3 Things that will Make or Break Your Business
I have been observing small business owners for quite some time, my whole life actually. I have personally been involved in several direct sales companies and have been part owner of a few small businesses. My extended family owned a small business when I was a child and I was able to observe how they worked as well.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve noticed 3 areas that can either be stumbling blocks or building blocks for the small business owner.
- Money Management. The ability to track, save, use and build one’s money the number one area that either builds or breaks one’s business. Many people begin their direct sales journey to relieve personal debt, or to bring in an additional income. Without proper money management, they may find themselves no better off, or in some cases, worse off than when they began. Some direct sales companies have suggested splits to help consultants have an idea of how to reinvest and separate their money. One such company that offers a 50% discount on products suggest that consultants reinvest 60% of their income back into their business and keep 40% as profit. This gives them a chance to grow or maintain their inventory, purchase sales aides and realize an income. The 40% profit might be needed to pay a loan payment that the consultant used to buy initial inventory. Set up a plan like this to manage your own business expenses. To be certain of what your actual business expenses are, be sure to enter them all in the “money” section of your www.flourishapp.com account. Also, enter your wholesale purchases as an order. You’ll be able to look at your tax info report or your top expenses report to see where your money is actually going and if you’re really making any money.
- Time Management. There is an old saying. “Do you run your business or does your business run you?” When you’re new to being a small business owner or in direct-sales you want to jump at every opportunity to make a sale, book an appointment or share the opportunity. You may sacrifice your own schedule to do so. I would say that is ok in the beginning, for just a few months or to a certain degree. There must come a time when you choose what is best for you and offer those options to the customer/prospect. One suggestion that I’ve always liked is offering times that work best for you. You might say something like “I’m available Tuesday and Thursday night after 6:00 or Saturday before 2:00. Which works best for you?” This prevents you from bending to everyone else’s schedule and your family won’t suffer because you know what works best for them. Also, setting specific office hours to make calls, mail product, post on social media or do any data entry that is necessary can save your sanity. Once the time is up, walk away even if you’re not 100% done. You’ve done what you can, now give 100% to your family. When you work for yourself you can easily work all the time, but that isn’t why you chose this.
- Momentum. In the beginning of your business, you start out with a burst. You talk to everyone you know and you’re super excited. After a while, that can start to fall off. You feel like you’ve come to the end of your list and you have no one else to call. This loss of momentum is often the beginning of the end for the consultant that didn’t get referrals. From the day you start your business the consultant must ask the question “who do you know.” She (or he) should book future appointments with these new contacts or with the person who referred them. There are so many great ideas to get referrals. These include offering a discount or free product to the person who refers them if the referral books an appointment. Doing a drawing at a party or home show with all the names of those who gave a referral or best of all booking at a booking. I once heard that if you leave a party without a new booking, you left a $100 bill on the table. If you find yourself reading this and you feel you’re at the “all out of names” point, there are a few suggestions to get you back up and running. Attend a fair of some sort. This might be a bridal fair, home and garden show or craft fair. This can be expensive but can also provide lots of new names. You may want to split the cost of the booth with several other consultants, then split the names evenly. Do a drawing at the event for something large (everyone participating will chip in on the cost.) You can call the leads you get to offer your services. Also, you can call people you met at parties who didn’t book their own party and offer them something wonderful if they book with you today. It will take some work but you can get back up and running.
With some planning and effort, you can use these three challenges to your benefit. Being aware of them is the first step to success.