Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Circles

Here in G-town I am getting to befriend some people that have only been acquaintances in the past. I am learning a lot from them and alot about them and it's very neat.

One of Nick's lifelong friends is a true gem when it comes to my current mental circle of whether or not to try and enter the entreprenuerial world. He currently runs a home based business of web page design/database creation and does contract work for his old employer installing wiring and alarm systems. He's very good at what he does, and it seems like he never works! Recently him and his wife found out they are expecting twins in the New Year. She currently teaches middle school music and piano lessons on the side. Since their family is about to double in size they have begun making the leap to buying their first home. It amazes me how his mind works. They are only considering properties that hold the potential for him to build an office and her to have a teaching studio, whether that be a garage they can convert or a few of the older style business' here that are homes in the back and business in the front. She hasn't even taken a day of mat leave and he's already taking logical steps to ensure she doesn't have to go back to work but can continue to work. At first I dismissed his business genius, I mean they both offer services that are "needed". But then I learned that he has always been like this. Never wanting to work for someone else, and doing what it takes to get there. And that's when he shared his first idea for entreprenuership. He had decided he would be a tape worm farmer. That's right, he would farm and sell tape worms to models. And he was seriously following up on this idea until he found out that someone had already beat him to it.

All of this talking with such an entreprenuerial spirit has me doing a lot of thinking about an idea I shared earlier for a home based business and I find that I just keep thinking in circles! I know where I am, (just having an idea), and I know where I want to be, (I can literally see my office and a successful day in my mind), but I have no idea how to get there! My original idea included wedding planning and scrapbooking. But I think that in order to be true to myself it needs to be just scrapbooking. I had included the wedding planning part because that's an accepted industry in my mind whereas scrapbooking is a hobby- and who can make a living from a hobby? I still have a lot of ideas for a wedding planning business and so I think in circles there, both or one or the other, and round and round it goes.

I have been seriously considering beginning by becoming a consultant for one of two lines of products. Either Creative Memories or Stampin Up. I find a lot that I can get behind in both companies, (their products, their philosophies, the charities they support). Iwas looking into the "buying in" part and it's not expensive. And I'm in the process of making a final decision so I can look to start in the New Year. I think it would be great if I could bring in enough doing this to just work part time until I actually become self employed.

But I'm trying to decide whether or not I'd be good at it. I've been to lots of "parties" for everything from Pampered Chef to Beauti Control and there are definitely good demonstrators and not so good demonstrators. I know that a lot of it has to do with passion and I passionately believe that all women have an inner creativity that needs to be expressed. I still have to interview/talk with current consultants to find out what the expectations are and so many other questions.

For now though I am trying to continue thinking about it and trying to get my thoughts linear and not just circular. So I'm conducting some market research today. I'm sure that everyone has been to some sort of "party" and had good and bad experiences. I'm wondering if you might take a second to tell me what was good about the experience and what was not so good. The things that the demonstrator did that you appreciated, the things that made you feel uncomfortable, the things that made you want to buy products-even if you didn't, and the things that made you want to go home and get back that few hours of your life. You don't have to be specific like what the party was for or anything. I just want to see if I really actually know what real women feel about the new wave of door to door sales.

Thanks for your time. And if you need some tape worms, I know a guy. LOL.

7 comments:

Amanda said...

Sounds silly, but if there's good food, like appies and yummy stuff, it feels like a fun party and not just a "buy something or feel guilty" party. So, food. Also, ixnay on the cheesy games. And give out little sample gifts of the merchandise to whet our appetites. Usually I am not a huge fan of these kinds of parties because I know there are so many middle men to pay so that prices are inflated. But I usually still go..and buy something. Guilt, 'tis a powerful genius! Just kidding. I think you would be a great demonstrator, Amanda. :)

Amanda Franks said...

Thanks Amanda. I hear ya on the appies always a good time when food is involved. I'm definitely not into the guilt trip though so I want to make sure I'm not doing it as needed income and that way my verbage will be true to my passion of teaching women to explore and express their creative sides. Thanks again!

Angella said...

With Stampin' Up, you can start a "Stamper's 10". You get 10 people to commit to a once a month meeting. Each month they have to spend $25 (small price for a night out & a hobby), and each month one of the 10 stampers gets to be the "hostess" and get a free set & some cash to spend.

From there you can also host parties - and serve food :)

T said...

I also have been to/hosted lots of these in-home parties so have a pretty good idea of good/better/best consultants (at least from my personalities viewpoint!)

First and formost though, if I'm not 'into' the product that they are selling, no sales culsultant in the WORLD can really convince me to buy the product...in a way I guess, the product really sells itself to me, BUT as far as consultants go:
I like...
-when they're friendly but not 'pushy' to myself or the guests
-when they really know there stuff about the product and can explain and answer any question about a certain thing they sell
-when they are honest about what is good AND what is not about the product line (ex. our Stampin' Up consultant tells us honestly what was cheaper and just as good at Micheals, like some of the stamping accessories...heat gun for embossing, etc.)
-when they are able to connect and make everyone at the party feel comfortable...just because I know all the guests I invited to the party, doesn't necessarily mean that all of them know/feel comfortable with each other, so it helps when the consultant can make it more relaxed for everyone (depends on the situation...not that they have to be a miracle worker or anything...let's face it, some parties are just dull at no fault to anyone!!)
-the last thing is that I really like when the sales pitch is thorough but not long and drawn out! It's nice to have time to try out the product too...get messy if you will!

I guess saying what I don't like now is a bit redundant, but one big thing is the pushyness area. To me someone can throw an AMAZING sales pitch, but if I feel like myself or the guests I've invited are being manipulated (bulldozed) in any way into buying stuff (or book another party!) it REALLY turns me off! I had a show like this recently and I think part of it was that the person selling the product had a really opposite personality from me to begin with and though she was an amazing sales person, I didn't appreciate the pushyness. The worst for me was that I felt like she tried to guilt trip my guests into booking shows off of my show! That made me made cause I would have never asked ANY of them to do that for me...I think it's enough that they came to the show I had and bought product there!

Just one of those things I guess, but this lady does do amazingly well with what she sells and she loves it, so maybe some people like to be 'strongly convinced' to buy the product...and maybe the really sucessful ones are more aggressive than I could EVER BE!

Well, there's my 2 cents worth...hope it helps! T.

karen said...

I think the main thing is if you love what you do and what you're selling, you'll do great.

I love stampin up myself, it's right up the crafty/scrapbooking alley. It's a really great company, and if you can sign yourself up under someone who is really good, they are an invaluable resource.

Not to side track you or anything, but have you heard of Epicure? It's food -- dips and sauces and stuff, and the thing I love about Epicure is that you can go to a party and spend as little as like 5 bucks. So it's really affordable.

But, just do what you love, and you'll be great!

Mom said...

I think you would be great at either one because you love doing it so much. There is a little shop in town here called "Lets Get Scrappin'" and the woman who owns it started it for just the reasons you want to do something like it. She has workshop hours and teaching classes and sells product as well. I don't know a lot about how she runs it but I know that you can get a membership. If you want I could ask Pat C. for more info or you could look up her site on the web - I can't remember the address. I think starting out demonstrating something and getting to know scrapbookers or cardmakers or other like crafters would be a good start.

Anyway you go at it, I know you will think it through completely and do a very good job!

Oh, by the way, I'm at Will's right now because my computer is sick and he and Lann are fixing it.

Elizabeth said...

It sounds like a great plan. I used to sell PartyLite and I really enjoyed it. I agree that excitement abou the product is huge. Having lots of things to look at/play with is good, too. A new company called Jolica is one that I have been interested in lately. It's Christian/missions based. E-mail me is you want info about it. Anyhow, I like playing games (but Amanda nixed it) so, I agree that it is good to find out what your hostess likes. Having a bunch of different themes to pull out at parties, is fun, too.... I could go on.. if you want specific ideas or have other questions, you could just e-mail me.