Monday, December 3, 2007

Plan “B”…

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Depending on what part of the country you are reading our tips from, your family, like ours got a big HELLO from Father Winter this past weekend. Despite the fact that the calendar has yet to officially declare the winter solstice, the ice, snow and high winds were a jolt into the reality of what lies ahead in the months to come.

So, what is your plan B? If you live in Hawaii, Florida or Arizona - this may be a non-issue for you. But for those of us in the rest of the country, winter weather is a reality and it can cause all kinds of havoc in our home businesses - in particular our party calendars. When driving gets difficult, people cancel parties and cancelled parties can mean lost income - that is unless your backup plan is in place.

At this point, January and February are just a few weeks away - so getting dates on the calendar for the chilly months ahead needs to be a priority. Keep the following strategies in mind:

Overbook your calendar. This will help with any inclement weather cancellations and the worst that will happen if all the parties hold is that you have a solid base for your 2008 calendar.

Have a healthy smattering of catalog parties running and turn any cancelled parties into catalog parties. Hit those phones - be sure your hostess and her guests are excited and educated about the products you are offering in the winter months.

Don't waste an evening when a party cancels. If your family wasn't expecting you home that evening anyway - use it as a gift to touch base with those harder to reach customers that aren't always available during the day. Remember, if you couldn't get out on the roads, chances are they will be home too!

Work closely with your hostesses to be sure that the parties that hold have great attendance! After the holidays, general rule of thumb is that she will need to invite at least triple the number of guests she would like in attendance. Offer incentives if guests bring a friend or TWO. Coach your hostess to help her guests think of people they might bring along.

Ask for HELP! As obvious as it may seem, ask your hostess to be sure there is a clear path shoveled for you to get into the house with your samples. Also, don't be shy about asking for help carrying your products in the house. This should be a normal part of your hostess coaching calls!

Stay positive! Despite the cold, don't complain - especially to your hostess. Have FUN, so that she will be open minded to joining the business with you!

Remember, January and February are a great time to gather together all the friends and relatives that hostesses didn't get a chance to see over the holidays. That is a GREAT reason to host a party in the winter months. In fact, YOU may want to do the same.

Be INTENTIAL as you set your goals for 2008. Strong business activity in the first months of the year sets the stage for success!

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