You Should Have Finished Your First Avon Campaign
You did great, right? Ok ! Now for some reality . . . The only thing that is certain, death and taxes. You have to start keeping track of your receipts (expenses of your business) and income. If your budget is really tight and you don’t have a computer or access to one, then you need a pencil and paper. Write everything down that you spend towards your business (expenses), and write everything you bring in (income). Income – expenses = profit (loss). For more information about what the US government says is a business expense, check out this link. An overview about taxes and small business can be found here.
It is up to you and your situation about your tax situation, but at the very least you need to keep track for yourself so YOU can see if your business is profitable or not. That will help you in seeing where you need to tweak it.
Avon Specific Bookkeeping Help
Avon also has created a worksheet that could help you keep track of your business expenses by campaign (not by month). It hasn’t been updated since 2013 (that I could find), but it is nevertheless helpful. And while I am talking about money and keeping track of it — keep your business money separate from your personal money. If you collect all of your Avon money from your clients as you collect their orders, and you don’t have a separate bank business account, then put it in an envelope system like MoneySavingMom has.
Adding to Your Customer Base
Now you want to get started on your next campaign while you are waiting for your order to come in. Start thinking about adding customers. Not every customer will order in every campaign. They also will not order in every other campaign. So to have a steady income, you will have to have a large customer base. This graphic below has some ideas of places where you can leave your brochures:
Or as I said in Part I of this series, you can leave a card where you have printed the address to your digital brochure. To get people used to this, be sure to talk to whoever you are leaving the cards with. Show them on your phone or tablet just how easy it is to see the brochure.
I found this has been one of the greatest recurring expenses of my Avon business, so if you can get your customers used to looking at a digital brochure — you will be much further ahead.
Your Avon website has several free online courses and webinars in the Avon University that list ways to add to your business. There are also a lot of Facebook groups where you can interact with other Avon Representatives, both experienced and not, about many aspects of Avon and running / growing a business.
Some examples are, Onward! No Matter What! (Molly Stone-Bibb); Avon Flyers by Alicia; Tuesdays with Theresa (Theresa Paul); Makeup Marketing Online (Emily Seagren), Monday Morning Madness (Lisa Wilber); and many many more.
How to Place an Order without Shipping Charge
Remember the brochures I talked about in the last “Business on a Budget” posting? If you have an order to place that does not include any Avon products, I have been told that if you call Avon and place an order for only brochures and/or business tools, the Customer Service person can waive the shipping fee. Please let me know if this works !
Internet Access on a Budget
Ok, but what if you don’t have a computer or access to one or a smartphone with access to the Internet? We are talking budget, right? Well, frankly I do not see how you will be able to have an Avon business in the 21st century without some regular access to the Internet. Avon does have a phone system to submit your orders. But I don’t know how long this will be in place. More than likely, everything will probably end up being digital. And many of your customers will want to communicate with you either by email or Facebook messaging or by texting.
First you must have a phone. If you can only afford one phone, you probably need to have a home phone line. A landline — I know this is very old school. But this allows you to have a way for your clients to contact you. You can either have an answering machine (thrift stores should be overrun with these) or have an answering service through the phone company for those times you aren’t home. In my area, our local phone company offers a basic phone and internet at $45.95 per month. And remember, part of this cost is tax-deductible as a business expense.
On the other hand, if you have a smart phone but limited or no data plan, many places like McDonalds and other places — think community colleges, hospitals, government offices — have free wi-fi. BUT remember all the latest data breaches? Don’t use an unsecured wi-fi link when you access your Avon account or your bank account. You could also see if any of your friends have internet that they would allow you to borrow. Many public libraries also have free computers that are hooked up to the internet or you could see if your local community college would let you use their computer lab. Don’t forget those security precautions.
A New Tip for Your Business — Click Here for More Information
Have these tips helped you at all? Please let me know below if you have any additional tips.
I initially wrote this article in 2015. I have a new business that I am adding onto my Avon business that I think will help you as well. Please keep checking back for new information on that. 5/6/2017
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Previously published on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 on fouracesmercantile.blogspot.com
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