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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

Keeping your eye on the goal

In your business, whether a consultant or owner, you need to always have your eye on your goals. Without goals you have no direction. Goals are vital to your success. You cannot succeed if you don't know what the means and have a plan of action to get there.

The competition for business is heating up especially in this economy. The advances in technology, ease of communication, and increasing expectations from customers when combined make the marketplace more competitive than ever. In this day it is crucial for businesses to be proactive about creating their future. Without this, things happen without your control and usually for the bad.

It sounds simple enough, but most consultants and businesses don’t set goals ever. The idea of setting goals can feel intimidating if you don’t know where to start. The process is not difficult and can be very simple but there is a process. You may already have an idea but haven't gone any further.

There are 3 steps in the goal setting process:
* Your goals - what you want to achieve
* Actions needed to achieve your goals
* Review your goals

Sounds simple right? Of course it does. But that is also why you probably haven't taken the time to do this. You have it in mind what your goal is so why bother writing it down? Because until you lay it all out it is a dream not a goal to work towards. Achieving goals doesn't just happen. You make them happen.

So what are your goals? You may have several "dreams" but we want goals right now. Financial freedom is not a goal. It is a dream. Making $1000 a month is a goal. This may spell financial freedom but when you get down to the nitty gritty and make it specific you have a certain level to reach - a goal. See the difference?

Now ask yourself this, what do you not like about where you are in your business? Why ask yourself this? You need to know what you do not like so you know what you need to improve. This may be a long list and that is OK. When you are done with your list I want you to list your top 3. These are the most negative when it comes to impacting your business. Be specific. This is your list of goals. You will work on the other goals but lets concentrate on your top 3 right now.

Next I want you to write down all that you have not been doing that you could be doing. This list can include things that you don't know how to do, afraid to do, or simply just put off. This will become your actions to achieve your goals. Being a WAHM does not make this list easier or more flexible. You have to work and work towards what you want to achieve.

Last write down all that has been going well. What is working for your business. This should also include what is working well but can still be improved upon. Nothing is perfect in business so include all that you like. This is your review of your current business and will give you what you need in the future for reviewing.

You have identified your goals so match those to the actions you have listed. Don't list what you want to do. List what you need to do. If we only did what we want to do we may never get anywhere. Each goal will have more than one action and you may have more than 1 goal with the same set of actions. This is OK.

Keep your goals reachable and reasonable. It is OK to reach a bit but don't go too big. Making a million dollars your first year sounds great but this is not realistic. Separate your wishes from your wants. At the same time don't only go after goals you know you can do. You have to go beyond.

Each goal you have specified you will break down into steps based on your matched actions. There are steps. These steps will be broken down into time frames. Set short term, incremental goals. Short range goals are very important. Begin the first month and increase a little bit each month. Work up to larger goals. Never put yourself under huge pressure from the word go. This will only set you up for discouragement leading you to give up and quit.

Set your time frames in increments. Give yourself a chance to succeed. Never give up too early.

Every week you need revisit your goals and where you are in your progress. Each week list your progress and honestly. This is not the time to lie to yourself about what you have and have not done. There are also no excuses here. You either do or don't. Partner with someone who will help you stay on track. Stay on track. Always revisit your goals and be sure you are still after the same things.

Your confidence builds as you move along. If you fall down, get back up. If you miss a goal by its selected time frame, correct the problem and move on. Do not stop and dwell. Keep going with the same passion and determination as before. If this was your problem, fix it.

This process is a constant review and resetting of goals and actions based on actual progress. It is never over. You will also be adding to your list of goals as you complete goals. This is business not a to do list.

Make the time and set your business up for success. Put this on your schedule. Invest a few hours each week in the careful planning and goal setting for your business. Only then will you and your business reach it’s full and true potential.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Romano's Macaroni Grill "What's for Dinner" Gift Basket

Jersey Bites is giving away a "What's for Dinner" gift basket this week. As busy WAHMs we can all appreciate a great meal, easy to make, affordable, delicious, and our family will love. This giveaway is just what you need!

Visit Jersey Bites to learn more about Macaroni Grill's line of dinner kits and receive your chance to win one for free!


Balancing work and home

As a WAHM you may feel at times overwhelmed and either neglect the home or work. Its a balancing act that many just don't understand. You may feel as though you are the ring master at the circus but it doesn't have to be that way.

Full-time WAHMs often times work harder than those outside the home. Reason is work is easily accessible and you try to keep the home and children in order at the same time. A mother with an office job doesn't have to juggle the distractions of small children or the dishwasher malfunctioning. This is not to discount moms working outside of the house. Part-time WAHMs can run into the same time constraints as full-time WAHMs.

Some WAHMs begin working from home because they figure it will be easy to arrange then find it wasn't as easy as they thought. Its the dream. Stay home with your children so they aren't in day care and make a great living all while staying at home. That dream is quickly crushed when they see it is not as easy as they thought. In the beginning you work harder for the money than a traditional 9-5 job that pays you for the work you have done, not the sales you bring in. Working from home can mean flexibility but remember it is still work. It doesn't just happen by itself. Anyone who says differently is either lying or has been doing this so long it comes naturally and effortlessly.

We often see glorified WAHMs who have been doing their job for quite some time who do work less hours and have a good handle on the balancing act. It didn't start that way. It took a lot of trial and error trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. The best example of seeing what a WAHM goes through is look online for a video replay of Wife Swap Harris/Van Noy (season 1, episode 8) and see how a WAHM works a full 8 hour work day from home and take care of the family. That woman takes care of the kids and house all day while trying to fit in her medical transcription job in. She many times goes to bed at midnight and even has to work on the weekends. This is reality of a WAHM.

To balance work and home you will need to plan. Yes this means a schedule. You need to be disciplined to be able to work from home. If you are not motivated you will fail. That doesn't mean you can't learn to be disciplined and motivated. Before you cringe at the idea, be open to it.

A schedule does not mean strict by the book to the second planning of your entire day. All you are doing is organizing your day in blocks. If you are not used to a schedule, blocking is the best way to start. As you get used to it you get a bit more detailed. Every day does not have to be the same.

An example of schedule block:

8am - 930am: get kids ready for school, take kids to school or bus stop

930am-11am: housework

11am-1pm: work

1pm-3pm: grocery shop, run errands

3pm-5pm: kids home, snack, homework

5pm-7pm: prepare dinner, eat, family time

8pm-9pm: bath time, put kids to bed

9pm-10pm: quality time with spouse

10-11pm: lay out clothes for next day, finish work

11pm: bedtime

This may seem detailed and it is somewhat but this is not as detailed as you can get. This is just an idea of what your schedule may look like. It also may not include all you needs for a day.

You will notice some important things everyone must include in their schedule, spouse time. Everyone talks about there just is no time. Make time. This is your partner in life. You have to work together. Spouse time can be watching TV or a movie, talking, sharing a cup of tea, intimacy.

I suggest if you are thinking about becoming a WAHM, map out your day. What do you do and how long does it take. This will give you a good idea if you are able and willing to become a WAHM or if you need to rearrange your life, if possible. If you are not willing to work, you will not be successful at working from home.

When you first write a schedule of your day it may not be completely correct. It will have to be fine tuned when you see where you need more time and less time. It will always be a work in progress so don't feel anxious when you can't stick to it at first.

To work in more time dedicated to your business, work while the kids are doing their homework. If the kids make too much noise, make calls only during nap times or keep customer correspondence to email only. There is nothing more unprofessional than screaming kids in the background or you having to yell at them. Just don't do it and find a way to work around it. I have seen some moms put their younger kids in part time daycare to make a more productive day. This can be great for kids needing interaction with other kids but not old enough for preschool. if you don't want to do daycare, hire someone to come in and assist you - a nanny. This can be for 2-3 hours a day.

WAHM has the word work. You have to work. Do not push it aside and do it "later." Adhere to your schedule as much as you can. Putting it off won't get anything done. While you do have the flexibility to move things around do not brush off work.

With your weekly schedule make sure you take a day to just family. I also highly suggest you do something for yourself. I like to get a pedicure. It's relaxing, I get to interact with other adults, its inexpensive, and not time consuming. This happens every 2-3 weeks and well worth the cost. Let someone take care of you for once. This is a great way to do it.

Being a WAHM is hard work but very rewarding.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009


Please keep in mind the schedule is a simple example of how to schedule a day and does not reflect the actual work time you will be scheduling. To be successful you will be putting in far more time than 2 hours a day. It is also very basic because a consultant vs a business owner can be very very different in time put in. Both work hard but I can guarantee a business owner will work far more hours than someone who works asa consultant for a company.

Watch Your Language

In business we tend to use words that seem impressive. What ends up happening is we insult our customers intelligence. The bigger the word the more intimidating we become. If we intimidate our customer it creates an uncomfortable situation. That leads to fewer sales and a loss of customer loyalty.

When making the sale avoid the business jargon. You may understand it but that doesn't mean your customer will. You can however introduce a new term. Present the new word and explain what it means and why it is used. This way you are not insulting your customer and you retain customer loyalty.

When speaking to your customer explain it in terms anyone can understand. This is in no way demeaning your customer. I just means you are trying to ensure they understand. This also does not mean using little words that anyone 2 and up will know. Speak like an adult not an English major.

Slang is a big no no here. You can say something that is harmful, makes you appear less reliable, or terms that only the teen crowd will understand. Be confident and intelligent in your speaking while staying likable.

If nobody can understand what you are saying, they wont buy. If the directions are nothing but big words and appear high tech, why would the average person want to use it. This is not rocket science. Keep it simple.

The all-time no no that should not ever need to be discussed is curse words. Never use curse words when dealing with a client. While you may be fine with this in front of friends, you are trying to portray a professional appearance in front of your client. Nobody wants to deal with a potty mouth.

In speaking with customers watch your tone. This speaks volumes just like that right words do. If everything you say sounds like you are angry at the world, your customer will fear you and stop dealing with you. At the same time you speak too softly you are a push over. Push overs appear less confident and why should anyone buy from someone who isn't confident when they speak about a product. It devalues the product and makes it less desired. Don't become monotone either. It's boring and customers will lose interest quick. Why spend time with someone you are bored with.

The written word can be a tricky one to approach. The written word can be very difficult to understand the meaning behind. The way things are worded can make you appear angry, defensive, unreliable, and not knowledgeable. Be careful with this. Type with a smile. Most times this will come out in your typing. I know that sounds silly but it really does work. If you are smiling it is hard to come off angry.

Text language may be fine for the phone between friends but it has no place in correspondence with a customer. Ditch the text and Internet acronyms and replace them with understandable simplified terms that make you trust worthy and approachable.

Also watch how you respond to negative reactions. It is never appropriate to attack back even when you feel you or your business has been attacked. Never argue in public. It should always be private. If your customer starts this in private, simply ask they contact you at your chosen contact point, email or phone, and explain you will be better able to help them with a little more information. This also goes for arguing with someone not a customer such as defending a friend. Don't argue in public. Plain and simple.

Remember someone is always watching. What you say and how you say it can determine whether or not others will deal with you. Avoid making your customer uncomfortable whenever possible. Your customer wants to enjoy shopping. The more fun they have, the more they shop.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Increase Blog Traffic

Whether you are blogging to make money, personal, or to bring about awareness, you need readers. To gain a large following takes time and work. Get the ball rolling and bring in readers.

Here are a few simple ways to increase blog traffic.

1. Invite others to view and comment. This seems like a given but many forget to do so. Posting a new blog will not automatically generate traffic. If nobody knows your blog exists, nobody will visit.

2. Visit other blogs and comment. Visit blogs that interest you. Comment on blog postings. Others who visit your favorite blogs generally click on profiles and follow those that interest them. Open yourself up by drawing interest to yourself and getting involved.

3. Follow other blogs. Following other blogs allows you to get updates. This way you are notified of the newest posts. Most whom you follow will return the favor and follow you. This allows anyone visiting various pages and profiles will see your link and again visit and follow. Add a follow option on your blog to make it easier. It's hard to follow then they can't remember what your blog is and not everyone bookmarks pages.

4. Update your social network status with new blog posts and link. Don't just post you have a new blog post. You must include a link. This is the easiest way to update others about your blog. Use social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and the growing Ning sites. Every new blog, post a direct link to the post with your blog title.

5. Place your blog URL in your email signature. Every person who receives an email from you will see your link. Approximately 50% of email receivers will click on links in your signature. If you are willing to change it with each new blog or weekly with the basic topics of the week.

6. Join blogging communities. Their are various blog groups all over the Internet. There are dedicated groups on Cafemom and Facebook. Also check out Yahoo! groups, message boards, and websites dedicated to bloggers. There is more out there than your probably thought. Share and connect with your fellow blogger. A couple to try are themomblogs.com and blogcatalog.

7. The most important of all these is keep your blog up to date. If you only update your blog monthly, chances are you efforts to draw traffic will be worthless. Nobody wants to keep checking a blog that is not updated. This is especially important when you plan to make money blogging.

8. Use a ping service such as pingomatic.com. With each new blog, ping the search engines with this site.

9. Have a quality banner made and list on top 100 lists. People look at this and not just add. You can and will get traffic.

These are just a few of the basics and not a complete list. This list gets your started in bringing people to your blog. There are many factors that keep them there and keep them coming back. For more detailed information about blogging, visit our previous blog Blogging For Success.

Happy blogging!

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Buyer beware

Everyone wants to make money fast and will do almost anything to get it. In the end there is no fast money. As they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Money gurus selling you a book or software to make large amounts of money fast make their money selling you the product. If they made millions prior they did it because they worked years to build their business. Not because they just suddenly started employing the same techniques they are teaching. They didn't make instant money and neither will you.

If someone is not making good money doing what they are teaching, why are you taking advice from them? Never take money advice from anyone who can't make good money doing the same thing. Easy way to tell is if they teach you how to make good money then mention they are struggling with paying the rent, this is not the person you would be taking money advice from especially if they are charging for it. If they are just passing on what they just found, this is different.

Lately there are a lot of people selling you tips on making money using Google Adsense. Some are charging huge amounts of money. While this can generate good money, you need solid, consistent traffic to your site first. This takes time to establish a good following on places such as a blog. You need to provide solid information for your chosen blog topic not individual blog post. If your individual blog posts range in topic, how can you get a solid following? If your blog consists of coupon and savings you don't end up talking about how to repair a fence. That is not how you get a following. You can learn this on your own without paying someone and probably more solid information. Search out the lists of keywords that pay more if this is what you are interested in. Search out lists of topics least written about. This can usually be figured out with the Adsense list.

This takes me to the next one, blog writing. Everyone has an opinion about blogs. Seems the ones with the loudest opinion are ones who don't even have a blog. You know what they say - Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Write about what you love not what others think you should write about. Stay within a niche you love and can write about for years to come. Not because it will bring an income. The fastest way to fail is to work with something you are not interested in except the money.

Beware of buying into programs that are not designed for the WAHM. There are schemes promoted daily that say you can work right from home but you spend so much time on the phone or having to go out of the house, it is no longer the WAH business. If you are trying to stay at home with the kids you need to find programs that allow you to. Do your research.

Be careful when it comes to those selling you services that will "boost" your sales. I seen somewhere that someone was selling their services to create youtube videos for business promotion. Out of curiosity I clicked on their portfolio of videos and they are nothing but a few frames that move, some taken of computer screen with a PC cam, and music. They had no formal training in video production. Being I have I can tell you the do's and dont's. A 30 second video should be a commercial. It needs to tell you what the product is, why you need it, how to get it. These had absolutely no content and obviously amateur work. These are a complete and utter waste of money. Others will see them as cheap and click off as fast as they clicked on. And to boot they are charging $100 for these. I seen someone elsewhere making video shorts for $25 and they had far more content and had experience doing this. If you are going to spend good money on a product, make sure they have a solid background in the ability to create what you need. This includes those who make business cards and brochures. Last thing you need is someone who decided one day they were going to become a graphic artist and start making cheap business cards.

Another new development lately is press releases. Press releases have been around as long as newspapers but WAHM services doing this is newer ti seems. I have seen some amazing press releases as well as WAHMs who know who and where to send them. There are many that do not know how to write one, have a generic one that is just a fill in the blank type of write up, and only submit these to yahoo groups and message boards. That is fine but not far enough. These should be released to local newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, and so on Be cautious here. You don't want writers who just send a press release to anyone. They need to go to appropriate editors and editors who are accepting press releases and the type of press release you need sent. Just because they send them out to a wide variety does not make them reputable. Get references before hiring someone to handle your press release.

A long used method is blasting groups with ads. You can hire someone to submit an ad write up to several groups such as on Yahoo! for a specified amount. You may only pay $2.50 per add per 100 blasts but the problem is they are only with ad groups. On these ad groups everyone is doing the same thing, advertising. Nobody is reading. This is just a waste of good money. Make sure before you hire someone to do this they are part of groups that are interactive not just full of ads. Again get references.

High price does not mean quality. Don't pay $50 a month for a banner ad on a site that is not getting a large amount of unique visitors a month and quality repeat visitors. Not just hits. Hits are how many times a page has been visited. Unique visitors are brand new visitors. Before you pay this kind of money on a new site or a site you have never heard of, get proper stats from the site. Reputable companies have this information. Don't listen to expected stats. Expected stats are not a guarantee and should never be sold based on projections. There are highly advertised WAHM sites that are advertised more than just a small handful of sites and this does not mean bran new sites. You can spend less than that on advertising on sites such as Facebook if you want projected stats and they allow you to control your ad budget. These are targeted and you are only charged when someone clicks on the ad not per impressions. If you are going to pay the high dollar search the link where your ad will appear. How many pages is it showing up on? How many times have you seen this link advertised in other places than just a small few? Ask others how many times they have seen the website link. If you can't find it listed anywhere and nobody has seen it, why are you paying high dollar?

Before purchasing any service, shop around. Doing your research is not hard. Submit your question to a search engine. You will be surprised when it actually gives you proper answers. Just don't get sucked in because you haven't educated yourself. Get informed. Save your sanity and your wallet.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

WAHM Feature - Yvette Newman and Discovery Toys

On Sundays I try to share a WAHM and her business. This week I wanted to introduce you to Yvette Newman and her Discovery Toys business.

My name is Yvette Newman, and I would love to help you add educational toys, books, and games to your program. I am an educational consultant, with Discovery Toys, and our mission is to promote learning and discovery through hands-on PLAY. Our new spring/summer catalogs are here!! If you like catalogs let me know.

There are several ways in which you can add these products to your program:

Individual Purchase – you may order through me by viewing the catalog or

My website http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/esuite/home/yvettenewmann

Host a Party – you act as the hostess and plan a time for me to demonstrate the toys to a group of guests. You earn FREE TOYS depending on the size of the order.

Contact me mommywithlearningtoys@yahoo.com to sign up

Catalog Party – pass out the information and collect orders. This is similar to a demonstration party, but people don’t get to view the toys in person. OUR NEW Spring/Summer catalogs coming in from Discovery Toys if you would like one contact me at mommywithlearningtoys@yahoo.com. If you book a catalog or online party with me ,get one of our spring toys free when party is held.

Fundraiser – you will determine a specific need (i.e. new books, new games, etc.) and that will be the focus of our display. Parents and families may choose to purchase for themselves (which will go towards the party’s total) or they may donate their purchases to your facility.

Mini-Display – I will set up a display for your parents/families to view. There will be a limited order form, and all of the orders will contribute to your total.

Referrals – If someone places an outside order because of your referral, you will receive 10% off ANY item on your next purchase.

Contact me to book a party or for more information
Yvette Newman (985)643-3479 mommywithlearningtoys@yahoo.com

*article supplied by Yvette Newman

We've gone NING!

Liv's WAHM Blog has started a social network on ning.com. Come join us and learn how to build a successful business.

We are dedicated to teaching WAHMs how to build a successful business. We welcome all WAHMs and those wanting to become a WAHM. Learn how to market your business, online and offline networking tips, setting goals and reaching them.

Advertise, dedicated groups, share your blogs, network, learn, socialize.


WAHM Resource - The Mom Pack

We are a group of moms in business who work together to build our businesses. We invite you to join us in our mission:

To Support Our Mutual Goals of Success through an Innovative Free Advertising Partnership.

Membership to the Mom Pack™ is, and always will be, free. Members enjoy the following benefits:

  • Access to a nationwide database list for exchanging fillers.
  • Exchange flyers, coupons, samples, and more with other work at home moms and distribute them with your orders. When you exchange "fillers" with other members, you create your own Mom Packs (advertising packs) to pass out for free however you wish. Just think about getting your business all over the world for FREE by simply coordinating your exchanges!
  • Interactive Email lists for discussion, networking and business promotion - Give and receive business advice and form valuable partnerships with moms in business.
  • An Invite to our Private Members Only Lists for announcing sales, advertising opportunities and more.
  • An Invite to our extra Spin-off lists including a goal buddies group, a "talk about anything" chat group, a healthy moms list, an ebay sellers list and much more.
  • Get a wish granted or grant one of your own on our members only Wishes group. Click here for details. This one is a fun one!
  • Every October through January, we open a special Holiday Interactive List just for members to share non-advertised specials for our members to get their holiday shopping done and save some money!
  • Discounted Merchant Account of your very own to process credit cards without having to use a 3rd party high rate service. Offered as a special Mom Pack™ member discount through First Data. This is not an affiliate thing! We are recommending something that we are personally using ourselves.
  • Need a dependable web host? We also own and operate our own web servers. No need to worry every day whether your affiliate or reseller is going to be around the next day! We're moms too so we know the importance of server uptime. Hosting is the heart of your entire business! We offer special Mom Pack™ member discounts. Grab a coupon code!
  • A listing in our Mom 2 Mom Business Directory - Our directory allows Mom Packers to support one another in business.
  • Access to our Mom Pack™ Message Boards where you can meet and support each other through a variety of subjects. Boasting over 28,000 members.
  • Free use of our interactive chat room. We have a free online chat rooms setup for members' to use 24 hours a day. (1 room temporarily closed for maintenance)
  • Free printables! Lots of them!
  • Free Resource Center
  • Free listings for your contests - List your ongoing and time-limited contests. (Weekends Only) Note: All postings must have no requirement to signup to a mailing list to win.
  • An opportunity to join the Mom Pack™ Webring - Bring traffic to your website simply by placing a graphic on your website.
  • Participate in the Mom Pack™ banner rotation - Gain extra exposure for your business and brand your business by including your banner in our rotation. (Reopening soon)
  • Join us today! It's free! CLICK HERE Note: This is a very active list of members. Last check, we were at over 8,500 members interacting so it can get overwhelming quickly. But, don't worry. You can set your mail receiving preferences to whatever works best for you. Try us out. It's free. You'll need to wait for approval - we monitor everything for the safety of our members!
  • And... there will be more! We are constantly checking out great additions to add to our member benefits package.
I do not own, operate, or moderate the Mom Pack™ or its site. I am just sharing a useful tool for all WAHMs that I myself use and have used for several years now. To learn more about the Mom Pack™ go to http://themompack.com

Coach for success

You join a company to build a business. With that business you come to build a team. Now that you have a team, what do you do?

Educate, motivate, support.

Be the cheerleader. Cheer on all successes no matter how big or small. Recognition is a big key in team success. When a team member achieves something, show your appreciation with incentives, perks, and gifts. Also acknowledge the success publicly so that he/she feels recognized and appreciated. Post it on your team blog, business blog, business group. This can be the best booster to strive for further success.

I have a consultant who has a tough team. Low participation. She emails them all ever month at least once a month. No matter how little they participate. Little by little they are coming out of the woodwork and participating. Just because they are timid and want to stand back to see how things go, coach them anyways. Include them. This will entice them.

They are part of your team no matter what they do. It is your job as their team leader to coach them to success. This is why you earn commission on team sales. Its compensation for taking care of your team and assisting them as they succeed. They all deserve your time. Team members should never have to earn your time or gain so much in sales. You are to give each and every team member your time regardless until such a time comes they are no longer part of your team.

There are great individuals in great teams and the team leader's job is to appreciate that all team members bring something unique and valuable to the table. Every team member needs to know that they are important and contribute value to the team. This is regardless how significant the value is. All value is priceless. Treat it as such.

Many join a company but stand back to see how things run rather than jump in with both feet. It doesn't mean they aren't interested. They are adsorbing all that is put out there.and see how things run. They just do it in a different way than we expect.

You may have a super star among the quiet group. Don't let them smolder. Keep them motivated and wait for them to shine. It can happen when you least expect it. It may happen in an unexpected way. Quiet does not equal uninterested.

Build a website dedicated to your team. Post team news, recognize top performers, top supporters, new team members, hold contests. Hold training and team meetings. On one of the pages on your team site, put a chat room. Go to xat.com (personally recommend due to the fun nature), parachat.com, or addonchat.com, and get one for free. Free websites such as webs.com (formerly freewebs.com) are not just for creating a site for sales. Choose and use the features that work best such as the event calendar, discussion boards, blogs. Its about thinking outside the box.

If you want the best from your team members, it's vital that you give them what they need to perform well. Offer tips on getting those sales. Teach team members how to close a sale. Distribute articles to building and succeeding in their business. Create flyers and share them. You need to educate not expect they already know it all.

Keep your relationships open and honest when you are team building. You will encourage activities within your team. This will also mean that all of your team members as well as yourself accept positive as well as constructive feedback. Encourage feedback. When giving constructive feedback always follow a negative with a positive. With positive feedback stay positive. Don't throw in the "but". When you receive feedback, accept it without being defensive or angry no matter if the approach was angry.

Successful team building is not about recruiting perfect people. You as the team leader can make a huge difference to who you have already, by the actions and influences that you have yourself - and create a powerful team which can rise up and lead your business to much bigger things.

The quickest way to change behavior is to reinforce the effort initially, not the results. Profit follows performance, and performance follows effort. If team members put forth the effort you desire, they will create the results you want, and they need your on-the-spot coaching to adjust their performance to work more effectively.

Lead by example. Set the bar for where you expect your team to meet and exceed your success. You can't expect to build a solid successful team if you yourself can not reach a level of success others want to achieve. Put into motion all that you push. Whenever possible have a team member shadow you. Take them on recruiting meetings, home parties, fairs, etc. Hands on can be powerful. Some do better by watching and doing.

As a team leader, coaching is your number one job. This is not for when you have time or "feel like it." If you are too busy or unable to provide the tools to your team, you need to rethink building a team. Never build a team right off. Learn your company, your products, your field, your competition.

As a team leader you must know your team thoroughly. You must know the strengths and weaknesses of each member of your team. A team leader has to work with the team that they have recruited. Each sales person has certain strengths and weaknesses. Capitalize on those strengths. Utilize previous job experience. Know among the team members who works well with who. Pair them. Use your experienced team members to mentor new team members. Ultimately you want them to perform better and having a coherently working team is always good to achieve the sales goals of the individual and the organization.

As a team leader you can be the friend, adviser, and guide of your team. Encourage them to open up with you and discuss their personal matters with you on a one-on-one basis. Try to provide friendly shoulder when they need it. Offer solutions. Encourage them to keep moving forward. Knowing their personal joys and troubles you can be a part of their lives and they would trust you more as a leader. This will help you in getting things done. Also it will be easier for you to understand that the reason for a team members poor sales during a given time frame are the challenges in their personal life.

When somebody on the team is not reaching their sales goals be gentle with them. The worst thing would be to single them out in front of everybody. Try to find out why they are not meeting goals. Ask to meet and talk to you one-on-one if possible and find out what has been holding them back. Provide solutions. Point out where they can improve and give them pointers. Be gentle and firm with these team members. Allow them enough chance to improve. A little compassion and understanding goes a long way as a team leader and can help your sales team to get back on track to sales success.

Don't ignore anyone in your team. If they are meeting and exceeding, keep encouraging to meet and exceed new goals. Just because they are successful does not mean they don't need you. If they are floundering, take them step by step even if that means starting over.

As a team leader never stop learning. You do not want to be stagnant in your own success. Keep reaching higher and never settle. Don't hold back secrets. If you have something that will help your team members succeed, offer it to them. Why keep something to yourself because you don't want others to use it. Your knowledge is only valuable if you share it. If it is kept tucked away in your pocket, it is useless.

Watch how you speak to team members. If you are intimidating, aggressive, rude, you will not bring out the best in your team. You will likely create a team that will dwindle in size or disappear all together. Don't discuss how you will only help those who deserve your time. It devalues others. Word it differently. Instead say you will offer certain meetings, training, one on one, etc to anyone who willing to utilize your time.

Reality is not all team members are going to want to make good money. Some join companies to take advantage of the discount. Some want a hobby. Others just want some pocket change. The rest want to build a business. Be realistic. At the same time don't look down on anyone for their desire to join. Your job is not to judge. Your job as their team leader is to support, motivate, educate.

Coaching to success doesn't mean leading a team by the hand to do it all. Its about supplying your team with tools to succeed and supporting them along the way. You can't do it for them and you should not be expected to do so.

Building a team is not sweet talking a potential recruit into joining them letting them fend for themselves. Sitting back and watching the money come rolling in is not going to happen. OK maybe there are a few times it does but this is certainly not the norm. You are paid a small compensation of a percentage of their sales because you coach them to succeed. Earn it. Teach them. Support them. Help them succeed. If they succeed, you succeed.

Coaching your team is work. It is rewarding work not to be taken lightly. Take the time to research and provide the tools to your team. Take the time to get to know your team. The time you invest will be worth the work.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

How do top 100 lists work?

I am sure by now you have seen 1 or 2 top 100 lists. In the WAHM world this are big which is why you have seen your share. Maybe you have joined one but wonder still how do they work.

How a top 100 list works is simple, you submit your website you wish to share and increase traffic to. Once you submitted your information you will receive an email to confirm your submission. Once you have confirmed your submission you will either be granted instant access or must wait for admin approval. Once you have been approved or granted instant access, go to the the top list and click on member log in. Here you will find a banner to place elsewhere such as your website, email signature, social network profile, or blog. You will also find valuable statistics concerning how many hits your submitted website receives.

Each time someone clicks on your given link you will earn an incoming hit. Each incoming hit moves you up in rank or popularity. The more incoming hits, the higher the rank your website will appear. This increases your website visibility.

Every time someone clicks on your website from the top 100 list you will earn an outgoing hit. This increases your traffic to your website.

The more visible your site, the more traffic you will generate. You generate traffic by making your site available and inviting others to visit your favorite top 100 site that you have submitted your site to. Not only are you increasing your own visibility and traffic, every time someone else refers someone to the same top 100 list your site will be seen by a new group of people you did not have access to.

This is all an advertising circle. If you do not refer others, the circle is broken and your submission is useless. I also suggest visiting the top 100 site from time to time and visit another site on the list. You may find a valuable source you never thought of.

Now that you know how one works, join your first if you have not joined one. Start with http://livswahmblog.gotop100.com/in.php?ref=101. Take a look at many of the others listed here on Liv's WAHM Blog and choose your favorites. Don't forget, check out a few other sites listed.

Get out there and share!

Top 100 Sites

Become priceless

In business you are only as valuable as you are perceived. So how do you become priceless?

How you are valued is in direct relation to how you value yourself. You great your own value. This is easier than easy.

This should always be part of your marketing plan. If you don't present yourself as successful, others will not see it either. This means leave the sympathy elsewhere. Yes there are sad and rough times in our lives. In tough times, bills may not be getting paid. That does not mean you advertise it to your customers. Why? If you hear that someone needs money for the mortgage or the electric bill but tell you how great business is, are you really going to believe them? If business is so great, why can't they pay the bills? If you are struggling, you are also likely to leave a business. Customers pick up on this. You just devalued yourself and your business.

Every moment of every day you need to present your value and become priceless. Becoming priceless is easy. The more you are valued, the more in demand you are. The more in demand you are, the quicker you become priceless.

Here are my top 5 tips to creating your own value to become priceless:

1. Time is money. Make it valuable. Limit your time of availability. This puts you in demand. If you hold home parties this is especially desired. With limited time your open dates become valued and quickly snatched. This does not mean make yourself available for only 1 day a week and state you are only available one day a week. You explain you have one day left this week and a different day available the next then close off the following week or 2. When a customer is unavailable during those times, get days they are available and add them to your waiting list for the next available opening. In a week when your schedule opens, follow up with your customer to schedule as they are first on your list and don't want them to miss out again. You are not lying here so don't feel you are being dishonest.

2. Dress to impress. I am not telling you to go out and buy a Chanel suit. Buy nice slacks, button up shirt (no loud prints), nice pair of heels, briefcase, simple but fashionable jewelry. Large chain discount stores such as Walmart and Target offer fantastic and affordable options these days. Buy pieces that are easily interchanged to appear you have more than 1 outfit. 1 pair of slacks, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of heels, 3 necklaces (go for the affordable costume jewelry unless your business is jewelry then use your company pieces), and wear your hair differently.

3. It's GREAT! When asked how business is, it is always "Great!" It is never bad. or slow You can follow up that "Great" with an accomplishment such as "Great, I got a meeting with a new customer next week", "Great, I made another sale yesterday", "Great, I passed out x amount of business cards/catalogs/brochures and they all look promising". Look at everything positive and smile.

4. Make it available. Keep popular products on hand as well as samples. Successful, valuable, business people invest in their company. They are able to make available products at any time. They are able to pass on samples and not make it feel as though you will only get a sample if you intend to buy. The moment you express you can only offer a sample if they intend to buy, not only did you devalue yourself but also your customer.

5. Quality equals value. Have quality business materials on hand at all times. While do it yourself business cards sounds great, these represent you and your success. Do you really want cheap materials representing your business? You may feel as though others will understand. Yes they will understand you are not valued, they will understand you are not investing in a business you expect them to, they will understand you are not as passionate and sincere as you let on. If the only thing you can invest in is business cards, get quality cards made. Do not give in to the free business card offers. These have their name on the back and everyone understands that means free.

The more valuable you are, the more valued you will be. Increase your value with a few simple steps and watch your business grow as you become priceless.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Featured WAHM

Liv's WAHM Blog Message Board is looking for a couple WAHMs to feature each week.

Each week we will select a deserving WAHM to be featured. Your name, company, company description, and banner will be seen by all.

How do I become a featured WAHM?
First you must be a member of Liv's WAHM Blog Message Board. Second, participate in discussions and support others.

Is there a cost to being a featured WAHM?
No. This is a special recognition we offer to you for being a participant and supporter of other WAHMs here on Liv's WAHM Blog Message Board.

How long will I be featured if chosen?
You will be featured 7 full days - Monday through Sunday. We choose a new featured WAHM every Friday and that person will be featured beginning the following Monday.

This is a great way to get your business seen. Join Liv's WAHM Blog Message Board and learn from other WAHMs and also share your knowledge. This learning and networking WAHM community is a must join.

Join our Liv's WAHM Blog Message Board at http://livswahmblog.proboards.com

Are you missing that sale?

Every situation offers an opportunity. With every opportunity is a potential sale or recruit. Ask yourself, are you closing the deal or allowing it to pass by?

No matter whether you are approaching the opportunity or the opportunity has approached you, you still need to close the deal. Very few times will the deal close itself. You cannot count on this. So the question remains, do you close the deal or do you allow it to pass by?

Before you talk about the close, lets touch on why you sell. Do you want to sell or do you need to sell? You may often find yourself hoping and sometimes even begging for the opportunity to show what you can offer and maybe make a sale. You may be thinking and focusing on how you really need this sale and hope you get it this time! After all you have a family to take care of and bills to pay. Do you stop and think that it is possible your customer may be able to pick up on this? You bet they can pick up on it. Salespeople often present themselves as if they need to make the sale. Instead, its much more effective to have the mindset of wanting to make the sale simply because it is going to benefit the customer’s life and business. This means not making selling about YOU and about how much you can assist the customer with what you have to offer. This also means stay away from the sympathy sale. Don't discuss how your lights are about to be turned off and you need to make a certain amount.This gives you zero value, red flags go up on whether this is a scam or not, and will quickly shift into defense about why they do not want to buy. Stay away from desperate, and show you are successful and sincere. As they say you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

Fear of rejection is the primary reason why salespeople do not ask for the order. The worst a customer can say is no. That no doesn't have to be forever. It can mean no not right now. Down the road when they need it, it will become a yes.

Lets talk about the close. We have been trained to push the features and the benefits in hopes this will sell itself. It doesn't. It ends up as a long boring ad that loses the potential customers attention. It does not lead to a sale close. This does not mean don't discuss features and benefits. You touch on these quickly. Example "the aloe will make your skin smooth relieving you of the dry skin you have been suffering". This is a feature and a benefit. This is not a close and you do not need 30 minutes of features and benefits. Some may buy but don't be blinded by the instant success. Most times they already expect to buy and do. This usually happens almost immediate.

When closing a sale the assumptive close is the best. This is the most common close when it comes to sales. This one is assuming your customer has made a decision. You go in confident they love what you have to offer and you close the sales conversation with "What color do you like?" or "Did you want 1 or 2?". Can you see where I am going? You are moving the sale along to close the deal. You are not allowing them time to think of why they don't want it or why they need it. It does not mean you have to be pushy. If they tell you not today. You follow with "that's OK let me leave you with this catalog to look over our line and a business card to call me with any questions." You may even want to open the catalog to the produce they are looking at and remind them of any sales. DO NOT end here. You WILL be following up in a couple days.

Some prefer a demonstration close by showing a specific product and how it is used. To me this is not a separate type of close from others. It should be all inclusive when offering any product for sale. This should be your lead into your chosen close.

You can go with the alternative close which is sometimes referred by some as the alternative choice close. How this works is similar to the assumptive close but you are giving the customer limited choices. This would go something like "did you want the vanilla or the lavender scent?" or "we have 3 colors - blue, yellow, red. What color did you prefer?"

Another favorite is the diary, calendar, future close. This is again assuming the deal is done but its a future close. You close today's discussion with "are you free Friday at 1pm" or "what day next week would you like to meet?"

You can try what I like as the up down close. You offer a customer the product with the higher price first, then move down to the lower priced item. This will look something like "our porcelain tea pot is a steal at $45. Let me show you our popular rose tea pot for only $30. Which can I get for you today, the porcelain or rose tea pot?" They will see it as a good deal and choose that item. Choose carefully but this is an effective close.

Have you ever had a vacuum salesperson come over or another type of salesperson come to your house for a free demonstration? You have probably been pressured with it is now or never, maybe been forced into feeling embarrassed, told how other neighbors have it so they use the peer pressure close, or compliment you to death. These are all closes they are taught to get you to buy. Some of these tactics work fantastic. You may not think so but that is why they use them. They work. These may not work for you so find your closing that gives you a good close rate. I like to shoot for 25%. That may not seem like a lot but that is 1 in every 4 people you come in contact will buy and half will become repeat customers.

Watch a customer's face and body language. If they are engaged in what you are saying, you need to move towards a close. If they appear bored, leaned back, arms crossed, they are not interested. You either need to change directions to get them interested or close with a future close and let them think on it.

Never attempt to close when they seem anger or negative in any way. Most times this can lead to an argument. Never argue with a customer. They may not be angry with you. Maybe they have a defiant child and just want to get through it so they can go about their business. Again close with a future close.

Make the sale easy. Fill out order forms, applications, offer delivery, help them make a secure payment. Take the reigns and let them enjoy the pampering of an easy sale. The easier the sale, the more they will buy. This is not the close. This is moving the close along taking the task off your customers shoulders.

When a customer chooses an item, up sale. If they purchase a candle, they need a candle holder. They order face wash, they need moisturizer. A purse purchase means they need a handbag caddy or keychain. There is always something to up sale. This is not pressure. You are simply offering them items they never thought of.

Sell to their needs and wants. Do not sell to them for your needs a wants. Never sell based on price. Some find this as an up sell which can be true. I find that selling to their needs rather than price will seal the deal easier than if they are spending smart. You can use the tactic of

Do not over close. This will only talk the customer out of the sale rather into one. If they feel the pressure is on, they just want out.

No matter how you close, this is not a one and done sale. This is the beginning of a long lasting customer relationship. You will need to close every sale even if the customer has been buying for years.

If you want the sale, go get it. Don't wait for it to come to you. This does not matter if the sale is online or off. Go for the close and get the sale.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Free Credit Report

You see all these offers to get a free credit report if you sign up for their free 2 week trial. Did you know you don't have to go all through that to get a free report? You are entitled to a free credit report from all 3 credit reporting agencies once every 12 months absolutely free. You do not need a special offer to give you something you are already entitled to. Just visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp and you can get yours absolutely free. No strings attached. I have been doing this for a few years now.

Blogging for success

Every day a new blog pops up. Some seem off the wall with a strange passion for all things - dread lock fans, newest trends of nail polish, 80's brat pack, or anything else you can talk about and never stop. What do these have in common? They have a niche. They are specific and true to their real passion and do not deviate from that.

We will talk about what you need to do to make your blog stand out.

As mentioned above your blog needs a niche; a topic. Here at Liv's WAHM Blog our niche is WAHMs and all that surrounds WAHMs. Maybe your chosen topic will be your business. That would make it a business blog. We will discuss a few things about business blogs a bit further down as this are different than traditional blogs.

When choosing a niche or topic, write about what you know. What you are passionate about and will not run out of things to say. If you decide to dedicate your blog to your favorite TV show, you will need subject matter to discuss 3-5 times a week minimum. Problem is what happens if that show is suddenly canceled after 1 season? Can you continue to talk about this show for 5 yrs to come? A short season probably means little interest in the show and will not be much of a following. If you are OK with this, by all means continue. Just be realistic here.

When you choose a topic, do not deviate. You don't want to start on nail polish then have random posts about oil changes for your car. How does it relate to your topic? Maybe you chose this route because it will rake in AdSense pay offs. That sounds great but if your dedicated following comes to your blog for one thing and you go off in another direction, you just defeated the purpose.

Don't strive for perfection in your writing. If you are not a skilled writer, don't pretend to be. Be yourself in your writing. This is what brings in followers. Those who following your blog are following you. Not your fancy talk and big words.

Use spell check. I cannot stress this enough. We all have an oops here and there but content that is filled with poor grammar and misspelled words will only give the appearance you have no idea what you are talking about. You want readers to believe you are knowledgeable about the subject matter.

Use pictures related to your subject matter not just random pictures. Maybe a field of flowers looks pretty but how does that relate to your post about dog treats? You should have posted a picture of your dog or the treats themselves. When using pictures be careful not to use copyrighted material. Just posting where the picture came from or giving the photographer credit will not make it OK. You are still required to adhere to copyright laws.

Do not plagiarize. Don't copy someone else's article and pass if off as your own. Not only will this get you knee deep in a lawsuit but you will shut down your blog and loss all credibility. Don't risk it. It is OK to take ideas and make them your own but never use work that is not your own without permission. Here is a great article called 7 Online Copyright Myths that is definitely worth reading http://ezinearticles.com/?7-Online-Copyright-Myths&id=6154.

If you are stuck for a new post, there are several sites offering free articles. You must keep the copyright in tact for these but they can be a great way to fill in when needed. I caution against using an article that is overused. It lessens your credibility when an article that has been seen a hundred times over appears on your blog. I also caution against articles you pay for. These are top notch but again you do not want to post an article that has been read over and over. The reason is when you purchase an article and the rights, the original author is not shown so it appears as your own work. Eventually someone will notice it is everywhere. Check to see how many places the article appears. An easy way is to take a line from an article and paste into the search engine. Visit the sites to see is it similar wording or the same article all together. Use good judgment here.

Whenever possible, hyperlink words in your blog posts. This can be to a specific website or to a specific product page. This helps web crawlers visit your page more often. The more often your page is crawled the better your chances are at showing up in search engines. In blog programs such as here in Blogger you have a hyperlink button. Just highlight the word you wish to link outside of your blog and enter the full URL.

Write ahead of time. This will help you from being stuck last minute for an article. Whenever possible, schedule 5-10 posts. Spread them out about every 2 days. Also have back up articles. This again helps when you get stuck. You can go into your stash of articles to post never leaving your blog stagnant for too long. The more regular you post, the more often your readers will visit and so will web crawlers.

Engage your readers. Encourage participation in discussions. This does not mean every post must be a discussion if you do not desire them to be. Allow your readers to share their thoughts with others.

Keep your layout simple. Do not use busy backgrounds, glitter images (unless related to your topic), or inappropriate graphics (unless related to your topic). What you may think is cute, fun, and colorful, others may find childish, immature, and unprofessional. Be careful and customize your look based upon your chosen subject matter.

Business blogs are an area to be careful with. Many want to make money with blogs using avenues such as AdSense of affiliate programs. The LAST thing you should ever do on a business blog is place ads on your blog that will take your customers away from you. A business blog is strictly for your business and the building of your business and customer relationships. It is not about sending them away to buy products elsewhere. Maybe you will get a click that earns you $0.05 each but why throw that away when a single sale can earn you $5. Only monetize non-business blogs.

If you have the option to allow people to follow your blog, add this option. Here on blogger.com there is a widget you can add for followers. Make it easy for readers to come back. The easiest way is to follow you.

Write blogs people want to read about. Maybe you find the tomato bug a fascinating creature and want to discuss the aesthetics of this bug but others may want to read about ridding themselves of a pest. If you don't give your readers what they want or need, why should they visit? So give them reason to visit and visit often.

Use keywords and lots of them. Use them in your blog title as well as blog body. Make sure to tag your blog post with keywords used in your blog. When readers search for posts to read, they use keywords. When thinking of keywords, use what you think they will type to find your post. If your blog post is about candles, use all words related to candles.

Use blog ping sites. With every blog you post you should ping your blog. There are several out there. One I use frequently is ping-o-matic found at http://pingomatic.com/. You can bookmark the results for an easy and fast ping with every new blog.

Spread the word about your blog. Join blogging groups and message boards you enjoy. Comment on other blogs and invite to read yours. With each new blog post a Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Cafemom update. Go where your readers are. Don't visit these sites just to promote your own blog. Interact and share.

Know who your readers are. Obviously if your blog is about sewing your target is women. Even though men do sew, this is not a huge market. Before starting your blog, write down all things related to your blog and who would be interested.

I have given you a lot to think about but seriously take into consideration all that has been discussed. Your success directly relates to your ability to draw in readers. Your goal may be to make money off your blog but be realistic. You will not make big money right away. It takes time to build a reputation for the knowledge you make available.

When it comes to your blog, enjoy it. It is not to stress over or think of as a job. Take your time and do it right.

Happy blogging!

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Why are you a WAHM?

We all become WAHMs for various reasons. I am curious as to why and how some of you become WAHMs. I think this is interesting and will be very inspiring to others considering being a WAHM.

I personally became a WAHM out of boredom. I became disabled in Jan '04 due to chronic pain, sciatica and arthritis in my pelvis, stemming from a bad car accident in 2000. I had been in direct sales for many years as a hobby. I enjoyed the extra money and was exciting to get out and meet new people. Now that I could no longer work outside of the home I was bored. I am not used to being sedentary.

In late 2004 I started with a nationally recognized candle company which I enjoyed very much but due to the physical limitations and the need to bring along an extensive demo display I could not longer pursue my new business. I decided to take time off and rethink where I wanted to go.

In late 2006 I found a cute bear stuffing company. This was the home based business similar to the bear stuffing company you see in the mall today. I had a great time and made a great income.

In early 2007 a very dear friend going through a similar situation when it came to pain passed away. His dream was to write a book and build a business. I was devastated. I lost my best friend. I said I would never let go of my dreams or allow them to stay on the back burner. This was time to start catching my dreams.

Around the same time a new company was formed with a great concept for mineral makeup for tweens and teens. I had to join and jumped in with both feet starting off as a Senior Consultant. Unfortunately the bear stuffing company was sold to a larger company that did not allow membership of other companies geared towards tweens. I had to make a choice. I left the bear company to continue with the mineral makeup company.

The mineral makeup company was my life. I took on various staff positions while building my own business because I loved it that much.

In Jan '08 I was given the amazing opportunity to purchase So Chic Bag Boutique. I had said for a few months previous that I wanted the company and would jump if it was every sold. My chance was presented so I took it. I later left the mineral makeup company to dedicate myself to So Chic Bag Boutique. Although I was very sad to leave it was the best decision I ever made. Nearly 1 1/2 yrs later So Chic Bag Boutique is still going strong. The physical demands can be overwhelming at times but the flexibility allows me to take breaks when needed. While I joined a few companies along the way and even continue with a few, So Chic Bag Boutique is my heart and soul.

I started this blog because I found a lack of information geared towards the WAHM and the starting of their business. I wanted to provide great information and my own experience all in one place. I started the Liv's WAHM Blog Message Board as a place for WAHMs to come together and learn from one another as well as network. There seems to only be message boards dedicated to WAHMs that a geared towards the advertising end. We needed a place to learn from one another so Liv's WAHM Blog Message Board was created.

My inspiration for doing what I do today is all because of my dear friend Art. Tomorrow may never come so I want to live my dreams today.

So how about you? How did you become and WAHM and why? What about you WAHDs? Why did you decide to be the WAHD?

Bunny Tealight Holder

How adorable is this bunny! Your bunny tealight holder holds a small votive that warms your bunny and releases a wonderful scent. This cute bunny tealight holder comes in your choice of a variety of scents. This bunny won't disappear after Easter. Order yours for this spring and summer. When the warm days have passed, you can cut up and place in your favorite tart warmer. I highly recommend the scent Carrot Cake for a year round scent.

Choose your Bunny Tealight Holder in your favorite scent at LunaWolf's Mystical Essence


Order yours during the month of April and receive 6 soy flower tarts FREE!

Think, dream, believe success

What is success to you? Is that being rich at the end of the day? Buying a brand new house? A new car? Opening a new store? Maybe a promotion at work?

For each and every one of us, success means something different. There is no right or wrong answer to this question.

If you have no idea what would make you successful, you need to sit down and write down all you feel makes YOU successful. You cannot work towards success without knowing what it means. Don't write down what makes others successful or what others believe is successful. This is about you and your desire to achieve a level of success within yourself and your business. You may find being able to have spending money for yourself is successful.

Once you know what success is to you, you can dream of success. Dream of all you want no matter how big or small. Think of success every day, all day. Believe you can be successful.

Dream success. Dream big. Dream bigger than you can imagine. Dreaming does not mean you have to reach an exalted level. It means you strive and desire for bigger and better. You want more. In your dreams you can have it all. Dream of it. You can have it all if you want it bad enough. Keep dreaming every day.

Think success. In every day life, think about your pending success. Think about your past and present success. As you think of your success you will want to move forward tot he next success. This is what drives you to keep moving forward. You may feel you are not a success but think about what you have achieved. You most likely have graduated high school. You may not believe this to be success but you have achieved something many others have not. You may have a family now. You are a success at raising your family. You live on your own. This is a success.

Believe success. You must believe you are successful. If you have achieved a goal in life, you have succeeded. That is success. Believe in what you can do. Believe you can go further. Believe you are a success.

As a WAHM you need to think, dream, and believe in your success. Without these 3 things you will not fulfill your desires of success in business. Success is for you. Success is not defined by society's view of success. If you follow what others think of success, you will not be truly happy. Thrive in your idea of success. Enjoy your success.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Building Customer Relationships

This is often suggested but rarely discussed. The importance of customer relationships is simple, loyalty. A customer you have built a relationship with is a repeat customer. A repeat customer is a loyal customer. You have built trust and know your customers needs and wants. This is why a customer becomes loyal.

Often the question arises, how do I build a relationship?

When you develop a relationship with customers, they return for more business. They also refer others to you as based on that relationship. Although it is not difficult to build relationships with customers, many consultants/owners don't know how to do this.

This is easy. This is your friend. Get to know this person. Just because this is your client does not mean you can't get to know them. Getting to know them gives you an edge when fulfilling their needs with your product.

Like with any customer always always always follow up. After initial contact follow up with your customer 3-5 days later. No more than this. This is a simple offering to answer any questions, assist with ordering, or anything else a customer may need. When a customer orders allow time for the product to arrive and follow up to see how they like an item. Address any questions, concerns, problems, further orders, and so forth.

Ways to build customer relationship:
  • Take note of birthdays, anniversary, special occasions. Send a card or call to recognize the special day
  • Send holiday cards to customers just like you would family and friends. Make it personal and hand write a special note inside.
  • Send samples of new products. Include how to buy and follow up a couple days after they receive it for any questions or assistance in ordering.
  • Send thank you gifts for referrals. Some prefer special discounts but I have personally found small gifts from the company prove to have a larger impact. This is up to you and how you conduct business. The more your customer feels special, the more loyal they are.
  • Keep a database of products ordered by your customer. Note favorites and dislikes. You will be able to tailor communications with this information. Remind your customer when it is close to time to buy again. This is especially helpful in the beauty field.
  • Pass on sales of favorite products You know what they like so make sure they are getting the best deals on that product.
  • Offer your own exclusive sale. Just because a company is not offering a sale or special promotion does not mean you can't do one yourself. You may represent another company but this is your business. Treat it as such.
  • Deliver orders personally whenever possible. This gets you one on one time with your customer. Take with you a new product.
  • Offer a gift registry even if your company does not offer one. This is great for something as simple as a birthday. You can type it up in a special way and mail to gift givers.
  • Offer exclusive packages for events such as weddings. You build a custom package you are not only satisfying a need but you are showing you care enough about the business they bring to offer something exclusive.

Note what a customer purchases for later reference. Keep a database of everything a customer buys. This will eventually give you the idea of what your customer likes due to the pattern in which they buy. You will find like and dislikes as well as purchasing style. If your customer is purchasing renewable items such as beauty products or home scents make note how long your customer takes to use a product. If it seems a customer should be about ready to reorder, send a quick note especially when a sale is currently on.

Your loyal customer should be treated like royalty. Offer samples, deliver product personally whenever possible, take orders in person taking with you samples of new products. You are the store so bring that store to the customer.

Customer service is number one. You never burn a customer. Be honest. Communicate. Take care of that customer 150%. Deliver orders whenever possible. Take orders in person whenever possible. Offer special discounts even if you are a consultant and your company does not offer one. Give a special thank you gift when your customer refers another customer. The simple personal care you give a customer will make them want to keep doing business with you.

Just watch the sales push overkill. If every conversation you have is nothing but trying to sell, it can turn off potential customers. The reason is because they fear you want nothing more than to sell them a product. Ever walk through the mall with salespeople surrounding kiosks trying to push sales? You avoid them like the plague correct? Don't become the salesperson you can't shake. This will certainly not build a relationship and will most certainly become a word of mouth ad you do not want to be part of.

Love what you do. If you are truly passionate about what you do, customers will be captivated by your passion. Statistics show that customers buy from those who show they believe in the products they sell, use the products/services they offer, and show passion for the companies they work for. Be honest, open and listen to your customer's needs. This will result in consistent sales growth and an excellent reputation making you one of the top performers in your field.

Truly care about your customers. Remember that no matter how good you are, faking it simply won't work and customers see right through it. Ask questions, take notes, engaged in their answers. When you take an interest in people, they remember you. When people remember you, it's good for business and your customers.

Give yourself value. Share your network of contacts with your customers. Don't expect them to give you their business without you giving them something first. This does not mean give away free product hoping they will buy more. People need solutions. Answers to their needs. Instead, give away something that makes you valuable such as a referral to a partner of yours, a solution to a business problem that you read about or heard from someone else, or even help finding a new dentist or mechanic. This makes you a valuable source and make others look to you for their needs including what your product or service will fulfill.

Always make eye contact. It shows we are still interested in their well being. Very few sales people ever look their prospects directly in the eye. By simply smiling and making eye contact, you'll be surprised how much you will set yourself apart from everyone else. Not making eye contact makes them feel less important, makes you look less confident, and offers an intimidating situation.

Use a customers name. Introduce yourself. This will give your customer the chance to introduce themselves or allow you to ask if they prefer to be called "Mrs Jones" or if "Jane" is OK. Just be aware of how they wish to be greeted. Be careful not to over use their name. You do not want to say their name after every sentence. One it will make it sound like a sale pitch and 2 it can make them feel uncomfortable. Repeat their name after they give it to you, once or twice during the conversation such as "Jane I think you will like these so I am going to give you a couple samples to try." Then at departure when you say good bye. Keep it a simple "it was great talking with you Jane. I will be in touch soon."

Listen to what your customers say. Nothing turns a customer off faster than a customer feeling they are not being listened to. Customers have a need or a problem and want you to satisfy that need or offer a solution to that problem. If you only want to sell something they don't need, they will not buy and will not call on you again.

Keep in contact with your customer. Giving a catalog, business card, sample, or making the sale is not the end to your contact with a customer. The one crucial piece to building a relationship with your customer is to stay in contact with them. Far too often a business will let a customer walk out the door without getting some sort of contact information. Don't force a customer but whenever possible get contact information. A newsletter from your business sent by mail is a good way to not only get contact information but to stay in touch. No matter your choice of communication keep in contact. Make a personal call once in awhile, send greeting cards, send something special for their birthday such as a free gift or special discount.

The ability to building a successful relationship with your customers is crucial to building your business. As a business owner (even consultants are business owners) you should not be looking for the done in one sale. You want to bring them back for more, repeatedly. A repeat customer is a loyal customer. The simple fact is it is always easier to keep a loyal customer than it is to replace them.

The idea seems difficult but you will find it is very easy. It goes back to the old saying do unto others as you wish done unto you. Don't do anything you do not appreciate receiving yourself and do what you would like on the receiving end. The better you treat your customer, the better the relationship.

A customer relationship doesn't stop the moment they make and receive their purchase or leave your store. It continues indefinitely.

Success in your business depends directly on your ability to make yourself likable, trustworthy, knowledgeable, and reliable. Create a positive experience for your customer and the rest will follow.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

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