Learn from this successful WAHM and create your own success. From helpful articles to creative tips, we have something for everyone!



Find Articles for building a better business, Sales and Specials, from fellow WAHMs, Party tips, Fundraisers, Product Reviews, Advertising, WAHM Tips, Recipes, and so much, much more! Take a moment to visit some of our favorite links before you leave. Don't forget to leave your comments and interact with others. Enjoy!

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

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

But it's just not working!

I posted a similar article in January 2008. I am revisiting that article with some added info and updates.

The most common thing I hear from WAHMs who can't seem to get their business off the ground is "but it's not working." I have to ask, why is it not working? What have you done? When you say you are working your business, what does that mean?

Write down what you have done. List everything including who you have told. You will end up seeing you aren't doing as much as you thought. It could be poor ad writing. You ad should be exciting, informative, leaves them wanting more. Should have a call to action - Hurry! Limited time! 1 day left! Don't miss out! Your ad should not be over written with big words or too long. Your reader will become bored. Have someone read your ad and give you their thoughts. Look for those who will be unbiased rather than friends who will compliment and support you not matter what. Sadly friends praise you when they should be telling you what is wrong. Then again they may not even know.

List your goals. Start with short term goals. Be realistic. You don't want to be able to buy a brand new house in 1 month but maybe you would like to pay for the light bill. Maybe your goal is to make senior consultant. What will it take to get there? Once you know the direction you are heading, follow it. If you wander aimlessly you will get nowhere. Have a direction.

Advertising in the wrong areas (ex. advertising beef jerky on a jean site) is a big one. You can't very well sell a product if you aren't selling it to people who need it. Know your market. You can't effectively sell without knowing who you are selling to. Know this before you set out on a marketing campaign.

Nobody knows about your business. You sent out an email to everyone you know about your business but did anyone read it? Follow up. Hold a contest. Invite guests to an open house where you have the chance to talk to your customers one on one. Offer a scavenger hunt where completed hunts earn a special discount or a raffle at the end to win product. Get those customers reading your ads and visiting your site.

Your are not showing how excited you are. Have you ever come across a cashier or waitress that was less than pleasant? Did that make you want to return or did you complain about how rude or cold they were? How about a home party where the consultant was dull and not very exciting. Did you buy anything? If you aren't excited, you can't expect your customer to be excited. Even on your worst days, smile. If you smile it will carry through into how you talk about your product and your business. Excitement creates more excitement in others. Excited people buy. Get them excited.

Maybe people are turned off when they ask for one thing and you don't give it to them. Nothing is worse than a consultant or representative who is not willing to work with you but expects you to buy from them. If you can't give what they ask, offer options. Just because you don't have exactly what they want doesn't mean they don't want to buy. Maybe you have an option they never thought about before. Introduce them to it.

Someone asks for a brochure, are you handing them one? Or are you pushing them off for a week because you are out? Are you sending them to a website instead because "you don't have catalogs?" Being out of catalogs or brochures are fine but make sure if you send them to a website, you are not brushing them off. Let them know you gave your last one away and you have more coming. In the meantime you have a website they can look over until the catalog or brochure arrives. Get an address or something and get them a brochure or catalog. Do not leave this customer hanging. Always follow through. Never tell them you don't have any and they have to look at a website. They don't have to look at anything and usually won't when you tell them to.

They are looking for a new company and ask for a sample. Are you willing to give them one? If not, why? Invest in samples if your company offers them. Maybe you can find a better way to spend $25 but that $25 investment today can turn into $100 in orders later. Never leave a customer empty handed no matter the reason for no samples. Give them something even if just a piece of paper with your info and make sure you get theirs. Follow up with any customer who you give samples to. Be ready and willing to answer questions. Make them remember it was you who gave them samples. Never ever tell them you will only give them samples if they are truly serious because samples are expensive. Talk about a turn off. You just implied you care more about the cost of a sample then their business. You just made them feel of no value to you. That is not the impression you want to leave a customer with.

You have told everyone about your business and are sure they know it's you with the new candles. Now telling everyone about your business is the first step but it's far from the final step. People know about it but now they need a reason to buy. Have you given them one? Just telling someone about your business doesn't make them buy. In the same turn today may be a "no" but tomorrow may be a "yes". Everything takes work. There is no such thing as a WAHM business where you can pay the bills without getting out there and working. Building locally is easier than building online but you have to work your business. It can happen but YOU need to make it happen.

Close the deal. When a customer asks about a product, LISTEN to them. Know what they are wanting and needing. Show them options then ask them help them place an order. You can end off with something like "I can help you order that now. How many would you like?" or "we have blue and pink, which color would you like me to order for you?". Don't send them to your site and wait for them to order. Follow through and close the sale. Many times this alone is why it is "not working". You left the customer to fend for themselves and they went elsewhere.

Tell everyone about your business. They don't know if you don't tell. Put your business link into your email signature. Make sure when you add your link, add http:// before your website. Example http://www.yourwebsite.com This makes your link live and clickable. If it's clickable, people are more likely to click on it and see what you offer. If you need to add html to make a link live use this code:

Next, find others who need what you offer. Find message boards related to your market. If your market is woman, find message boards related to mothers, WAHM, SAHM, career moms, women, etc. You can even join message boards of interest to you. Like scrapbooks? Join a scrapbook community. If you are interested, you will socialize and get to know others. Message boards are great because you get to know your market. DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT just join message boards to advertise. If this is all you do, you just won a ticket to ignore land.

Next look for groups dedicated to to your market. Yahoo! and MSN are filled with these groups.
Join Profile sites such as Cafemom.com Facebook. While MySpace is great for friends and such, it's lousy for making money so avoid the profile that are nothing but a full page ad. They will be useless and people will avoid it because they will think you are nothing but a spam bot. Does that mean don't advertise there? Absolutely not just be realistic about your expectations and careful how you advertise. Social networks are an untapped venue because they are used incorrectly to advertise. These are social networks so socialize. Toss in the occasional ad and utilize the blog function.

Buy ad space. Look for websites that are related to what you offer. Ad space can be as little as $1 per month to $25 per month. Join banner exchanges. Get your business banner in rotation. If you don't have banners to promote your business, make one or have one made for you. These are relatively inexpensive. Free always sounds better but you can't do free forever. Buy prime advertising on high PageRank sites. You can check a sites page rank at http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php. 1 is the lowest with 10 being the highest. The higher the PageRank the higher the ad fees. Also keep in mind PageRank does not update all the time. Just because a site shows a low PageRank does not mean they are worthless. Use PageRank as a guide not a rule.

Join traffic exchanges. Get your name out there. Know the traffic exchange you join as some are filled with nothing more than get rich schemes. Join 1 or 2 relate to your target market.

Write blogs about your products/service, how to use them, tips and tricks, about business, etc. Show you are knowledgeable about your product and field of choice. People buy from professionals who are successful and knowledgeable. Why? Because they know you will be around.

When talking about your business, talk success. Do not talk about low sales. Do not talk about not being able to pay the bills. Here is why; if you do not seem successful, you will probably be out of business in a short amount of time. Why buy from you if they aren't sure you will be around when they need you again? If you come off successful you appear reliable. This isn't lying. This is showing your success. Maybe this months success was 1 $5 sale. A sale is a sale. Maybe you didn't get a sale but you handed out 100 fliers. That is successful. So next time asks you "how are you" or "how are things going" you respond "Great! I made a sale yesterday" or "I passed out (such and such amount of) business cards and I am so excited".

Hold an online party. These are very simple and a great way to get your name out there. You will commonly find vendor parties held with several at once and you reserve 30 minute time slots to present your product/service. These run anywhere from $1- $5 and upwards for special dates such as Christmas. You can also reserve rooms for longer periods to present during an exclusive party. Exclusive rentals range from $5- $25 for any where from 2 hours to all day. This is a better option as you are not rushed and you can spend time with your customers. Both get your name out there.

Have you submitted your website to search engines? While that thought sounds expensive, you can submit your site for free! It just takes a little searching.
Here are ones I use regularly:

Network your heart out. Everybody knows someone who knows someone who can get you what you need. That is called networking. Use those people around you to get your name out. Keep an ear open. Someone may know someone who needs exactly what you have to offer. Are you in the PTA, in the auxiliary of a woman's club, a soccer mom, etc? You can network. Contact your local Small Business Administration. Ask about business expos. Contact your Chamber of Commerce. Offer opportunity brochures for new residents needing to find work. Maybe you sell Tupperware. Offer welcome baskets through the Chamber of Commerce for new residents of the city. Get involved with charities. Not only are you doing something good to help others, you are getting your name out there. Offer a part of your sales or commissions to charity. Join the board of the local charity. This is also another great way to network.

These are only a few ways to get off and running. Just remember you need to get out there and network and show people they need you. If one thing doesn't work, try something else until it does. Don't just try something once though. Try it several times and give it a real shot. Your business will only build and thrive based on your hard work and is nobody's responsibility but your own. Do your research, seek out new and creative ways to get your name and business out there. Don't hide. The more you hide, the less you are seen. Make yourself known. Nothing is easy but it does get easier. There is no such thing as quick and fast sales without hard work. if that is the line you are sold, it probably isn't true.

While I am by no means an expert, I have been through the ups and downs of building a home business and continue to build even now. It never ends no matter what steps you have taken. You need to give your business time every day even if only 30 minutes. You only get what you give. If you only have 10 minutes a week, what return do you expect to get back?
There is no excuse in success but failure is full of them. The only things holding you back are what you are not willing to do for your business. Don't give up after the first no. The 11th try may be your yes.

Now get out there and work!

Olivia Vidal
© 2009


© 2008-2010 Liv's WAHM Blog™ All Rights Reserved