All posts tagged work from home

Doing the Right Thing Helps You Succeed in Business

Doing the Right Thing Helps You Succeed in Business

You’ve probably heard the saying that “what goes around, comes around” – when you and your business consistently do what’s best for your customers and promote good business practices, word will spread that you and your business will always do the right thing.  Doing the right thing builds trust, and trust means more customers and sales. More customers and sales mean a successful business.

Here are even more reasons why doing the right thing builds business:

  • Feeding and building your feeling of self-worth – Doing the right thing makes you feel good. That feeling inside shows authentically outside and attracts more people to you and your business.
  • It limits making wrong decisions – Like any foundation in life, with a strong foundation you can build anything. So, if you consistently do the right thing, that foundation increases your effectiveness and good decision making.
  • It doesn’t only make you mentally stronger, but also physically stronger – With the belief that you can do right, you’ll be able to draw on that momentum and tap your positive energy to get more things done.
  • Reduces worry and stress – Doing right helps you focus on making right choices, and if you know you are making right choices, that reduces worry and stress.
  • It makes you more understanding and compassionate – The process of doing the right thing will mean making difficult choices at times while also spending more time listening to others, and these experiences enlarge your capacity to be more empathetic and tolerant.
  • A brighter future – Doing the right thing will also mean following up the right way, thus increasing business and creating more opportunities for the future.
  • You will have better friends and support – Part of being successful in business is building up the people that surround and support you and your business. These people will share your can-do and positive outlook. They will want to be your friends and help you achieve your goals.
  • Makes you more positive – Like anything that is nurtured, your capacity to choose the right thing will grow stronger and better. The more you do the right thing, the more positive you will become.

The key to doing the right thing is to focus on transparency, fairness and creating a strong foundation for your brand and reputation. In return, you will be rewarded with personal and business success!

How do you keep focus on doing the right thing? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

How to Handle Difficult Situations

How to Handle Difficult Situations

Once in a while, out of the blue, you’re surprised with an uncomfortable, unsettling and difficult situation. You may respond emotionally, and later stew over the aftermath. When in business, this can have a negative impact on what your customers say about you, as word of mouth tends to spread.

It would be great if you could press a do-over button, but even better than a do-over is not reacting in a way you’ll regret later. Here are some steps to help you handle difficult situations better.

  1. Acknowledge your emotions, stay calm, think and assess the situation.
  2. Gain perspective – give your difficulty a number on a scale of 1 to 10.
  3. Stay positive – think or write down some possible solutions.
  4. If necessary, find a place that gives you reassurance and peace – it may be a park or house of worship.
  5. Look for support from family, friends, co-workers and other professionals. Ask them what they think about the situation from an outsider’s point of view.
  6. Seek joy and laughter – play your favorite music, watch funny movies and surround yourself with positive people.
  7. Create and follow through on a simple plan:
    • State a goal – for example, I will stay calm.
    • Turn your goal statement into a mantra and keep saying it.
    • Develop a list of strategies to reach your goal – for example, put on a set of headphone for music, avoid tense situations, start counting backward from 100 in your head, and any other strategy that is appropriate for the situation.
    • You may need to write a plan to handle larger problems – For example, let’s say you have a customer that was unhappy with your business, and is telling people not to purchase from you. Develop a list of strategies such as calling the customer directly to assist with the problem, providing a refund and a gift certificate to apologize, posting in response to public social media posts from the customer asking her to contact you directly so you can help, etc. Think of things that will show that you are responsive and that you care, while understanding that you may not be able to resolve the customer’s issue or change her opinion. You are also managing what the people observing the situation think.
    • Check off your list of strategies as you slowly resolve your difficulties to help you stay positive and on track.
  8. After resolving the situation you may want to explore how it was handled, how you can improve the way it was handled, and review valuable lessons you’ve learned.

In business and in life there will always be difficult situations. Some will be small, and some may be devastating. The key is to always try to stay positive, think, assess the situation and trust that you’ll come up with the best solution at the moment. The more you learn from difficult situations the better you’ll be at resolving them and achieving a happier life, as well as a more successful business.

Tips for Keeping Your Clients Coming Back

Tips for Keeping Your Clients Coming Back

We all know it’s better and more cost effective to have a steady stream of returning customers than always being focused on finding new customers. So, how do we keep our customers coming back once the first sale is made? Think of the first transaction as the first date in a series of dates, which ultimately leads to a long and wonderful relationship. The way to keep customers coming back is to develop and nurture a relationship with them.

Here are some ideas to keep your new customer coming back, in order to establish a lasting relationship:

  1. Promote your strengths, best products/services and greatest value compared to competitors.
  2. Offer incentives/discounts for return customers.
  3. Develop a customer-based community online: create a Facebook page where customers can share ideas and communicate with others of like mind.
  4. Once you have a Facebook page, provide valuable and interesting information that can help your customers.
  5. Create trust: let your customers know that if they don’t like something you’ll fix it.
  6. Contribute to a cause in a way that involves your customers. For example, if you sell books, offer to collect old books to give to charity like your local library or women’s shelter, and in return your customer gets 15% off on their next purchase.
  7. Establish a loyal customer rewards program and make it feel like it’s personalized to each individual.
  8. Make the sales process easier, faster and better than your competitors.
  9. Establish a follow up process to check on your customer’s satisfaction and needs regularly.
  10. Offer free personal delivery service or shipping.
  11. Establish an online relationship with your customers and provide real-time customer service.
  12. Provide an easy and comfortable way for customers to provide feedback, and promote changes and improvements you’ve made based on the suggestions of your customers.
  13. Once in a while, surprise your best customers with a special gift and share what you’ve done with the world.
  14. Highlight loyal customers and promote their importance for the world to see (create positive buzz).
  15. Create a fun, interactive contest as part of your marketing.
  16. Provide memorable and excellent customer service and value consistently.
  17. Focus on making the customer feel special, respected, highly valued and like they are a dear friend.

The key is to focus your efforts on developing a relationship with your customers, offering excellence, value and unique service that only you can provide.

How do you keep your customers coming back? We love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

How to Find Customers

How to Find Customers

There are two major components to a thriving business: Happy and loyal customers that come back, as well as a steady stream of new customers.

The first is a matter of consistently providing excellent service that people appreciate and talk about.

The second one may seem a bit more challenging. So how do you find new customers?

Go to where the people are. You should not rely on your salesmanship, but instead focus on increasing the quantity of people that you engage with on a regular basis. People are around you all the time, and within that group are your customers. Your goal is to find them, talk to them, befriend them and nurture them so that they become the first group: happy and loyal customers.

First, let’s begin with where to find new customers:

  1. Join an association/club/organization
  2. Take a community-sponsored class or course
  3. Present a workshop or be a speaker
  4. Get a hobby and join others with the same interests
  5. Get involved with a charity or cause
  6. Go to a networking event
  7. Go onto social media networks, engage and find old/new friends
  8. Go to family parties, reunions, and social events
  9. Promote and sponsor a community activity/event of your own
  10. Start a book, breakfast, coffee, coupon, or arts & crafts club
  11. Network with other businesses and business people in your community
  12. Become a connector/referrer for others, and become a go-to person
  13. Start a referral rewards program with existing clients
  14. Use local advertising and marketing

Second, once you find them here’s what you need to do:

  1. Be curious and learn to enjoy meeting people
  2. Ask questions and improve your listening skills
  3. Be positive and inviting
  4. Be professional and authentic
  5. Don’t be a salesman, but be friendly and social
  6. Become a “let’s have coffee” person and meet face to face with people
  7. Be a social and party person
  8. Have all the possible ways to contact you on your business card
  9. Start using and writing notes on your business card to hand to people you meet
  10. Make yourself memorable, but not over the top. Make your first impression a lasting one
  11. Convey passion in what you do

It’s all about the numbers. Seek quantity. Quality customers will only come if meet enough people. Start with a new goal of meeting new people and engaging them every day.

Let us know how these tips help you increase new customers. What tips can you share for finding new customers for your business? Would love to read your ideas in the comments below!

Knowing Your Market

Knowing Your Market

Are you considering starting your own business? It’s an exciting step! Before making the leap, however, it can be helpful to do some market research, to make sure that people will buy what you have to offer. In direct sales, your company may already have a lot of this legwork done for you.

Here are some simple steps to briefly analyze how well your business might do, and to help you understand who you want to reach with your new business.

  1. Ask everyone you know in your local community if they would purchase your products/services.
  2. Within your local community, identify the people who would purchase your products/services. They are your target market in the beginning.
  3. Within this target market understand why they would purchase from you:
    • Is it because they trust you?
    • Is it because of your education and/or background?
    • Is it because of your friendship and/or relationship?
    • Is it because of the uniqueness of your products/services?
    • Is it because of your personalized service?
    • Is it because of the great value of your products/services?
    • Is it because your products/services make your market more attractive?
    • Is it because your products/services make your market more healthy?
  4. Identify and define your target market similarities:
    • Are they families or individuals?
    • Are they professionals?
    • Do they own homes?
    • What’s the age range?
    • What’s their income level?
    • What are their hobbies and interests?
    • Are they a two family income?

Understanding why your target market will purchase from you will help you create an effective marketing plan. By identifying your target market’s similarities, you will be better able to promote your message to the right consumers. But most importantly, you will know if you can quickly make an income with this business and who your potential customers will be before you open for business.

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: Pass it on!

How to Stand Out from Your Competition

How to Stand Out from Your Competition

To succeed in business, you need to set yourself apart from your the competition. That means knowing what makes you great, and communicating it! Successful businesses make this a part of their business culture, and follow through every day. Is your business ready to take the next step?

Here are some factors that can help your business stand out from your competitors:

  1. Deliver great value – Offer excellence for a great price.
  2. Offer more choices in your products/services than your competitors.
  3. Make the sales process more convenient, easier and quicker than your competitors.
  4. Make it easy to find and contact you – use memorable business cards, post information on how to reach you through social media networks, post your cell number and promote testimonials.
  5. Share your sense of passion and excellence for what you do – make sure you come across passionate, caring and willing to do what it takes to earn your customers’ loyalty.
  6. Follow up immediately after the sale and continue on-going follow up.
  7. Anticipate your customers’ needs and help them with solutions.
  8. Ask for feedback and act upon those suggestions.
  9. Continue to improve.
  10. Be a connector and networker – help your customers find solutions to their needs, even before they know what they are, and engage in becoming friends with everyone you meet.
  11. Stay current in your area of expertise – keep up with professional training, industry trends and share innovations with your customers.
  12. Be positive and approach everything with a can-do attitude.
  13. Strive for excellence every day.
  14. Be more personable, friendly and approachable.
  15. Become solution oriented.
  16. Be creative and innovative while also following through.

As you begin to invest your energy into these factors, you’ll find that not only will you begin to stand out in your industry, but you may also be amazed that most will not even try to compete with you.

How do you stand out from your competitors? What makes your business special and unique? We would love to read your tips in the comments below!

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: Pass it on!

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.  

How to Be More Productive

How to Be More Productive

We all procrastinate once in a while, and usually we just wait for it to go away. But we’ve also experienced moments when we felt unstoppable. Like a super hero! So, how can we experience more super hero moments?

The trick to being more productive is to spot when you’re not being productive and be prepared to overcome it. You are practicing self-discipline and you can master it.

Step 1 – Use your calendar to mark short, medium and long term goals.

Step 2 – Create a daily schedule.

Step 3 – Make and prioritize your daily to do list to help you focus on what needs to be done and to reduce unproductive temptations.

Step 4 – Acknowledge and recognize time wasters/unproductive activities.

Step 5 – Decide to stop the time wasting or allow the unproductive activity for 5 minutes and use it as a break, or make it a reward with no time limit when you have completed your productive tasks.

Step 6 – Understand and identify your work strengths and weaknesses.

Step 7 – Use your strengths and/or set aside the time when you’re typically the most productive to tackle more challenging tasks.

Step 8 – Get more organized.

Step 9– Improve time management and efficiency skills. Read up on how others manage their time, and use their methods. Here’s a web page from Dartmouth College to get you started:

Step 10 – Keep a journal or chart and write down your accomplishments.

Step 11 – Reward yourself when you accomplish the tasks on your to-do list.

How do you handle moments of procrastination? Do you have a tip to share? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!

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:
  • 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 For more information on any of the topics above, please visit their website.

Want to Work From Home? Tips for Getting Started as an Entrepreneur

Want to Work From Home? Tips for Getting Started as an Entrepreneur

Do you wish you could find a job that will let you work from home and make your own schedule? Have you ever considered becoming an entrepreneur and owning your own business?

Many people start a business because they think they have a great idea, or a product or service that will make money. Some people start because think that they can do something better than the businesses already out there. Other people are introduced to a business by a friend, and join because the timing is right or they love the product line.

When you decide to jump into entrepreneurship, here are some thoughts to consider:

  • Who would be your customers?
  • Where could you find these customers?
  • How much money do you need to start this business?
  • What makes your business special?
  • Are you passionate about what you will be doing?
  • What other resources do you need?
  • What’s your financial goal?
  • Are you willing to invest a lot of time and energy into this business?

If you’re still interested in pursuing a business, here is a handy site from the Small Business Administration. It contains step-by-step instructions and advice to starting your own business.


You might also consider a direct selling business. Legitimate direct selling businesses offer low start-up costs, a proven product line, training, and support. Many of these companies are members of the Direct Selling Association, and agree to comply with the DSA Code of Ethics. You can learn more about direct selling, and how to find an opportunity that’s right for you, here:

And if you do decide to take the leap and start your own business, we congratulate you! Great countries are built upon entrepreneurs like you.

The DSEF is here to help. If you have any questions we’re here to provide the answers and support for you to succeed! So, what’s your first question? We’d love to hear how your business is going!