Start a Business 101 — Direct Sales Company
You have decided to start a home based business. You picked a DIRECT SALES company to join. Now what? Here are some suggestions. The key is to start your momentum right from the beginning. That means budgeting some time each day for your business. Set up a schedule and make a plan.
1. Select a “PHRASE” that you will be known for. This is in lieu of a registered business name since you are doing a direct sales company. It can include your name and the kind of products you will sell. See if your direct sales company allows you to use their name in it. (Such as: AvonByKim Or CookingWithSherry Or AmandasMakeup) Mine is Kay Green’s Korner. Then use this key phrase on for all your business.
2. Open a CHECKING account for all business income and expenses. It can be an additional personal checking account in your name. Get a debit card for this account. Make sure ALL income gets deposited here. And ALL expenses are paid from this account. Keep receipts for all expenses. You want a paper trail.
3. Apply for a small limit CREDIT CARD for use only for business. I suggest getting a reward cards so you earn points or miles when you use it. I do not recommend paying online for inventory with a debit card. A credit card is more secure if there is an issue. You can use it to buy your products and then pay it off each month. This gives your points/miles plus a paper trail. Find one with no yearly fee.
4. Set up the WEBSITE if your company provides one. In today’s world a webpage is a key factor. Most direct sales companies provide one for a fee or free. Make a label for your catalogs with this address and your contact info. You can even purchase a domain at Godaddy.com that forwards to your company site.
5. Set up an EMAIL address just for your business dealings. If you cannot get one from the parent company or that matches your website then I recommend gmail. I suggest something like this format email@example.com or like mine KayGreensKorner@gmail.com
6. Set up a BLOG. I would name it the same phrase you used above for consistency. Write a post once a week about some aspect of your business. It could be a special, new products, or a new way to use the products. Include articles on other subjects your customers might enjoy. Link to your website from the blog. You are reading mine here!
7. Open a TWITTER account at http://twitter.com/ with the same phrase for your name. Post something every day about your business. Follow others with like interest. The key is to get followers. Enter conversations with people, not just posting ads. View mine at http://twitter.com/KayGreensKorner Link to your website from your twitter account settings.
8. Create a FACEBOOK fan page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/create with the same phrase. Invite your friends and family to follow your new page. See mine at http://Facebook.com/KayGreensKorner
9. Create an INSTAGRAM account at http://Instagram.com with the same phrase / name. Follow others. Invite your friends, family and customers to follow you. Post daily! See mine at http://instagram.com/KayGreensKorner
10. Order BUSINESS CARDS from http://vistaprint.com/ Use your new business name. Add your contact name, phone, business email, and website address to these cards.
11. Create a potential CUSTOMER LIST. List everyone you can think of that might be interested in what you are selling. I then recommend contacting them each to see if they would like to be on your customer contact list? If so then put them in your file with their contact information. This first list will be your priority right off. Make a few of these contacts each day. An email is fine, but follow-up with a phone call. Ask if they would like to: have a catalog, hold a show, join the business, or be a customer?
12. Join a GROUP on Facebook with other reps from your company. Do a search and you will find them. They can help you learn the ropes. Join a couple of home business groups where you can network and introduce your business. Here is my business building group https://www.facebook.com/groups/BIRBsoc/
13. If you company has CATALOGS you could start by making a packet with your catalog and a sample and a letter introducing yourself and your business. You can give these away to everyone you meet. You could even canvass an area in your neighborhood and leave them on doors.
14. Open a SAVINGS account. At the end of each month put in 25% of your profits for taxes. Then at the end of the year when you do taxes and owe you have money set aside to pay it. Anything left over after taxes are paid gets moved to your personal saving account.
15. Get a calendar planner NOTEBOOK or online spreadsheet (google docs) for tracking sales, expenses, and other important information. Write down all mileage you drive to do anything in business. If you are going to the mall for something, find a place to distribute some catalogs/samples so you can write off the miles on your taxes. Mileage is a huge tax write off. Do not miss this.
16. Create a database of your CUSTOMERS. This may be provided by your parent company within the website back end. Or you could use excel or another software. Or you can have a 4x6 index card file. Add their names and contact info. Then add a note each time you contact them or they order. I keep notes to know when to contact them again.
17. Have an “EVENT” for your products. It could be a home party, or a networking event with others in different kinds of business or…..
18. Purchase BOOTH space at many of the holiday fairs, home shows or other local fairs/shows.
19. Create a “COUPON” or flyer that you can print and distribute. Swap them with others in a different business. Put them up at local market bulletin boards. Offer them to groups or organizations where there are people in your niche market?
20. Have FUN! Enjoy your new adventure! Let the world know about your new business.
So this list should keep you busy for a while. The key is to make a PLAN and to work some on your business EVERY weekday. Consistent, persistent, intentional work on your business will bring you the success you are looking for.
PS If your business is not with a direct sales company many of the above list, still applies to you. The one exception is you need to get a your “BUSINESS NAME” registered with your state, and buy the .com website space for that name, and create a website.
Author Kay Green has been in business for many years. She currently is with Send Out Cards at http://SendOutCards.com/KayGreen and online card and gift company, as well as with Fitteam Global at http://Fitteam.com/KayGreen an Organic energy and weight loss drink.