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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Keep it simple

With the economy down and many scrambling to make extra money, I am seeing more and more join a large amount of companies. Furthermore I see more and more build free websites. While the idea sounds right there is still a problem. Nothing is unique and memorable.

With everyone building websites from family sites to businesses to gripe sites, you have to stand out.

First thing to do is look at how many businesses you represent. Do you know all there is about the products for each business? If I ask you for something specific, how many times will you need to go search the business sites to see if it is available? If you have to do it, you have too many.

The idea behind most sites with a number of companies listed is to offer a variety of products to all walks of life. Sounds easy but you are not Walmart. Even then they have multiple managers that handle different aspects of the business.

Now let me ask you this, you represent 10 companies so how much have you made with those 10 companies in the past 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year? If you have any investment in those companies you signed up for, have you made enough to cover the investment?

We see others with a list that never ends and think wow what a great idea. They must be doing well. Reality if very few do. If you insist on representing several companies here is a few tips.

1) Do your research. Know what the market is for your product. Post a few surveys to see what others think.

2) Choose a business name. Before you are set on this name do a simple search to make sure nobody else is using that name. You don't want to infringe on any copyrights or trademarks. Stand out.

3) Build a website with a reputable host. Stay away from free sites. Problem is they all look the same, you are limited in creativity. There are too many ads added to your site that will take customers away. Taking customers away from your site is the last thing you want to happen.

4) Buy a domain name that is easy to remember. Avoid names that are a half mile long.

5) Choose companies that allow you to place products on your own site and allow drop shipping. Some require wholesale but not all.

6) Place individual products on your site rather than banners that redirect to another site. Keep those customers on your site.

7) Keep your home site simple. Do not put product purchases on the home page. The home page should always be dedicated to introducing your business and products you offer.

8) Keep your site neat and organized. Avoid useless banners, glitter graphics, and flying objects on your site. Not only are they distracting but there are still many on dial up and these pages are slow to load. The longer they take to load the more likely someone is to go away from your site for a site that loads faster.

9) Post your store policies including shipping times, refund policy, payment policy.

10) Make your contact information easily accessible. If you can't be found, customers will not buy from you no matter how wonderful your products.

11) You do not have to list every single product offered by the companies you represent. Be selective. Select your favorites. Do not offer something you do not like or would not use yourself.

12) Like any business offer a sale from time to time. Yes this means giving up part of your commission but is no different than a business with inventory giving up profit. It is the same thing just worded differently.

13) When a purchase is made, send the customer a receipt. Make a simple template to fill in the blanks.

No matter what you decide treat this as a real business not just a consultant. Don't take on more than you can handle even if you see another do that same. It is hard work and certainly not a 2 hour a day job. Take charge and take responsibility for your business and its products. Letting someone else take responsibility for your customers will not keep those customers coming back.

If you are going to take on a website, don't just post your link on a few groups and social networks expecting sales. It is not that simple. Hold online parties, join groups of interest and build relationships. Build those downlines and hold at minimum of 1 monthly meeting. This keeps you in touch with your recruits, their needs, their strengths and weaknesses. Hold contests.

Order those business cards. While those free ones you can get from certain companies sound great, it is greater to spend a little extra and get high quality cards. This is your image you are putting out there. Do you really want your image to be frugal? You need to present the most professional appearance possible. And never I mean never print your own business cards on standard paper. That is the worst thing you can do for your business. If you must print your own materials, print half page flyers to pass out. Color is best as these stand out. Take a few extra dollars and print on quality paper at the local printer.

Remember your business success is only limited to what you are willing to do.

Olivia Vidal
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