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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

HUGE Clearance Sale!

I have some great items available for my own companies as well as purchases I have made and just have far more than I need that is just taking up space. Everything is brand new! I am always adding to this list so keep checking back for more great deals.

Take a look and see what I have for you. Hurry! Quantities are limited!

Contact me at disneyandmickeyfan@yahoo.com to place your order or for more information.

I accept PayPal (credit card, debit card, paypal, echeck) or Revolution Money Exchange. All items will be shipped via United States Postal Service Parcel Post, Priority, or flat rate (which ever is cheapest for you or your preference) once payment has cleared. I charge actual shipping. All sales are final.

Organza Bags

3"x4" flat organza bags. Sets of 10. Available in white, pink, and black.

Retail Price: $3.00 per set of 10
Sale Price: $1.50 per set of 10

Purse Gift Box

6" X 3" bottom and 5-1/2" high, Heavy translucent plastic (red is opaque) Cord handle , Fold over locking flap. Available in ink Hearts/Translucent, Red Hearts/Translucent, White Hearts/Red Opaque.

Retail Price: $1.50 each
Sale Price: $1.00 each
5 of each color available

Large Takeout Box

4-1/8" x 3-1/2" x 4"
, wire handle. Available in Aqua/chocolate and pink/chocolate.

Retail: $1.50 each
Sale Price: $1.00 each

Small Takeout Box

2-3/4" x 2" x 2-1/2", wire handle. Available in aqua/chocolate and pink/chocolate

Retail Price: $0.75 each
Sale Price: $0.50 each

Large Gift Basket Box

10" x 6" x 7-1/2", Pink Rendezvous (2 available), Blue Rendezvous (1 available), Green Plaid (1 available), Scalloped Heart (1 available)

Retail Price: $7.00 each
Sale Price: $1.75 each

Small Gift Basket Box

7" x 4" x 5", available in designs shown and more (email for others)

Retail Price: $3.00 each
Sale Price: $1.00 each

Clear Vinyl Bag

3" x 5" x 3", Clear Vinyl, Black Accent Trim, Single Mesh Handle

Retail Price: $3.00 each
Sale Price: $1.50 each
6 available

Bunny Tealight Holder

Light Yellow, Carrot Cake Scented. Add a tealight and let the warmth release the wonderful scent or cut up and place in your favorite tart warmer.

Retail Price: $5.00 each
Sale Price: $3.75 each
Only 2 left

Mystical Votives

Available in: Spicy Mystical Twist, Lemon Verbena, Gardenia, Patchouli Spice, Cool Citrus Basil, Pina Colada,Eucalyptus Leaf, Bubble Gum, Sandalwood, Christmas Tree, Mango, Cedarwood

Retail Price: $3.75 per pair
Sale Price: $2.81 per pair
1 of each pair available
$10 for mixed dozen

Mystically Romance Set

Scented in Love Spell
8oz Mason Jar Candle
4 Fluted Tarts
(Does not include gift can, demonstration purpose only)

Retail Price: $10.00
Sale Price: $5.00
1 set left

Goddess Pampering Set

Scented in Goddess
4oz Lotion
Colored & Scented Bath Salts
Celtic Knot Soap (Personal Size)
2 Soy Votive Candles

Retail Price: $18.00
Sale Price: $9.00
1 set left

Mystical Lotion

Blackberry Sage

Retail Price: $5.00 each
Sale Price: $2.50 each

1 left

Mystical Candle

Lemon Grass
(jar varies from picture shown)

Retail Price: $8.75 each
Sale Price: $4.38 each
1 left

Mineral Girlz Lip Gloss

Available in: Simple Sparkle, Bubbly, Be Mine, Fresh Berries, Show Off. Set of 5 w/ vinyl case

Retail Price: $40.00 each set
Sale Price: $8.00
2 sets left

Mineral Girlz Glaze

Available in: Daring , Gracious , Fearless. Set of 3

Retail Price: $24.00 each set
Sale Price: $5.00 each set
3 sets left

Mineral Girlz Bar Soap

Available in: Random, Giggles , Angelic , Lavender & Shea Butter , Oatmeal Milk & Honey

Retail Price: $6.00 each
Sale Price: $1.00 each
1 each left

Mineral Girlz Salt Soak and Scrubs

Available in: Random, Giggles, Angelic , Oatmeal Milk & Honey

Retail Price: $7.00 each
Sale Price: $1.00 each

1 each left

Mineral Girlz Sparkle Dusting Powder

Pixie Dust
Fairy Dust
Super Shimmer

Retail Price: $8.00 each
Sale Price: $1.50 each or $4.00 per set
6 individual or 2 sets available

Stuff A Friend Animal Kit

Includes unstuffed animal, stuffing, wishing star, stuffing stick, instructions, birth certificate

Choose your animal: Ivory Bunny, Orange Striped Cat, Pink Pig, Dalmatian, Tan Bear, Giraffe

Retail Price: $15.00 each
Sale Price: $5.00 each
1 each available

Outfits also available
Pink satin pajamas, army, soccer, cowboy, scouting outfit, bear slippers, and more. Ask for list.

Retail Price: $5-$12 each
Sale Price: $2.00 each

Mia Bella Mixed Dozen

This is not your typical Mia Bella dozen. Instead of the traditional 1 scent dozen you will get a mixed dozen. You can't get this normally.

Dozen #1 Includes:
Apricot Freesia, Caramel Apple, Victorian Rose, Chili Vanilli, Tahitian Spiced Vanilla, Lemon Verbena, Sicilian Lemon & Rosemary, Forbidden Fruit, French Vanilla, Georgia Peach, Sugar Cookie, Cucumber Cantaloupe

Dozen #2
Black Cherry, Ginger & Cedarwood, Caramel Apple, Lemon Verbena, Christmas Essence, Peach Papaya, Apricot Freesia, French Vanilla, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Cactus & White Peach, Forbidden Fruit, Blueberry Cobbler

Retail Price: $36.00
Sale Price: $12.00
1 each dozen left

SOLD - Bear Love Gift Basket

Basket features 3 "Love Spell" soy tealights
20 glycerin dipped "Love Spell petals
Bear holding heart photo frame
wicker basket. Comes wrapped and ready for giving.

Retail Price: $15.00
Sale Price: $5.00

Heart Shaped Basket

Metal heart shaped basket
"Love Spell" soy jar candle
4 "Love Spell" soy tarts.

Retail Price: $16.00
Sale Price: $7.50
1 left

Promotion Buttons

pin back buttons available in: "Hi! I'm the Avon Lady" 1 in white and 1 in lime green, "I sell Avon, Ask me for a brochure" 3 in white, 1 white "I {heart} Baskets", 1 white "Do you {heart} baskets?", 1 black "got bling?", 1 yellow "Join my team, Earn extra $ while partying for a living", 1 white "hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt", 1 black "got chocolate?", 1 white "I {heart} makeup", 1 white "I {heart} mineral makeup", 1 white "do you {heart} mineral makeup?", 1 white "I {heart} candles", 1 black "love candles? join my team", 1 white "ask me for a coupon", 1 orange "get stuffed with fluff, ask me how", 2 black "got stress? come escape with me", 1 american flag, 1 birthday girl, 1 lady bug, 1 stuffed puppy.

Retail Price: $1.00 each
Sale Price: $0.25 each or $1.00 for 5

SOLD - Smencils
Made from 100% recycled newspapers, #2 pencil.
10 different scents:
Chocolate, Popcorn, Bubble Gum, Watermelon, Very Berry, Cotton Candy, Orange, Grape, Cherry, Rootbeer

Retail Price: $1.20 each
Sale Price $0.50 each or $4.50 all 10

Mini Purse Print Tote

7"x5", fully lined, zipper closure
Available in Blue, Pink, Yellow

Retail Price: $10.00
Sale Price: $3.00
3 each color left

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Promotional Fillers

In July Liv's WAHM Blog is going to give away Mom Packs. A Mom Pack is a packet of advertising pieces coordinated by individual members in order to broaden their advertising market to expand literally all over the U.S. and beyond. This means your business can be included in this Mom Pack for free and sent to other moms all over the US.

This is a fantastic marketing opportunity. You are reaching a new group of people you never had access to before. Mom Pack are never sold although you may be requested to provide exact shipping cost to receive one. These are given free to customers so they never have to pay to receive your fillers except for shipping cost when applicable.

You are invited to send fillers in sets of 25 to be included in our Mom Pack. A filler can be anything from a simple business card to a well package gift with your business materials and samples. Colored paper is eye catching, useful items, candy, and samples bring attention to your information. You want customers to see your information and actually look forward to seeing what you have to offer. Give customers reason to grab yours first.

This does not have to be an expensive venture. Here are some examples of fillers:
  • Business postcard with individual wrapped candy stapled to corner.
  • Brochure, business card, sample, placed in cello bag, tied with ribbon at top or stapled.
  • Business card with hole punched in corner tied to pencil with company name (oriental trading has personalized pencils cheap)
  • Instead of a traditional business card, print business cards on magnet sheets. These can be found in the office supply section of your favorite store. If you have professional cards ready to give, you can buy business card size magnets that just adhere to back of business card.
  • Part of a toy company? Print up coloring pages with your info at the bottom, attach a business card and a crayon or 2.
  • Makeup company? Create a flyer for customer to have 10 of her friends to buy a lipstick and she gets one free. Attach business card and lipstick sample if available.
  • Create a flyer about your business with your contact info and a short scavenger hunt (7-10 questions). Have customer complete and contact you to win a prize.
  • Seed packet for flowers attaching a label with your business card information. Add a popsicle stick so they can place he empty pouch near the planting grounds.
  • Buttons are fun and interesting.
  • Create a bookmark with your information.
  • With a food company? Offer a recipe card with your information on the back. Include names and how to order items from your company.
  • Business card size calendar. Calendar on one side, your business information on the other. Tip cards are great as well. Customers keep these in their wallet and next time they go out to eat, they pull out the tip card and reminded of your company.
  • During flu season offer up trial size bottles of hand sanitizer with your business label.
  • Scrapbooking companies, create blank or birthday greeting cards. Show off your products and how they are used in the creation of these. Everyone needs a card at some point.
  • Gift certificates, coupons, frequent buyer cards are also wonderful fillers.
  • Someone who sews? Create coasters to show off your handy work.
You can send fillers to:
Olivia Vidal
745 Cherokee Dr
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Check Yourself

You are on your way to a meeting with a new customer, host a party, or discuss a proposal with a store, do you look your best? There are a few simple things we miss that we never think of especially important to WAHMs and small business owners.

Check your hair. Anything can happen. A seat belt can pull hair out of place, wind blows hair out of place, leaf can fall. You don't want a prospect focusing on a hair faux pas.

Have a twirl in front of the mirror. Look for spots, wrinkles, tucked or untucked clothing. Also check your clothing for thin or see through material. Walking into a meeting with light colored pants and dark colored panties is not very graceful and will warrant attention you will not be happy about.

Check your teeth. Lipstick on teeth, food, even bad breathe will leave you in bad taste. A great trick to keep lipstick off the teeth is take your index finger, place between lips, press lips around finger, and pull. This will remove excess lipstick that tends to find its way onto your teeth. A new product that I find to be a fantastic offering is the Colgate wisp. It is a 3 1/2" disposable toothbrush. It has a built in freshening gel bead that does not require water or rinsing. The other end is a soft pick to remove those leftover food particles. It comes in a 4 pack so it can easily be carried in your purse, car, briefcase. The suggested retail is $2.39. I purchased mine at Walmart for about $1.97. You can visit their website and receive a $0.50 off coupon and try these http://www.colgatewisp.com. Keep mints or gum on hand. Don't walk in with these in your mouth but if you need a quick breath freshener this is the quick fix.

Smokers, do not smoke before walking into a meeting. You may hear this often but it can't be stressed enough. The stale smell of smoke can be overpowering and even worse to those that are sensitive to smells including asthmatics. No matter how much perfume you spray on you will not be able to get rid of that smell. If you must smoke do not do so right before meeting with a prospect, do not in the car (this lingers and makes it worse even with windows down), use Febreeze. Even if you don't smoke that day it is in your clothes.

What you think is fashionable others may find tacky or over the top. Do not wear anything with writing. You don't want to chance offending anyone unintentionally. Don't over dress. Over dressing can seem intimidating to some. Dress the part. If you have several tattoos you may want to cover them up. While most are very open to the art you wish to share, some still are uncomfortable with them. We can write an entire article on how to dress for who but for now just be careful.

Get a manicure. Your nails may be clean but if your nails look discolored, jagged, uneven, or your hands are rough, it can be a turn off to prospects. You may not think about it but it can be a deal breaker for some. This doesn't mean go get a paraffin dip or even a fancy Swedish hand massage. Just keep it simple and clean. If you are not big on taking care of your nails I suggest painting your nails a solid color - reds, pinks. This way you don't have to worry if there is a touch of dirt under your nails. This is the same if you wear open toed shoes. Do not get caught with unkept toes. You can even find press on nails that are modestly priced and easy to apply. Nail upkeep is not expensive but needs to be done regularly.

Do your hands sweat when you are nervous? Wear pants with pockets and keep a tissue or handkerchief to tad your hands before a handshake. Along these lines watch the lotion. Too much can make your hands greasy. On hot days pat your hands with powder. This will help. Wet or greasy hands can leave your prospect with an uneasy feeling forcing them to make a decision before you even begin talking.

Give yourself the once over before leaving the house and before walking into your meeting. Use your car windows. Even the low quality reflection will still be adequate to make sure you still look well put together.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Blog Followers

I visit several blogs from time to time and even flow many. Something I have noticed myself doing is leaving pages that do not have follow options. I find it is far easier to click a follow option for a blog that I can see the updates each time I view my dashboard than trying to remember the page or having an endless list of bookmarks that I do not often remember about. It all boils down to if there is no follow option on a blog, I don't return.

Now here is where I come to my readers. Do you revisit blogs that do not follow options? Are you more likely to revisit a blog that you can follow when this option is made available? Does it matter at all? I have added a poll in the right to see what you think. This information can be very useful to those trying to build traffic or how better to accommodate their reader's needs.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

And the winner is.....

The winner of our tea giveaway from Teaporia is.....
Congratulations! You will be receiving a wonderful summer tea sampler from Teaporia. I will be contacting you for shipping information.
And as a thank you to the others for sharing how they unwind after a long day, I will be sending you a wonderful tea sample to enjoy the next time you need to unwind. I will also be contacting you for shipping information.
Thank you all to those who participated.
If you missed out on our free tea giveaway, you can still enjoy some great tea. Just visit Teaporia
and see the great assortment of delicious teas, tasty scone mixes, beautiful teapots, and more.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Postage Increase

Starting May 11, to send a letter will cost $0.44. An increase of $0.02 from last year. If you purchased the forever stamps you are saving money as this will not affect you. Please make sure you have correct postage or your mail will be returned requiring new postage at the correct rate.

Click here to visit the United States Postal Service site First Class Mail

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

How Does Twitter Work?

As Twitter membership moves into high gear more and more are asking how Twitter can help their business.

Twitter is a micro blog. It is a 1 line update on what you are doing or would like to share. You can post links in your update, have conversations with others, or anything you wish to say up to 140 characters. This is one place you can invite those following you to visit your website or blog. In your profile you have a mini about me section. Put a quick blurb about your here and if you have room feel free to add your website or blog URL. You can add your logo as a background or as your profile picture. You have a space to add a website link in your profile as well.

Those following you will see your updates in their timeline. Those you are following you will see their updates in your timeline. Your updates can also be viewed by others who visit your profile. You need to keep this in mind because a misconception of many is if you follow someone they will see your updates and that is simply not true.

An option for your background that can be great is visit http://www.twitbacks.com/. This will create a custom background with more options such as multiple websites, social networks, etc. Drawback on this is it becomes an image and you cannot copy and paste text on the background.

Keep your twitter status updated every day. I suggest a few times a day. Takes little effort to do so. Search others using keywords and follow others. Others will follow you. Do not make twitter an ad. Add in social updates as well. This is a networking site and networking is business and pleasure.

Keep your notifications on so you know when someone new is following you. When there is a new follower, send them a direct message thanking them and invite them to see your website. Direct messages are also 14o characters so keep it short and sweet. This is where the networking begins.

There is something called retweet. What that is you repost what others post granted their updates are not protected. If updates are protected you cannot pass these on. Make sure your updates are not protected or your updates will not be passed on. How it works: Lets say I want to retweet something you have posted I will click reply on that specific status put RT in front of your name (will look like @girlzstylin) then post the status after your name. When you want something passed on, make sure you also put RT PLS in your status so others know to pass it along. Some will pass it on regardless but this helps let others know you want this passed on. Just watch what others do.

Replies will appear in your timeline meaning the public can see them. Direct messages do not appear in your public timeline. If you have something private to say, do so in direct message.

If you use Twitter for business promotion don't just follow anyone and everyone. Don't always follow those that follow you. If you post about swine flu different Twitter platforms will show you as a match for this. This doesn't mean they are interested in your new diet program. It was simply your updates were a match to their needs. When someone follows you, look at their profile and see if they discuss what is of interest to you. Sadly there are also porn profiles. Just another reason to check profiles. I bring this up because those new to Twitter automatically follow everyone that is following. This is the same as accepting all friends on MySpace. If you have nothing in common, why are you friends? Same here.

Once you get the hang of it, it will become effortless and habit to place updates. The more you keep it updated, the more others will follow.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Your Image Means Everything

In the WAHM world we come across women from all walks of life. One thing that never changes in the professional image we expect from a business. No matter whether you are the frugal mom trying to help provide for your family or the seasoned owner building the bigger and better business, your image is everything.

When we speak about image, we are not always talking about the physical sense. We will talk about the physical sense though. For now this is more the details in which we operate our business. This can start with your website and end with your business card and everywhere in between.

As a WAHM myself I am far more forgiving than the neighbor down the street seeing and hearing about what you have to offer for the first time. Because of this, you need to think in the shoes of a customer purchasing from a business no matter the size. Here you have a specific standard and want nothing less. Being the business owner (as a consultant you are also a business owner) you can't expect your customer to be understanding of you being the WAHM and excuse a less than expected image. Your customer feels the same about you as they do about any business and is not going to lower the standards just because you are a WAHM. This is the harsh reality and why it is so important to focus on this area.

If you can only spend money in one place for your business, make it your business cards. Get high quality glossy cards. Do not make your own here. The cost is cheap because they quality is cheap. Now that sounds brutal but amateur printing sets the tone for an amateur business. If your first set of business cards has to be done at home, keep it simple, keep production small. Upgrade ASAP though. Another sign of amateur is ordering free cards and advertising for that company stamped on the back. These things do not sound important and you may be told by several close to you this is OK but think about a multi million dollar company doing this. No you are not a multi million dollar company but you are a business and should show the most professional abilities available to you.

Now you may think these costs are too outrageous just starting out. As the old saying goes - it takes money to make money. You just need to plan well. Before starting any business, you need to have a plan and part of that plan includes a financial budget. In your budget you should include marketing. Business cards and such are part of this category. If you started your business before planning, it is not too late. Break out that notebook I am always talking about. Start working out a plan.

Previously we talked about goals. This is another reason why goals are so important. You need to know where you are going and how to get there. Advertising and your image are part of your goals. In your notebook you should already have jotted down an idea of where you want to be financially. For you to make a profit this month after paying for products and services, business suppliers, advertising, what number have you given to make that happen? We will get more into budgets in the future but for now you need to keep these in mind. Having that goal and knowing how to get there allows you to follow a course and not just stumble your way there.

Another big no no but a common project is printing your own catalogs on standard paper. Not only do these bleed through, crease easily, they look terrible no matter how clever your attempts. Many times there is an obvious printing margin set by your printer that looks out of place and shows you printed these items. Now this does not mean never do it. You can explain you printed them a catalog so they can see the products and you will be sending them your normal catalog soon. If you must print your own, create a border that looks like it belongs, use a nice card stock or specialty paper (available at office supply stores), don't go overboard with unnecessary graphics.

If you don't want to take my word for it, look at those who are making a good living doing what they do. Are you getting flimsy business cards and self made catalogs? Are you getting cheap flyers that bleed through due to double sided printing? Are they crinkled because of wet ink?

Another part of image we forget is our fun profiles. We sign up for social networking sites for business or pleasure but we forget others are watching even the personal pages. Those sexy pictures that lead to an active imagination are not the pictures you want your clients to see. They may not be actively looking for them but may stumble upon them. If you must share these, make them private and not available openly in public areas. Another is watch your language. In a fun atmosphere you feel free and let the words flow but those words can portray a very unsavory business person and turn people off. Not to say you shouldn't let loose and enjoy but watch how much you partake in and how far you take it.

Never show up to a party in a t-shirt and jeans. It is inappropriate. If you must wear a t-shirt wear khaki slacks and business casual shoes. Not tennis shoes. Jeans and a t-shirt should be reserved for athletic activities not parties. Keep hair clean and simple, jewelry simple, makeup appropriate, tone down the perfume (some are very sensitive), shoes always clean.

There is always somebody watching. They watch how you run your business, interact with others, how you dress. Everything. Nobody wants to deal with someone unprofessional. Don't give anyone reason to not want to do business with you.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Have a Party

One of the best ways to introduce or reintroduce your WAHM business is to have a party. Before you start the excuses of I don't know anybody, my house is too small, I am not good with people, or anything else you can think of, be open to the idea.
Don't know anybody? Pass out mini flyers and do an open house. Everyday you have an opportunity to meet new people. If you don't get out normally, find a reason. Go get a coffee, go for a walk, go window shopping.
House too small, hold it in your front yard. Have a few tables set up with product, serve punch, lemonade, and water, cupcakes cookies, fruit. Have brochures and business cards available everywhere. Put together a gift basket and have a raffle for those who attend. Have balloons to not only attract people to where you are but also give to the kids. Have coloring pages printed out for the kids. Make it fun. This is perfect on a Saturday afternoon with all the yard sales during the warm weather. Have extra inventory on hand for cash and carry. Everyone who visits give them a brochure and business card. Don't let anyone go without one. Have a jar of dog treats so anyone passing by walking their dog, offer a treat. This gives you a chance to give them a brochure and business card as well.
Don't have a yard? Hold a party at a park. Check with your local parks and rec but most have no issue with this as long as you are not bothering anyone. As they say where there is a will there is a way. Find your way and wow your new customers.
Get together with other WAHMs in your area and have a WAH fair. Reserve your church banquet hall, parks and rec hall, your apartment complex meeting rooms.
There are several options available. Just think outside the box and give your business a proper introduction.
Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Tea Time

As busy WAHMs we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves from time to time. One way I like to take a time out is to make a nice cup of tea. My favorite is Wild Strawberry from Teaporia. In the summer I take a chilled cup and sip on the front porch and take in the evening stars and air. Its a wonderful time to just take a deep breath and enjoy the quiet time to myself.

How do you like to unwind and take time for yourself?

Tell us about it and you can win a free assortment of teas from Teaporia. We will select 1 person at random using random.org on Friday May 15th.

For your chance to win, just leave a comment and tell me what you do to unwind and take time for yourself. Be sure to leave a valid email address (if I am unable to contact the winner, another name will be chosen)

Tweet or Blog about this giveaway and you will receive an extra entry. You must leave a link to verify to receive your extra entry.

Deadline is Thursday, May 14. Winners will be chosen at random using random.org on May 15th.

If you would like more information about the product we are giving away, visit Teaporia at http://www.teaporia.com/consultants/jrox.php?uid=girlzstylin.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Prepare For The Future

Nobody likes thinking about what could happen but when the unexpected does happen, are you prepared?

If you are a business owner this is so important. We never think about it but things do happen. What happens if you break your leg taking out the trash and in the hospital for 2 weeks? What happens if you die tomorrow? What will happen to your business? Is there someone who can and is willing to continue your business?

Before you can make arrangements or decisions you need to know what you want to have happen. You need to decide if you want the company to continue who do you want to take over. If it is not immediate family you need to make sure there is not a battle. This involves a will and a lawyer.

You need to discuss with family members what you want to have happen if the unexpected happens. Can they continue? Are they wanting to continue? Will they sell it? Will they just close the doors? If you have employees or consultants, what will happen to these people?

We want to put it off because it won't happen but we see it on the news everyday. People die everyday and well before their time. This is why you need to be prepared. Get a will done. This is not just for the rich and famous or insanely costly. Everyday people can afford this.

You need to be prepared for a time when your business will have to close it's doors. At what point do you throw in the towel and give up. Nobody is prepared for when this day comes either but it again happens everyday. Know your options. Know what you want to happen and not because you were forced in an ugly legal issue.

Say you are fishing with family and suddenly slip and fall while bringing in the big catch. Your ankle breaks and off to the hospital you go. Surgery is needed and you are off your feet for awhile. What about a sudden illness? Maternity leave? Now what? Do you close indefinitely risking the loss of customers or do you have someone to take over for you?

In your planning you need to have your wishes for your business clearly stated, usernames and passwords for email and website accounts, a step by step on how to access your website, a step by step list on how to process an order, names of suppliers including emails and phone numbers, how are taxes calculate and paid, names of lawyers and accountants. Get a power of attorney for your business giving the one person you trust more than anything in this world to take over and make decisions for your business. Names and phone numbers of any employees. Keys to stores, safes, etc. How to run a cash register and credit card machine. How to verify payment over the phone.

You may think these things are easily found but make sure someone knows where to find them such as a spouse. These step by steps may seem silly but if you have someone who has never done this, they will be lost. Keep things running smoothly but providing information now and even training someone to take over in case the worst happens.

Don't wait and hope it never happens. Plan and hope it never happens. At least if you plan you have the feeling or relief knowing it won't be chaotic and put you into panic trying to figure out what to do. Don't leave your family in a bind either. Do the work now and prepare. You will thank yourself if something ever happened and you were smart enough to prepare ahead of time and have a plan in place for others to follow.

I am not an expert in the legal aspects so contact someone who knows. As with building a business you are responsible for what happens when you are in a position of being unable to attend to business. Don't wait until something happens. Take care of it now so business stays smooth during these times.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

"I don't have time"

I am taking a break from the usual article because this is becoming a problem. Too many are talking about this same issue so someone needs to address it.

I hear this over and over again when the discussion comes up about building a business- I don't have time and/or money. If you have no time and/or money and not willing to make the time or spend the money, why are you in business (business owner or consultant)? Because you thought it would be easy? To make fast money? Fast money does not exist in business. If you want fast money, have a garage sale this weekend. Even then, a garage sale takes work and money. A garage sale you need to make change so you have to have money. What about those signs to tell people you have a garage sale? Who is going to put out all the items you wish to sell? The little gnomes in your garden will not magically wake up and do it for you. It is work.

Don't join a company because someone told you that money can be made easily. Its not easy. It is work. When was the last time you walked into a job and did absolutely nothing and got paid for it? It is no different than a business you work from home. It is neither easy or fast money.

Don't sign up for a company without evaluating what you are and are not willing to do. If you aren't willing to have parties, don't join a party plan. You have to hold parties to be successful. Internet marketing simply will not do. If others are doing it, it is either a fluke or they have established those all important customer relationships over time. It didn't just happen.

Don't join a company because "it will work out eventually." It won't. The only way it will work is if you make it work. You have to invest time and money to build a business. There is no such thing as a free business. You will be investing in product (you have to use it to sell it), business materials (you can't build a business without the basic business card), advertising (if nobody knows you exist, they won't buy).

Don't join a company with products you will not use or like. Nobody will buy from someone who won't even use the products they sell no matter how good it is. If the excuse is I don't have the money to buy, how do you expect to sell a product? You can't tell someone how great it is if you haven't experienced this yourself. Can you imagine trying to sell a lotion and tell someone it is not oily and soothing to the skin to only find it is in fact oily and stings because of heavy perfume? Are you willing to risk your reputation now and in the future?

I was at an online party recently and had a conversation with a woman who over and over said she had no time to build her business. Then she proceeded to complain she wasn't getting any sales. The worst part is she said this in front of so many people. You can't do that and still expect to get orders. What happens is you are telling potential customers you have no time for them so don't bother buying. You are telling potential customers you don't care about your business. You are telling potential customers you are only concerned about the money and not about what they need. This is not the impression you want to give. She would have been better off telling nobody about her business. At least then she would not be committing business suicide.

A common reason people sign up for a company is because they need to make money while they have none. They never once take into account the time and money that will be required to build. This is not what the company requires. This is what anyone requires when building a business. This is one of the worst ways to start a business no matter a business owner or consultant. If you start broke how do you invest? How do you buy quality business cards? How do you buy product to sell? How do you do anything but tell people you link?

Yes there are some who boast starting out broke but they got money somewhere - borrowing, selling off property, recycling cans, something. What I am talking about is you sign up for a company that is free because you can't even afford the sign up fee and expect to generate sales without every spending a dime.

Before you join a company you need to ask yourself these questions:

Am I willing to commit time to my business daily? (bare min of 2-4 uninterrupted hours a day)Am I able to try the product/service before joining?
Do I like the product/service?
Am I willing to invest money into my business immediately? (business materials, product, advertising)
Am I joining for reasons other than just a discount?

If you answered yes to all these questions, then it is time to do your research with the company you wish to join. Join yahoo groups such as Consultant Check and research your sponsor, the business owner, and the business. Also join a yahoo group called the Mom Pack. You can send out posts asking for the good and bad on a company and the current owner (if you have name). With a group that has over 8,000 members you will get some great feedback.

Know what is involved with building a business with the company you are interested in. Know you will be investing time and money. There is no excuses for not devoting time to your business.

My favorite etsy shops

I have really discovered etsy lately. I have visited from time to time and even made a purchase from time to time. It wasn't until recently that I have truly explored the talent and now have some favorite shops. With quite a few of these shops built by WAHMs it is even better since I am a supporter of WAHMs.
Do you have a favorite? Share it with us and tell us why it is your favorite.
Here are some of my favorite etsy shops on my personal WAHM blog
Olivia Vidal
© 2009

What have you done for your business today?

Every day is a new opportunity for your business. Meet someone new, find a new advertising method, stumble across a new networking avenue. There is always something you can do everyday that is not always the same.
Before you say you can't do something everyday lets ask why? You committed to building a business. With that commitment comes sacrifice. Nobody likes to sacrifice but it is a necessary element when building a business. As a WAHM you do not have less sacrifices. As WAHM you may have more.
Sending out a website link is simply not enough. Sending out an ad is not enough. You have to actively interact with potential customers and close a sale, book parties, educate, network. When you think you have done enough, do more. Learn to effectively market your business. Marketing is more than advertising. It encompasses the overall strategy for success. As Yoda would say "Do or do not, there is no try".
Add value to yourself and ditch the sympathy and pity sale. Pity sales are those where you point out how you are needing money. This only tells people your business is not successful. It doesn't matter the reason and understanding. If you make no money, you are not succeeding. Steer clear of the guilt sale while you are at it. These are the sales that forces another into a sale because you "helped" them out so now its your turn. This is not harsh, this is reality.
So back to the original question, what did you do for your business today? No excuses. If you did nothing, own up to it and move on. Don't make a habit of it. Become a self-starter and self-motivated. As a WAHM working for yourself you have nobody telling you to get back to work. You are the boss now.
Every day you must do something for the good of your business. You cannot succeed doing nothing.
Lost for ideas? Comment and ask others. Have ideas? Offer advice to those seeking them.
Olivia Vidal
© 2009

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