Sunday, January 31, 2010

Update your marketplace when you can...

I try to make an effort to go in and update my marketplace about once every month.  Based on holidays, personal favorites and seasons, it's a great way to introduce new books to your customers.  This month, I updated my marketplace to highlight some of Barefoot's great romantic titles that include The Boy Who Grew Flowers and Barefoot Stories Book of Stories from the Opera.  When customers are looking for Valentine's Day gifts, they may head to your page for recommendations and this is a great way to showcase your suggestions. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Keep good records...

One piece of advice that I was given when I started Barefoot, was to keep good records.  Unfortunatly, I'm realizing (as tax season is upon us), that I could have done a better job.  One of my goals for 2010 is to keep better records of everything, every little expense that goes towards business needs to be noted, tracked or supported by receipt (or all of the above).  This includes:
  • Computer related items such as ink, printer paper, your computer (if you buy a new one for your business)
  • Supplies such as pens, staples, tape, anything that you use to support your Barefoot business can be a write off. 
  • The money you spend on printing flyers, newsletters, business cards, etc
  • A portion of your cable bill - you can't run your Barefoot business without the internet, so this is a cost of doing your business.  The same holds true for your telephone. 
  • Anytime you give a Barefoot book or product, you track this expense for marketing, even if it's a book that you are giving as a gift, it's considered marketing.  If you run a table at a holiday fair, for example - you write off that expense of the table but also the donation of the book that you have contributed.  
  • Gas to and from events 
  • Meals when you are at an event
In essence, keep track of anything you think you might be using to promote your business. 

Laurie, a very successful Ambassador from Massachusetts had an outstanding entry on her Marketing Barefoot blog in which she details the whys and hows behind what she keeps track of and why.  Like her, I am not an accountant but it is really smart to keep track of anything and everything.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Know when it's time to take a break....

Some days are busier than others - sometimes your children, your friends, your husband will need you and sometimes YOU will just need YOU.  So, try to recognize when it's time to step away from the computer, put down the business cards and just say "uncle".  I've found that I become more frazzled if I'm endlessly searching for events and business opportunities - sometimes it just make more sense to step away and realize that things will come up on their own.  Yes, this business takes time, effort, connections and work but you won't be any good at these things if you don't give yourself a break once and a while.  The hardest part of this job for me has been the balance between work & family.  It's something that I'm getting better at and it takes time to perfect.  If anybody has any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment and let the rest of us know what you do to maintain that balance.  You, your family and BAREFOOT will be all the better for it!

Have a great evening!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Know your product...

What I love best about this job is that you can center it around the people you love.  I can't say enough about my family and the fact that I have been able to do "work" while reading The Story Tree or Driving My Tractor or Emily's Tiger.  The best part of all this is that you can do "research" with your children as you escape to far away places and jump into beautiful stories.

Learning about these books, sharing your favorite titles and knowing your product will only make you more successful as you venture out into the world of fundraising and book selling.  

Hoping that you and your family take the time this weekend to relax and read together.  

"Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier." Kathleen Norris

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Think outside the box....

We all know that it's a good idea to look for fundraisers at schools in your area, holiday fairs, children's festivals and book parties.  It's also a good idea to look at other avenues for your Barefoot business.  That being said, think of different places in your community that might be interested in having a fundraiser or showcasing your products.  I try to think about places where children and their parents congregate as possible business opportunities.

For example, I contacted our local Yoga studios to see if they were interested in promoting the yoga cards or the My Daddy is A Pretzel book.  I've found that yoga teachers and students love these cards, especially if they offer childrens classes. 

My daughter's dance class offers a variety of  classes for children of all ages and were thrilled to have a Barefoot fundraiser.  The Barefoot Book of ballet was perfect to showcase during this event.

Your local nursing home often has activity directors that are always looking for good activities for older people.  One director approached me at a holiday fair and told me that she has purchased Shakespeare's Storybook for a storytime and book discussion that her group holds on a weekly basis.  These stories are intellectually stimulating and interesting.  Best of all, she had several residents ask to borrow the accompaning cds so that they could listen to the stories in their rooms.  Fabrics of Fairytale and Tales from Celtic Lands are also great options for this type of venue.

Just try to stay inspired and get creative.  Looking at alternatives to the normal events often lead to success especially in the slower months of the year.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just a reminder...

Today's training conference will be held at 1pm EST
We’ll discuss team building basics and the cycle of a typical Ambassador so you can be sure to meet the needs of your new team members every step of the way.  So, if one of your goals for 2010 is to start building your very own team - this would be a great training to attend.  As always, feel free to ask questions you might have at the end of the conference call.  I always learn something new!

Check out the information below about logging in or visit the training page on Barefoot to get the details. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Remember - Newbie Training Conference today

Information below about how to long into today's newcomer training conference.  It's at 1pm EST

If you join, be sure to post a comment about something great that you learned, heard or got out of this call!  I'll be on (hopefully) tomorrow's call.  Hope to "hear" you all out there!  I'm usually on mute for these calls - Sydney would prefer if she could contribute as well - I'll let that be our little secret that the mute button is on!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Barefoot Newcomer, Training and Web Conferences

I have learned so much from attending Barefoot's weekly training,  newcomer and web conferences.  They are posted under training at Barefoot Books and a variety of topics are discussed.  Even if you aren't a brand new ambassador, I always learn something from the Newcomer training, held most Tuesdays.  The Training conferences are held on Wednesdays and discuss a variety of topics from how to run successful events, setting goals, team building and more.  The web conferences allow ambassadors to discuss effective online marketing campaigns, how to use social networking to enhance your business, run a blog and ask questions.  There is also a Tuesday chat where ambassadors are encouraged to discuss whatever is on your mind in an open forum with other ambassadors. 

This is a great way to get connected with the corporate side of Barefoot and hear from other ambassadors.  I always learn something from these forums and would encourage you to check them out as well!


Participant Passcode: 199753

Toll-Free Phone Numbers:

When available, please use local toll-free numbers for your area. 
NORTH AMERICA:  1 888 619 1583

Friday, January 15, 2010

Suggestion of the day...

Social networking sites are a great way to expand your Barefoot business.  It's OK to start small - you don't need your Barefoot homepage, a Facebook page AND a blog - you can have one or all of them.  Whatever works for you.  Creating each of these is relatively simple and allows more customers, potential team members and contacts find you.  Blogger offers standardized, premate templates that you can easily create with little help.  Facebook has a tutorial as well.  Think of a clever name that sets you apart - there are a lot of "Barefoot" facebook pages so try to be original with your title but also stay connected with the company.  Let me know if anybody needs help setting a page up and I'd be happy to assist.  It's a great way to stay connected with your customers.  I have a blog where I talk about everything from saving money, to my kids, to Barefoot - the hope is that people will come back and read and then eventually remember me when they are looking to make a gift or book purchase.  My Facebook page is solely for my Fans and the list has grown well over the past few months. 

The best thing to remember?  Do what works for you - there isn't a cookie cutter business plan that needs to be followed so feel free to explore your options, make changes as you see fit and go Barefoot!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Welcome to Team Barefoot New England!

This is a new blog that I will be running so that we have one central resource to refer to regarding our Barefoot Team.  I am relatively new to managing a growing team and want to ensure I am providing all the support to each and every one of you.  I will post new information, best demonstrative practices, helpful articles, book reviews and more on this blog and will try to post everyday.  My goal is to use this blog as a resource for you as you grow your Barefoot Books business in 2010.  I encourage all of you to comment to posts and threads as necessary and don't hestitate if you have questions or concerns.  I'm here to support all of you as you continue to build customer relationships and your business. 

As always, you can certainly continue to contact me via email but I wanted to provide one resource for the team in addition to email and the Barefoot website. 

Here's to going Barefoot together in 2010!  I'm so excited!