I decided that I was going to give the Avon business a try. My daughter was not going to be born for at least another five or six months and I wanted to stay home with her. I signed up and purchased my starter kit. I was so excited when I got my starter kit in the mail. I went to Goodwill and found some labels and supplies to get started. I tagged all my books and samples and handed them out to everyone who ordered from my sister in law at my work and every two weeks I was getting at least a $200 order from work, my friends, and the people I met when I was out to breakfast with my husband. I was so happy that they were supporting my business but I wanted to get "real" customers... you know, the customers who don't know me and expect me to know about all the products and provide them with great customer service. It is not that I did not think of my co-workers as real customers but I knew that I was going to be quitting my job when my daughter was born and did not want to have to count on their orders.
My husband and I spent an hour a week stuffing catalogs into plastic bags and we would drove to a new neighborhood every week and tossed books on to peoples driveways. One by one we received orders from doing this. Every two weeks we were adding between 2 and 10 new customers. We made a few mistakes... for example we tossed books on driveways of town homes and since there was an association they called us and let us know that it was fine to do this time but not to do it in the future. I also left some catalogs in the bathroom at church and was told by one of the ladies that this was not allowed. I never let these small setbacks stop me from trying.
Slowly we would get customers, and from what I am hearing slow and steady wins the race. I don't know how I would have handled my business if it exploded overnight. I know I would have been overwhelmed and I might have made mistakes and probably would have lost my customers as quickly as I got them.
When my daughter was born, I quit my job and I did not want her to leave the house until she was baptized. I never took her on a customer delivery until I delivered to the customer at least once (just in case they had a psycho dog or something... lol) I have been very blessed with all of the customers that I have, my daughter now looks forward to seeing each of them. They are like family to us. I get referrals and my customers are not shy about asking me for product recommendations. Avon has a 90 day return policy so that has been a benefit to me. I am able to order clothing and shoes in two sizes and return the one that does not fit. If someone wants to try a new trendy color they can return it if it is not for them. I hardly have any returns for makeup and never had a skincare return.
New Avon catalogs are released every two weeks. At first I did not have a plan in place and often found myself losing out on potential orders. It is important to have a set plan so that your business can be successful. One week is order week and the next week is delivery week. On order week I contact my customers and let them know the specials... I used to make sure every customer had the current catalog and it was easy to do when I only had 20 customers. When you have 50 regular customers it becomes quite a challenge to get them delivered. I tried sending catalogs in the mail and that was too expensive. Now I send my customers a link to the virtual catalogs. They click on it and can look at the catalogs online. One time I spend an entire day delivering 50 catalogs and when I called to get orders they misplaced them and wanted another one or they did not have time to look at it. I knew that each customer would be ordering at least every other campaign. So when they placed an order with me I would include the next two or three catalogs in there bag. When I call them for a reminder I let them know what is on sale and if something they purchase is on sale. I also e-mail or text them the link to the virtual catalogs as well. Doing this very step has saved me lots of time. While I am out an about running errands, taking my daughter on play dates, and meeting my parents for lunch I leave catalogs around town and meet new people and offer them a catalog and let them know they can do what I am doing.