Help Me! Help Me!

Are you always begging your friends, family, and customers for help? Stop now. I’m all in favor of occasionally sending out a general plea for your friends and family to help you to reach a specific goal. If that happens every month or two, it’s too much.

When you’re first starting your business it’s normal and acceptable to ask your friends and family to support your new endeavor. And, as I said, it’s also acceptable to get the word out that, say, you’re only about $100 away from a trip to Maui, and you encourage anyone who needs anything to order.

If, however, you’re sending out an appeal more than once a year or so, you’ll defeat your purpose. First, people will get immune to your requests for help. After all, you’ll be saying the same thing again soon. Second, you cast your own business in a bad light. If you have to beg for sales your business (and, by reflection, your products) must not be very good. Finally, you look very unprofessional.

If you find yourself in danger of going inactive several times a year, you’ll want to re-examine your business. Has your customer base moved beyond your family and friends? Are you doing regular follow-up with people who have purchased from you in the past? How about those who said that they wanted to host a party sometime? Is your party fun?

One of the most important things to ask yourself is if you are still enjoying your business. If you’re not having fun, guests at your party won’t have fun. If the guests aren’t having fun, they’re unlikely to schedule their own parties. And, of course, parties are the backbone of our business. If you aren’t doing parties you’re going to be reduced to running to your friends, family, and established customers asking for help to keep your business afloat.

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