Top 5 Things To Do While You Wait To Onboard
Yay! After much thoughtful consideration, you finally signed up for your favorite direct selling company, CONGRATULATIONS!! Signing up is a huge step toward achieving your goals. Some companies have wait lists because the volume of people who want to join them is greater than their man power to process them. I know it's frustrating to wait, but this is actually a blessing in disguise. There is a lot that needs to be done; this is my top 5 things to do while you wait to onboard or for your kit to arrive.
1. Stalk the internet
I am going to presume that you have already done that in your process to choose a business. But now comes the fun stuff! Join at least 3-5 Facebook groups relative to your business. Look for shopping groups, exchange groups, and/or idea groups, etc. Search beyond what your sponsor suggests, BUT, do not overwhelm yourself! Many of us, yep, I'm guilty! have joined way too many groups to manage. Even if you find useful information in each of them, keep it to a minimum until you get your sea legs. Otherwise, your brain will implode. Besides, there are only so many hours in a day. You don't need to learn everything before you start, but absorb what you can.
I know some will disagree with me, but I think it is useful to familiarize yourself with the negative info about your company. Not the whiney haters, because well, they're whiney haters. Check to see if the products you are going to sell have had issues. How long ago was it? Was it a real issue? Did it get resolved? Learn if your company had any major changes to their operations. How has it impacted consultants and/or customers? Have there been any major changes in policy? Again, how have consultants and/or customers been affected? Why are people quitting their business? Do you feel their reasons are legit? Do you think you might run into the same issue? If so work on it now with your sponsor to make sure it does not happen to you.
If you think this foolish, that's OK, everyone must to what they feel is right. There is no one way to do things. However, I think knowing negative info is useful because you can respond intelligently to your customers questions and needs. For example - a company I sold for had a lawsuit. FYI, large companies tend to get sued a lot, this is not unusual, so don't let it freak you out. Unless the suite is for something horrifying, don't sweat it - but stay informed! I read an alleged copy of the suit. Alleged, just remember, the inter-webz is not always honest! I literally laughed out loud. Without going into details, I felt it was a ridiculous suit. It was handled and all is good.
So, by being aware of this negative information, I was able to speak to my customers intelligently about it. In other words, I solved a potential problem for my customer before it became one.
2. Buy your business supplies
This is a fun one - as long as you keep yourself in check. Pretty sure you really don't need 5,000 hangers and 10 racks right off the bat... Your sponsor will share all of the necessary things you will need. But, this is another advantage to stalking the internet...the ability to see how others set up their products for storage, displays and events. BUT, and this is a BIG but here...if you are told that the waiting period may take up to 1 month or more, wait until you get closer to your on-boarding date before you do a ton of supply shopping.
Returns can be a pain - most places are pretty good, but some only have a 7-30 day window. Let's say you stock up on business supply "A" roughly 45 days before your actual on-boarding date. You did all our research, saw others on the inter-webz and it looks perfect for you! Then once your kit or products come in and you start utilizing them, you realize, ugh, you should have purchased business supply "B". Now it's too late to return those items. Granted, it's not the end of he world, use them personally, give them away, or even sell to other newer onboards. So get as many supplies ahead of time, just not too far in advance that it makes it difficult to change your mind.
3. Set up your business accounts
Never, under any circumstance, should you ever mix your personal and business money. While you might be organized enough to keep track, it is just not a good business practice. When I finally did attempt to open my business account, I reallywanted to keep it separate, so I chose another bank from where my personal accounts were. I quickly learned that when you say a 'business' account they tend to think of businesses that are huge and are dealing with large volumes of cash . Not so much a small businesses like you might be about to embark. That of course entails a bunch of fees and service charges. It's much easier to stay with your same bank and simply open anther personal account.
4. Research tax info
This can get tricky so please note: I am not a tax professional and I am not giving you tax advice. For tax advise, contact a tax professional. Once you learn what you can/can not claim, it's pretty easy, but if this is your first rodeo, it is a little confusing. I used to do my own taxes back in the day, but once I started running a business, no more! Sure, you need to save a buck, but this will be money well spent and hey, it's a tax write-off!
For years now, I use the federal form schedule C as my guide as to what I can/can't claim. If I have a question, I email my tax guy. His advice is to always error on the side of caution, meaning don't claim it if it is questionable. Important FYI - chose your tax person wisely; getting audited is not something any of us wants to go through but it can be pretty painless if you do everything right.
5. Pre and post analyze you business
In order to run your business properly you need to prepare and run analytics. Uh, what? Each month you need to set up your work schedule and forecasting, then at the end of the month, run analytics to see where you actually are.
It sounds intimidating, especially when you're not really sure what you're doing yet. Check with your sponsor about any spreadsheets that you can use to schedule your time. If she doesn't have anything you can use, see what the internet has to offer, or better yet, create your own! I can not encourage you strongly enough to create a schedule and follow it. It is so easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of social media.
Again, congratulations on starting your own business! I hope you found my top 5 things to do while you wait to onboard useful. Contact me here for more great DS tips!