One of the greatest “perks” of being a direct seller is the joy of being your own boss. You get to make all the decisions and have total freedom regarding how you want to run your business. If you’ve been at this for any length of time at all, however, you’ve probably discovered that running a successful direct sales business can become an all-consuming task. Even though you may think you’ve got everything under control, it’s too easy to let one part of your business take over. When this happens, it’s typical to neglect the other aspects of your business. To rescue you from this all-too-common trap, it’s imperative to stay on top of everything that’s going on in your direct sales business. There are many easy ways to stay in control. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for making everything more manageable.
- My first tip may surprise you because it’s not a purely “organizational” driver (but it’s one of the most important)…You need to stay hungry for success. Otherwise you could lose your driving force. Set goals for your business around bookings, sales, and recruiting and create a strategy for going after them on a daily basis. This will keep you on your toes and in action in your business and will help you succeed in all three areas. Not only will it help you to keep invigorated and creative, but you’ll be helping others on your team to also grow their businesses as you model this behavior for them.
- Stay tuned into all of your business facts and figures. This is one that I find most direct sellers aren’t really good at. You need to “know your numbers” in order to get a true read on how you’re actually doing in your business. Since you are probably the only person in your personal business, having to organize accounts, track expenses, and keep everything up to date so you know where you are in your business at any given moment can be very daunting. Even something as simple as cheap business checks at an affordable price takes time and can slip to the bottom of your list. As long as you know your finances are in order, you will have a good idea of how your business is doing as a whole, so make time for this (even if it’s not much fun) at least once a month (if not sooner).
- Stay Educated! Keep reading our industry magazines, blogs, and your company information and publications to stay ahead of the latest trends and “in the know” with changes in your own company. Things can change fast at the corporate level of your company and you need to be sure you’re aware of any changes as soon as they happen. It’s even a good idea to regularly read newspapers such as the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. You’re an entrepreneur and the content in these business publications has an impact on you even if it’s not specific to your business. You also need to read articles that focus on the direct sales industry as a whole. This will give you a better idea of how our industry is currently doing, and what the latest news is. Not only that, but it will also help prevent you from falling behind your competitors. Finally, you can sign up for expert email newsletters (like mine – see below) for more specific and valuable training on how to succeed as a direct seller.
- Execute what you’re learning. It’s great to get excited about ideas, but unless you DO SOMETHING with them, they have no real value to you. You need to remember to get excited about execution as well. If you read something that seems like a good fit for your business, make a plan and take action to integrate it into your business. Even if it doesn’t quite work out the way you planned, you’ll learn from the execution and trial and error, and if it ends up being brilliant, you win!
- Sign up to several social media channels where you know your target market hangs out. This will give your business a voice in the public sphere. It also gives you the chance to interact with clients and customers and to begin to be seen as a trusted expert within your product area. If you’re really ambitious, you can invest in some social media advertising for your business, which strengthen your personal brand and has been a very effective tool for many direct sellers in building their teams and sharing their products. These campaigns can be time consuming and they aren’t free but they can pay off big time if you’re sensible and manage them well. In a perfect world you would be able to employ a dedicated social media team to organize all this, but chances are good you don’t have the means to justify this. Don’t worry, it’s not necessary. You can keep things simple and just log into your social media accounts a couple of times a day and manage this yourself.
Now that you know the keys to staying on top of the “business” of your business, make a few changes and watch your sales, bookings, and team grow!
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Julie Anne Jones is a direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.