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Why do we need to ask to support friends small businesses?

support friends small businesses

I do Facebook, as they say. It’s a necessary evil of running a small business. For me it helps me maintain a connection between my local friends and my business and has resulted in sales from friends who otherwise might not see what I sell. However, more and more I see posts on Facebook saying things like ‘5 ways to support your friends business without buying anything’ or pleas to ‘support friends small businesses like you support celebrities you don’t actually know’. I’m left wondering why do I need to ask?

Why do we need to ask to support friends small businesses?

I just find it bizarre that ‘we’ feel we need to ‘ask’ friends to support our small businesses.

What is a friend? If I consider myself a friend with someone then surely I want to support them? Why on earth do they need to ask me? I think our society is coming to something very bereft if supporting our friends isn’t just a given.

Perhaps the very same Facebook (or other social media platforms) are responsible? Have they disconnected us so far from ‘community’ that we don’t care or identify with each other any more. Or is that just an excuse for justifying a self-centred existence that just thinks about ourselves, our convenience. Do we resent so much when our friends seemingly give up on the traditional ‘proper job’ to try and make it on their own that we don’t want to support them. Perhaps we want them to fail so that we can feel better about not taking the same leap of faith and giving up all to start our own businesses?

Perhaps it’s none of my business?

My business, if you don’t happen to be a friend who has found this blog post by clicking a link on my Facebook page, is cards and gift wrap. I’m not selling anything wacky. I’m not selling anything unusual, expensive or so exclusive that you’d never want to use it. I sell birthday cards. Everyone has a birthday I’m pretty sure everyone knows someone who has a birthday. So it stands to reason that everyone I know will at some point need to buy a birthday card. I sell gift wrap too. Most people at some point need to wrap a present, or put it in a gift bag (I do those too!).

Yet, I know lots of ‘friends’ who never buy a thing from me.

I do need to add here that I have LOTS of friends who do buy from me and without them I’d have given up my small business years ago. I’m not ungrateful and this isn’t a post to beg the friends who don’t support me to buy.

I’d like to beg, if I thought it would do any good. I’d really like to tell you how hard my family is finding things. I gave up my ‘career’ to look after my children full time and my husband has just gone part time in his ‘proper job’ to try and make it as a writer. Oh we’re struggling but it’s our choice to be where we are. We didn’t think it would be easy. We have asked for help with little things but only sometimes do people listen. A good example is when a friend reads one of my husband’s books, we ask them to leave a review on Amazon. Just to click the stars, not even to write anything but only a small minority of people have. That small act can make a huge difference to a writer. If everyone left a review it would help enormously.

All the posts on Facebook are true. Liking, commenting, sharing friend’s posts does help a small business. But for flip’s sake it’s not half as helpful as actually buying the stuff!

But your choices are none of my business.

Is it too much to ask?

I’m not going to ask you to buy anything from my shop. I suspect I’ve already lost a few ‘fans’ just by writing this post. Perhaps I am just too disconnected from my friends. I’m probably too busy myself to really understand what they need, why should it be any different them to me.

Instead I’m going to look up a few friends I know who have small businesses and give them some support over the next few days.





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Strategies for success in direct sales, from an Executive Flamingo Paperie Partner

strategies for success

So you’re looking for a new way to earn some money. Direct Sales seems a good option with its flexible working hours and it looks like it has some good prospects. But you haven’t quite worked out how to fit it in to the nooks and crannies of life. I’ve been in direct selling for over 12 years now and promoted to Executive Partner with Flamingo Paperie in the first month it launched. I have 4 children aged from 2 to 12 and as you can imagine that keeps me very busy. The flexibility of direct selling works really well for me and my strategies for success in direct sales are really different ways you can make your chosen company work for you.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Walt Disney

My strategies for success are based on my experience with Flamingo Paperie, a direct sales company that produces cards, gift wrap and stationery but I believe these ideas could be adapted to most direct sales businesses. If one way of working seems to fit your lifestyle but the direct sales company you’re looking at doesn’t offer it then my top tip is to think twice before you join. All my strategies for success are possible if you become a Flamingo Partner. You don’t need to turn your life upside down or find more hours in the day. Here are ways you can make it work by using what you already have or do.

10 Strategies for Success in direct sales

1 Add it on to something else you’re already doing

It doesn’t have to be either/or. It’s unlikely that you will want to drop everything else to try and make room for a new business. Choose a product that will compliment your lifestyle, hobbies or other business. If you’re making crafts for sale then gift wrap will add an extra to your service, or a greeting card to go with a gift gives you the ability to offer the complete gifting package.

2 Take it with you

Can you take your products to the office, to the school gate, to yoga class, to toddler group or wherever you go on a daily or weekly business? Use the networks you already have to show off your products and attract repeat customers.

3 Use your products

In theory you don’t have to like to your products to sell them. A good salesperson might be able to sell water to a well but it does help if you love what you’re selling and use it regularly. Not only does it give you confidence in what you’re selling but giving your products, in my case by sending cards or wrapping presents in style, is an opportunity to show them off.

4 Raise some money for a good cause

Are you involved in a community group or is there a charity close to your heart. Use your products to raise some money. Offer 10% or more of your sales to your cause. People love to help and love to feel that others are benefitting from their purchases. Make use of that and help others while building your customer base with some good publicity.

5 Enhance your subscription box

If you already run a business that sends out a regular subscription box then use the new products to enhance your box. Gift wrap or tissue could be used to wrap the contents while advertising the same gift wrap and tissue for customers to buy for their own wrapping needs. An appropriate card could be included to match the theme of your box or the time of year, again advertising the range of cards available for sale. The average person in the UK sends 33 cards a year. Be creative with how you present your products, this will make you different to the rest and attract others to your business.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Steve Joba

6 Add the personal touch

Do you run a company that provides a service to others, or does your partner or another family member? For example, I know estate agents who like to give a ‘New Home’ card to their clients when they pick up their keys. Or a Vet who likes to send a sympathy card when a loved pet is put to sleep. I have a customer who runs a Beauty Salon who likes to send cards to her clients when they have get married, have a baby, suffer a bereavement etc. Sending greeting cards can add a very powerful personal touch to your business.

7 Treat your employees

Similar to the previous idea but if you already employ staff then can you use your products to treat them? Can you reward them for a job well done? Send a birthday card or occasion card to show you take note of their lives outside of work. Personal touches make people feel valued and that builds loyalty within a workplace. Little acts like these can make you stand out from the crowd as an employer.

Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you should build one with your employees first.

Angela Ahrendts

8 Provide a community service

No I don’t mean of the criminal penalty kind! Do you live somewhere that people find it hard to access the products you offer? I have a good friend of mine who got so fed up of hearing her neighbours say they were off to town for a birthday card that she asked to take one of my baskets of cards to have at home so she could offer a better and more convenient service and product to her community.

9 Help a hospital or care home

Do you work in or visit a hospital or care home on a regular basis? Similar to the community service idea, many people who live or work in these places have great difficulty in getting to shops to purchase things. Bring your ‘shop’ to them. Ask if someone can care for your ‘shop in a basket’ which you can leave in a safe, convenient place for them to buy from when they need to.

10 Build an online business

Do you spend time on social media? Are you a Pinterest addict or an Instagram lover? Use that time to build a business. Share images of your products with links to your direct sales website. No need to even buy stock, just let people love what they see and tell them how to click and buy for themselves. Rather like affiliate marketing but usually with higher profit margins. If you’re already doing affiliate marketing then treat your direct sales business as an extra string to your affiliate bow.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Mark Twain

Whatever you do, however you do it, get started. Don’t put it off by waiting for the prefect business model to come along. Find the products you like then make the business opportunity work for you, in your situation. Use the strategies for success that fit with where you’re at. Start there and build out as you grow.

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What’s Special about Flamingo Paperie

Other than the quality and affordability, which Flamingo cards and gift wrap has in abundance, what makes them any different to other greeting cards on the market? In short – what’s special about Flamingo Paperie?

What's special about Flamingo Paperie

Recyclable

All Flamingo gift wrap and gift tags are recyclable, 100%! That’s quite something in a day where there is still a myth spread on social media that only brown paper can be recycled. The gift tags all have jute string ties and jute is totally biodegradable and therefore compostable.

If you’re still not convinced whether you can have pretty wrapping paper without harming the environment then read my guide Is gift wrapping paper recyclable

What about the cards? Good question! All the greeting cards without effects added are 100% recyclable. Until now the glitter on some of the cards wasn’t environmentally friendly but Flamingo have just launched the first cards with eco-friendly vegetable based glitter.

Happy Anniversary

‘Happy Anniversary’

now with eco-friendly, vegetable based glitter!

It’s unclear whether foiled cards are recyclable or not. Many recycling plants won’t accept them but there is some research done by interested parties to suggest that this might be unnecessary.

Charity

ALL Flamingo Christmas cards, including the advent calendar cards are charity cards. If you want to know more about that then I wrote about it in a bit more depth here.

Woodmans House

Woodman’s House

charity advent calendar card

Flamingo Partners, like myself, got to choose which charities would benefit in 2018 and we chose Macmillan Cancer Support, Together for Short Lives and the Alzheimers Society for UK donations. You can read more about Flamingo’s charity here.

Artists

Have you ever seen or bought a greeting card after liking the image on the front only to wonder who created it? You turn over the card and all you see is ‘Made in China’. Not so with Flamingo!

Flamingo are proud to promote each and every one of the artists who design for them. And if you read their profiles the artists are pretty pleased to supply Flamingo with their designs.

Flamingo Paperie are a design led company and are always looking for new artists. If you have something to offer, it could be your name on the back of the next new Flamingo greeting card.

You could be part of a very special Flamingo too!


Are you:

  • Running your own business and need to compliment your products with cards and gift wrap?
  • Needing a little extra income?
  • Looking for something flexible that you can shape to fit your lifestyle?
  • Someone who loves cards, gift wrap, stationery, Christmas and all things glittery!?

If you’d just like to get your hands on these charitable, ethical and desing led cards and gift wrap then you can buy them from my Flamingo shop. Shop now and find our what’s special about Flamingo Paperie.

what's special about Flamingo Paperie
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Flamingo Paperie Review

flamingo paperie review

If you’ve heard of Flamingo Paperie but aren’t sure what it’s all about then you might find this answers some of your questions. Flamingo Paperie is still a relatively new company, which rose out of the ashes of Phoenix Trading. It’s about to enter its busy period with the Christmas range launching late August. Now is possibly the best time to join and reap those rewards. But you might be wondering how it all works. Whether it could work for you and possibly even who or what is Flamingo? Well here’s my Flamingo Paperie review after 6 months being an Independent Flamingo Partner with the new company.

Who or What is Flamingo Paperie?

Perhaps you haven’t even heard of Flamingo Paperie and that wouldn’t be surprising as the company only launched in February 2018. You might have heard of its predecessor Phoenix Trading. Flamingo is a different company with a new focus but it comes built on 22 years of Phoenix Trading with many of the same staff and independent Partners. Flamingo is a British greeting card company specialising in exclusively illustrated greeting cards, gift wrap and stationery. I’m proud to be part of a company with a strong ethical and charitable vision. All Flamingo’s cards are ethically printed in the UK, using FSC card and vegetable based inks and all our Christmas cards are charity cards. The design team are passionate about supporting and promoting the illustrators and artists who create the designs (I’ve met the design team, their passion really shines through them when you talk to them).

Who am I and what do I know about Flamingo?

Flamingo don’t sell through shops, at least not in the UK (it’s slightly different in Australia and New Zealand). Their fabulous cards can only be purchased through an Independent Partner, which is what I am. I was a Phoenix Trader from 2012 until they closed and have been a Flamingo Partner since they launched in February. I’m an Executive Partner, which means I support a team of my own and their teams too. At the last check I was the top sponsor, which means I have added more people to my team than any other Partner in the business since February. I have a team from Shetland to the Channel Islands and in France. I love sending cards and I’m a complete stationery addict! This is my personal Flamingo Paperie review from my experience.

How does Flamingo ‘work’?

There are prinicipally three ways to earn money as a Flamingo Partner. You can buy and sell stock to friends, colleagues, relatives, at craft fairs, pop up shops and more. You buy stock at 30% off the retail price but you do pay delivery on all your orders (£6 max). It is possible to sell without buying any stock. You can do this by directing people to your personalised website. Here the company ships all the orders direct to your customer and you get 20% profit. The other way to earn is by building a team of Partners who you support, with the help of your upline Executive Partner. E.g. if you joined my team and someone joined your team then I would support both you and your team member in your businesses. When your team sell you earn a commission from the company depending on how much you sell and they sell etc. If you would like the details of how this works exactly just ask.

Flamingo Paperie review of the good stuff so far?

I live in the Outer Hebrides and pay the same delivery on all my orders as everyone else in the UK. It means we all have the same opportunity.

The quality of the cards and gift wrap is outstanding. Phoenix were reknown for their high quality affordable cards and gift wrap. I think the designs and quality that Flamingo now have are even better. The gift wrap always had a reputation for being quality and ‘unrippable’. Now it’s even thicker with Flamingo than it was with Phoenix. It still has the same invaluable cutting grid lines on the back. This helps to make gift wrapping a pleasure not a chore.

Everyone gets a personalised website as standard. This is simpler because we all get the same but it’s included in the starter pack cost and everyone has the same opportunity to sell online if they want to.

We have a narrower range than we had with Phoenix. This gives the company more focus on what they do and doing it really well.

The ‘team’ feeling is outstanding. The mutual support that most Partners give each other in Flamingo is something I’ve not seen anywhere else. Given that we earn commision on our own teams and not on other people’s you’d understand if it was all a bit cliquey but it’s not. I’ve had support from other teams. I also have quite a few Partners who have asked to receive my team emails and be part of my Facebook team support group. In the long run if we support each other we all grow as the company grows.

30% profit is a really good rate. I find it pretty easy to reach a monthly level of sales where I earn a further 10% on my bonus sales volume.

There are no targets that have to be met or sales levels that have to be achieved. There are rewards for selling and growing a team but it’s up to each Partner to decide what they want to achieve.

What could be better about Flamingo Paperie?

We have a narrower range than we had with Phoenix. Wait a minute, I said that before!? Well while I think it’s a good thing on the whole there are products that I loved that we don’t do now. So I have supplemented my business with colouring in tablecloths from Eggnogg and gift wrapping accessories from British wholesale companies like Deva Designs alongwith designing my own inspirational stationery.

Brand awareness. This is my personal opinion only. I think the company could do more to promote the name and range of Flamingo Paperie. They believe it’s up to us as Partners. I think it’s a joint venture. Without the company using their clout to get us ‘out there’ we are struggling. Too many people have never heard of us.

Social media. I have nearly 1800 followers on Facebook, 3000 on Twitter and 500 on Instagram. As far as I know I’m the Flamingo Partner with the biggest social media following. But I’ve done most of that myself and it’s hard work. Other direct selling companies I know produce a library of images and suggested posts for their Partners to use. We have access to all the stock images. I’d like to see more of the creative eye catching images that work well on social media produced by the company. What is great is how Partners who create their own images and posts are willing to share them with other Partners. The ‘team’ feeling, which I mentioned before, that exists in Flamingo is priceless.

How could Flamingo work for me?

Do you love cards?

If you love cards and/or gift wrapping and/or stationery then by becoming a Flamingo Partner you will have direct access to Flamingo products you will love.

Do you know other people who love cards?

If you know other people who also love cards then you could make some money selling your Flamingo cards to them. There is no doubt that Christmas is the most lucrative time of the year for this especially with our traditional advent calendars. If you haven’t seen our advent calendars before and you love Christmas then you are missing a treat! Selling your Flamingo cards could make you some nice spending money.

Do you fundraise a lot?

Do you support a local charity or are you involved in a local community group? You could direct people to your online website and donate your 20% to whatever cause you are passionate about without having to handle any stock.

Do you want to make money?

If you want to make serious money with Flamingo then you’re going to have to work very hard. You will need to build a team. There is only so much you can sell. Growing a team is like opening new shops to sell to people you can’t get to. This takes time.

Do you have another selling business that needs a little boost?

If you have another business then I seriously suggest that cards and gift wrap will go very nicely hand in hand with almost anything else. If you sell books, chances are they are often bought for gifts. So why not sell the gift wrap and card to go with them. If you sell skincare, jewellery, candles, cosmetics, chances are there are gifts in there too. Your customers will need wrapping paper! Whatever you already sell, or whoever you sell to, everyone knows someone who has a birthday!

Want to know more?

If you think that Flamingo could fit in to your life, your passion, your business then let’s brainstorm together to make it work for you. Ask me for more information or for me to give you a call. Or take a look at the current joining offers on my Flamingo website.

What’s really good about Flamingo is that it’s totally flexible. Every Flamingo Partner runs their own business their way. Join today and start writing your Flamingo Paperie review story.

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MLM vs Affiliate Marketing

Fun With Technology

I was intrigued by a review of Phoenix Trading that I found online the other day. What intrigued me most was that the reviewer wasn’t a Phoenix Trader and never had been. Furthermore he had admitted that he had never actually even seen a Phoenix card.

As I read on it was clear that he was using Phoenix as an MLM company (Multi-level marketing) to promote his own affiliate marketing proposal.

I thought this was pretty underhanded and certainly wouldn’t attract me to his offer. (At least he didn’t accuse us of pyramid selling!)

But what I found quite amusing was that he was arguing that MLM companies didn’t work because

a – you have to recruit

b – you have to hold the stock of what you’re selling, ie you can’t just do it online

…whereas in his opinion, affiliate marketing is better because you can just sell online without holding any stock yourself and without having to recruit to make money.

Well you see, the thing with Phoenix is – if you want to do marketing without recruiting or holding stock then you can actually do that with Phoenix! So really you have both options with Phoenix Trading because it offers that flexibility.

There is no obligation to sell from your stock, you can have an ecommerce website that is fulfilled by the company and you could market that purely online and get 20% from each sale. You don’t have to make a minimum each month or anything, for every order, however small, you get 20%.

Fun With TechnologySo, if you’re not sure whether to do MLM or affiliate marketing, look for a company that offers both options with no minimum targets, that way you can have the benefits of both and won’t be stuck with one way.

Just a thought!

Phoenix Trading Review – Is it worth it?

 

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Is there room for more?

cards and gift wrap in the highlands and islands

I’ve just had a fabulous 2 days at one of the best agricultural shows in the UK, the Black Isle Show. While I do some of my business online, I think it’s really important to get these fabulous Flamingo cards and gift wrap in the Highlands and Islands.

Fireplace paperchainsDespite the rain, the footfall was good, people’s spirits weren’t dampened and everyone seemed impressed with my fireplace (held in place by some paper chains – just shows how sturdy they are!)

As they oohed and aahed over the cards, I asked quite a few customers, ‘Have you heard of Flamingo Paperie?’ and to my surprise many of them said, ‘No.’

Who is Flamingo Paperie?

Flamingo Paperie (formerly Phoenix Trading) have been going for 22 years. You can’t buy Flamingo cards in the shops. However there are 1000s of Partners across the country selling cards in workplace baskets, holding coffee, cake and cards in people’s homes, setting up stalls like mine. Ultimately these people become ‘The Card Lady’ (or man) to their friends and relatives.

Yet many have still not heard of Flamingo Paperie and don’t know a Flamingo Partner.

People want to buy these cards and gift wrap in the Highlands and Islands so we need more Flamingo Partners.

Do you love cards? Are you a stationery addict? Do you know even a small handful of people who would love to have access to good quality, reasonably priced, ethical, and charitable greeting cards? Would you like to make a little money selling these fabulous products? Would you like to be able to buy these cards and gift wrap in the Highlands and Islands?

If so, then you could be the next card lady (or man).

You can become a Partner from as little as £45 starting you off with cards, a
few brochures and some business stationery. These are at a high discount to get you started so if you’re a card lover you will save money whatever happens.

Perhaps you want something bigger than that?

Then start with the £200 business pack. This contains over £500 of cards and stationery, more brochures and plenty of business material to get you going.

Or if you’re somewhere in the middle then there’s a £95 pack too. Which ever pack you choose the start up covers stock, business materials and your first year registration fee. It also covers your public liability insurance (usually about £50 a year) and a free personalised ecommerce website.

Statutory Notice – It is illegal for a promoter or participant in a trading scheme to persuade anyone to make a payment by promising benefits for getting others to join a scheme. Do not be misled by claims that high earnings are easily achieved. The promoter of the Flamingo Partner scheme is Flamingo Paperie 60 High Street, Wimbledon Village, London, SW19 5EE

Start now!

Black Isle ShowBlack Isle Show

If you’re attending the Black Isle show this year I’ll be there in the craft tent. The Black Isle Show is always the 1st Thursday in August. So it’s 2nd August 2018. Pop by and say hello! Even if you need just a card (it’s never just a card!)

 

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The Day that Changed my Life

Follow your dreams Phoenix Trading cards

I didn’t know it at the time but that day was to change my whole outlook on life. What happened planted a seed in my mind that was to grow over the next few years.

I was in my early 20s, just married and in my second job following graduation. I had a career ahead of me and any thoughts about children were way in the future. Although everything may have seemed fine on the outside, on the inside I was struggling. Battling with depression as a side effect of the contraceptive pill, I was finding it hard to get through each day. I wouldn’t say I was actively suicidal but the thought of my life ending abruptly wasn’t unappealing.

Feeling under the weatherIt was at this time that I had a review with my line manager.

He had noticed that I’d had a few days off sick, not a lot but a few. He’d noticed that I was struggling and didn’t seem at all surprised when I confessed that I was seeing the doctor about my depression. (I had stopped the medication but was still climbing back out of the pit.)

I was encouraged to hear him say he understood, he’d been there but his next words knocked me for six:

‘Well, we clearly don’t want to push you over the edge but we do need you to work extra hours.’

Extra hours??? I was barely making it through 9-5, 5 days a week!!! And for what? Extra hours wasn’t going to earn me any extra money or even develop my career path, it was simply to be able to bill the client more and put more money in the pockets of the shareholders. How pointless that seemed then.

Moose of MotivationI left that job shortly after but it wasn’t until years later that I discovered how to work for myself. I wish I had known then but life’s experiences have shaped who I am now so no regrets. I now have 4 children and run my own business selling Flamingo cards and stationery. I’m not making millions, which isn’t surprising as my family are my priority just now not my work. Like any business you only get out what you put in and right now I’m investing in my family but quietly building a business for when I do have a little more time to make it grow bigger.

Being with my young children is priceless and I wouldn’t change a thing. Being my own boss suits me just fine. Life is really too short.

Only I can push me over the edge and I choose not to.

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Increase Your Business By Sending Business Greeting Cards

Thank you, greeting card, Phoenix Trading business thank you cards

Found this great article about why sending ‘holiday’ cards is great for business but I think there is far more potential than just Christmas cards. So I’ve added in my own suggestions of what cards businesses could send. Do you have any other ideas – I’d love to hear them. Business thank you cards are the obvious ones but what others could you use?

Business thank you cards

Thank you, greeting card, Phoenix Trading
Use a card to say thank you for your order

Inspire your employees

Follow your dreams Phoenix Trading cards
Encourage and inspire your employees

Let them know you’re thinking about them

Sympathy, thinking of you, Phoenix Trading, greeting card
Send a sympathy card to your customer

Business specific cards

card 'Birdhouse and Blossoms' (code: WS420)
Estate agents? Send each buyer off with their first ‘new home’ card

Congratulate them

birthday candles, phoenix trading, greeting cards
Of course the ‘happy birthday’ card to clients or employees

With compliments

beach huts, phoenix trading, greeting card
Why not use a beautifully illustrated card as a ‘compliment slip’?

 

 

There are many different kinds of businesses available to the consumer today. Customers can choose who they want to do business with and with more businesses opening daily, and the explosion of internet businesses, customers are looking for the best places to do business with. Never before has it been more important to try and keep the clients your business currently has.

The number one reason customers will tell you that they want is good service. They want to feel as though the business cares whether or not they choose their service. In order to keep the clients you have and build new clients you need to keep the customers feeling important.

Business greeting cards are an excellent way to let your clients know that you appreciate their business and welcome their return. During the holidays more and more businesses are sending greeting cards. Most customers will welcome the little surprise as long as some general rules are followed.

First of all it is very important to have current information on the customer such as address and name. A business that sends a greeting card with good intentions to the wrong address or with a misspelled name will come off as impersonal and pushy.

Secondly it is imperative that the greeting cards are kept with a neutral tone, so as not to offend. However there are exceptions to the rule, if a business chooses to stand by their religion choice and is willing to risk losing a customer, then a religious card is acceptable.

Finally the most important part of sending a holiday greeting card to a customer is to have the head of the company sign the cards personally. This is the only way to ensure the client feels touched by the company’s awareness and compassion. An unsigned card will be the same as a flyer in the mail.

Holiday greeting cards sent out by businesses are an excellent way to remind the client that you are it for them, even if they don’t require your services at present time, the card will ensure they will return when they need your services next time.

The personal greeting cards are just that, personal. Customers want to feel as though you need and want their business. The customer also wants to feel as though they are important to your business.

Another benefit to holiday greeting cards are they serve as a type of reminder notice, reminding clients of the need to make a return appointment or a servicing due on a vehicle. The client will be more likely to pick up the phone and request your business after they receive a personal greeting. Keeping the camaraderie going between client and business will pay back when they return and have told others that you remembered them during the holidays.

via Increase Your Business By Sending Business Greeting Cards

PS – If you have an idea of what sort of card your business, or a business you know, could send, I’d love to hear it. It’s not just about business thank you cards.

If you like this you might like 10 reasons to send Christmas cards

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National Stationery Week

Business Opportunity, cards, stationery, request a brochure National Stationery Week

The Power of the Written Word

Writing, and being able to write by hand matters and is as important as ever, even in an increasingly digital world. There are many reasons for this – it isn’t a question of just using one or the other. Click here to read the A-Z of why writing matters. According to YouGov research commissioned by National Stationery Week, 92% of adults think that writing by hand is important. While 97% think it is important for children to learn to write.

National Stationery Week celebrates the written word and all things stationery – the products which make it all possible, and give pleasure to so many people. You can never have too much stationery! Its aim is to get people all over the world talking and writing about stationery, and why writing by hand is important. And to send more letters and cards, and not just text or email.

2015 marked the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, and is a reminder of how handwriting has stood the test of time. It also saw the launch of the first #WorldStationeryDay in April, as part of National Stationery Week.

Let’s get more people putting pen to paper and writing more often – especially children. Let’s send more letters and cards, especially to those we care for, rather than just text or email.  It’s much more personal.

Source: National Stationery Week

birds and birdhouses note cards If you want to get started why not take a look at these handy note card sets. They come in packs of 10 with coordinating envelopes. Ideal to keep for when you want to send a quick note to someone. Why not challenge yourself to send 7 note cards or even the whole 10 on National Stationery Week?

My favourite design at the moment is the Birds and Birdhouses one, illustrated by Sue James.

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What is a Pyramid Scheme (and what is not?!)

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“A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products or services. As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly impossible, and most members are unable to profit; as such, pyramid schemes are unsustainable and often illegal.” (taken from Wikipedia)

Often you hear people wrongly call multi-level marketing, or direct sales schemes pyramid schemes.

What I think are the 5 main differences between a Pyramid Scheme and an MLM

1 Overall Profit

The big difference is that any commission paid to team leaders in a direct sales scheme is from the profits that the overall company makes from selling a product (or service) and not directly from any sign up fee.

2 Shareholders

Compare that with your typical shareholder owned company where any profits made by the worker go directly to shareholders. The worker usually earns a fixed wage, most probably gets no overtime and rarely receives a bonus for any extra sales or revenue generated. Whereas the shareholder will get their share of the profits with very little input into developing the worker’s role. (Now that sounds more like a pyramid scheme to me – and certainly doesn’t seem fair!)

3 Bonuses

In a direct sales business you have the same opportunity to make profit on the goods/services you sell as anyone else in your upline or downline. You can usually earn further bonuses if you sell certain amounts and it’s your choice to do that. Work hard and you can earn the bonuses. Choose to do it as a hobby and make some pocket money, the choice is yours but the money you earn comes from what you sell.

4 Team Building

In addition you can make commission based on having other people in your team who also sell. The commission does not come out of their pay packet. The profits of the company make up the commission scale. In other words you get the shareholders cut. But only if you work hard do you get this reward – seems fair to me!.

5 Rewards for effort!Follow your dreams Phoenix Trading cards

Mentor and support your team and they’re more likely to blossom. They’ll make more profit from more sales. They may well start building their own teams and you’ll get commission as a reward for working hard and supporting them.

 

 

PS – I love being in direct sales and if you’d like to know more about what I do then you’ll like Can I make money at this?