Wednesday, 30 November 2011

90-Day Plan: D-3 - Organisation - My OMG Moment

Me, organised? I can be. I just never seem to sustain it. My organisational capabilities flare up when required and then tend to subside just as quickly.

Part of the problem is a desire not to be seen as this hard-nosed, obsessive, managing control freak. Which is what I turn into every time I have a flurry of organisational activity. I need to change and when better than while implementing 90 days of new habits?

You're getting used to this by now - the hard facts can be found here; my pitiful attempts to live up to my own teachings are below:

1. Set up a dedicated email account, don't flood it with subscriptions.

Dedicated account set up. Unfortunately....

OK, fine, I will unsubscribe and change to RSS feeds where I can. This will have to be done in parallel with other activities as I've WAY too many subscriptions for comfort.

2. Email/Mail - Deal with it, dispose of it, decide what to do with it and when. Keep the inbox bare.

Easier said than done, but the more I try to do this, the better I'm getting at it. It's still going to take time to work through my 3,000 emails though. Yes, I know. You don't have to tell me...

3. File receipts as soon as you get them.

This is my biggest area of failure so far. My filing system at the moment is chronological and there are strata of unopened envelopes that were probably delivered by pterodactyls. I've spent an hour filing by year into manila folders. Next step, set up a proper filing system.

4. Set up a business bank account.

I've currently got a separate account for business purposes. Chalk one success up to the Kleenezelady.

5. Make sure you have all contact details available at all times for customers, team members and prospects.

I've ordered a daytimer (early Christmas present) and I will be transferring details to that as soon as I get it. Plus, my new mobile upgrade is a smartphone, which should help as well.

6. Set up activity tracking for all business activities.

Done. Getting into the habit of using the tracking will be the key, though. That, and not letting my laptop spontaneously combust again...

7. Ensure the family answers the phone in a professional manner or divert calls.

Call diversion is on. Enough said. Kleeneze provide a great voicemail system (and yes, I need to clear a backlog of messages on that as well....)

8. Use a whiteboard/family calendar to keep everybody updated on what you're doing.

Already doing this as well. It works really well, when my teenager isn't trying to be clever.

9. Invest in a cashbox and bank your takings before spending them.

That's a habit I need to get into.

10. Develop a routine so that your family, team and customers know what to expect.

And again, that's a key habit that I need to develop.

I'll be planning the next 90 days out tomorrow. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

90 Day Plan: D-4 - Preparation - The Reality

Over on my other blog, I'm documenting 94 days of 90-day plan activity; this is where you get the reality check!

Today's topic is preparation; something I've tended to fail miserably at in the past - usually because I let life get in the way.

This time, I'm determined to prove I can be more than just a disorganised, hyper-active Type A single mum. Not only that, but I can't lead if I can't prove that what I am coaching about works. So here goes.

Looking at my other blog, there are ten points I should be considering:

1. What do I want, in generic terms, at the end of the next 90 days? List 10 to 15 items.

This isn't as easy as it looks. I'm disorganised, short of cash, trying to support my partner's university fees and expenses and trying to juggle life, the universe and Kleeneze. And I'm not used to setting goals. But, in general, my wants are:

a. More money. A lot more money. My best monthly income from Kleeneze so far has been around £300. I haven't done that this month. It needs to improve.
b. More team members. I can't juggle work and Kleeneze and achieve what I want on personal part-time retail alone. I need to recruit and coach others.
c. A happy family. I won't be able to do this long-term without their continuing support.
d. Proof that I can build a business in my spare time without sacrificing everything around me.
e. Deposit saved for the next family holiday.
f. Car repairs paid for - no idea how much this will cost, but my current car is now cutting out whenever I change gear. I may need the money for a different car at this rate.
g. An end to money worries. Yes, I know, harping on about the lack of money again. Guess why I started my own Kleeneze business?
h. Increased self-confidence. I have serious telephone phobia, for example. I'm shy of presenting catalogues. I know I need to change my behaviour here.
i. Increased savings. I was saving £200 per month. I'm currently saving nothing, partly due to a lack of pay-rises over the past few years, partly to my needing to start again with my Kleeneze business.
j. A reduction in debt. Yep, money issues again. This time, credit cards.

2. What are my 5 specific goals?

OK, I'm getting the hang of this a bit. Specific, Measurable, Achievable (very important for my self-confidence), Relevant and Timely, or SMART, objectives are something I understand from both project management and performance reviews.

So, specifically:

a. Present 50 catalogues per week for 13 weeks (91 days, but who's counting?) That's 50 catalogues handed over, not 50 "No thank you"s. I will also be blanket dropping. That should sort out my presenting nerves.
b. Recruit and coach 4 active distributors, all of whom are retailing £500 per month. That lets me coach them towards their 10% VP in the next 90 day plan. That also allows for the ones who I recruit who don't retail that much. That means I have to cope with my telephone phobia and start learning to deal with it.
c. Achieve a personal retail target of £1600 per 4 week period. That gives me a 13% volume bonus and a combined 4-weekly income of around £336 retail profit plus £133 bonus, or around £469 every 4 weeks. That's before I factor in team-based bonuses. That's a vast improvement on my previous personal best.
d. Save £250 from Volume bonuses only. I will invest £100 per 4 week period back into my business from my retail profits and the rest goes towards paying off debts/bills etc.
e. Pay off one long-standing debt of approximately £500 from my retail profit earnings.

All specific, all measurable, all achievable and relevant.

3. How will I achieve each of these 5 goals?

a. Set aside 50 catalogues for presenting purposes; decide which groups of streets I will present catalogues on, list those streets and go to to use the address finder for the street numbers. Repeat as required.

b. Print out all previous enquiries and phone every single one of them. Follow up as necessary. Set up an autoresponder and keep the interested "not yet" ones in the loop on new offers. Advertise for new leads and follow up responses in a timely manner. Coach according to their abilities and needs.

c. Ensure that I put out "enough" catalogues every week to hit my targets. Depends on the time of year, the area and my reputation as a trustworthy distributor.

d. Savings are based on hitting my 10% Volume bonus for the first 8 weeks and hitting 13% in the last 5 weeks.

e. See point d.

4. Collate all of my diary events for the next 90 days, including those of my family, friends, social groups etc.

I'm working on that. I have the main events blocked out (school holidays, birthdays etc.); I can't collate everything due to my partner's job being somewhat sporadic. I may have to add things in later and re-jig some of my plans.

5. Check I have everything I need, so I can concentrate on the first 28 days of my 90 day plan.

I have almost everything. What I'm missing are a reliable autoresponder and a sizable part of the house to act as a dispatch/office area.

6. Identify any gaps/omissions in what I need and identify when/how I will fill those gaps.

I'll take a look at autoresponders over the next 2 weeks and make a decision based on income and cost. In the meantime, I'll send updates manually.

As far as the sizeable part of the house is concerned, I'll have to make do. I need a bigger house.

7. Take a good look at myself and identify any issues that may stop me achieving my goals in the next 90 days.

I procrastinate to a stupid degree. I'm so scared of phoning others, it's crippling. I get side-tracked easily. I try to do too much and then beat myself up about it when I fail. I'm worried about letting others down.

8. Decide what I'm going to do to prevent those issues.

I will track my behaviour on a daily and weekly basis and use star charts to motivate myself. Well, if it works for stubborn 4 year olds...

9. Write down my baseline results so far. Weekly, monthly and quarterly.

I need to go through back emails to track this, due to my previous laptop spontaneously combusting and taking that data with it to the great scrapheap in the sky. I will post the results once I've done the analysis.

10. Tell my family I'm committing to a 90 day plan of activity.

Done. Not sure they believe me. I need to show them, then.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

UK Government Wants Employees To Become Entrepreneurs!

That's the only conclusion I can come to after reading today's PR spin and the Telegraph and Independent coverage.

The left-wing press are wrong about one thing, though. Dave's not interested in pushing the employed back to Victorian times. He's not interested in us at all. He doesn't seem to be interested in getting re-elected either, if the 'reforms' of legal aid and employment rights are anything to go by. We're galloping towards the tail-end of the 18th century for anyone who doesn't have the wherewithal to survive life's idiosyncracies, only this time we've got smartphones.

Still, we're stuck in a society where it's obvious that we and our children will need financial independence to do anything more than just exist, so what do we do about it?

Readers of my other blog will know I'm in favour of focused action rather than vague, disorganised tent-ins. In this case, it makes sense for those who are now even more worried about keeping their jobs to start looking at other options.

If you could run your own business in parallel with your current job,  would you be interested?

If you could earn an extra income in exchange for about 10 hours of your time per week, would that be useful?

If you could slowly, but surely, build your business network into a productive team until you matched your current salary, would that help you?

If you want to know more about how I can help you, let me know.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Pre-Christmas Blues

Christmas Star

 Thanks to a combination of circumstances, I'm rebuilding my Kleeneze business from the ground up at what is, in this area at least, probably the worst time of the year to do so.

"But it's Christmas!" I hear you all say. "They all want to buy presents! How can this possibly be the worst time of year?"

Simple. My town has a couple of dedicated distributor teams who believe in recruiting locally at key times of the year. Christmas is one of them. Which means that certain areas get swamped with new distributors, and we all end up tripping over each other in the pre-Christmas rush.

Not surprisingly, a number of the new distributors won't stay the pace. Me? I'm in this forever. I spent yesterday reorganising a room so I can have a dedicated work space, not just for my Kleeneze work, but also my writing and music. Tonight I'm delivering orders, working on my 90 day plan and doing some self-coaching.

I may be starting again, it may be slower than I'd like, but I'm not stopping until I get where and what I want out of life.

Hope you all have a powerful day today.