Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Are You Ready for Fall?

September is here - I can hardly believe it! We are moving into our busiest season of the year. Thought I would share some tips that I have found to be helpful over the years in staying organized and making the most of this time of year.

1. Be ready for business. Have you got your fall catalogs and new fall products? Are your catalogs stamped? I like to take an evening or 2 at the beginning of the season and get ready. I get all my paperwork ready (stamped, etc) and make up my hostess packages.

2. Set some goals. One of the goals I set every fall is how many parties I want to do between now and Christmas. I make up that many hostess packages and have them in a pile. It is a great visual to watch that pile get smaller. On the flip-side, if it is staying the same, I know I need to pick up the phone!

3. Sponsor! Sponsor! Sponsor! Now is the time to talk to people about joining your team so that they too can make the most of fall.

4. Mark your calendar. Pull out your calendar and mark all of your family and personal commitments. Mark local training events and conference calls. Then circle your available party dates. Focus on booking those dates. One of the benefits of direct sales is that we get to set our own hours. Knowing when you're available will help you feel more organized and avoid double-booking yourself.

5. Meal-plan. I am a huge advocate for meal planning. There is nothing worse than going to the fridge at 5:00 to start making supper, only to discover you don't have everything you need - AND you have a party that night so time is of the utmost! By planning your meals at the beginning of the week & making one trip to the store to ensure you have everything you need, you will save yourself so much stress. Bonus idea - cook double. If you are making lasagna, make 2 and throw one in the freezer for a busy night.

6. Close your parties.This is a great way to stay organized and it is also a courtesy for our hostesses and her guests. I strongly suggest not leaving a party open more than 24 hours. Whenever possible, I close the night of the show. Let your hostess know this ahead of time so that if she wants to collect orders, she can do it before. If there are people that can't make it last minute, they can check out the website and get their orders in by the next day (keep in mind most guests are deciding that evening so giving someone a whole day is plenty of time). When shows are left open too long, guests who took the time to make it to the show are now waiting longer for their orders.

7. Work when you're working. This might sound a bit redundant but as multi-taskers, it is very easy for us to be doing several things at once at any given moment. If you are making phone calls, turn your email off. If you are reading to your kids, don't answer the phone. When you are not working, don't think about work. This is a common thing that happens - we feel like we are always working because we are always thinking about work. Learn to be in the moment and make the most of that time.

8. Take care of yourself. When we get busy, we tend to move ourselves down the priority list. It is important to look after you so that you will have the energy to look after your family. Be sure to get some exercise and proper rest. Eat well (the meal planning helps with this too!) and take time for you.