Don’t Lose It, Just Move It
Whether you’re moving a few hours away or across the country, moving your direct sales business along with your household can be daunting. What with packing boxes, finding the right home and hooking up your utilities you really have enough to worry about. But as a self-employed mompreneur, you can relocate your business as well and with a little foresight, you can make it a smooth transition.
Plan ahead. As soon as you begin your quest for a new address, keep your business a part of everything. You have contacts here, check with them about people they may know where you are going. Someone’s cousin, former co-worker or college roommate who lives in your new town may become your best connection. As you check with your current contacts you may want to book some extra catalog shows to keep sales going until your show schedule and customer base is established in your new area. Remember when you first began your business and you were able to ask everyone to help you get started? You’re going to do that again so start early and ask everyone:
• the realtor who shows you houses
• office staff at your kid’s school
• your neighborhood association
Check with the Chamber of Commerce about networking or leads groups in the area.
Prepare to be mobile and ready for business. Technology allows us to be creative with where and what we call an office these days, however, you may want to put together a “mobile office” before you hit the road. Have enough of these on hand to take care of whomever you meet:
• order forms
• business cards
• recruiting information
A file box for my mobile office, a laptop and my company’s starter kit were all I had in the car and when we arrived in North Carolina. I was able to do two shows right away without needing to unpack a truck or look through boxes.
Put yourself out there and hit the ground running! Once you arrive and as soon as you can, advertise that you are in the area. Wear your logo items, carry a tote and drive around with a car magnet or window decal. Here’s where you’ll need to stretch a bit outside of your comfort zone (at least it’s a stretch for me) but getting yourself out there is a beginning and once you have established yourself as the new representative for your company you can settle back into booking your shows at your shows. For starters, door to door may be the way to go. With clip board and catalogs or flyers in hand shopping areas are a good start. Stop into the karate studio, the insurance office and the pharmacy. Introduce yourself, ask if you can leave a flyer or catalog and let people know you are new to the area and looking for people who love your product. If there is a bulletin board, check to see if you can post something there. If there’s a waiting room, ask if you can leave some catalogs. You may want to target businesses that complement your product line. For example, I introduced myself as a Pampered Chef consultant to several salon and spa owners. Since they like to pamper people and I like to pamper people, I asked to leave some catalogs in their waiting areas and now have a relationship with those businesses. For residential areas, check the city’s soliciting ordinance before you go house to house. A simple door hanger with your contact information may be appropriate announcing you are available for parties in the area. Or use cellophane bags to hang on door knobs and leave a catalog.
Partying with your new neighbors is a great way to start. You may have had a kick-off show or grand opening when you began your business. Now is a great time to do that again. When people see you move in they’re going to be curious and what better way to meet the neighbors and let them know you are there to serve them than to pamper their socks off. Planning a date for a show in your new digs will definitely get those boxes unpacked and the place presentable in a hurry. Invite the whole block, the people you met when you went into those strip malls and your realtor. You can even make it a “no sales” show just to introduce yourself and your product and treat everyone. Bookings are your main goal at this point and even if you said they can’t buy anything, have some wish lists on hand so your future hosts can begin shopping.
Lastly, Please don’t forget the people you left behind. Your team, your customers and your past hosts are still a base for you back home. If you return for a visit, doing a show allows you to write off the trip. Keeping in touch can ensure some catalog and Facebook shows to add to your schedule. Once you’re established in your new area, it will be like having two businesses ~ just think of the Possibilities!
Jennifer Menting has been with The Pampered Chef for 11 years. Wife to Gary and mom to daughter, Sara and son, Devin, she moved her business half-way across the country to North Carolina in 2008. Jennifer loves to provide a personal shopping experience with her cooking classes and workshops. Her mission is to give away as much free product as possible through Pampered Chef’s generous host program. Contact her for your personal pampering or cooking class through her fan page on Facebook or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.