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



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

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

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Setting the deadline

Many WAHMs are using a Party Plan. One of the challenges is when to close a party and other deadlines. So often you are either told or tempted to keep a party open for a certain amount of time. Most times this turns into more of a hassle than it is beneficial to you and your hostess.

Here are a few tips in creating that deadline:

Be clear about your expectations of her party. Make sure she understands her party will close the night of the party. Holding it open in most cases does not allow for more orders. It just lengthens the time her guests can receive their items.

Be sure to include plenty of order forms and catalogs in your hostess packet. Your hostess is most excited and motivated prior to the party. Providing her with these gives her an opportunity to start off your party.

Offer an incentive to have orders prior to her party. Offer double hostess credits for any outside orders or offer a specific product if she has a certain amount in outside orders prior to the party. I like to use a hostess tic tac toe. It makes it fun and gives a few options for the hostess to earn extra goodies.

Coach your hostess. During the first meeting be excited. Provide her with everything she needs to start her party right. Give her a deadline to getting that guest list to you. If you send out the invites you are making it easy for her to enjoy her time and less chance of forgetting that party. Meet or call your hostess weekly leading up to the party. By staying in contact you can be sure she has all she needs and address her questions. You also keep the party on track and all deadlines on target.

During the party be clear the party will close that night. Some are afraid to say they have no money or not interested in buying and often ask if they can place an order in a couple days. Explain that for their friend to receive credit they will need to place their order that evening but offer a party date to them which will benefit their friend.

When booking other parties to benefit the hostess, place a deadline on when these need to take place. I personally like to use a 60 day window. Many times I use this because you will be inviting some of the same people and do not want to overload them on the products. I don't know how many times I have been invited to the same party every 2 weeks until the cycle was broken. When you overwhelm guests the bookings stop and so do the sales. If you are on constant contact, receive their guest list in a timely manner, and begin to take outside orders, the success of the party is greater.

When you have a hostess who is insisting on holding a party open beyond the party date kindly explain you are penalizing the guests who did attend and could cause them to not receive their order as promised. Offer a secondary catalog party if your hostess is adamant about holding that party open. This allows you to process orders for guests getting them their orders in a timely manner, pleasing your hostess in her hopes of getting more orders, and allows you the chance to increase sales.

Catalog parties need deadlines and be strict. Open a window of no more than 14 days for a catalog party to be open. I personally use a 7 day window. This is plenty of time for your hostess to share the catalogs and pick up orders. Beyond that it is easy to lose orders, lose checks, or those wanting to order brush it off ending in no orders.

Deadlines are not just for your hostess. They are for you as well. Create and stick to deadlines when meeting with a hostess for her hostess packet or to collect outside orders. Sticking to your own rules sets the tone for the entire process. Stick to the rules with family and friends. It is so easy to be relaxed with the rules for family and friends because you want to give them extra just because of who they are. Don't fall for the relaxed attitude. This is still a business and personal business should not be compromised. Give everyone the same deals across the board and you will never have an issue.

Do you have tips that work for you? We want to hear about them.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2011

Get Dressed Every Day

Working from home in your pajamas all day sounds like a dream job right? Of course it does! But did you know your appearance can effect your attitude?

When you are dressed lazy, you feel lazy, and this can translate into your attitude while you work. You will be less productive.

Getting dressed every day for work will put you in the mindset for work regardless if anyone will actually see you. Being dressed for work changes your attitude and you are ready to work. You are more productive and even have a professional tone in your voice when dealing with client calls.

Getting dressed for work is fixing your hair, put a little make up on, appropriate shirt (no t-shirt unless it is a logo shirt), pants, and proper shoes. You may say to yourself this is a lot of work just to stay home and work. This is your job we are talking about. If you went to an actual office you would get dressed correct? What makes your home office any different?

It all goes back to if you look good you feel good. If you look professional you feel professional. Try it for an entire week and you will notice a difference.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2011

Advertising sale!

The year is nearly half way over and it is time to start those holiday ads. It may sound early but many begin their shopping in July. Get your name out there and show off those products.

Liv's WAHM Blog is offering a special sale - Buy 1 month get one FREE!

For a standard 125x125 banner ad look what you can get:

$5 you get 2 months!

$15 get 6 months (regularly $25)

$30 will get you the entire year (regularly $50)!

As a free bonus your website will appear on our Facebook Fan Page

Email Olivia at disneyandmickeyfan@yahoo.com with the following information
  • Website URL
  • Banner URL or attach banner in email
  • Ad campaign length (1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months)
For an additional $10 (can also be purchased separately for $15) you can purchase a WAHM feature on our blog that will be archived for a lifetime! You will get a full dedicated post to you and your business that will also appear free on Networked Blogs and on Facebook. This is recipricol linking you want to gain more exposure for your site.

We will send an invoice to you via PayPal (you do not need a PayPal account to send a secure payment through PayPal). Once your payment has been paid in full your banner will appear here at Liv's WAHM Blog.

This sale will not last! Space is limited.

Sale ends June 30 or when all ad spaces are filled (which ever comes first).

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2011

Join the discussion

Have you seen us on Facebook?

Become a fan and join the discussion. Network with other WAHMs. Brainstorm, share tips and ideas, ask questions, learn how to market your business on Facebook.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2011

Creating Fillers

A filler for business is marketing materials sent to others and usually grouped together in packs. This is a great networking and marketing tool. These are great to hand out at vendor fairs with just your information.

A good filler has a business card, brochure or catalog, and a sample or promotional item. These should be neatly put together or attached.

Above you see a few ideas for fillers sent in to me recently to be placed inside a tote that will be given out during my local Relay for Life event on June 10, 2011. Some are simple while others are more elaborate.

You can join groups such as mompack.com and start your own filler packs. Include them in orders, hand out during customer or hostess meetings, pass out at fairs, or anytime you come across a potential customer. They are fun to receive as a little gift and makes you memorable. Of course when passing out filler packs be sure your own information is included. I like to add my business card to the outside of the pack I give out.

I use 6"x9" sealed cellophane envelopes. All fillers I collect must fit within this. I do not collect fillers for the same business or similar business I am in. I also am careful not to place competing reps within the same pack as well. I take in several at once so I can organize them easily and not overlap. I take 1 day a month to create my fillers. Because of this I only collect enough to give out in 1 month. One so I don't have tons and tons of fillers and two I don't have fillers for longer than I need that may have promotions and coupons that will expire before I can pass these out. At this time I only give out about 25 a month. Soon I will be doubling this so I will take more than this in the next few months. Some do not do this and that is ok. Everyone creates theirs how they choose. This is just how I create mine.

Filler packs are a lot of fun to assemble and pass out. They have brought me much success and are very appreciated by those receiving them.

Olivia Vidal

© 2009-2011

Don't cheat your business

You are a crafter and everyone says wow you should sell your work and you think yeah I will sell online. There are plenty of free things I can use. This won't cost a dime!

Not the case. A business takes money regardless of your budget. Don't cheat your business before it even starts.

First thing is first. Get that business name. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Keep it relevant to your business. You don't want to use sweet treats when your business is graphic design. You also don't want to use what everyone else is using. Boutique, bowtique, one stop shop, are all common. Using your name or your child's name is over done. Unique spelling look fun but if nobody call spell it, how will they find you? So don't use thins like "Oliviaz Designz". And no long names. They are hard to remember. "Olivia's Jewelry Accessories and Custom Designs" sounds great but will those who don't know you remember this? Even the ones that do know you, will they remember it all when telling friends?

Once you choose your name Google it. It's an easy way to see if someone is using it. Nobody using it? Now head over to godaddy.com and check the domain name. If available, buy it. Don't use the excuse I don't have the money. You don't secure it now, someone can come in and taken from under your nose.

Now go get an email account with your business name. I like gmail because this is Google based and Google based is great for online exposure. This account should be used for business only.

Now go through a few social networks and secure your name such as Twitter and Facebook. These are highly recognizable and anything recognizable is great for your online exposure. Plus you want people to search for you even if you are not an online business yet.

Now this is the part people ignore and skip. Doesn't matter how small you are or if you only sell on places like eBay or etsy, you must register your business and get a business license and resellers license or tax id. Check with your county clerk or state to see what you need as state to state and county to county can vary. If you get caught running a business in your state without these, you will get fined and charged with tax evasion. It's not pretty so don't go there.

You've jump the hoops and survived the ring of fire so take a deep breath and get that website. It sounds intimidating but really it is not. You can start small with places such as wahmshoppes.com and move up as you need. Stay away from free sites. Not only are they limited but getting in the search engines are a pain, you cheapen your business because visitors wonder why you can't afford proper hosting, and you do not appear to be reputable because its a red flag for fly by night scams. You came this far so don't cheat your business.

Don't overlook the exposure and opportunities you have with blogging. Some think that they don't see a benefit to a blog for their business or that it is a right fit for them. Blogs give you the opportunity to go in depth on your products in a way that a website or social networks do not offer. Social networks are for relationship building, websites are for sales, blogs are for information.

You have the product, the name, the website. How does anyone know you exist? Design and order those business cards. Pass them out. Give family and friends a stack to pass out for you. Use those business cards every way possible. Marketing is key to your business. Free ads sound good and just posting a link here and there is easy but if nobody knows you are online nobody will even look.

Now that you have a few things to get you started with building your business, go out there and get that exposure.

Olivia Vidal

© 2009-2011

Know the facts

Recently I have seen a lot of talk about conducting business on facebook including discussion about promotion guideline changes. It is great to see so many coming together to brainstorm for viable options and clarify the facts. What is not great is the misinformation and blatant misdirection.

Everyone is always trying to come up with the best ways to promote and conduct business within social networks (not just Facebook). This can be tricky as there are rules and guidelines that must be followed as written. Not as they are interpreted. DO NOT rely on what others tell you and be sure you are reading the TOS of any site you are using to be clear of what is allowed using their site. Reading the TOS can be long and sometimes confusing but read it for yourself. Just because someone else tells you it is ok does not make it ok. Ultimately you are responsible regardless if everyone else is doing it. Ignoring facts do not make them go away.

I have seen a few deliberately ignore the information offered and choosing to continue knowing they are in violation. There are a few who have told their fans to just change their giveaways to product testers and it will exclude them from the rules. A promotion is a promotion no matter what name you give it. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, you can call it a cow but it doesn't make it less of a duck.

You can follow the rules or not follow the rules regardless of the situation or place. Even if someone else is not caught it does not mean you won't be caught. Are you willing to lose everything you have gained over a mistake you chose not to investigate the facts about prior?

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2011

Mobile Office

If you meet a potential customer or recruit away from home, are you prepared to service their needs? When you are out and about you want to be prepared for anything. Just because you are off running an errand doesn't mean you are off "the clock." You want to create a mobile office.

Your mobile office can be a simple file box with separate file sections for catalogs, hostess packets, recruiting packets, business cards, brochures (sales and recruiting), order forms, calculator for on the spot orders, and pens. I use a really nice accordion file at the moment. Everything is organized and neat. You can even use those nice colored milk crates with hanging file folders.

You may even want to consider a mini demonstration kit so you have a few of your most popular products available to show. Samples are other items you may want in your mobile office.

Keep your mobile office in your car (or any car you are driving at the time) so you are always prepared when you come across a potential customer or potential recruit.

A couple things to remember:
  • Check and restock your mobile office weekly or as needed. This way you always know you are never out of anything and avoid that moment of saying "I am all out"
  • Keep that car clean. You do not want to have your potential customer or potential recruit looking over your messy car. Even when you are making house calls, this is an extension of your home office. Keep it clean and professional.
  • You may want to also consider a car freshener. Most don't think about this because we are used to how our car smells but it may have an odor. Having an air freshener helps with this. Don't go overboard. Just something simple and light such as vanilla and lavender work well. 
  • Do not smoke in your car. Regardless if your mobile office is in the trunk or backseat, smoke does linger and will get into your mobile office. Many people are allergic to the smoke while others are simply turned off. You do not want your personal habit to get in the way of your business. 
  • If you sometimes travel with your pets, it may be best to keep your mobile office in the trunk. This area is less likely to come in contact with pet hair and dander that some people are allergic to.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2011

Knock Offs, Replicas, Mirror Image

Knock offs, replicas, mirror image are common terms used for illegal copies of products such as designer purses, designer glasses, or other copyright/trademarked goods. But are these ok?

It is illegal no matter how you try to reword or excuse it. If it has the designer name and is an exact replica of the real deal, it is illegal. You cannot sell these. It does not matter whether you state these are fake. If it looks like the real deal, it is illegal and you can be prosecuted to the extent of that law.

Knock-off handbags are also known as counterfeit purses and they are made to look like an original designer version and are meant to fool others into thinking they are the "real thing." Knock-offs are big business. There is lots of money to be made in selling knock-off versions of the best designer handbags, but at what cost?

You can sell inspired styles meaning they are not replicas or attempted to be sold as the real deal. Handbags and sunglasses that say they are "designer inspired" don't have a fake designer label on them. They are purses that look similar to the latest styles and in fact are inspired by the latest designer purses but have their own unique characteristics.

Even if not sold as the real deal you still need to be careful. You may have seen a story at one point in time where target was sued for a purse design they sold was too close to the original design and it infringed on their trademark and/or copyright.

I bring this up because I am seeing more and more online stores opening with these illegal knocks offs and many do not realize it is illegal. They see others doing it and figure hey it must be ok. Its not. You can research this online, call your local small business administration, business lawyer, the US patent office.

Trademarks and Copyrights are put in place to protect the original design. Would you want someone to steal your idea and sell a copy of it as their own?

DO NOT get in the middle of knock off purses and the legalities of this. You can be buried in legal fees, fines, your reputation, lose your freedom.

No matter what business you begin always do your research. There is no excuse for not knowing something. It is your responsibility to know your business and how it works. A little homework can go a long way in your success.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2011

Everyone Else Is Doing It

It is so easy to use what others are doing when it comes to your business especially when you see their success. In most cases there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Follow their lead and add your own spin to this making it your own.

If everyone does the same thing there is nothing that stands out about you. That is where the problem with this method comes in. You sell candles out of a box as your gimmick and you are good at it, several will come along and do that same thing. And the reason why people do that? "Everyone else is doing it."

There are a few times you do not what to use the "Everyone else is doing it" line. This includes illegal activity. Now you think deceit, theft, fraud, or as I call it - lying, taking, faking, or anything else. Did you know there is more out there that some justify and is accepted as being ok?

Now I love my Disney items and I love crafting Disney inspired items for personal use. Now lets say you take Mickey Mouse and put his face on a t-shirt and sold these. If you did not get licensing from Disney to sell these Disney items you are infringing on copyright and trademarks owned by Disney. Now Disney items are not the only items in which this is occurring and only using it as an example of things I do see out there. In fact I seen a so-called reputable boutique selling outifts handmade using copyright and trademark images for resale without permission. They even complained their account on a website dedicated to crafters was closed because the lawyers of this company went to the owners of the crafting site and demanded all copyright infringed items be removed immediately. The comment came up that "everyone else is doing it" and that company is just greedy by going after the small people. Well as an artist if you create an image and hold the copyrights to it, you have to go after anyone, big and small, who is using the image unlawfully to hold any ground in court. And you know what? They are still selling these outfits even knowing these lawyers and putting a stop it it.

Now just because "everyone else is doing it" doesn't mean it is not illegal and cannot get you in hot water. Would you want someone to take your copyrighted image or trademark design and pass it off as theirs? How about that hair bow design you worked so hard to come up with and someone steals your idea?

Now the time you want to say "everyone else is doing it" is being successful. Do what you love and work it as a business. Don't just put a link out there because "everyone else is doing it." Make your mark and stand out.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2011

How to Prevent Cyberbullying | eHow.com

This is a serious issue especially our younger generation. This is not a typical topic for this blog but I feel it is important. Together we can combat and overcome such a hateful situation.

Even in the WAHM community I have seen this become an issue that has been ugly and devastating. You get some cliques that become relentless in their attacks trying to help "their" friend. In all actuality this is cyberbullying. No one should have to suffer or tolerate such actions.

Children are not the only victims. So are adults so don't allow this to happen to you or anyone you know.

How to Prevent Cyberbullying | eHow.com

Get in the Habit

Getting those business cards can be difficult to get out there. You can never remember when is it ok to hand them out, who to hand them out to, when it is not appropriate.

Here are my tips:

Whenever someone asks for your phone number regardless of what it is, hand them a business card. I just hand them one and tell them its easy to to give you this and it has my email in case you ever need it.

When someone asks about my business I hand them one and tell them call me sometime and lets have a drink. It keeps it casual and keeps the gate open to a new customer.

I never leave them in areas that are iffy such as bathroom stalls. Some will tell you this is ok but I do not. Most times stores have policies against this and can just get you into hot water. Plus when the maintenence people come for a cleaning your cards go down the drain and possibly without one ever being seen.

I have a business card case which I have attached a magnetic version to the outside. When I am out having a drink with the girls or out to dinner I place this on the table. Most times the server will ask about it and I will give them a card. I don't leave a card because for me most times these just get throw away and never where I intended it to go.

When at the nail salon they have cards from others available. I will ask if I can leave some with them.

I trade business cards with my hair dresser. When someone needs a new stylist I had them a card. When he has a bride to be come in or hears of someone going to a bridal shower he passes on my card.

When I pass out cards I want to keep the ratio high when it comes to going into the hands of someone who will use it. I know not everyone will use them but I want this to be effective marketing.

What are your tips for passing out business cards effectively?

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2011

WAHM or SAHM? What is the difference?

Over the years you have seen these terms and they are interchangeable depending on the situation. Before we discuss these, lets define them.

WAHM - Work At Home Mother/Mom... This means you have some sort of business that you work from home. This may be crafts, direct sales, or a business you started. This can mean you have children at home while you work or they may be at school while you work. Either way if you generate income from home you are a WAHM

SAHM - Stay At Home Mother/Mom... This means you stay home with the children and your only job is raising your children. You do not generate an income from home. You may have children at home all day or at school part of the day. If you generate no income from the house and no outside work you are a SAHM

When asked whether you are a WAHM or a SAHM you are not both. I see many say oh I do both or I am a part-time WAHM and a full-time SAHM.

If you are a SAHM, embrace it. Enjoy it for all its worth. There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying home to raise the beautiful children you have.

If you are a WAHM, embrace it. There is nothing wrong with making an income by working from home and raising your children.

If you are a WAHM you need to have the mentality of this. If you do not see yourself as a WAHM or see yourself as a WAHM and a SAHM this can and does hinder your success. You need to see yourself as a working mom with a job.

In the past I have talked about schedules as a WAHM and why these are important. The use or lack of use is why you need these schedules. You need to work your business. Doesn't matter if you make money blogging, crafting, selling avon, transcribing, or do home parties. If you want to make money, start it with attitude. You will see the difference.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2011

Look back to move forward

2011 is now here and a fresh start begins. It is time to look ahead and write down your business goals for the year.

Before we do that, lets take a look back at 2010.

What were your business goals?

Did you accomplish any of those goals? Partially or fully?

How did these goals affect your business?

What were your disappointments?

How did these affect your business?

These are just a few questions you should be asking yourself. You may ask more. This is not about reflecting on the past. This is about learning. To know how to move forward we need to know how we arrived at today.

Expand on the successes of last year. Go over the disappointments and learn how a different path would change the outcome. These should be reflected in your new goals for 2011.

We need to write down the goals for 2011. We need to start with the long term goal for 2011. Break that down to 6 month goals, 3 month goals, 1 month goals. The first step to your long term goal is what will you do this week that will lead you in the direction of accomplishing your 2011 goals.

These need to be challenging but attainable goals. Lets break it down in an example to see where we need to go.

Lets say your goal for 2011 is to be in the position to pay your entire mortgage through your business earnings. If your mortgage monthly is $1,000, what will you need to earn each month? If after all business expenses your take home is 20% of all sales you will need to sell $5,00 monthly by the end of the year.

Now remember the goal is not to begin earning this much in the first month. The goal is to lead up to this. Maybe you will find it best for you to start with $1,000 each month for the first 4 months. You have to decide what is best for you.

In your goals you need to list what you are and are not willing to do. We all have something we are not willing to do so be honest here. If are not willing to go door to door or hold home parties, you need to list why you are not willing. Again be honest here. If you are not honest with yourself, you will not accomplish anything. If you say you will not do home parties because you do not like people, how can you work around that? Don't just list what you will not do and not offer yourself options. You may find what you will not do is something you are willing to do just didn't have options to make it happen.

Olivia Vidal
© 2011

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