Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mini Basket Party Kits

The stuff for a basket party kit can add up to quite a bit of money (party testers, maybe warmers, catalogs, order forms, basket/bag, etc.) I wanted to have some basket parties ready to hand out at a fair, but I was a little nervous about it because I knew I'd handing them out to total strangers, maybe limiting my ability to get my stuff back.

My solution was to make mini basket party kits. I figured that if I didn't get them back, I wouldn't be out much. In fact, they are almost disposible

First, I made samples of just the Scentsy Favorites scents and put them in little plastic bags:

The mini party kits contained these samples, 3 catalogs, 3 order forms, business cards, a little flyer I made myself, a self-addressed envelope for returning the samples, and a flyer for the warmer of the month:

These mini kits were very inexpensive to make. Everything fit perfectly into a gallon size ziploc bag, folded in half. I put stickers on it with my information and instructions for holding the party and returning everything to me.

Unfortunately, I didn't hand any of these out at the fair I made them for, but I plan to use them at the next event where I'm promoting Scentsy.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"I think my heart is smarter than my brain"

A precious little boy learning to ride his bike without the training wheels said this to his mother (who is my friend):

"Mom, I think my heart is smarter than my brain because when I listen to my brain I get scared and fall but when I listen to my heart I just keep pedaling!"

I thought that was wonderful, and directly applicable to a Scentsy business. For myself, sometimes it's good to be reminded to listen to my heart and just keep pedaling.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Holiday Collection!

Hi Everyone, have you seen the Holiday Collection? Six great warmers and four plug-ins - PLUS November's warmer of the month, too!

I don't know about you, but I am planning to make hay with these gorgeous new products. What a great bunch of tools Scentsy is giving us for holiday selling! I have printed the catalog pages and am emailing and handing them out to everyone. I don't think it's too early, and I don't want to wait until I can order the catalog pages Oct 15, and probably not get them until at least Oct 20. I want to be ready to order Nov 1st!

My only concern is that these warmers and plug-ins will be available only until supplies run out - and I think they're going to sell out fast. That's why I think it's wise to begin pre-selling now. I also plan to order as much inventory as I can afford, then sell cash-and-carry, in hopes of avoiding the disappointments some consultants had with the Jack.

Happy selling! Let's go!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Making Bulk Samples

Here's a fast, easy, inexpensive way to make bulk samples when you need a bunch to hand out at an event like a fair or a show. (I was making these for a school carnival.)

I used a breakaway candy mold (purchased at Hobby Lobby for $2.99. It has 64 squares.) Then I melted two squares of a brick in a syrup pour-er (used the crockpot), and poured the contents into the mold.

The wax begins to set up in only a few minutes.

Once it set up a little, I put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Then I just flipped it over. The wax pops right out and easily breaks into little pieces about the size of a Chicklet. I put each sample in a little plastic bag (purchased from Hobby Lobby, 100 for $2.50) along with a business card.

You can make literally hundreds of these in very little time, for just pennies apiece.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Updating Basket Testers for Transition

I have 3 sets of basket testers. With the Fall/Winter transition, I needed to update them. But I didn't want to go to the expense of buying new containers (I get my containers and labels from http://www.samplecontainerstore.com/. They have been great to work with.) So I decided to see if I could update using my existing containers. I found that I could, and I found an easy way to do it.

First, I sorted out the outdated basket testers. I discovered the wax would pop right out with a knife. I popped it out and put it in little bags, using the labels from the basket testers, to use for samples and gifts.

Most of the containers came pretty clean after a good swish in hot, sudsy water. (A few stained a little, mainly scents that were red or orange. I decided to use these for like-colored new scents.)

Then I put the new Fall/Winter party testers into my crockpot to soften them (did this in groups of about seven). (Later, I also tried putting them in the oven at about 150, and this worked too.)

I used the small side of a mellon baller to scoop out a ball of wax and put it in the little containers.

Then I closed them up, and put them back in the crockpot.

They melted really quickly, and then I took them out and put the labels on them. (In retrospect: it would have made better sense to put the labels on first, before putting the wax in.) They also set up really quickly once they were out of the crockpot.

This was a really fast, easy, cheap way to update my 3 sets of party containers. It worked great!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Learning from a Bomb

I debated whether to do this post, but decided that I want to be honest about "failures" as well as successes. Plus this might happen to someone else. So here goes.

My teenage daughter and I decided to have a party for her school friends. We scheduled it for Sat Sep 5 from 11-1. She handed out 25 invitations at school.

Well, guess what? No one came. Not one. I didn't know how many to expect, but I surely didn't expect that not a single person would come.

At first I was really disappointed. Then I started thinking. It was a holiday weekend. She handed the invitations out on the Wednesday before. We didn't make any reminder calls. Plus these were teenage girls. I told my daughter she ought to talk to her friends at school on Monday and see if anyone wanted to buy, but she felt funny about "bugging" her friends. And she is a teenager after all, so I didn't pressure her.

Bottom line? Here's what I think:

1. Watch for big potential conflicts when you schedule parties.

2. Make reminder calls the night before.

3. After a show, call those who didn't come. Sometimes they just forget. Sometimes they wanted to come, but couldn't, and still might order. It doesn't hurt to follow up. Sometimes I have gotten more orders on followup calls after a show, than at the actual show itself.

4. If you're going to do direct selling, you're going to have some disappointments. You have to learn how to recover from them and move on if you want to succeed.

That's what we're going to do.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Scent/Warmer of the Month

Someone recently posted on one of the forums, "How can consultants afford the Scent/Warmer of the Month?"

I had the same question, so I did some calculating.

The Scent/Warmer of the Month combo costs $60/month. Here's what is in the Scent/Warmer of the Month, and what it's worth (retail price):

1. Warmer of the Month = $30 (usually)
2. Basket tester = .75
3. Party tester = 2.00
4. Room Spray = $8
5. 6 bars = $30
6. Brick = $20
7. Flyers = ?

That's $90.75 in product (retail value).

You'll receive a 25% commission on the $60 price. That means you're really out $45 for the Scent/Warmer of the month combo. (I'm not figuring in tax here, because I figure it will be a wash in what you pay when you buy, and what you charge when you sell.)

It also means if you sold all of the contents at regular retail price, you would double your money (you pay $45, the retail value is about $90.75). Depending on your rank, you might make more. That's a 100% profit! If you choose to sell all the product, the Scent/Warmer of the month kit is the most profitable Scentsy product available.

Another way to look at it is, you pay $45 and have about $45 in product to work with for freebies. Everyone knows that freebies are a big part of generating excitement. Well, the Scent/Warmer of the month combo is how you can afford to give away freebies.

You can use the brick to make samples for very little cost - especially important if you need to make samples in large quantities, such as when you're doing an event (fair, show, fundraiser, etc). Or you can use the warmer/bars as giveaways, or for drawings (to get mailing lists for future sales/parties).

A few other thoughts:

* The Scent/Warmer of the month combo counts towards your personal retail sales volume, which increases your rank and helps you to stay active.

* The combo helps you have something new and fresh to put in front of your customer base every month. Sometimes someone will have a party, just because they want to get a certain warmer (I think this is going to happen with this month's Jack-o-Lantern warmer). At any rate, it gives you a reason to communicate with your customer base, especially past hostesses.

It really all depends on what you want to do with your Scentsy business:

* If you want to be more of a personal use consultant, or want to run things more on a low-commitment, low-volume basis, then yes, the Scent/Warmer of the Month combo is a big financial commitment. (And there's nothing wrong if this is what you want to do - it should be what fits into your life and your goals at any given point in time.)

* But if you want to rev up your business, work hard, sell more, and make serious money, then the real question isn't "How can I afford to do it?" The real question is, "How can I afford not to do it?"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Scentsy Can be Anything You Want

One of the main reasons I like Scentsy is because Scentsy can be anything you want it to be. Truly.

If you want to be a "personal use consultant" (one who's in it mainly to get discounted products), you can. Scentsy is EASY to maintain active status in. All you have to do is have one qualified party ($150 in sales) every 3 months. That's only four $150 parties a year.

One consultant I talked to doesn't even do that. She has two parties a year, and places two inventory orders a year (selling the inventory at the parties). Her life is very full and busy, and that's all she wants to do right now.

[When you do the math for this scenario, it's really quite compelling: If the lowest-ranking consultant - Escential - places two inventory orders a year, she will receive a commission of $30 on each $150 order, for a total of $60 in commissions. That means she really only needs to put out $240 on the two inventory shows ($300 - $60). Then, if she has two $150 parties in a year, she will earn another $60 in commissions ($30/show). If she applies that $60 to the two inventory orders, she really only need to put out $180 on the inventory orders ($240 - $60). Most likely, that $180 will easily be covered by her two "paying" shows.]

And heck - you can place a $150 show yourself, just by doing all your Christmas, birthday, teacher, wedding, bridal, thank-you, and other incidental gift shopping for the year, all at one time!

On the other hand, if you want to totally go for it and create a career, you can. I spoke with one consultant at Convention who is making a six-figure income with Scentsy. She has been in it four years and she works very, very hard. But I know lots of women who have had their jobs for four years and work very, very hard, and none of them are making what this consultant is making. She projects a 50% increase in her income this year (based on the year so far). No one who is working a "regular" job gets a 50% pay raise in a year - at least, I've never heard of it - and especially not in a recession!

With Scentsy, you can work when you want to work. If you want to take the summer off, you can. If you want to take December off, you can. You mark out the days you want to work on your calendar, and you work those days. Of course you also have to take the initiative to fill up your schedule.

It's also true that a lot of the work of Scentsy (making calls & emails, filling orders, managing inventory, etc.) can be done at home in little bits and pieces as it fits. And a lot of the work of Scentsy can mesh right with what you're doing already (talk to someone at a soccer game, hand out samples at the bank, put a car vinyl on the car you drive every day anyhow).

I have been involved with five direct-selling companies at various times in my life: Pampered Chef, lia sophia jewelry, Jafra cosmetics, BeautiControl skin care, and Scentsy. Of all these companies, Scentsy has the best career path and compensation plan.

Most companies require you to sell a monthly quota to retain active status. Scentsy has a quarterly quota, and everyone else's monthly quota is higher than Scentsy's quarterly quota (which is only $150!) So Scentsy is the easiest company to stay active in. That's important, because you have to stay active to retain your rank and your downline, which have a big effect in determining your income.

With every other company, if you miss your quota or go inactive, you lose out big. For example, with Lia Sophia, you lose your downline. With Pampered Chef, you start over from ZERO on your lifetime sales (which drops your rank, which drops your pay).

With Scentsy, you retain your rank as long as you stay active (you aren't paid certain commissions that month if you don't hit the monthly quota, but you don't lose your downline either). Plus, Scentsy's personal sales quota that you have to hit in order to receive commissions on your downline in any given month, is only $500. That is very low, in the direct-selling world.

What all this means is that Scentsy's compensation plan is far more flexible and generous than anyone else's. So it cuts both ways: if you don't want to work a whole lot, Scentsy is flexible enough to let you do that. If you want to go for it, work hard, and earn a good income, Scentsy will get you there faster than anyone else.

For myself, I'm more at the "personal-use" end of the consultant spectrum right now. But I also like the idea that if I wanted to move more to the "make-money" end of the spectrum, everything I'm doing now is positioning me to do so, should I decide I want to kick it up a notch or two.

Besides, I'm sure having a lot of fun where I'm at!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Notes from Prospecting Workshop at Convention

Here's my notes from the Prospecting workshop I attended at Convention. It was done in kind of a Q & A format, with a panel of four SuperStar Directors (I think they may have been different every session). These notes aren't necessarily complete, but they're what struck me.

Always be prepared to prospect.
* Keep catalogs, car candles, business cards in your purse or bag so you can hand them out at any time
* You never know when you'll have an opportunity
* The worst they can do is say no

Tell people about Scentsy every day.
* Try to tell 5-10 people every day.
* Make it work in your life.
* You can send emails with links to the catalog.
* The key is to not give up.
* Put catalogs out at doctors/dentists offices.
* If you talked to 2 people a day for 4 years, you would talk w/ about 3000 people in four years!
* Talk to people in lines
* Give small gifts to people you see all the time (ie, car candle to your banker)
* Don't try to force things - let people work on their own time - has to fit
* Make lists of people you know

Using the Internet
* Facebook
* MySpace
* LinkedIn
* Message boards
* Forums
* Yahoo groups

Believe in your business and have a goal
* Know where you want to go
* Attach time limits to your goals
* Put sticky notes and visual reminders up to remind you of your goals

* The best customers in your current customer base are prime for recruiting

* Let them go to WalMart, they'll come back
* Be gracious and give them a discount when they do
* Say "Actually, mine is free" and explain how they can get it for free
* Explain how Scentsy compares to the competition, price-wise

* Know your community
* Avoid "bad nights" in your community (for example, Mondays in Utah)

Successful shows
* Give out personal invitations
* Reminder calls the day before
* Theme parties (cookie exchange, recipe exchange, mexican party, banana splits)
* Mystery hostess
* Rewards for bringing a guest

Dealing with Setbacks
* "If times are tough, you just work harder"
* Don't quit
* Success might be just around the corner
* For everyone who says no, there's someone else who's looking
* Don't get sucked into "the economy's bad" trap

Why Scentsy works
* It's simple
* It appeals to everyone

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

They paid ME to go to Convention!

Frankly, I was amazed at the generosity of the giveaways at Convention.

I was given two mid-size warmers @ $25 each (everyone got one, and I got an extra from the tiara game, which is its own whole story, thanks Lynda!); a Design-It-Yourself warmer & rub-ons ($30 + $10); a commemoriative warmer (I figure $30?); a full-size warmer ($30); and a tangarine plug-in ($15) (the plug-in isn't in the picture because my daughter confiscated it as soon as she saw it). That's $165 in warmers and the plug-in.

Close-up of Commemorative and Full-Size Warmer (Zeus, from new line):

Close-up of Design it yourself warmer (with rub-ons added - my daughter couldn't wait!):

Close-up of two Mid-Size warmers:

I was given two T-shirts, a Scentsy Travel Tin ($5), a set of Fall/Winter catalogs ($20), a Scentsy bar ($5), and two CDs (one training, one promotional - I think they cost $1 each, so that's $2). That's about $32.

And finally, at the end of the second session (I think), we were each given a box.

When I opened it up ...

... it was a FULL SET of both basket and party transition testers ($19.95 + $53.20 = $73.15)!!

I paid $150 to in registration, and I received about $270 in FREE merchandise! So I figure they paid ME to go to convention!

Plus my director gave me a goodie bag, and Scentsy paid for 3 meals + speakers + entertainment!

(Note: I live 45 minutes away, so I didn't have to buy a plane ticket or pay for a hotel room or rental car - but with some planning ahead, and if you were able to share, I think you could minimize those expenses.)

"Use Your Own Uniqueness"

One of many interesting things Orville said at Convention is to work with your own uniqueness, instead of working against it. For example, a working mom should think, "I work, so I have lots of contacts I can introduce Scentsy to," instead of "I work, so I don't have time to do Scentsy." A stay at home mom could think, "I have more time and flexibility to work on Scentsy," instead of "I don't know anyone."

In a similar vein, Mary Christensen that if you really want to succeed, you need to connect your business to something you are passionate about. She told the story of a woman who wanted to succeed in her business because her husband had been ashamed of his teeth all of his life, and she wanted to earn enough money so they could get his teeth fixed.

I got to thinking about that. What is a part of my uniqueness? Well, for one thing, I really don't like selling. Which sounds like an odd quality to identify for someone who's trying to think about how to succeed in direct selling. But it's true.

I also got to thinking. What am I passionate about? Well, one thing I am passionate about is my community and my children's schools.

So then I got to thinking some more. How can I combine my uniqueness and what I care about, with an eye towards succeeding in Scentsy?

I came up with a plan. I think I'm going to offer to the PTA at all three schools in my community - elementary, junior high, and high school - that I'm willing to do a Scentsy fund raiser for them. I.e., they let me have a table at a prominent event such as back-to-school night, I sell Scentsy, and I give them 100% of the profit.

I told my daughter, and she said, "Why would you want to do that? You won't make any money!" I answered her, "Yes, but I will get credit for the sales, and that will help me advance in rank. I'll also get some free/discounted product. I'll have the opportunity to start developing a bigger customer base. And besides, it will be a way we can give back to our community. I don't have a lot of money I can donate to your school, but I'm willing to work to earn money we can donate."

I guess the point is, you have to open up your thinking. You have to think about how to give back, and sometimes that means thinking about how you can succeed, instead of why you can't succeed:

* Before Convention, with two weeks to termination, I was thinking that maybe I really can't succeed at Scentsy, because I don't like selling.

* After Convention, I'm trying to think in a new way: how can I succeed at Scentsy not in spite of who I am, but because of who I am? And, how can I use Scentsy to give back and create a double blessing - one for me, and one for someone else?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mary Christensen's Convention Workshop on Booking

Hi Ladies, I know a lot of you wanted to go to Convention but couldn't. So I'm going to post some of my notes from Convention here on my blog. Enjoy!

One of my favorites from Convention was Mary Christensen's workshop on Booking. Mary Christensen was absolutely fabulous, and her workshop was full of powerful info on how to get bookings and keep a full calendar of shows. I came away from it thinking, "Maybe I can do this after all!"

Here are my notes from the booking workshop:

* Bookings = sales, new hostesses, and new recruits

1. Know what you want to accomplish.

Decide exactly what you want from your business, and go from there.

There's a systematic way to do this:
* First, you need to know how much you want to make.
* Then, you need to know an approximate average amount you earn per show.
* Divide the amount you want to make by how much you average per show, and that tells you how many shows you need to do.

For example, if you want to earn $400/month and you average $100/show, you need to do 4 shows per month.

2. Decide when you want to work.

Get an inexpensive calendar that shows a month at a time. (update 8/19: Scentsy Success actually has a calendar that would be perfect, it's $4 - go to www.scentsysuccess, click on "Binders - New" and scroll down til you see the "Binder Plan Calendar" product. - Sorry, blogger wouldn't let me paste the exact link in here.)

Use this calendar for your business bookings ONLY. Decide when you want to work, and highlight those dates on the calendar.

For example, if you want to work once a week on Thursday nights, highlight all the Thursdays on your calendar.

3. Plan to get bookings at each and every show you do.

She said that it's much easier and better to get bookings at shows than to try to get bookings by cold calling (she said an industry average for beginners is that you get 1 booking for every 10 cold calls, and that as you improve, you might get 3 bookings for every 10 cold calls). She therefore recommended trying to get 2 bookings from every show.

How to do this:

* If you want bookings, you must talk about booking as much as you talk about sales.
* It has to be all about the customer, not about you or about Scentsy.
* Therefore, you have to talk about bookings in a way that appeals to the customers' self-interest.
* Here is an approximate script for the beginning of a show, and using your calendar (she acted this out, I took approximate notes on what she said):

"Hello everyone, I want to thank you all for coming out. Thanks to our wonderful host, Susan. I want to give her a special gift for having this show (give host a small gift). We're going to have so much fun tonight. Scentsy products are wonderful, and I know that you'll want to book your own show after you see them all tonight so you can earn your own Scentsy shopping spree.

"Here's my calendar. Have a look through - the dates highlighted in yellow are the dates I have available for my next Scentsy shows. I have a special gift for everyone who books a show tonight, don't miss out!" (hand the calendar out)

4. Using "booking bags" to help get bookings.

She had these set up on the table. They were just pretty gift bags with tissue paper sticking the top, and they had big tags on them that said things like "$50 shopping spree." Her comment was, people are busy and maybe tired, and you need to catch their attention right at the start by displaying products and also something to catch their curiousity - which a potential free gift will do.

You fill the bags with little incidental gifts like Scentsy lip gloss, Scentsy water bottles, key rings, etc. You also put in gift certificates.

You use these gift bags to help you get bookings, because you give a gift bag to each person when they book a show. Some of the bags had dates on them. (These are your next 3 available booking dates from your calendar.) Some had "Scentsy shopping Spree" amounts on the tag, to be redeemed at their party (don't do it at their hostesses' party, because then they lose motivation to hold thier own party).

Again, she acted out using the gift bags, saying something like this:

"Who's wondering what's in these bags? Well, I'll tell you. They're full of special gifts for anyone who books a show tonight! (take out some of the gifts, take out the gift certificates, show them and explain)

"Who would like to take one of these home with them tonight? Well, you all can! I'm giving a bag to everyone who books a Scentsy show tonight. When you host a show, you'll earn at least a $37 Scentsy shopping spree. And you can earn much more! Plus there are lots of fun prizes in these bags, so be sure to look at my calendar as it goes around and pick the date you want for YOUR show!"

5. Prep your hostess to get bookings BEFORE the party.

When you're coaching your hostess, explain the rewards for getting bookings (a half-price item for every booking made at her show.) As her who is coming to her show, and who is most likely to book. Ask her who has hosted parties in the past, and who likes to go to parties. Try to have some booking ideas in your mind before you even have the show.

6. To help identify potential hostesses, play a short game at the very beginning of the party.

It goes something like this:

After you welcome the guests and thank the hostess, hand out small sheets of paper. Explain that you're going to play a game for just a few minutes, and that the winner will get a free gift. Have them give themselves points for the following questions:
Question #1. Give yourself 1 point for every party (Scentsy, Tupperware, lia sophia, Mary Kay, etc) you've ever attended.

Question #2. Double the points for every party you've attended in the last 6 months.

Question #3: Give yourself 5 points for every party you've ever hosted.

Question #4: Double the points for every party you've hosted in the last 6 months.

Question #5: Give yourself 2 points if you love candles.

The one with the most points wins, but is also a prime prospect for booking a show.

7. When your guests first come in the door, give them two different colored pens, perhaps red and black. Then, when you welcome everyone, explain that the black pen is for them to write down the things they HAVE to have and want to get that night. The red pen is for them to write down things they want. When you take their order, look at what they want, and explain that they can earn everything on their wish list by hosting a show and earning free/discounted products. Keep the order sheets so you can do follow-up calls and emails and mention the items you know they want, in the future. (For example, if a warmer they want is being discontinued at the catalog change, you can call them, let them know the product is going away, and see if they want to host/order.)

8. If you must cold call, here's an effective strategy. Put 10 bangles on your left wrist. Everytime you make a call, transfer a bangle to your right wrist. Promise yourself you'll transfer all the bangles during the course of the day. This makes your goal concrete and helps keep you on track. (You can choose the number of calls you're going to make in any given day, she recommended 10 cold calls per day if you're serious about building a business.)

Miscellaneous tidbits from her presentation:

* You need to transition from family/friends to others if you want to keep a beginning business alive. The way to do this is BOOKINGS.

* Everyone is self-obsessed. Always talk about them, not yourself or Scentsy, because they'll always listen when you talk about THEM. Present everything to appeal to customers/potential hostesses, from the standpoint of what's in it for them. For example: "Your party was so fun," "You're one of my favorite hostesses," "You were so organized," "You can earn free gifts," etc.

* If you're earning $20K, you have the skills to earn $100K.

* All you need is courage and discipline.

* "Hope is not a good business plan."

Note: Mary Christensen had a number of books and audio tapes available at convention. One of the audio tapes was on booking. I did not purchase any of the audio tapes (have to earn some money first), but based on her workshop, I'm guessing that they're pretty good. You can get them on her web site, www.marychristensen.com.

Convention was IN-credible!

All I have to say is, Convention was IN-credible! I thought about not going, but I am so glad I did.

Here's my sad little story: I signed up for Scentsy in the spring. My launch party was a bomb, which was discouraging. My first few parties fell through - also discouraging. Summer has been extremely busy, and I haven't done anything with Scentsy.

So there I was, an Escential Consultant with maybe a week or two until termination. I was trying to decide if I should just cut and run (sell my Convention registration and my inventory), or go to Convention anyway.

Well, I decided to go to Convention. And I am soooo glad I did. If you haven't been, I'd HIGHLY recommend Denver in 2010!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Business Decisions and Teaching My Daughter

One of the reasons I decided to try Scentsy is because my teenage daughter was so fascinated by it, when we went to a party. I thought doing Scentsy could give her a close-up look at what it's like to run a small business and make business decisions. I even thought that if she does Scentsy with me and she likes it, perhaps when she is 18 she can start a Scentsy business of her own. This could give her options when she needs money to put herself through college, or if she needs to supplement her family income when she marries.

So today we sat down for a minute to talk about Scentsy so far.

We had a party with $60 in orders. We could submit those orders as individual orders, and not have to spend any money out of pocket (low-risk). Or we could submit those orders as part of a regular show order, and supplement the balance out of pocket to buy inventory (higher risk, potentially higher return). Going this route, we would have to invest some of our own money, but we would get a lot of inventory at a discount, that we could sell later.

Here's what we did:

* We ordered a Double the Scentsy multipack, first ordering the 11 bars from the orders placed at the party, then ordering the remainder of the bars and the warmers as inventory for ourselves (13 bars and 2 warmers).

* Used our half-price item to order a $44 Scentsy System for only $22 (3 bars and 1 warmer).

* Used our $15 in free product credit to order 3 Scentsy bars.

* Ordered the room spray and car candles as separate items, covering the cost by the customers' payments.

We paid $162 (before taxes) for 30 bars and 3 warmers. 11 of the bars were paid for at $5 each from the orders, so our cost was $107 for 19 bars and 3 warmers (regular retail value would be $155). 20% commission on the $162 total is about $32, so in reality our out-of-pocket cost for the inventory is about $75. If we can sell all that inventory at regular retail prices, we'll more than double our money (our cost $75, retail value $155).

As I explained to my daughter, a 100% profit on a business investment is pretty dang good.

As I also explained to her, it will take some work and some time. So we have to take the long view and be patient.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Launch Party

My first party. Well, I'd really like to be able to tell you that I sold $1000 of product, put out 4 basket parties, and recruited 6 consultants.

But ... I didn't.

Actually, only a few people came, and I only sold about $60. But, I did put out a basket party, so we'll see where that goes.

I have to be honest with you, it's disappointing. But it doesn't mean I won't keep trying. I think if you're going to do any kind of selling, you have to learn how to shake off stuff like this. For sure you can't give up.

I look at it this way: Maybe if you plant a lot of seeds, only a few of them will grow. You never know. But if you stop planting seeds, you know for sure: nothing's ever going to grow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Leveraging My Work

OK, so I'm new to Scentsy and I haven't had a party or sold anything yet. So I don't really know what I'm talking about. But that doesn't mean I'll shut up!

I've been thinking about what strategy to take with Scentsy, and it seems to me that the whole key is to leverage personal effort.

The most obvious thing to do, in terms of leveraging, is to recruit like crazy as fast as you can. Then you have an organization working for you, and instead of profiting from just your own efforts, you're profiting from many other peoples' efforts. (Check out the compensation plan!!!) Scentsy makes it really easy to recruit, because it's so easy for people to get in and to stay active.

The next obvious leveraging thing is basket parties. With basket parties, you're leveraging your resources and the hostess' effort. You don't have to go somewhere at a certain time and stay there a few hours, plus add travel time on to that, to have a show. Instead, you're just making baskets, checking them out, checking them back in, placing orders, and communicating with your hostess.

When you have a bunch of baskets created and checked out, you have a bunch of good little workers out there earning money for you. On the forums, I've seen people saying that they have people waiting to do basket parties, because they don't have enough baskets. That doesn't make sense to me. Why make people wait to buy from you? Especially when you can put together a simple little basket for under $30. (Pour basket testers from your party testers and just use an inexpensive container.)

Plus, the return on investment is phenomenal. If I put together a basket and it costs me $30, and someone takes it and does a $150 show, I just made my money back. If it does a $300 show, I just doubled my money! (And that's at the lowest possible compensation level!) And this can keep going and going and going until the basket gets worn out!

Seems like a last obvious leveraging thing is to use technology. It's so easy for people to order from your personal web site, and to sign up from the web site, that I think you'd have to be crazy not to at least keep the initial 3 months' personal web site.

You'd also have to be crazy not to get as many emails as possible from those who attend shows (think drawings!), those who buy (they'll always need more wax!), and keep an email list that you can use for easy communication.

Beyond the personal web site and email lists - it seems like blogging (and linking to your web site from your blog), using Facebook/Myspace and Twitter - all are ways to use technology, to leverage effort. They give you a way to have a presence literally all over the world, far beyond the reach of your own friends and neighbors! And with Scentsy, you have long-distance parties from anywhere in the world - just mail a set of basket testers. So WHY NOT?!

Making Basket Testers

Just got done making four full sets of basket testers. I used the containers from the Scentsy set that I bought at http://www.samplecontainerstore.com/. They worked out great! I followed the instructions at http://ourscentsyteam.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-to-make-basket-testers-at-home.html, and it worked out really well.

But, it was a LOT of work! Here are some notes to myself for next time:

1. Line the basket testers up in alphabetical order (the labels from samplecontainerstore.com are in alphabetical order, and there are enough labels to make 3 full sets of basket testers. It's almost as easy to do three as one, so you might as well do all three).

2. Line the little empty plastic containers up next to the basket containers. Don't close them (they won't lie as flat), and don't put the labels on first (it's easier to do it after you've poured the wax and closed the containers).

3. It works best if you can get in a good "rhythm" where as you finish pouring a set of one fragrance, you have another ready. For me, what worked best was to have about 7 party testers in a saucepan with about an inch of water on the stove, with the burner set to about 4. Then take out one scent to pour, and put another scent in to melt.

4. I found it easiest to pour the wax if it wasn't completely melted. When it was all the way melted, it was easier to spill. I liked it best when there was still a small hard "crust" on the top, and I could just poke a hole down the side to pour from. This kept the wax from coming out too fast.

5. After I poured the wax, I found it was best if I let the containers cool and dry for a little while. (That way, the labels didn't smear, and they stuck better because the containers weren't wet.)

6. Then I put the labels on. I found it easiest to do this if I waited until ALL of the containers were poured, cooled, and closed. That way I could just work systematically, in alphabetical order.

I poured four sets, three in the little flat containers from samplecontainerstore.com, and one in some little containers I got at JoAnn's. Seemed to me that I used less than half of the wax in my party testers. So I think you could pour about 8 sets of basket testers from a set of party testers. A set of party testers costs $80, so I think you could pour a set of basket testers for about $10 each. You can get three sets of containers/labels from samplecontainerstore.com for about $60, so the containers/labels for a set cost about $20 each. That's about $30 for a full set of basket testers if you pour them yourself - half of the $60 cost to purchase from Scentsy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why Scentsy Could be Da Bomb

OK, I have a confession to make. (Two, in fact.)

1) I don't like selling.
2) I'm not really a candle kind of girl.

So what am I doing selling Scentsy?

Well, I've tried all kinds of little freelancing/entrepreneurial ventures, including direct sales for several other companies. I am brand new to Scentsy, and I mainly signed up because we went to a party and my teenage daughter was so intrigued with it. But the more I learn about Scentsy, the more I think that Scentsy could actually be "da bomb." Here's why:

Scentsy is sooo EASY. Most companies have a whole catalog of different products, and each has a different price. With Scentsy, I plan to mainly sell little warmers (plug ins), big warmers (deluxe warmers), and wax (bars). That's three main things and three prices to remember. That's three categories of products to stock. I barely even have to look anything up in the catalog, to fill orders, because the codes are so simple. It is just sooooo easy.

It's easy to keep your status active. My life is very busy and full right now. I need to be able to work on my own terms, when I want to, and even how much I want to. I want to be able to "drop out" for awhile if I need to, without losing my status. I don't want to have the pressure of having to do X amount of volume every month in order to remain an active consultant.

With Scentsy, all I have to do to keep my status, is place one $150 order every 3 months. That's easy. And because the product line is so simple, I can even feel good about placing an inventory order as one of those orders, then just keeping the product to sell at my next party. I can afford to "risk" $150 every three months (only $50/month!) to keep my status active.

It's easy to recruit and keep your downline. Everyone knows that people who make the real money in direct sales, make it because they have a downline. It only costs about $115 to get in to Scentsy, and you don't have to qualify per se, so it's easy to recruit. Most direct sales companies have requirements for keeping your downline (i.e., you can't go inactive, you have to sell a certain amount of volume, etc.). Of all the companies I know, Scentsy has the easiest rules for keeping your downline. You just have to stay active (ie order $150 per quarter). I can do that.

Now, you don't get your downline override unless you personally sell $500 per month. So if you decide to kick back for a few months, you might not get your downline override for those months. BUT, you won't lose the whole downline and have to start from scratch again when you decide to kick back into gear again.

Basket parties. The usual direct sales scenario is that a hostess throws a party where she invites her friends. They come to her home on a certain day at a certain time. Hopefully, they buy.

Well, everyone I know is WAY busy. Even people who really want to have a party, often have a hard time finding time to do so, and their friends have a hard time finding time to come. So these people can do catalog parties, where they bring catalogs to their friends. But products never sell as well from catalogs, as they do in real life. In my experience, catalog parties are usualy a bust.

But with Scentsy ... ! The nature of the product lends itself beautifully to basket parties. That's where the hostess just takes a container with small samples of the wax for a week or so, and sells to her friends at work or whatever. Instead of having to go to the party, the party comes to you.

Easy and convenient for the hostess, and fabulous for the consultant. (I would never do 5 home parties in a week - I don't want to be away from my family that much. But I would have no problem checking out 5 baskets in a week, then checking them back in and placing the orders!)

Great Support! As soon as I got my ID and password, I went to check out the Scentsy web site. Almost immediately, I discovered the consultant forums.

Wow, what a resource! Here you have hundreds of ladies sharing their experience with Scentsy - what's worked for them, what hasn't, asking questions and helping each other. They share everything you can imagine - pictures of their basket parties and displays; flyers they've created; little handbooks; price comparisons, all kinds of GREAT stuff!

I spent a few hours perusing the forums and felt like I got a good year's head start of experience, by getting to pick everyone's brains for their experience and ideas! A great head start for me or anyone else!

New Company. Scentsy is relatively new - only 5 years old. There's always opportunity in everything, but often the people who really make money with a direct sales company, are the ones who get in early. If you start with Scentsy now, you're getting in on the ground floor.

Yeah, I think Scentsy might be da bomb!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Preparing Baskets for Basket Parties

I've also been working on preparing baskets for those who come to the lauch party and want to take a basket for a basket party. Ordered a basket tester kit from http://www.samplecontainerstore.com/, it should arrive soon. Bought a bunch of baskets from the local thrift store. Putting it all together.

That's one of the things that really interests me about Scentsy - the basket parties. Everyone I know is so busy, it's hard to plan an event and get people to come to it. The beauty of the basket parties, is that the party comes to you instead of you having to go to the party.

Handing out Flyers

Lots of work on Scentsy. Our launch party is this Saturday. We have been handing out many flyers - about 250 so far. My goal is to hand out 40 each day on my morning walk. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"I picked the ones I like"

I asked my daughter if she had finished picking the scents for our first inventory. She said yes. I asked if she had picked the ones she thought her friends would like. She said, "Mom, I picked the ones I like - I don't know my friends' noses!"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Inventory order

One of the reasons why I decided to try Scentsy, is because my daughter is so intrigued with it. We are going to have a party where she invites all her friends. Right now I am placing my first inventory order, for that party. We are getting a Double the Scentsy, because you save so much money buying in the multi-packs vs buying individual items. I asked her to choose what scents and warmers she thought her friends would like. On the warmers, she said, "That's easy!" and picked out Doodle Bug and Shabby Chic. On the scents - she is still busy sniffing :-)

Starting Out with Scentsy

Last week my daughter and I went to a Scentsy party. What fun! So much fun that I decided to sign up and become a distributor. Here's my blog to let you know how it goes!