All posts tagged women in business

Establishing an Effective Work Routine for Success

Establishing an Effective Work Routine for Success
Establishing an Effective Work Routine for Success

Establishing an Effective Work Routine for SuccessDealing with the unexpected comes with the territory of being a direct seller, but in order to set yourself up for success, it is important to establish an effective routine. Routines allow you to be efficient, thorough, and comfortable with your job. Of course, any routine must be created with your personal work schedule and lifestyle in mind, but check out our list below to help you get started.

  • Create your to-do list the night before so you’re ready to go for the following day. If you wait until the beginning of the day to make an agenda, then you wind up wasting precious time thinking about your tasks instead of completing them. Some even find it helpful to create to-do lists for the entire week and then break them down day by day before the start of the work week. Do whatever works best for you, but preparing your list the night before will help you get a jump on those tasks and responsibilities right away.
  • Organize and prepare necessary supplies for the next day. For example, if you have an opportunity meeting, gather your notes, any printed materials from the company, some sample products if applicable, business cards, etc. Pack everything up so you can simply grab it and go. Also, consider packing your lunch the night before and choosing your wardrobe before you go to sleep. This is another strategy that will reduce your stress and make you feel less rushed first thing in the morning.
  • Get started earlier. Do you find that you are perpetually running 5-10 minutes behind schedule? Do yourself a favor and wake up a little bit earlier. Your energy level won’t be affected, as your body won’t notice waking up a mere 15 minutes earlier. However, you will be allowing yourself that extra time to decompress with that first cup of coffee or rehearse that sales pitch one more time before you begin your day. Give it a try for at least 2 weeks, taking mental note of how it positively affects your productivity.
  • Make a schedule and stick to it. Scheduling your time is one thing, but adhering to it can prove to be quite difficult, especially with other personal and professional obligations thrown into the mix. Do your best to stick to your schedule, and even when something doesn’t go as planned, go back to your written schedule and rearrange it to make up for whatever time was lost. This way, you won’t always feel like you’re putting things off.
  • Make quicker decisions. This mostly applies to more trivial decisions like what you will eat for lunch or which font to use for your blog. Deciding faster about minor things will help you build and maintain your daily momentum as well as increase productivity.
  • Do the hardest task first. Tackling the most difficult task or project first prevents procrastination. Furthermore, if you save it for last, it’ll be on your mind the whole time you’re working on other things, which can take away your focus from where it needs to be. Get the hardest one out of the way, and when it’s done, take pleasure in knowing that it’s one less thing to worry about.
  • Check email at the end of your to-do list. If you’re like most people, the accumulation of emails in your inbox can become overwhelming if you don’t stay on top of it. Make it a point to check your email and take action on pressing business after you’ve finished your daily to-do list. This allows you to start the day with a clean inbox (hopefully) and use your time sticking to your pre-set schedule.
  • Reward yourself. Time management is hard work and requires self-discipline. This is not to be taken lightly, so when you’ve achieved your goals for the week or month, reward yourself as a motivator to continue your effective routine. Splurge on lunch by ordering a sandwich from your favorite deli, stop for a manicure on the way home at the end of the week, or see a movie with friends on the weekend. Anything that you will look forward to and won’t hinder your goals or progress will serve as a meaningful reward.

An effective work routine is as important as the job itself. Your reliability, independence, motivation, and self-confidence will all improve as you create and perfect your routine. What did you find most helpful from our list? How do you establish your own routine? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below!

Easy Ways to Build Great Habits For Success

Easy Ways to Build Great Habits For Success

Easy Ways to Build Great Habits For Success from“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” This statement penned by author Jim Ryun speaks to how you can find long-term success in both your professional and personal life. It takes time to make something a habit, and it certainly is a difficult thing to do. In the spirit of making resolutions for the New Year, we give you a few suggestions to help you make a habit out of your desired behaviors.

  • Make time to do it. As obvious as this idea may seem, so many people neglect to take this important first step. For example, if you plan to make exercise a part of your daily routine, you need to set aside a specific time to do that. Look realistically at your schedule and lifestyle to set yourself up for success. Someone who has the most energy and motivation at the beginning of the day would do well to carve out the first 15-30 minutes of the morning for a workout. Establishing the time beforehand will encourage you to stick to your goal and encourage you to continue.
  • Connect habits you already have to new habits you’d like to adopt. If your exercise goal is to spend 20 minutes on the treadmill once a day, then incorporate that into something you already do every day. If you always sit down to watch the 5:00 news every night, then spend that time on the treadmill in front of the television instead of sitting on the couch. Or if you always check your email at a certain time, work your exercise into, before, or after it. You’ll have a better chance at sticking to your desired behavior this way.
  • Make it as convenient for yourself as possible. If you want to exercise first thing in the morning before work, set out your clothes and equipment, fill your water bottle, and cue up your music the night before so you can roll out of bed and get right to it. You’ll have less of an excuse to skip it if it’s easy and convenient to accomplish.
  • Keep a calendar to chart your progress and reward yourself for meeting milestones. In order to stay motivated, you need to set goals and keep track of your progress. Set some benchmarks ahead of time and record them on a calendar, either digitally or on paper. Every time you reach a milestone, reward yourself in a way that will encourage you to keep going. Make the reward enjoyable and guilt-free so that you continue working toward your next benchmark and reward.

When developing good habits, do everything you can to set yourself up for success. Plan ahead, be realistic about your lifestyle, and track your progress. What great habits would you like to build in 2015? Which of our suggestions will be the most helpful to you? Please share your ideas in our comments section!

How to Overcome Your Fear and Succeed

How to Overcome Your Fear and Succeed

How to Overcome Your Fear and SucceedThink back to when you were a child and what scared you. Was it jumping into the deep end of the pool for the first time? Riding your bike without training wheels? How did you get past those fears? Although it’s normal to have fears about various things in our lives, it is important to develop strategies in which to overcome those fears and succeed. The following list will help you get started.

  • Create a backup plan. It is much easier to go about the uncertainty of operating a direct sales business if you have a “Plan B” in place. Try to anticipate circumstances that would be the most detrimental to your business and create a backup plan to fall back on if those circumstances ever occur. For example, what would happen if your company discontinues a product that is your personal best seller and the focal point of your sales presentation? How will you overhaul your pitch to highlight a replacement product? What would happen if you have to relocate out of the area and leave all your loyal customers? How will you re-establish yourself elsewhere? These are scary things to think about, but being prepared will allow you to move past them rather than suffer serious setbacks in your business.
  • Visualize and practice going through the event or activity. Many Olympic athletes as well as professional artists and performers admit to visualizing themselves crossing that finish line or nailing that performance repeatedly before they actually make a real-life attempt. The power of positive thinking should not be underestimated, and visualizing yourself succeeding can help you believe in yourself that you can truly do it. Visualization alone can’t win races or Academy Awards, however, so make sure you practice as much as possible. Whether it’s your sales presentation or an opportunity meeting with a prospect, practice alone, in front of others, while looking in the mirror, or recording yourself. The acts of visualizing and practicing will also ease your fear of failure.
  • Study and over prepare. We normally associate studying with being in school, but studying can be pertinent to your direct sales business too. You should be studying your catalog, prices, product features, manufacturing basics, current promotions, etc. You never want to be caught off guard or unable to appear knowledgeable about your business or the company you represent. Efficient studying and ample preparation are more than worth your investment of time and can help you overcome your fear of the unknown.
  • Focus on the positive aspects and tune out the negative ones. It will likely be difficult, but concentrate on tuning out any negativity that hinders your progress. This includes negative self-talk and people in your life who question your abilities or voice their doubts about your chances of success. Instead, tune in to the positivity you find in places like your upline, your supportive friends and family, and of course yourself. Be your own best cheerleader and you’ll never be too afraid to do what it takes to succeed.

Overcoming your fears has a lot to do with your state of mind and your self-confidence. Use the strategies above to clear yourself a path to success.

What are some fears you have about your business and how will these strategies help you get past them? Please share your comments below!

Get Your Head in the Game and Succeed!

Get Your Head in the Game and Succeed!
Get Your Head in the Game and Succeed!

Get Your Head in the Game and Succeed!Have you ever heard the phrase, “Get your head in the game!”? It means that aside from being physically ready for a challenge, you must mentally prepare yourself as well. Mental strength is just as important a skill for success in your direct sales business. In today’s post, we offer some suggestions to help you strengthen your mind and equip yourself with the tools you need to face all that your business has to throw at you.

  • Set aside the things you have no control over. Dwelling on things over which you have no control will only bring you down and take precious time and energy away from doing the things you CAN control. Make a conscious choice to set aside what you can’t help, and move forward. Is your company retiring your favorite product that happens to be your personal best seller? Ok, you might take a slight hit at first, but you’ll find something else to put in the spotlight of your presentations. Spend your time finding that product and creating a new pitch around it. Bottom line: don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • Always act like you are in control. Sometimes, you just have to fake it ’til you make it. Even if you don’t know exactly what you are doing, always act like you do. Your confident demeanor will demonstrate professionalism, knowledge, and trust to your customers and colleagues. For example, let’s say you are in the middle of your presentation at a home party when some latecomers arrive. The hostess gets up to greet them, gets them a drink, and gives them a catalog. The newly arrived guests also say hello to the other guests and start some small talk as they haven’t seen each other in awhile. You try to regain the floor a few times with no success. Instead of acting flustered, as you probably feel inside, just pretend that this is part of the normal protocol and wait until everyone is situated. You won’t be able to control when guests arrive and how they act once they do, but you can control how you react to the situation. Always remain professional, and act calm and collected, even in a harrowing situation.
  • See your mistakes as lessons in life and business. Mistakes are inevitable; once you accept this fact, you will be able to take them in stride and recover quickly. Realize that mistakes are part of the journey, and use them as an opportunity to learn. Figure out where you went wrong, how to fix it, and what you can do to prevent the same mistake from happening again. This goes for your professional and personal life. You will be a much happier person with this attitude, and a more successful businessperson as well.
  • Celebrate the successes of others. No matter what you happen to be dealing with at the time, if your upline, downline, friends, or relatives are having success, be active in your role as someone who congratulates them. Don’t hesitate to give credit where it is due to a job well done, and you may even go so far as to learn from others’ successes when possible. Act as a supporter to those around you.
  • Don’t feel sorry for yourself. It’s okay and completely normal to feel down in the dumps when things aren’t going your way. However, don’t dwell on those negative feelings, as they tend to bog you down and keep you from achieving your goals. Acknowledge your own feelings, but move forward to what’s next. This will help you keep a steady momentum going in your business even when the unexpected happens. You will also strengthen your ability to bounce back from adversity.
  • Focus on improving with every step. Even when things are going better than you could have imagined, don’t lose focus or get over-confident. Always remember that there are ways to improve, and there is someone out there doing it better. With this mindset, the sky is the limit, and your mental readiness for a successful business will be within reach.

Just as a star athlete never stops conditioning his or her own body, you should never stop conditioning your mind. Mental strength can take you through the ups and downs of your direct sales business.

Which of your suggestions do you find the most helpful? Please share your comments below!

Three Ways to Find New Customers Online

Three Ways to Find New Customers Online
Three Ways to Find New Customers Online

Three Ways to Find New Customers OnlineWith so much communication happening on social media and on the internet in general, it can be beneficial for you to take advantage of this resource. It is possible to find new customers online as long as you remember an important thing about direct sales: relationships. Even though you are venturing into cyberspace, building relationships is still a necessary part of running a successful direct selling business. Here are three ways for you to get started.

  1. Join and interact with a group online. Most of the most popular social media sites have groups to join for special interests. For example, a new direct sales consultant found a group on Facebook specifically for work-at-home moms in her town. After joining, she promptly began interacting by asking questions, commenting on others’ posts when she had ideas to contribute, and sending friend requests to those she has met in real life so they could see each others’ news feeds. Groups such as these contain like-minded individuals who can join forces, network with each other, make referrals, and provide support. Local groups are especially effective because you can meet others initially in an online setting, but follow through in real life so you can continue building the relationship. 
  1. Follow and interact with online leaders in your industry. If you don’t already know the names of your industry’s leaders, make it your priority to find out. Ask your upline, refer to your company’s corporate website, and search other direct selling websites. Choose a few who seem to contribute regularly to online discussions (blogs, articles, etc.) and follow them on social media. Twitter is a great forum for such discussions, since the microblogging site provides maximum exposure. Once you get a sense of how these industry leaders interact, get in on the action. Post questions, share success stories, and retweet (repost with credit) posts that are important to you. Keep in mind that most industry leaders have thousands of followers, so you may not get a specific mention or reply, but you are continuing to learn from the best and getting your name and brand out there. 
  1. Start a simple blog and/or be a guest blogger for established sites. Start your own blog using a free web publishing service like WordPress or Blogger. Be yourself, share your experiences, and invite others to interact. You’ll make connections and continue building relationships that can translate into new customers. If you really enjoy blogging, offer your services to established sites in your industry as a guest blogger. You’ll make a bit of extra money and increase your name recognition. 

The direct selling industry as a whole is continuing to evolve as we find new ways to use the internet to our advantage. Jump right in, use your existing people skills, and build those online relationships to find new customers. 

Do you have additional ideas about finding new customers online? Please share them in the comments sections below!

Three Quick Ways to Make Your Business Better

Three Quick Ways to Make Your Business Better
Three Quick Ways to Make Your Business Better

Three Quick Ways to Make Your Business BetterIf you want long-term success in your direct sales business, your main goal should be to continually find ways to improve it. A flourishing business is one that moves forward and grows, rather than remains stagnant. Figuring out what to fix and where to start can seem like an overwhelming task, but in today’s post, we give you three things you can do right now to get started. 

  1. Identify the processes that work and fix the ones that don’t. A process works if it is efficient and either directly or indirectly helps your bottom line. For example, you have developed a rather specific protocol to follow after you’ve finished up a home party that has allowed you to book new parties consistently. If you find that month after month, you have worked your goal number of parties, then you know you are doing something right. Don’t change what is working for you; focus your energy on weak spots. Perhaps your party booking process is successful, but your opportunity bookings are few and far between. Assess what you currently do, why it isn’t working, and create an action plan to improve it. 
  1. Use solutions that speed things up and increase sales. With all the responsibilities you have in your business, it can be easy to get bogged down with tasks that don’t directly affect your bottom line. What solutions can be put into practice that will increase sales without a huge investment of time? Take a look at the structure of your sales pitch, practice upselling when customers order popular products, and seek referrals at each party. These are all quick and effective ways to improve your business where it really counts. 
  1. Keep track of your improvements. Doing so serves more than one purpose. First of all,when you need to make improvements, you can easily look back on what you’ve changed in the past for inspiration and motivation. Secondly, if you need to revisit a problem you’ve solved before, you can review what you did the first time as a jumping off point. For example, say you’ve recently noticed a slight dip in sales since your company released this season’s new catalog. You remember that you created and followed through with an action plan to increase sales in the early months of your business’s life. Since you kept track of it, you can review the steps you took and see what applies to your business today. You may even get some new ideas by looking back over some old ones. Keeping track of improvements also serves as a form of self-reflection, which is necessary for continual improvement. 

Remember, to succeed in your business, it needs to move forward and constantly grow. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve upon your existing mode of operation. Seek help when necessary and use the resources available to you. 

How will you use something on our list to improve your business?  Please share your ideas and feedback below!

How to Get Your Customer to Buy

How to Get Your Customer to Buy
How to Get Your Customer to Buy

How to Get Your Customer to BuyWhen figuring out how to get customers to buy your product or service, it is often helpful to put yourself in the customer’s role. When was the last time you bought something? What about it made it interesting? Why was it appealing? What made you ultimately purchase it? Whether the most recent thing you bought was a box of diapers or a new car, the same principles still apply. Read our brief list below for tips on how to get your customers to actually buy your product.

  •  Make your product/service interesting and unique. In order to pique the interest of potential customers, emphasize your product’s unique qualities. What does it offer that competitors’ products don’t? For example, one company specializing in children’s meal time needs offers a line of sippy cups that help a toddler transition from a bottle to a regular cup. A customer can choose what kind of top to use like a spout or straw, which is a pretty standard choice when it comes to transition cups. The unique part about this company’s line of cups, however, is that if your child doesn’t take to a certain one, you can exchange the top free of charge until you find the one that your child prefers. As many mothers will tell you, this is a unique concept that prevents having to buy several different kind of cups to find one that the child will actually drink from. This company’s consultants most often highlight this feature and find it to be their top seller.
  • Make it easy to understand and use. Depending on what the product or service is, this can either be a simple job or something more complicated. Whichever the case, find a way to make sure the customer is completely confident using it independently. If the product has a multi-step process, allow customers ample time and plenty of opportunity to try it by themselves so they will have enough confidence to make the purchase. One beauty consultant, when giving makeup consultations, demonstrates the products on the customer. Once the customer is satisfied with the end result, the consultant creates a customized magnetic card that can be placed on a vanity or bathroom mirror while a customer applies her own makeup every day. Taking the time to do this for each customer proves financially worthwhile because even the most inexperienced people can easily understand and use the products.
  • Demonstrate that there are multiple uses and applications. When you show the versatility of your product, you are demonstrating that it has value. People are generally willing to pay a little bit more for something if they know it is of high quality, will last a long time, and can be used for more than one thing. Also keep in mind that different uses for something will appeal to different kinds of customers. A handbag that easily expands to a larger size will satisfy the needs of a young college student and a stay-at-home mother. Evaluate your customer base to decide how and when to highlight the versatility of your products and services.

The more you know about your products, the easier making the sale will become. Create interest, make it easy to use, and demonstrate versatility. What else would you add to our list? Please share your ideas below!

Four Quick Tips to Stay on Task

Four Quick Tips to Stay on Task
Four Quick Tips to Stay on Task

Four Quick Tips to Stay on TaskDirect sellers need to have a strong sense of self-discipline in order to succeed. When you are answering only to yourself, it is crucial to eliminate distractions and stay on task for both your daily and long-term projects. Here are our four simple suggestions for doing just that.

  • Get involved with activities that help your business. This means everything from professional development workshops held by those in your upline to more informal lunches with colleagues or prospects. Find ways to incorporate your business into things you already enjoy doing. For example, Heather, a direct sales consultant for a company that provides fitness programs and equipment, integrates fitness into her daily life. Aside from working her business, she follows her company’s exercise programs regularly and once a month, invites a few friends over for group workouts.  She leads a small group of friends to try a new workout, then serves healthy snacks and bottles of water afterwards. By doing this, she is able to stay healthy, work her business, and make time to socialize with her friends all at the same time. 
  • Make sure that your business utilizes your strengths and passion. Heather already had an interest in health and fitness, so it made sense for her to choose a wellness company to sign with. She enjoys learning about how to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and she is passionate about educating others who struggle with this to do the same. Because she gets so much joy out of helping others achieve their fitness and nutrition goals, it’s easy for her to stay on task. Even when it gets hard to stay the course, her passion for what she does and her ability to do her job well prevent her from getting off track.  
  • Focus on small positive improvements. When there are things you want to improve about your business, it can be overwhelming to figure out where and how to begin. Start small to build momentum. It can be as simple as re-organizing your desk or purging a filing cabinet drawer, but once you get a few small tasks accomplished, you will be motivated to take on bigger, long-term projects. 
  • Make sure the business gets you excited. As with any job, if you don’t enjoy what you do, it will be that much more difficult to succeed. Tap into your interests and passions to get excited about your business. When you can do this, you can get others excited about what you are offering and build lasting professional relationships. 

The longer you work your business with focus and passion, the easier staying on task will become. Involve yourself in business-related activities, make small improvements, and create excitement within yourself about what you’re doing. What would you add to our list? Please sound off in the comments section below!

4 Ways DSA’S Code Of Ethics Protects You And Your Customers

4 Ways DSA’S Code Of Ethics Protects You And Your Customers

4 Ways DSA's Code Of Ethics Protects You And Your Customers

Ethical conduct is at the heart of good business decisions and these videos demonstrate this premise to consumers, entrepreneurs, direct selling executives, educators and public policy officials. Abiding by DSA’s Code of Ethics protects both the interest of consumers and sellers.

To learn more about direct selling ethics, please visit Direct Selling 411.

Ethics Initiative Videos

What Is Direct Selling?

What is direct selling? Let us show you what an ethical opportunity is all about!

What Is Direct Selling? (en Español)

What is direct selling? (en Español)

Intro to DSA Code

Learn more about what the code is, and why ethical companies comply.

Product Claims

Any claims a direct seller makes about a product must be truthful.

Ethics Initiative Videos

Meet a Direct Seller

Meet a direct seller who is learning to navigate the DSA’s Code of Ethics.

Product Buybacks

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

Cooling Off

Learn how the “cooling off period” protects consumers from buyer’s remorse.

Earnings Claims

When recruiting someone into a direct selling opportunity, be honest.

How to Increase Your Luck And Opportunities

How to Increase Your Luck And Opportunities
How to Increase Your Luck And Opportunities

How to Increase Your Luck And OpportunitiesThere are many things in life that we cannot control, but your business doesn’t have to be one of them. Of course, luck does have a small part to do with success, but you can take actions to increase it. Don’t treat your business like a lottery ticket, doing nothing while hoping it works out. Take a look at our list of suggestions for increasing your luck and coming closer to realizing your dreams.

  • Lead with and focus on what you do best. Being aware of your skill set allows you to identify your own personal strengths. Use those strengths to make positive, memorable first impressions as well as integrating them into as much of your business as you can. For example, if you are quick-witted and easily make others laugh, don’t be afraid to lead off sales presentations, opportunity meetings, and even one-on-one introductions with a joke. Go a step further and integrate your unique sense of humor into all your business relationships when appropriate. When you can bring your strengths to the table, others will take notice.
  • Always be prepared. Although luck does play a small part in our lives, you can increase your chances of success by preparing yourself as much as possible. You wouldn’t go in to a final exam simply hoping that most of the questions are about topics you remember from the textbook; you would prepare yourself by reviewing the material, highlighting important points, and quizzing yourself before the day of the test. The same concept applies to your direct sales business. Rehearse your presentation before each party, even if you’ve been doing this for years. Create possible scenarios that might catch you off guard if you’re not ready. Calling a referral to book a possible opportunity meeting? Find out about the person’s interests and aspirations. Adequate preparation can be your most effective tool for finding success.
  • Be a connector to people and businesses. When you have a good experience with someone in business, take the initiative to share that experience with others. Be the one who refers friends, family, and customers to others without prompting. Put in a good word about your hair stylist to your cousin who is looking for a new place to go for a cut. Perhaps a customer is seeking out a service that you can’t provide; be the person who finds someone who does. Your role as connector will not be forgotten when an opportunity arises for someone to do the same for you.
  • Develop authentic relationships. This begins with showing a genuine interest in and sincere caring about others. Not all your relationships can or should be close ones, but they should all be authentic. People involved in your business in any way need to be able to trust you, be open with you, and want to be around you. Give others your full attention when interacting, and always follow through on your promises. Building good relationships is the foundation of a career in direct sales.

How do the items in our list apply to your business? Do you have any ideas to add? Please share your comments below