Then, you need to know your how.
Where do you begin? When does it really start? What’s the first actual business step you should take?
I once met a very young mother, single and barely getting by. She invested her last $25 for the month in a direct marketing company with the hope of being able to give her 3 year old child a fine birthday party. She needed money for a cake, decorations and gift… she imagined $100 would more than cover the cost. Her ‘why’, well it was simple – and by many standards, minute. I tried to help her understand that she could have a yard sale to earn the money she wanted, or maybe baby sit for others.
THIS, was a business… for her future. Surely, she had a larger goal… a “real” reason for giving up her last $25 for the month. Maybe, she could plan to pay the electric bill each month with her business profits, how about growing a big enough customer base to make a car payment, even save for an educational goal. That size business goal would surely allow her to give the child’s birthday party each year and not just meet her immediate need.
So, what I’m trying to say is … your next steps are up to you and your ultimate goal (or your ‘why’). As the “goal” goes, so does the “success”.
In all cases, the next step is about you… not what someone tells you to do. There are normal steps in normal companies… but you are building YOUR personal business and it has to be about you. So, how do you grow yourself?
Maybe you’ll spend time investing in yourself… spending time learning about the company, the products and services you choose to represent, the top producers in the company and the possibilities and probabilities. If there’s time, it could be beneficial to learn the top earners routines, success stories and regular work habits. Which of these can you adapt into your own life? Did I say “life”?
Depending on your destination in business, you’ll need to invest time, money, other resources, your imagination and business skills. How will your business be defined?
How will it differ from the other thousands of entrepreneurs? Can you see yourself with a calendar ALWAYS at your fingertips? What about carrying business cards and maybe samples in the car. Is it your desire to get up everyday, dress up and look smashing? Will you love being “on” all the time? That’s what we sign up for when it’s a real business to grow.
How will you decide to run this business? Will it be in person, in an organized area, online only or a combination of available options? Will you learn or use your skills in social media or special events along the fair routes? I even know one woman who purchased an air-stream trailer and outfitted it to sell her wares in a pop-up store of sorts.
How will you operate? What do you look like in your business? What are you wearing, driving, listening to? Just close your eyes and make that mental picture. Is THAT you?
Now that you know your WHY… what’s next? What do you need? What resources are required of you? I decided to experiment.
Now, full disclosure. I’ve spent 8 years in direct marketing. The first three, I worked full time and represented a company part time. My sales grew over three years to roughly $14,000. I enjoyed some profit, but mostly, I gave the stuff away at cost- just trying to help my friends get a break. The real profit wasn’t a big deal… it was a fun side hack and I had lots of contacts and access to people who could stop by and pick up a catalog (at work) and those contacts were all employed full time. I loved it… more than my regular full time job, because of the leadership.
So, when a local position with the company became available, I jumped at it… and was hired to help others learn to build their business. I received more than a year of coaching, direction and special training and incentives to learn how to help them build to profit making. One year, I added the sales of my area representatives and sales were totaling more than 100,000 per month! We did so well, I earned really cool rewards, including a couple nice trips and sweet bonuses. Best of all… the relationships with the team and peers was unbelievable.
So when the company downsized and many of us found ourselves without work, I decided to use my time and severance to build my own home based business. It will be fun, I reminiseced.
In my business, I invested in a direct marketing company. Not just the $25, but $750.00 in event fees within 100 miles of my home, $200.00 in event equipment (tables, signs, etc), and $2,000 in event inventory. Within 90 days, the investment was returned, plus an average of 30% on the inventory, by following the companies suggested steps and using a few of my own techniques.
So the next months and thereafter, the earnings were around 40% and I continued to try to keep my reinvest totals at 20%. Unless you are psychic or you only sell what is paid in advance, you’ll have inventory. Do I have inventory on my shelves? The company says it’s not required, but they don’t tell you it’s a good thing to do. Your judgement will tell you when that very good customer calls you up really needing something NOW.
I know which customers will always order their favorites, so I purchase ahead for them to receive the best price or incentive. That’s the only inventory on my shelves. I invest more heavily in samples. I did a test once, I invested $5.00 in samples and the orders from those samples totaled $32.80 (at 40%, I earned about $13, the first time and I’ve lost count of the reorders of those products, to those customers. Samples are a good thing. The numbers and profits will grow, if you can invest in samples and don’t waste them.
So, how will I answer the original question?
When you know your WHY, then what?
Then, visualize yourself being successful. Where are you, how are you working, what do you look like? What car are you driving? Are you alone or with others? Do you sit at a desk, in a booth or walk on the street? Do you work everyday or once in a while? Will you stay with it til you reach the goal or will you give it a set time to work for you? Do that by writing it down, studying the winners, list the pros and cons, and survey your support system for their opinions. Do the work, if it’s a long term plan.
If you just need a birthday party, I’ve got lots of fundraising ideas for you.
If you want a real business, and need an assistant, send me a note. How can I help you?
I’m anxious to hear about your answers to the question. Feel free to comment below!