Category Archives: moms

Are Parties Necessary for Direct Sales Success?

the wish place logoPeople who are considering a home based business in direct sales begin to think about companies that use party plans as a means to generate income.  Party plans encourage prospective customers to host a party in order to earn free or discounted products.  Are parties necessary if you want to work in direct sales?

Not all direct sales companies require their associates to conduct parties.  In fact, some direct sales companies don’t require parties at all.  You may want to look further into companies offering a different plan for marketing if you are not comfortable talking to crowds of people.

Melaleuca, Avon, and World Book, among others, do not require a party plan.  So, are they necessary for success?  Obviously, the answer is no.  Even people that are associated with party plan companies can succeed by using other marketing plans.  It happens every day, you just have to do some research and determine what the other options are.

Direct sales success really depends more on you than on the method of marketing the product to potential customers.  If you don’t believe in the company and the product, it doesn’t matter what you do – you won’t be able to make your home business a success.  Here are some ideas to help you succeed whether you’re using a party plan or not:

1. Familiarize yourself with the business manual you received in your start-up kit.  Make a list of questions you have and then contact your upline sponsor as soon as you can.  Understanding what is expected of you, what you can and cannot do to market the product, and how the company will pay you will make all the difference in how you conduct your business.

2. Follow the instructions given to you during training.  Most likely you will be told to make a list of everyone you know. This will be your master list, the first people you will contact about your new business.  If you don’t complete this task, you’re not going to do the rest.  Swallow your pride and ask for your money back.  This company is not for you.

3. Begin networking with other business owners.  Join the local Chamber of Commerce and get plugged into regular meetings.  You must promote your business if it is to grow, and networking with other business people is a great way to let others know about your company.

4. Schedule specific times during the week to work on the various aspects of your business. If you’re at home, make sure to let friends and family members know that you do not want to be interrupted during your “work” hours.

5. Tell everyone about your business. Don’t assume that they already know about it or that they’re not interested.  You might be surprised to find that more people are interested than you think.

These five points show that you do not have to be involved in home parties in order to succeed in direct sales.  Your success is ultimately up to you, and depends on how serious you are about treating your business as a business.  If you want to see your business grow, you have to act in ways that will cause growth to happen.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, homeschooling mom, business owner, professional writer, blogger, nature photographer and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Getting Over the Christmas Giving Blues?

christmas piggy bankTake the Christmas Budget Challenge.

Written by Bernie Wiemers Copyright 2005 http://www.my-wealth-plan.com

With Christmas just around the corner, our focus is slowly starting to shift from our work commitments to Christmas and with it comes the annual Christmas spending spree. Unfortunately many families don’t set a Christmas budget and they rely on their credit cards to get them through the festive season.

Shortly after Christmas these same families will also develop symptoms of the “Christmas Giving Blues” which can include an upset stomach, lack of sleep and anxiety.

You know that feeling. You spend up big, charge it on the card, and then spend the next couple of months worrying about how you are going to pay off your Christmas debts while vowing never to let this happen to you again.

Unfortunately, this is a reality for a lot of families every Christmas and they just don’t seem to be able to break out of the cycle.

This year, give yourself and your family a Christmas gift and take the “Christmas Budget Challenge” and enjoy your Christmas without the suffering the Christmas Blues.

There are two parts to the Christmas Budget Challenge:

1. Put in place a strategy that will help you survive Christmas with as little pain as possible.

2. Put in place a strategy that will give you a plan to enjoy your next Christmas. This plan will also run itself without you even thinking about it.

Let’s start by putting in place a plan that will hopefully make this Christmas a little easier on your hip pocket:

1. Have a look at your finances and set an upper limit that you can afford for your Christmas spending. Allocate a certain amount to Gifts and a certain amount to other Christmas expenses. This is the start of your Christmas budget.

2. Leave the credit card at home and pay for Christmas with money wherever possible.

3. Keep track of all your Christmas spending. A good way of doing this is by carrying a small notebook and pencil and writing your purchases in it.

Gift Buying

4. Call your relatives and agree that Gifts will only be purchased for the children

5. Take your Christmas Gift budget that was allocated in step 1 and divide it by the number of gifts you need to buy. This number will be the maximum you can spend on each gift.

Christmas Food Shopping

6. Take your Christmas Dinner budget and make a shopping list.

7. When you are doing your shopping use a calculator to make sure you stay within your Christmas budget.

8. Save money by looking for the cheaper priced goods on the top and bottom shelves. Try not to buy items that are on shelves at eye level, these are usually the higher priced items.

9. Try not to buy items that are located in the displays at the end of the shopping aisles, these items are usually more expensive than the items located in the aisles.

10. Compare prices of similar items and buy the cheaper item.

11. Remember that Christmas is only one day a year. You don’t have to spend a weeks worth of grocery money on one day.

12. Ask each relative to provide a food dish, drinks or dessert.

As soon as Christmas is over and the pain is fresh in your mind. You need to take action and put in place the second part of the “Christmas Budget Challenge”. This next step will ensure that you have enough money for next Christmas

1. Add up all your Christmas expenses including gifts, food and any other costs.

2. Take the total of your Christmas expenses and divide it by the total amount of pays until next Christmas.

3. Open high interest bank account with the following attributes:
– No minimum starting balance
– Interest is accrued daily and billed monthly
– Interest rate on this bank account must be higher than the inflation rate.
– No bank charges

ING Direct and Citibank have an online banking account that may be suitable for your Christmas Budget account.

4. Organize an automatic bank transfer from your bank account to your Christmas Budget account. This transfer will be on each payday for the amount you worked out in step 2. It is important that this is automated because most people will not stick to this plan if it is a manual process.

5. When next Christmas comes around withdraw your money and repeat the process again.

You can get a free excel “Christmas Budget Challenge” spreadsheet from http://www.my-wealth-plan.com/christmasbudget.zip. Use this spreadsheet as a template for your Christmas Budget,

This plan is very simple and surprisingly effective and you will be able to enjoy your next Christmas without the suffering the Christmas Giving Blues.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, homeschooling mom, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Planning Thanksgiving Dinner – Tips to Make Your Holiday Easy

thanksgiving dinnerPlanning Thanksgiving dinner and preparing it can be very stressful, especially if you have a large family or are expecting a number of guests. In order to make Thanksgiving more enjoyable for yourself as well as your guests, some advance planning and preparation will work wonders. Use these tips to make your holiday a stress-free, memorable occasion:

10 Days before Thanksgiving:

A week to 10 days before Thanksgiving, make your guest list. If there are any friends or family members you have not yet contacted, do so now to give them and yourself plenty of time to prepare. If any of your guests will be bringing a special dish, add it to your menu.

If you will be cooking turkey, decide upon fresh, frozen, or smoked. Make sure you have room in your refrigerator and oven. You should plan on one to one 1/2 pounds per person and even a bit larger if you want plenty of leftovers.

Deciding upon your final menu should be completed at least a week before the big day. Consider the number of people you will be entertaining and if you have children on your guest list, try to plan a couple of special dishes or treats especially for them.

The Week of Thanksgiving:

The week of Thanksgiving is the time to stock up on necessary items from the grocery store. You can make certain items in advance such as bread or rolls and freeze them until Thanksgiving morning. Also make sure you have supplies such a napkins, cups, etc.

The Days before Thanksgiving:

A couple of days prior to Thanksgiving you can prepare a few items in advance to save time on the big day.

Things like cranberry sauce or relish can be stored in your refrigerator for a few days. You may want to cut up onions, celery, and any like items and store them in plastic ware to save time on Thanksgiving morning.

Make sure you have everything on your shopping list in your kitchen at least 2-3 days before Thanksgiving morning.

If you have children, involve them in the planning. They can help organize games for the younger guests, assist with decorations, and can even help out in the kitchen if you desire.

If you have purchased a frozen turkey, take it out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator 3-5 days prior to cooking (depending on size) to give it plenty of time to thaw. If you will need to iron linens, etc., do so a couple of days before Thanksgiving to cut down on the amount of work you will have to do the night before the big day.

Thanksgiving Morning:

On Thanksgiving morning, make sure you have your thawed turkey stuffed (if necessary) and ready to place in the oven. Side dishes should be ready to cook or place in your oven and it would be a good idea to have desserts prepared the night before to save time and frustration on Thanksgiving Day. Any items you have frozen should be taken out of the freezer the night before so they can be heated easily.

With some advance planning and preparation, Thanksgiving can be a stress-free (almost) occasion and you will have plenty of time to enjoy the company of friends and family.

julianne headshotJulianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

How To Work While Your Kids Are Off From School

work at home picIf you are a parent with school-age children and also have a home business, it can be difficult to work while your children are on summer vacation from school.  The following are tips on finding ways to work around your children’s summer schedule.

If there are other families in your neighborhood with children of similar age to your children’s age, try organizing a babysitting swap.  Get together with the other parents and create a schedule where each family takes turns being the designated sitter.  Any of the other parents who need to run errands, work, etc., can drop their children off at the sitter’s house that day.

You may also want to find out if there are local day camps.  Unlike overnight camps, these camps allow you to drop your children off in the morning and pick them up in the evening.  They are usually filled with various learning activities, art, music, and drama. These activities will keep your children’s minds fresh during the summer, and you will get a few hours to work each day.

Your place of worship may also have some summer activities planned.  There may be a “Mom’s Day-Out Program” that allows parents to drop off their children for a few hours three days a week.  Volunteers in the congregation may teach the children a craft, read stories to them, or simply play with them.

You may also want to look into hiring a young teenager to come over and play with your children while you work on the computer in your office.  Since you are still in the house, you can feel safe knowing you are there in case of an emergency.  A young teen who may not have much babysitting experience will also charge less than an older teen.

Another option is to call the local high school or college before school gets out and let them know you are looking for an intern.  This can take the form of someone majoring in early childhood education to watch your children or you may want to hire a student interested in business, marketing, etc.  They can help you with your business tasks which will free up some of your time.  Normally, you do not pay interns.  They work in exchange for the experience.

You can also get your children involved with your business.  Depending on your children’s age, assign them tasks that they can easily complete.  This will help give them an understanding of business and increase their self esteem.  It will also enable you to spend time together as a family and still get work done.  Working around your kids’ summer vacation can definitely be hard, but you can find ways to do it.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

How a Positive Attitude Can Help Your Business

positiveattitudepicDeveloping a positive attitude will help you grow your business and achieve success. Everyone has times when things in their business do not go as planned. If you have a positive attitude, you will be able to pass those obstacles and get back on track. When you have a positive attitude, you will feel more confident in yourself and your business abilities.

You will also notice that finding clients may become an easier task. When you display a positive attitude, others will react to that. They will want to hire you and recommend you to others.

A positive attitude can help other areas of your life as well, including your health. People who are generally optimistic have less heart disease. The following are some tips to help you develop a more positive attitude.

Spend Time with Positive People and Avoid Negative People

Attitudes are contagious. When you spend time with positive people, you will feel more positive. When you talk to a positive person, you will find yourself in a more positive place.

On the other hand, bad attitudes are contagious, too. You have probably heard the saying “misery loves company”. When you are around people that are constantly complaining, you will find things to complain about as well. Little things that you would normally shrug off will seem to bring your whole day down. You will feel drained of energy.

Once you lose your energy and motivation, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things. This can have negative implications on your business. Going through periods of negativity will be similar to spinning your wheels.

Be Nice To Others

Being nice to others will make you feel good about yourself and put a positive spin on your day. This doesn’t mean that you should let others take advantage of you.

Be Proactive

When you notice a problem coming up, do not wait until the last minute to solve it. Be proactive and think of a solution before the problem becomes serious. By keeping a step ahead of potential problems, you will be able to avoid setbacks.

Stay Organized & Practice Time Management

When you are organized you will be more efficient and able to get more things done. You will know what you want to accomplish each day; and will be able to spend the day working, rather than looking for your clients’ lost phone numbers or email addresses.

Consider Hiring a Coach

Many people are hiring coaches to help them achieve business success. A coach will help you decide what you want out of your business. They will help you set achievable goals and will also hold you accountable for your actions.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

 

Build Your Motivational Toolbox

There are days when working from home can be very challenging. You may be under a tight deadline and it seems that a new obstacle creeps up at every opportunity. Perhaps your business isn’t moving as fast as you had hoped and you’re ready to throw in the towel. Whatever has you ready to give up, don’t let it win. Instead, grab your motivational toolbox and get pumped up.

Your motivational toolbox is your secret weapon against stress and anxiety. These are the trainings, the audios, books, emails, or pictures you keep stashed in case of emergency. Your toolbox can be a digital arsenal stored on your computer or it can be an actual toolbox filled with tangible items.

Audio trainings are great to listen to for motivation. They are quite easy to find on the Internet as more and more people are embracing audio technology on their websites. Another benefit is that you can simply download the audio to your MP3 player and go for a walk, which will get your heart pumping and help lower your stress. There are many Internet Talk Radio programs to choose from.

Save the emails you receive from your clients that explain what a terrific job you performed for them. When you are having a bad day, take a moment to read through some of them. This will be a great confidence booster and get you ready to tackle your next project. If you have a mentor, save the emails that explain any hardships they went through and how they overcame them. You will see that everyone has “down” days and that pushing through them is the only way to get over them.

Looking at an inspiring picture or photo can also help stir up motivation. If you find a picture that inspires you, save it to your computer’s desktop. Perhaps it is a picture of an athlete winning a race or a completing a hike up a mountain. It could also be something personal, such as your high school graduation photo or a picture of one your grandparents in front of their first home.

Hand made cards or pictures that your children have created can also be a great motivator. You may not always feel confident, but in their eyes, you are the best at what you do.

There are many places on the Internet to find inspiring articles and motivational quotes. Reading these can help you find the inner strength you need to accomplish your goals. Everyone has different struggles and different situations, but you might come across the story of someone in a similar situation, or for that matter, someone in a worse situation. Reading about others who overcame their problems can help you think of solutions to your own problems.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

 

How Moms can Make Money Helping Other Moms

If it’s one thing moms can do it is stick together. Making life run smoothly with kids, home and career can be a tall order. Communicating with other moms helps to ease the stress. If you are looking for a business venture, why not make money helping moms just like yourself?

What will you offer to these moms? Well, your product is as close as your memory. Your expertise is the product you can market to moms everywhere. There are situations that you have encountered and overcome as a mom that other mothers are facing too. They could benefit from what you know to make their life a bit easier.

Packaging your Product – EBooks

Put your advice down on paper. You probably have a lot of good advice to offer but it won’t sound like much unless you can get it out of your brain and into a legible format. If you have a talent for writing this will be less of a challenge for you. Take a writing course to bone up on the finer points of writing outlines and organizing your thoughts on paper.

Your format for these organized thoughts is an eBook. Everyone has heard of them but might not know exactly what they are. An eBook is essentially a book in digital form. You can create and publish them yourself. For the work that you put into the project, you are greatly rewarded with pure profit.

The first consideration is the length of your eBook. A typical eBook can have as few as 70 pages or as many as 150. People will pay more for longer eBooks.

EBooks are popular media because they can be downloaded or printed in an instant. As soon as the payment is processed, the customer gains access to the eBook. No storage space other than what is on your computer or flash drive is needed to house the eBooks you buy.

Selling your EBooks

Consider your market – other moms. Let’s say that the subject of your eBook is getting a toddler through the terrible twos and threes. Fill your eBooks with information that moms want to know:

•    Tips for bedtime
•    Disciplinary tips
•    Going out in public
•    Dealing with mom stress
•    Testimonials
•    True life examples

All of these ideas can be used to flesh out your eBook. These same bullet points can be selling points for your eBook. When creating the eBook website page, use snippets from stories in the book, testimonials from others who have read the book and a partial list of chapters in the eBook as advertising on the page.

Condense chapters into enticing articles that you submit to article directories. Don’t give away too much because you want moms to buy your eBooks. Supply a link to your website in the resource box.

As a mom you can join online forums to share your helpful advice with other moms. Use a link to your eBook page in your signature line for easy access. As you develop a following on these forums, other members will visit your site and see your eBooks.

EBooks can be used to share information that you have learned as a mom with other moms. They are easy to create and with a marketing strategy, can bring large profit to your business.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.