My Evolving Blog

I haven’t written anything for a while because life got in the way, but I know I need to post something. So here goes.

What I Have Tried And Am Planning to Try

This blog may not be entirely about Avon because I have a life besides Avon. I am currently trying to figure out if, to be a Sales Leader, Avon needs to BE my life for a while. If that’s the case, I just can’t commit. I’m trying to advertise for new recruits through Facebook. I’ve recently paid to boost an advert but I’m realising that I can actually reach more people by sharing my post with the groups that I’ve joined. No one is biting yet. I’ve also given flyers to a friend whose daughter-in-law goes to several playgroups. She’s going to take the flyers and pass them onto the mums so I’ll see if I get any joy from that approach. I’m planning on putting adverts in the local shops. And I have a friend who works for a university. She’s suggested advertising on the university job shop, so I’ll try that too. I’ve stopped asking family and friends now because I feel like I’m badgering them and that’s not fair. I don’t want them to feel that I’m going to try and recruit them every time I see or speak to them. They see my Facebook posts and have ‘liked’ my page. Some have shared a few of my posts. They’ve helped me in whatever way they felt they could and I’m grateful to them.

Having Time for the Important Things

I don’t know if I will succeed as a Sales Leader, but at least I will have tried. I have always refused the opportunity to try because of my time restraints. I’ve always known it will take a lot of time, which is something I don’t have. But something made me decide to try anyway. I have found though, that ever since I agreed to it, I have felt enormous stress and pressure, mainly due to the bonus scheme. At first, I felt that I had to hit the targets and therefore get the bonuses, but I’m currently doing neither and it’s definitely been stressing me out. Now, I try to forget about that and just recruit in my own time. Maybe it’s because of the environment surrounding business ideas such as this one. It’s driven by making enough money to pay for good holidays, new cars etc, but I’m not driven by such things. My husband and I live a simple life. We don’t have all the latest gadgets, the newest cars, the massive television, the most modern interior decoration. And we’re not bothered about having all those things. Because we realise ‘things’ don’t make us happy. We have eachother, my wonderful dad as well as other loving family members and some very close friends. They make us happy. And if I fill my already busy life with something else, then I’ve got even less time for those people.

I really wish we didn’t need money to live. Money causes lots of problems. We have to find ways of earning it so we can eat and pay the bills. But it often leads to greed and selfishness. People spend so much time earning more and more money that they miss their kids growing up. They drift away from their partner. They falsely think that if they get lots of money, they can enjoy the company of their families later. But later is usually too late. And enough is never enough.

I just want to help my husband pay the bills without compromising on the amount of time I can spend with him and the other people that I love.

My Next Step

So I have decided to do what I reasonably can to recruit new reps. I have given myself a time limit in which to try. And if it doesn’t work, I won’t beat myself up over it. Others have made it work for them and I’m happy for them. But that doesn’t mean that it’s for everyone.

I think my blog is going to turn into a diary. I’ll write about what’s on my mind and what’s going on in my life. It will include Avon because even if I don’t succeed as a Sales Leader, I’ll still continue to be a Rep. I’m going to an Avon ‘boot camp’ next Monday and Tuesday. I’m viewing it as valuable training whichever way I choose to go with Avon. I’ll tell you about it in my next blog post.

Please comment below on what makes you happy and whether you agree or disagree with my views on money.

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Becoming An Avon Rep

I first signed as an Avon Rep because I wanted extra cash but needed to work flexible hours. My husband and I have a car maintenance business. He’s the mechanic and I look after the admin. I wanted work that fitted around my already busy schedule and after researching what was available, I decided to try Avon for a year and see how it went. I’ve always liked Avon products but at that time, I didn’t have a Rep to buy from. There wasn’t a Rep selling to the estate I lived on, so I knew I had potential customers all around me.

At this point, I think it would be good to mention that when it comes to canvassing and selling to complete strangers, I am not confident – at all. The thought of knocking on doors, trying to attract new customers terrified me, and often still does. Even selling to family and friends does not come natural to me. I tell myself that they won’t want to know and that I’m bothering them. But to make a success of my Avon business, I knew I had to face my fears and try my best.

Brochures and Freezer Bags

So I started canvassing with brochures and freezer bags. I can hear you all saying ‘freezer bags!!?’ They make perfect substitutes for brochure bags. And at the time, I didn’t know that Avon produced brochure bags. I included a note to introduce myself and let people know when to leave their brochure outside for me to collect. I also asked my Sales Leader for more local territory which she promptly gave me. So at that point, all my territory was within walking distance. It didn’t take long for me to realise it would be a good idea to include another note, one that asked whether or not the householder wanted me to keep leaving a brochure. That helped me to whittle down my territory to an actual Avon round which, in turn, cut down the amount of time I spent delivering and collecting brochures. Time saved in one area could be spent furthering my business elsewhere.

And that’s how I started. There was no free personal online Avon store back then. And I had no idea how to market my business online, even using Facebook. I gained my customers by posting brochures through their doors and hoping they placed an order. Fortunately they did. Despite being a complete novice, I have never placed an order below the higher order value (HOV) of £160, meaning I have always achieved the 25% discount. Although I do sell to family and some friends, they make up a very small minority of my customers. The majority started off as total strangers, which leads to another positive reason to be a Rep. Meeting and gradually getting to know people in your local community, who you probably wouldn’t have got to know otherwise, is a huge bonus. If you’re wanting to make new friends, this is a great way of doing so.

Choose How You Want To Sell

Nowadays things are different. New Reps no longer have to spend hours walking from door to door canvassing for customers if they don’t want to. They can just set up their free online Avon store and sell solely through that. Or they can sell through other online mediums. Or they can opt for a combination of the two, namely selling face to face and online. Or they can choose to do things the old fashioned way and sell purely face to face. The majority of my customers still prefer things that way. Having a choice makes being an Avon Rep easier and more appealing.

Why not try it for a year like I did. Who knows, maybe you’ll still be making a profit 4 years on just like me.

 

A note from the author:

Writing a blog is very new to me so I apologise if it’s a little dull. Please help me improve its quality by leaving a comment with suggestions on what to include. If you would like to ask anything regarding your Avon business, please do so and I’ll reply as soon as possible.

 

Learn From My Mistakes

The beauty of reading my blog is that you can learn from my mistakes. Avoiding the mistakes I’ve made will help you earn your bonuses and build your business more efficiently. I made my first major mistake almost immediately after receiving confirmation of my Sales leadership.

Do Your Research 

Before becoming a Sales Leader for Avon, do your research. Make sure you read everything and watch all the training videos on the Avon website. And if you’re not sure about anything, ask your upline. I didn’t and now I’ve missed out on the first bonus.

Apparently, to achieve a £75 bonus, a Sales Leader has to appoint 4 new Reps in the same campaign. During that same campaign, the combined total sales for the 4 new reps and the Sales Leader has to be £700 or more.

I received confirmation of my acceptance as a Sales Leader a week before Campaign 16 was due to finish. I’d already started advertising on Facebook for new Reps and as mentioned in my previous blog, a friend had shown interest. I thought it was best to get her started as soon as possible so I arranged to visit her and talk her through everything and signed her up straight away. The online application form asks which campaign the new Rep wants to start from. Because we were still in campaign 16 and I’d given her some of my brochures so that she could start canvassing straight away, I stupidly put 16. That was Sunday. Campaign 16 was due to end the following Thursday at 6pm. It was only on the Tuesday when my husband filled in the application form that my area manager called me and told me to hold off the completion of his application and explained why. She didn’t know that I’d already signed someone up because my friend comes under a different area and therefore a different area manager. Even if I’d completed my husband’s application and signed another two new Reps, it would have been impossible for us all to have a total of £700 sales in less than 2 days.

At first, I was really mad at other people. Now I’m mad with myself because I didn’t make sure I understood how everything worked BEFORE I started. And because of that, I’ve made it much harder to achieve the next bonus.

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Don’t Give Up!

Unfortunately, because nobody is perfect, all business owners will make mistakes. But the point is, what do they do after making the mistake? Do they give up? If they do, they are not the right people to run a business. To run a successful business, we have to admit that we are going to have setbacks, we are going to make mistakes, we are going to have tough times. But we learn how to overcome those setbacks, we learn from our mistakes and we power through the tough times. If we get knocked down, we jump back up and find a better way. If we focus on what has gone wrong and allow the negativity to take over, we will give up. But if we focus on how we can do things better and allow our determination for having a successful business take over, we will carry on and achieve our goals.

So my goal is to achieve the next bonus, however hard it may be. I will ask for help when I don’t understand things, rather than just muddling through and expecting my upline to tell me absolutely everything before I start. The training and support is there but I have to avail myself of it. I cannot think that it’s another person’s responsibility to automatically give me the training.

I hope you find my candidness useful. Please feel free to offer suggestions on what to include in my blog using the comments section below. Thank you.

Introduction to me

This is my first ever blog and I have to admit, I’m a little nervous. I’ve done a lot of research about blogs and everyone says to ‘be myself’ so I thought I’d start with something about me.

I’m 40 years old – I can’t believe I’m saying that! It only seems 2 minutes since I was 20! But alas, I’m not 20 anymore. I’m married to a wonderful and very supportive man. We’ve been married for nearly 14 years. We don’t have kids. We’ve always been pretty laid back about having kids. Our motto was ‘if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t’ and it never has. We’ve both had our broody moments but they always pass. It’s a shame though because my husband would make a fantastic dad.

My hubby is a lot like my dad and that’s a good thing because I am a ‘daddy’s girl’. They are both quiet and gentle in nature with a good sense of humour. They share the same opinions on things. They have more of a ‘father – son’ relationship than a ‘father-in-Law  –  son-in-law’ one. I’m so glad it’s like that because a few years ago my dad was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. I have 4 older siblings, but because of various reasons, I give dad the most support. And my hubby is right there with me. What makes it worse is that my step-mum is also in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. At the moment, they can function in day to day life ok. They just need extra help with certain things. But we can see them slowing down and their memories are getting worse.

We recently took them on holiday to a place in North Wales. Mum and dad used to take us every year when we were little. We always stayed on a farm. We stopped going when I was about 8 years old. But years later, my sister and her husband went to see if it had changed much and found the original farmer still there. So they started going back for their holidays and the rest of us followed. The last time dad went was 10 years ago, just after mum had died. She died from cancer. It was a truly horrific time.

The incredibly sad thing was that when we arrived last week, dad didn’t recognise the farmer, even though he hasn’t changed that much. And throughout the week, although we visited places we’d visited as kids, dad didn’t recognise them either. My other sister thought that we’d have to ‘watch him’ because when he saw all the places that we visited as a family, lots of memories would come flooding back and he’d get all upset. But the truth is, he got more upset because he didn’t recognise those places and he knew he should have done. He wasn’t in tears or anything, but his face and a couple of comments he made said it all. Despite that, we had a really lovely, relaxing week together.

Well, this blog was supposed to be about my journey as an Avon Rep and Sales Leader. But as I suspected, it’s turning into a blog about my dad with his Alzheimer’s.  Still, I don’t see why I can’t blog about both. The two are related in a way. When I first started as an Avon Rep, I just wanted a bit of extra cash and honestly, as a Rep, that’s all you get. But now, I could do with bringing in a little more which is why I’m trying my hand at being a Sales Leader. I have a very busy life and I’m fortunate enough to be doing a lot of things I enjoy. But to continue doing those things, I need work that’s flexible. And as my dad needs more and more support, I need to be on hand for him. So being employed by someone else and being tied to a schedule set by them, is not really an option.

I had confirmation of my Sales Leadership yesterday. So now I need to recruit Reps. I’ve spent the week joining various Facebook groups and advertising on them. And I’ve shut my personal Facebook account down (because I hardly ever used it) and made more of my Avon Facebook account. I’ve requested to be friends with loads of the suggestions Facebook keep bombarding me with. And I’ve advertised for Reps on my Facebook page. I WhatsApped a few friends and relatives who I thought might give it a go and asked them if they knew anyone else who might like to try it. One of my friends who saw the advert on Facebook contacted me for more information. Her husband has lost some hours at work, so they need a bit extra from somewhere. And my ever loyal and supportive husband has agreed to sign up. He’s going to sell the products for men on eBay. That’s one of the good things about Avon now. Reps don’t have to go canvassing from door to door if they don’t want to. They can just sell online, either through the free online Avon store that they set up on becoming a Rep, or on eBay or Amazon etc. My sales leader told me about a couple who have set up an eBay shop to sell Avon products. It’s so huge that they buy in bulk from Avon at greater discounted prices and Royal Mail collect all the parcels from their house.

I think that’s enough of an introduction for now. Next time, I’ll blog about some of the other changes Avon have made and tell you a bit more about how I started as an Avon Rep. And maybe there’ll be a little bit more about my dad 🙂