Tag Archives: Office Products

Why Back to School Sales are Great for Direct Sellers

Depending on the supplies that you use for your direct sales business, back to school sales can be great for your business pocketbook.  You can get great deals on those products that you need year round.

Typically at this time of year I will pick up the following for my business:

Pens – A few boxes will go a long way, depending on how many people steal your pens

Paper – I try to use as little paper as possible, but sometimes it’s just easier

Stapler and staples – You probably don’t need this every year

Pencils – These always come in handy if your pens won’t work.  Can be particularly useful if you live in a colder climate where pens can freeze (great for using with mileage books)

Pencil Cases – When you buy pens and pencils, you need places to store them in.  This is especially true when doing parties where you are likely taking at least a dozen with you.  Also convenient for holding other items like business cards and calculators.

Notebooks – I keep one in my car for mileage and usually one in my party bag for notes to myself or to make notes for customers

Page protectors – These are great to put copies of specials in.

Duotangs – Folders with prongs in them.  If you like to give customers information to look at, this can be a great way to organize it.  Page protectors work great in here as the paper does not need to be replaced as often.

Flash drives – These have many names but they plug into your computer.  These are a great method for backing up data which you should be doing on a regular basis anyways.

Organizers – Back to school is a prime time to buy organizers and planners.  Students use them to track homework assignments and due dates but you can easily adapt them to your business needs.

Storage items – As back to school also means going off to school, you can find all sorts of storage solutions on sale.  This is a great way to get paperwork or inventory off the floor and into a system where you can find it later.

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Getting Ready for 2014

As you are wrapping up things for 2013, you can start getting items ready for the 2014 year.  Some tasks can be done in 15 minutes where some are a bit more time intensive.

Oh so much to do, to do today, tomorrow, the n...

Oh so much to do, to do today, tomorrow, the next day (Photo credit: Chapendra)


While you are sorting out all your paper work for 2013, start your folders and fields for 2014.  This is a great time to do them as you know what did and did not work for you and you can make modifications or changes at this time.  If you wait until March, you may have forgotten what you wanted to change and spend another year not being as productive as you could be.

Reorganize Your Space

Chances are during the year, you haven’t had the time to keep your space neat and tidy.  Take this time to do that.  Find those shelving units you bought but never put together, the pen organizer that is still in the bag and put all the paper away.  Put the expired books in a cabinet to be used for trade shows or other events.

Restock Your Packages

If you have gone through a lot of hostess and recruit packages, start making new ones.  Depending on the timing of your company, you may not be able to put in catalogues but you can get everything else ready.

Prepare Mail-outs

If you do a mail out in the New Year with new catalogues, you can also get these ready while you wait.  Find envelopes and get the addresses onto them.  Print out any paperwork that you put into the envelope and put it in them.  Throw some business cards into the envelope or anything else that needs to go in that you have already.

Read Company Information

If you have gotten behind on some of the information relating to your company, take this time to get caught up.  I know I don’t always read the company emails that come out (the general information ones) so now is a good time to do it.  You never know what questions may get answered when you do this.

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What paperwork do I need at a direct sales party?


Image by luxomedia via Flickr

When it comes to doing a direct sales party or event and the paperwork I bring along, sometimes I feel that I am hauling an entire desk!  But over time, I have learnt to streamline and do not bring nearly as much as I used to.  I can carry it all in one bag that would be about the size of a grocery bag which allows me to bring in my demo products and paper in one trip.

This is what I carry:

  • Pencil Case – Pens, pencils, business cards, name tag, calculator
  • Envelopes – 3 Hostess packages, 3 recruit packages, 3 fundraiser packages
  • 3 catalogues
  • Order forms
  • Folder to collect paper in
  • Preference sheets
  • Notepaper

This is it.  It sounds like a lot, but when it is packed up, it is not so bad.  Now is a great time to stock up on things with the back to school specials on!  I picked up a pretty folder for a buck and I have seen pencil cases and staplers on sale as well.  Don’t forget the pens!

Did I miss one of your essentials?  Share it here!

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Get the Word Out: Fun Ways to Advertise Your New Business

One of the biggest challenges new businesses owners have is just getting the initial name recognition. One of the best ways to get people to remember the name of your business is to make sure they see your name as much as possible. Research has shown the human brain needs repetition to remember. You can use this piece of knowledge to your advantage by making sure you creatively marketing your business name in as many prominent places as possible.  

A great way to spread name recognition is through promotional marketing. By partnering with a professional printer, you can create plenty of products with your business name. Compiled here is a list of some of the most fun ways to advertise your business using promotional products:

Window clings

Window clings are great exposure, especially on vehicles. Just think about your own experience, when you are following a car on the road, do you read their window clings? Of course you do. You can’t help it. If you have lots of cars riding around with window clings of your business, people will recognize the name. Name recognition is half the battle.


Banners are a classic, but can be used in fun and inventive ways. For example, spice up your store front with a different banner for each holiday. You can also use banners as advertisements. Contact a local youth sports league and ask to sponsor them in exchange for hanging your banner in their gym or field.

Business cards

Just because business cards have been around for a long time does not mean they have to be boring. It’s still necessary to always carry business cards to present to anyone who might be interested in your business. Make your stand out by using fresh graphics. Another way to stand out is to incorporate a catch phrase from your business onto the card. It gives people a fun way to remember you against all the other similar cards they see.


A well made flyer can really capture your target audiences attention. Make sure the flyer contains all the key information and a way to contact your business if the reader needs more. To grab attention, find a striking image related to your business or the event you would like to promote. For example, do you have a special sale going on for the rest of the week? Find an image of the item on sale and make that the focus of your flyer.

Author Bio: Annette Hazard is a blogger that is promoting booklet printing services. She enjoys writing about business related issues and is also an avid cyclist and traveler.

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11 Quick and Easy Ways to Advertise your Direct Sales Business

Advertising your business does not have to be an expensive and drawn out affair.  Here are some ideas that do not require a lot of time or effort but will help you get your name out there.

Business Cards – These are a necessity.  There are a lot of different places to purchase cards.

Newspaper – This is one you have to be careful with.  Many ads charge by the word so it can be easy to get carried away and have an expensive advertisement.  Choose carefully.

Have an Open House – Invite everyone you know to come check it out.  Make it casual, come and go and let people just check things out.  No pressure.

Announcement – Send a letter or announcement to everyone you know that you have started this business.  Maybe it could go out with the invitations to the open house!

Fundraiser – If your company offers a fundraiser program, offer to do one for a group or organization you are involved in.  If they do not offer one, create your own using the hostess program.

Flyers – See where you can place flyers and put them up.  Make sure you go by once in a while to see if a new one needs to be put up.

Donations – Offer a donation of products in exchange for advertising.  You could talk to the local radio station, your favourite charity or anywhere else you can think of.

Schools – If you have children, visit their school and see if you can ut flyers or samples out for the teachers.

Offices – Visit offices and see if you can leave them a basket of product for a week to try out.  Offer to come back and have a lunch time ordering session if anyone is interested or has questions.

Website/Blog/Facebook – If your company does not offer a website, you will want to create one (check any company rules first).  If they offer one, get it setup!

Newsletter – Start collecting address for a newsletter.  Offer specials that are only for those who are signed up on this list.

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Where all should I put my contact information?

Short answer, everywhere you can!

Catalogues – I have a sticker that I put on the back of my catalogues with my name, phone number, email address and website.  I want people to contact me in whatever method they are most comfortable with.

Products – I put a small re-order label on all my products.  It has my name, phone number and email.  There isn’t much more room.  They are return address labels that I buy from Staples and they come 80 to a page.

Business Cards – This is a no brainer, all of the above information is on my cards as well.  I always put a few into each customer’s bag, just in case.  You never know when they might pass your card onto someone else.

Care Instructions – With my business, I give my customers care instructions for their product.  My contact information is on there as well.  I use one of the same stickers I use for my catalogues.

Invoices – I have a stamp with my name and phone number on it that I will stamp onto the customers copy.  I have also been known to just staple a business card on instead as that has more complete information on it.  Either method works but it’s about getting the information on there.

As you can see, you can put your information everywhere, and I fully advise you to.  I bought some product from a rep a while ago and I want to buy more, but she did not put her contact information on the products nor did she give me a business card so I have not been able to find her.

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Office Supplies

Office supplies of blue

Image by Lady-bug via Flickr

I don’t know about you, but I have a thing for office supplies – I love them, especially pens!  But a person needs more than just pens to keep their office and business running smoothly and productive.   If you are just starting out or you have been in this for a while, but are trying to get organized, here are some basics you will need for your office.

Holders – I have one for all those pretty pens.  I also keep my box cutter in it with the blade covered.  If you don’t have pens floating around your house, you may need to purchase some.

Paperclips – These are great for temporarily keeping things together.  You can buy something nice to put them in, but if you are trying to save money, re-use something you already have.  I use a pill bottle.

Stapler and staples – Great for keeping things together once they are ready to be filed.  I also take mine to my parties and staple my business cards onto the receipt.

Folders/Envelopes – Use for storing various papers from bookkeeping or other paper you need to keep organized.  These also work great for creating hostess and recruit packages.

Organizers – I mentioned last week that I have a three tier sorter that I use for my paperwork before I have dealt with it.  This is not something you need but something that may come in handy.  I believe I paid 3 bucks a tier at the dollar store.

Other items you may want – Binders, A marker, Rubber bands.

Some of these items are great to buy at your dollar store, but sometimes, you can actually get a better deal elsewhere.  For instance, I got my envelopes at Costco for about $10 which makes them 5 cents each.  At the dollar store, you get 10 for $1, which makes them 10 cents each.

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Helping your Recruit while they Wait for their Kit

Photograph of a rolltop writing desk and surro...

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While it can be very exciting for you when you have someone sign up, it’s also exciting for them.  They are likely very hyped up and ready to go, but they do not have their kit so they are a bit stalled.  If you want, you can lend them your kit so they can have a starter party before they get theirs, but regardless, there are some other things they should do when first starting out.

Training Calls – Stay in touch with your recruit – not only while they wait for their kit, but for the first few weeks while they get going.  Find out the best way to contact them and the best times.

Schedule 4 Parties – You should get them to schedule as many parties are they can in the first 30 days.  This helps them get their business going well; they will likely meet any start up goals and programs your company may offer.

Learn the Website – One of the most important things for your recruit is to get familiar with the website where all the demonstrator information is.  Make sure they can get signed in when they sign up and have them play around.  Entering a fake order to see how the order system works, download the training information, etc.  A person can spend a lot of time on this.

Promotional Materials – Order business cards and other supplies from places such as Vistaprint or through a company store.  Some sponsors will buy their recruits their first set of business cards when they sign up or when they make a certain sales level.

Learn the Product – of course, you have to learn the product you will be presenting.  You do not have to be perfect at your party.  Make cue cards if you feel that you will forget some of the details.  Learn about products that will be in your kit as well as items that you may not have but people might ask about.

Observe a Party – Invite your recruit to come to one of your parties and observe.  If this is not possible due to distance or timing, see if you can find someone else that they can shadow.  You may prefer to get together 1 on 1 and have a practice party instead.

Banking – While it’s exciting to get started, there are some practical things such as banking that have to be thought about.  It is best to open a separate bank account and get a separate credit card as well that is for your business only.  If you are using your personal accounts, you may find it gets confusing.  It also is not a good idea for tax purposes to combine.  If you cannot get a credit card, you may want to look into a prepaid credit card instead.

Office Supplies – Another practical consideration is how you are going to organize your paperwork.  It is very easy to let this get out of hand and before you know it, you have a stack of paper that you just keep running away from.  Getting a bunch of envelopes or file folders can be a great option and then you can sort things by month or by party or whatever method.   Offer your recruit a few ideas as to how to file and what works for you.

Do you have some other ideas as to what you can help your new recruit with while they wait?

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