For you newbies or as a reminder to the seasoned demonstrator! This has been around several times and I don't even know who the author is.
What I wished I had know when I first started:
- Write down my car mileage on the FIRST DAY and keep track of it on a little calendar that I leave in the car.
- On your taxes the IRS doesn't want to know just the miles you drove for business they want to know the total miles and then how much of that was for your business.
- About how other SU demos are such a great business tool, especially joining SUDSO!
That even though my upline was not really available to me, there was this group to help. I can't remember who it even was who suggested it to me on Stampin' Discuss.
- Make your first investments in colors-stamp pads, markers, watercolor pencils, blender pens and such instead of purchasing every stamp set you like. Color with one stamp set can provide several demonstrations. Stamp sets without options for various colors will find you spending more when and where you really don't need to.
- That hosting an open house was a great way to get your first bookings.
- I just wish I would have known how important it was to sign up under a good upline BUT what I really wish is that I would have signed up years ago!
- I'm almost embarrassed to say it…but I was flying solo when I started and hadn't been to a demonstration since 1992. I actually sold the catalog for what I paid for them – not realizing that the "retail" price was on the back until a couple demos later.
- When I was a new demonstrator I wish someone would have told me…That you don't NEED to have a lot of samples and/or supplies to hold your first workshop!
- Lightly sand the surface of the rubber with very fine nail file or sandpaper to remove that coating (I thought I was a terrible stamper because my images were blotchy) – the Sanding blocks also work great.
- How to keep records for taxes and to maintain those records through the year (so I wouldn't be scrambling at tax time)
- To not overwhelm myself with so many swaps in one month. I was doing 6 -8 of them for awhile – now I do one.
- Where to track down all the 'good' info and patterns! A list of websites to use for patterns and ideas.
- Given me one copy of each form/chart/pattern
- To read the manual cover to cover…once I did, I couldn't believe all the valuable information in it. …
- That I need not give away the whole catalog to get bookings or give as incentive rewards. …That little somethings are little somethings!
- I wish someone had told me how to organize my workshop receipts. Being the kind of person I am, I just figured I'd file them alphabetically, by customer last name. Now I wish I'd filed them all by workshop, with the hostess receipt on top and all the guest orders underneath to create a 'packet'. Then filed those by month, with the most recent in front. I wish I 'd have added workshop notes to each packet, such as: What I wore; what I demonstrated personal observations as to what worked, what didn't, etc.
- I wish someone had told me not to try to buy every set in the catalog and to spend more on paper and accessories .It would be helpful to have a list of all the new "hot" techniques, so that I knew which accessories to buy first! I have about 100+ stamp sets now and only use about 10 to 15 of them with any kind of regularity. I wasted lots of money that could have been spent more wisely.
- Think carefully before buying sets that are being retired. I bought a few last year that I thought I 'had to have', only to find that, not only could I not demonstrate them, but I didn't really 'need' them as badly as I thought. It took me almost a year before I ever used one of the sets! Moral: Just because it's retiring doesn't mean you have to have it. Only buy what you know you'll use, whether for personal or business use. If you aren't sure you'll use it, don't get it
- I staple my workshops together… customer receipt, hostess form, shipping list (marked with any corrections that were needed, such as missing wood block and when I called SU) and my workshop outline. I put notes on it and I list all the supplies I used plus and anything Extra (customer ruined one blender pen-if I had to replace it, or missing one catalog, or the cost of any incentive I offered (like cost of free shipping). Also keeping the workshop outline has helped me as I've had these hostesses doing more than one workshop… so I don't repeat the same demos for them. If I use the same stamp sets, I vary the techniques or accessories I show.
- To spray my wooden blocks with clear sealer for easy clean up.
- How to track business expenses such as my own supplies, things from the office supply store, anything and everything, and how to organize and file it.
- I wish someone would have told me who the Stampin' Up people are that are close to me so I could exchange ideas, attend local meetings, and just have someone to stamp with since my upline lives in another state. I did not have to pack up everything I owned and take it to workshops…. Once I finally figured that out my life got infinitely easier!