Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Get the Word out About Your Business

Get the Word Out About Your Business
 from Guest Blogger Sharon Katzman

You have likely heard the old saying “if you build it, they will come”.  But that is not true of many things, and having your own business is one of them.  Sure, chances are you will have told those immediately around you that you have started something but what about those who are further out of your circle or not in it at all.  It can be hard to penetrate these without alienating the people that you are targeting.

For this reason, I created Assistance with Advertising and Social Media (Direct Sales Help) to help people figure out how to get the word out about their business.  It discusses various methods of advertising from those on the Internet to those in the physical world; those methods that are free and those that will cost you money as well as how to use Facebook and Twitter for promotion.   
Chances are not every method will appeal to you or get the results you want, but if you do not try, you cannot say that they didn’t work.  If a method is against your own beliefs, move on.  I had been told one time to put flyers in the windshield wipers of cars in front of a similar retail store.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do it for a variety of reasons.   Did it hurt my business?  Maybe, but at least I was able to look myself in the mirror.

This book will also assist you with building a client list, creating your 30 second commercial and dealing with email.  It also discusses how to write effective and powerful ads that you can use in a variety of places to let people know about you.  It will also examine if you should get a company website or if you should save your money for other business tools.

Buckeye Brownies

Sometimes I want to eat brownies.  Sometimes I just want to eat brownie batter.  

Seriously, though. I LOVE brownie batter.  Yes, with the eggs.  This is the only reason I buy boxed brownie mixes, as the recipe I have for brownies from scratch is so easy to make.  When I want to actually eat brownies, I use the recipe for Evil Brownies - so called because you can't eat just one.

The past few weekends the hubby has asked for brownies.  I would bake a batch from a mix, sending some on the road with him when he leaves and taking the rest in to work for my coworkers to enjoy. I really don't eat a lot of brownies.  But, this weekend I realized that the only mix in the cupboard was for dark chocolate brownies.  I knew this wouldn't fly with the hubby.

The finished product.
The hubby loves peanut butter.  We go through several 40 oz jars of creamy Jif every month.  So, when I realized that I would have to make brownies from scratch, I decided to spruce them up a bit by adding some peanut butter chips to the mix. 

I knew I was going to frost these babies with some medium flavored chocolate buttercream; however, I decided they needed some more peanut butter goodness. So...before making the chocolate buttercream frosting, I made some peanut butter frosting.  Instead of washing my mixing bowl another time, I just made the chocolate frosting in the same bowl. 

Here are the recipes I used. I will admit - I guesstimated on the peanut butter measurements.

Evil Brownies

Evil because you can’t eat just one!

½ cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Chopped nuts, chocolate chips, etc. (optional)

Preheat oven to 350*F

Blend all.  Stir in nuts, chips, etc.
Spread in a greased 9” square pan.
Bake at 350*F for 20-25 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from pan edges.
Cool in pan.  Frost if desired.

Peanut Butter frosting

1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Mix well.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
(Double batch measurements in parentheses)

Hershey’s cocoa
Light flavor 2 teaspoon (1/4 cup)
Medium flavor ¼ cup (1/2 cup)
Dark Flavor 1/3 cup (3/4 cup)
1 cup powdered sugar (2 2/3 cups)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter (6 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons milk (4-5 Tablespoons)
½ teaspoon vanilla (1 teaspoon)

Put all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix well. 

For a glossier frosting, add 1 Tablespoon corn syrup.

Single batch makes 1 cup.  

Side note:  If you add nuts, they are boy brownies.  Without nuts - girl ones. My mom is the one who first told me that. lol

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Make Money with your Direct Sales Business

How to Make Money with your Direct Sales Business

from Guest Blogger Sharon Katzman

If you have joined direct sales and are struggling to get bookings, or you are trying to get more and aren’t sure what to do, you need Everything about Getting Sales, Trade Shows and Fundraisers (Direct Sales Help).  This book focuses on exactly that – where to look to get sales, how to find trade shows and where to get fundraisers.    Not only does it help you get these, but it tells you how to work with them to maximize your profits and keep the bookings happening.  You will also learn how to pack up orders, how to keep track of leads and there are questions and answers on several topics that always come up with direct sales.   

When it comes to making money, there are many more things than just doing parties and shows to grow your business.   Consider the following which are explained in detail in the book.

  • Shopping Clubs
  • Frequent buyer programs
  • Open Houses
  • Highlighted order forms
  • Trade Shows
  • Catalogue Parties
  • Fundraisers

Are you comfortable with upselling products?  Do you even know what that is?  Have you ever considered bundling products to increase your sales numbers?  If so, how do you know how to price them or what to offer?   Should you offer discounts to get people to buy more or should you offer no shipping?  Should you give a gift to your hostess for having you in her home and should you play games?  How do you answer the customer who comments they can get similar product cheaper somewhere else?  Even if you have not considered many of these questions, rest assured, your customers have and they will ask about them.   This book will look at all of these and help you decide how you want to handle them in advance so you are not blindsided later on.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Who wore it better?

Amy Farrah Fowler from Big Bang Theory

Me at work on a Sunday afternoon.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Considering Direct Sales?

Considering Direct Sales?
from Guest Blogger Sharon Katzman
Have you ever thought about selling something like Tupperware or Gold Canyon Candles but weren’t sure if it was for you?  Maybe you love the product but aren’t sure if you can make money at it or what the expenses are really going to be like?  I have written a book called Picking a Direct Sales Company and Getting Started (Direct Sales Help) which helps you with this process.  It includes information to help you decide what company is a good fit for you, what questions you should ask and how to pick through the information you receive.   There are also some common questions that are asked as well as answers that will help you decide if you want to go this route.
Not only does this book help you decide which company you should go with but it also explores striking out independently versus going with a company and some of the aspects that you need to consider.  Direct sales are not for everyone and the goal is to help you make the most informed decision possible so that you will be happy.
Once you have made a decision, the book also assists you with what to do while you wait for your kit and how to get organized.  There is information to help you get organized, how to set up different systems to work effectively and information on email and electronic backups.
One thing this book does not get too deeply into is how to get a lot of bookings and really get your business going.  There is discussion about getting started and getting those first bookings and events to get your business started on the right foot though.  But for a lot more depth into sales and making money, you will want to look at the book that focuses on these aspects.