Editor’s Note: At What’s Up, USANA? we’re always looking for great resources to help you. Along those lines, we’re beginning a series of guest posts from members of the online community. These bloggers are experts in their fields and can be valuable assets to you from outside the USANA family.
First up in our series is Leigh Anne Wilkes, a home-based mom who recently retired after two decades working in the direct selling industry. She is the recipient of numerous national and regional awards in personal sales, recruiting and leader development. In addition to working in direct sales, Leigh Ann has run various types of home-based businesses, including selling crafts and teaching children’s sewing classes. Over the past six years, Leigh Ann has been sharing her belief that women can incorporate all of their interests, goals and ambitions into a balanced life through her blog, Your Homebased Mom.
In this post, Leigh Anne shares her formula for building a successful home-based business:
I had the blessing of spending 20 years in the direct sales industry. When I began my business, I had three small children and added a fourth to the mix a few years into my business. During those years I was able to maintain my first priority, which was my family.
The most important decision I ever made about my home-based business was to treat it like a business. During those 20 years, I had the privilege of leading a team of more than 700 people (mainly women). The biggest complaint I got was “I’m not making any money!” To that I would respond, “A hobby costs you money and a business makes you money, which do you want?”
If you want a business (something that makes you money) you have to treat it like a business and that means having a business plan — a formula for success. Today I’d like to share with you the formula for success that I used for 20 years. This formula includes three things: Time, Action and Commitment.
Time: How many hours a week are you going to work your business?
You can work your business full time or part time but not in your spare time. Who has spare time?
I truly believe that you can build a successful direct sales business on 10 hours a week. The key is that those 10 hours are spent in the most important part of your business, what author Richard Carlson calls “the critical inch.”
The critical inch includes 3 things:
- Showing the product
- Sharing the business opportunity
- Following up
If you have a limited amount of time for something, the worst thing you can do is to focus on the wrong parts of your business. I did not feel, even as a young mom that finding one to two hours a day to spend on my business was beyond my reach. I often took the Thomas English Muffin approach and worked my business in the “nooks and crannies of life.” I would get up early, go to bed late, work during nap times and yes, even hire a baby sitter for a few hours a week.
Action: How many home events or presentations are you going to do each month?
My goal was always four home parties a month. For you, it may be getting yourself in front of a group of people or just one person. I felt that an average of at least one event a week was necessary to build a business. The important thing is that you are getting yourself in front of people, that you are opening your mouth and that you are sharing your product and opportunity.
The most important things for your business happen when you are in front of people:
- Exposure to new customers
- Increased sales
- Schedule more events
Basically, you can’t succeed without them!!
Commitment: Do something for your business every day!
From the very beginning of my business I made a commitment to always do one thing for my business every day. I remember the co-founder of our company saying,
“It is the day to day faithfulness that will make you successful.”
I took that to heart and made the commitment.
Some days that one thing was making a presentation, some days it was making a phone call or two, and then there were those days that all I could manage was filing away some paper work. But I was doing something, and I was keeping my business in front of me on a daily basis. It is just like the gym. You can’t go to the gym and work out really hard once a month and expect to see results. Those results come when we do a little bit every day and are consistent.
So it comes down to three things Time — Action — Committment. For me that translated into my Success Formula of 10-4-1. I would spend 10 hours a week, four events a month and one thing everyday. Fill in your own numbers, it is your business after all, and come up with your own Success Formula!
Leigh Anne Wilkes is a wife of 30 years, and a mother of four. She and her husband are adjusting to the life of an empty nest, She uses her vision, creativity, and time management skills to inspire women to create the life they want while discovering the pretty and delicious in life at her blog Your Homebased Mom. Leigh Anne’s posts can also be found on the popular blogging sites Today’s Mama and BlogHer.
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