Following a different path

Some people are lucky enough when they are school to know what they want to do with their lives. The majority don’t, or think they do but circumstances change. People change. You don’t have to pick one path and stay on it, in fact I think taking a wander down different avenues every now and then can be good for you, and here is why…

I was going to be a nurse. Or a doctor, either would do. I had seen the Young Doctors on TV and knew instantly that was my calling. I am now a freelance writer. Slightly off the medical track but that doesn’t matter, I’m where I need to be and where I want to be. Will I always be here? I think so, I hope, but who knows where life will lead me. Continue reading “Following a different path”

Nicki Cawood’s Transition from Career Woman to Business Mum (Part 2)

Today, Nicki continues her story. Here’s the link to part 1 of Nicki Cawood’s transition from career woman to business mum.

After three years things were getting a bit stale. Getting up to the next step in the ladder at Usborne would take huge personal sales on my part, as well as my team’s and personally I was finding this difficult. Running a home-based business under a company umbrella has it’s pros and cons. You start up for very title outlay, have resources, training etc on hand but similarly, to really excel you need to push the boundaries to rise about the group or you are “Another Usborner…”. Continue reading “Nicki Cawood’s Transition from Career Woman to Business Mum (Part 2)”

Ten Tips For Success In Direct Selling

Direct selling businesses are a great way for mums to earn some extra cash whilst still being a full-time parent. Mumpreneur Robin Bradley set up her own direct selling company, Phoenix Trading, 15 years ago and shares her top tips for being successful in a direct selling business.

  1. Always be prepared – You never know when you’ll meet your next potential customer, so have a bag with you that’s big enough to carry a few brochures and products, just in case a selling opportunity arises.
  2. Set yourself realistic goals – Set short-term and long-term objectives for yourself that you can realistically achieve. Write these down on paper so you can remind yourself what you’re aiming towards.
  3. Keep it simple – Don’t over complicate things, too much information or a huge choice of products can confuse people.
  4. Network – Contact people that you think are suited to your market. By using people you already know to start with, you’ll feel much more comfortable selling to them. You can decide on the best way to contact people, a phone call, posting a brochure or dropping in to give some samples and products to encourage impulse buying.
  5. Follow up – Keep good relationships with your contacts by following up with them. For example, call your customers to check they received their order and use this as an opportunity to discuss new products coming out.
  6. Promote yourself – Take advantage of the events and fairs happening in your area and book yourself a stall. Any type of event would be a great opportunity to promote your business and a mix of events would reach different types of customers.
  7. Manage your time – Diary planning is key to running a successful business!
  8. Have regular contact with the business and your colleagues – Keep your knowledge updated by attending company and team meetings. Share ideas and best practices with your colleagues to keep your business fresh.
  9. Step out of your comfort zone from time to time – Try something new, something you ordinarily wouldn’t do. You could build a Twitter feed or set up a group for your customers on social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or specialist sites like MumsLikeYou, to keep people up-to-date on your business. Try speaking to school mums you wouldn’t necessarily speak to. Doing this will help build your confidence and build your network.
  10. Have a positive mental attitude – It’s the people behind a business that make it successful and create a positive image. People will be more likely to be interested in your business if you come across as enthusiastic and passionate about what you’re selling.

Choosing a Party Plan or Direct Selling Company

Direct selling or party plans can be a great way to start off in business.  It’s quick and cheap to get started and you should have much more support than you would get if you were starting up on your own.

(I said should rather than will because you need to check out the support you’ll get from the company and your team leader before you sign up. I’ve written more about this in business ideas for mums: party plans and direct selling.)

It’s tempting to go with a well-known name such as Avon, Kleeneze or Usborne, but there are lots more direct selling companies out there. It’s well worth doing some research before you take the plunge, because you really do need to love the product to succeed.

So what you really need is a list of direct selling and party plan companies? Well here you go…

Netmums.com : direct selling opportunities

Family Friendly Working: Franchise, direct selling and party plan directory

Direct Selling Association members