Try new things. Have you ever snuggled up on the couch with your favorite blanket knitted by your grandma and thought about taking up crochet? Or maybe you have an adventurous side and always wondered what it would be like to go white water rafting. If you have other desires outside of your business, find the time to explore them. You will be exposed to a whole new group of people, and a host of possible business opportunities you may not find elsewhere. And hey, you’ll also have fun!

The best way to find a new business opportunity is to know where to look and how to grasp it. You may not always get one in the end, but being active in your search will certainly help move your business forward. How do you maximize your business opportunities? Please share your ideas below!

8 Ways to Get Positive Results

8 Ways to Get Positive Results

Low angle view of two business executives shaking hands

In order to get more consistent positive results out of all that you do, the first thing you need to do is to maintain a positive attitude about every situation. Although we cannot control the behavior of others, we certainly can control the way in which we ourselves behave. Even if you are feeling less than enthusiastic, commit to finding the positive in every situation. Here are some ways you can incorporate being positive into your everyday routine and increase your chances of positive results.

1.       Write down your expectation for the day. The act of writing down your expectation solidifies your commitment to following through. By doing this at the start of each and every day, you are making an affirmation that helps you focus your mind and maintain your motivation no matter what challenges the day may hold.

 2.       Make a plan and prioritize. Writing down your expectation is a great start, but it is only the beginning. How will you go about meeting this expectation? Create a plan and prioritize which tasks are most important; tackle those first. For example, if your expectation is to organize your cluttered office, create a list of what steps need to be taken and in what order. You cannot file pending paperwork away without first purging old files and making new ones. You cannot dust and vacuum the furniture and carpeting without first clearing out the clutter and putting everything in its proper place. Making a list will keep you from becoming sidetracked and will allow you to get the positive results you are looking for.

 3.       Smile at everyone you see. A little smile goes a long way. Smiling at colleagues, clients, and even strangers on the street will bring out the happiness inside you and will even encourage reciprocal smiles and happiness in others. When people see you as a positive person, they will want to be around you. You will also enjoy your day much more when everyone is in a good mood and pleasant with each other.

 4.       Make your conversations positive. When someone asks how you are doing, it might not be a good idea to start spouting off negative comments about your team or how stressed you are about tax season. There is a time and place for such venting, but in your everyday conversations with others in a work environment, emphasize the positive. Talk about how excited you are for an upcoming trip or how you can’t wait to debut a new product line. Positive conversation begets more positive conversation, and both parties will appreciate the good feelings.

 5.       Seek the good in others. Give people the benefit of the doubt by assuming they are good. Everyone makes mistakes, but by seeking out the good in others, you give them a chance to be their best and redeem themselves if necessary. For instance, if a client has made a payment late, only to give you a check that bounces, don’t assume the worst and make an angry phone call. Maybe the person is experiencing personal difficulties that are causing financial strain. Keep this assumption in mind when dealing with adverse situations.

 6.       Eat healthy and enjoy your exercise. There is a meme circulating the internet that says, “When I eat garbage, I feel like garbage.” We all need to splurge once in awhile, but don’t make it a habit. When you eat right, you have more energy and you feel equipped to take on the day. Furthermore, enjoy the exercise you get, whether it be walking around the block or attending a high-impact Zumba class. The endorphins you produce while you exercise can make you feel re-energized and freshly motivated.

 7.       Don’t worry about the small stuff. Not everything is a matter of life and death. Learn to recognize what things require immediate attention and deserve your stress, and what things are out of your control or trivial in nature. A leaky roof is a valid thing to worry about, but finding that you have run out of stamps isn’t something to get upset about.

 8.       Start a daily gratitude journal and end the day with what you are grateful for. At the end of your day, write down the date and jot down what you are thankful for. Do it in a way that makes most sense to you: in prose, stream-of-consciousness, a basic list, or just some key words. If the last thing you think about before going to sleep at night is positive, you will rest easier and be able to continue the positive cycle again tomorrow.

It isn’t always easy to remain positive all the time, but sometimes you have to “fake it ‘til you make it.” Committing yourself to positive behaviors each day will actually help you feel more positive and achieve the results you want.

What do you do to achieve positive results? Please share with us below!


Creating a Budget for Your Small Business

Creating a Budget for Your Small Business

Tips for Creating Your Small Business Budget from http://dsef.orgWhen you have a small business, a budget can be a valuable tool to not only keep you on track, but also help you to grow. However, when the money that comes into your business fluctuates, it can be hard to plan ahead. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can create an estimated budget even if you have a variable income. Here are some tips to help:

  • Know your averages: It’s important that you know what the average income you can earn is for each activity in your business, as well as average expenses. For example, what is the average amount you earn per transaction or party? How much do you spend on average per month on business supplies? You may need to do some research to get these numbers, if you don’t have your own historical data. When you know your averages, you know how much you need on your calendar each month to earn an estimated amount, and can do the things necessary to get those things onto your calendar.
  • Know your fixed and variable costs: Are there things you pay for each month, quarter, or year? Things like your cell phone bill, rent, or website fees are fixed costs. You may have other expenses each month that change as well, like marketing fees or other one-time or fluctuating expenses. These are your variable costs, and you may be able to anticipate them by looking at how much you spent the previous year on certain seasonal events. Know how much is going out each month, and be sure you have enough income-producing activities scheduled to exceed these expenses.
  • Write it all down: We shared with you last week a Direct Sales Business Budget Worksheet. Use it! It is essential that you keep track of the money coming in and going out from your business. Small business owners that avoid the financial details are far more likely to fail than ones that pay attention. Record both your estimated and actual income and expenses, and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Be conservative in your estimates: It’s important to have some extra income set aside for unanticipated expenses, so you have some flexibility in your business. So even if you think you’re going to earn a certain amount, plan for the fact that you will earn less than you anticipate. And even though you think your expenses will be a certain amount, plan that they will be greater. It’s better to have more money than you anticipate at the end of the month than to have less. By estimating conservatively, the amount you have at the end of the month will be closer to what you expect.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs often neglect the important step of creating a budget because it doesn’t seem like the most exciting part of business ownership. Yet it is an important element of the overall health of your business.

Nevada Women's Money Conference Flyer from http://dsef.orgAs part of National Financial Literacy Month, we at DSEF are proud to sponsor the Nevada Women’s Money Conference. This important event helps women learn the skills they need to create a secure financial future for themselves and their families. Best of all, we’re providing full scholarships to the conference for women in DSA member companies! For more information, visit this page: And please, pass this along to the women you love in Nevada. This is an amazing opportunity that can make a HUGE difference in a woman’s life! Thanks for helping us spread the word!