Tag Archives: parent

Direct Sales: Pampered Chef

1 Oct

Pampered Chef is another example of a Direct Sales company.  Consultants come to your home (or workplace, school, youth club, day centre, etc) and do a cooking show where they showcase their products whilst creating lovely nibbles for your guests.

Caroline Cannon is Mum to Jack, 3, and became a Pampered Chef consultant in October 2011.  She also works part time in Customer Services.

Pampered chef is an American company that was founded in 1980. It offers high quality kitchenware and tools and is sold through the party plan (like Tupperware, Ann Summers).  It offers hosts amazing incentives for having a party; consultants (like myself) are incentivised and rewarded for selling the goods and people that buy the products are investing in amazing superior kitchenware that will not leave anyone disappointed.

I was recruited at a Pampered Chef party hosted by a friend. It’s not something I would ever have dreamed of doing but I love it. I love the flexibility, meeting new people, my new cooking skills and newly acquired confidence.

When my director (who was the consultant at the party I attended) talked about extra money and ‘how £50 was a lot of money you could earn instead of watching the TV instead of an evening’ I realised this was a real opportunity I should grab.

It instantly appealed to me and I haven’t looked back since. It’s an excellent way of meeting new people and will give you a confidence you probably never knew you had!

There are monthly meetings and these introduce to you all the other consultants in the area and there is always a cooking show. It’s a great way to see how others might do a cooking show and everyone is always very friendly.  My experience in going to these meetings is finding out about everyone else and their story about getting into Pampered chef. There are many who used it as a stepping stone to get back into work after having children. And this is massively successful. Having children seems to lower women’s confidence and it can take a while to build this back up. I can honestly say that the women I meet now are so confident and love what they do.

How much you want to work is entirely up to you. You can choose to pursue it as career, and indeed a very successful one at that.  Or you could do what I do and hold one or two parties a month.

I am more than happy to talk to anyone about Pampered Chef, and if you want to discuss anything please don’t hesitate to call me on 07810 501385 or you can email at carolinecannon.pamperedchef@yahoo.co.uk

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4 Simple Steps to Beat the September Slump

3 Sep

This is a guest post written by Soozi Hadj Lazib.  Soozi runs her own business and blog, Maternity Leavers [www.maternityleavers.com] which is all about supporting women on maternity leave with their career choices.  She is also the resident career coach on Mum and Working [www.mumandworking.co.uk] and a featured expert on Greatvine [www.greatvine.com].

Have you ever had that problem where the more time you have, the less you get done?

September heralds new beginnings (I know, traditionally it’s meant to be Spring, but with school terms and summer holidays, September is when everyone feels like starting or re-energising things) so if you’ve got kids of school age or are dealing with people who do, you’ve probably treated summer as a bit of down time and have been waiting it out until you’ve got more time.

Only, then September comes, and despite having more time than you did before, your productivity hits rock bottom. You find yourself overwhelmed and completely unable to get anything done.

The good news is that it happens to everyone and there are a few simple steps to get back on track. So if you’re feeling a bit unfocused, here are some tips to get focused again:

1. Know what your aim is

What are you ultimately trying to achieve? If you’re not clear on this, it’s impossible to work out what the important things are that you need to do in order to achieve it.

2. Make lists – lots of them!

If you have one big To Do list that gets added to quicker than items are crossed off, what you end up with is a huge list – most of which you ignore. Admit it – do you find yourself skim reading and plucking off the things you want to do, rather than the things you should do? You keep yourself busy, but on the wrong things.

Make smaller – more focused – lists instead.

Try making a new list every day, so you have to decide what to carry across from the previous day. Writing the same task down day after day will either make you do it, or realise it doesn’t need to be done.

Or rank your list by importance – and then follow it through by only doing the things you’ve ranked with the highest importance.

3. Establish a routine

If you’re working for yourself it can be tempting to just work whenever you feel like it. You may be putting in lots of hours, but spending unfocused time can be as bad as not spending any time on it. For instance, while you’re sat in front of your computer are you really doing what you think you’re doing? Or do you have lots of things open that you’re constantly flicking between?

Instead, decide which hours you’re going to work each day, and what tasks you’re going to do during those hours. If it helps, you could even book ‘appointments’ into your diary for each of the tasks. That way you don’t waste your time wondering what to do next, and you can assign your time realistically.

4. Plan your day at night

The night before, obviously. The last task you should do each day is to make your list for tomorrow. That way, you can start each day without faffing over what you’re going to do.

So instead of letting a September slump happen to you, be ready for the extra time – and when it hits you, use it wisely. Be clear on what you should be doing, and then be disciplined enough to do it.

Told you it was simple!

Interview with Rocket and Co.

13 Aug

I discovered Rocket & Co. through Facebook and instantly fell in love!   Susie makes beautiful, individual artworks from recycled and often vintage bits and bobs – buttons, maps, scrabble tiles, comic books.   Susie is from Taunton, Somerset and has a degree in illustration, and still does freelance illustrations.  Rocket is her cheeky cocker spaniel!

Like so many of the people I have met so far through Opportunity Plus South West, Rocket & Co. started after Susie became a mother and wasn’t able to continue with her previous job as a designer.  She needed to create a business that would be flexible enough to fit around her son.  Rocket & Co. started in October 2011.  Read on to find out how she did it:

What made you decide to start your own business?

I had my first child in February 2011.  The job I had before my son was born required me to commute 4 days a week, which meant leaving at 6.30am and getting home at 7pm.  Continuing to work like this after my maternity leave ended wasn’t an option for me, I wanted to be at home with my son as much as possible. ‘Rocket & Co.’ developed after my sister asked me to have a craft/art table at an event she was organising.   I had 3 weeks to think of a new idea of what I could make and sell.  I’d previously made gifts for friends and family using scrabble tiles and vintage music sheets and had some lovely feedback, so I choose to develop these ideas. It was really only intended to be a side line to my freelance illustration work, but since then it has grown quickly and I now spend most of my work time on ‘Rocket & Co.’

What is the best thing about being self employed?

Of course I love working from home and being able to spend so much time with my son, but this can also be the hardest part as it can be hard to focus and avoid the distractions of home life.   I get a huge amount of satisfaction and pleasure from creating and developing the ideas I have and having the freedom to work on projects I feel excited by.

What has been difficult?

Finding the time to do as much work as I’d like to do.  I’ve become a bit of a night owl, starting work at 8pm and often working until 3am.   It’s tiring, but because I love doing it it’s not that difficult.  I almost work the same amount of hours I did when I was employed full time yet I am now also a full time mum.  I’m still getting the hang of keeping receipts, records and keeping all the important bits and pieces in order.  I’m an organised person but I haven’t quite got to grips with my paperwork!   It is also difficult not knowing when the next pay cheque will come, I think the main thing I miss about being employed is the guaranteed payday at the end of the month.

How do you market your business?

I started promoting ‘Rocket & Co.’ through Facebook and found it was a really good platform for marketing my products.   I had a good response immediately and it motivated me to use it more.  Facebook has been my main avenue of marketing through social media although I do occasionally ‘Tweet‘.   I would say that at the moment 80% of my orders/sales are through Facebook.   It is a great way to keep people up to date with news and products and it’s free to use!!!   I have a website for Rocket & Co. and I promote the company with leaflets and business cards at any art/craft events I take part in.   I intend to take marketing to the next level in the very near future and I’m currently working on press packs and looking into suitable magazines for advertising.

What are your plans for the future of Rocket and Co?

I have a lot of ideas that I’m excited about and look forward to working on.   The main area I’m going to focus on is the promotion of Rocket & Co.  As great as Facebook is, I feel there are a lot of potential customers out there who I am yet to find and I want to make sure I’m getting Rocket & Co. ‘out there’ and seen by a larger audience.   I currently exhibit one off artworks in one gallery in Taunton and I’m keen to get my work in some more galleries in the South West.

What tips would you give someone wanting to start their own business?

If the business you’re starting is something you feel passionately about then I think that’s the most important thing, as you will always have the enthusiasm and drive to work your hardest on it.   If you work from home and have a child try and have a space that is behind a closed door to work in, it’s very easy to get distracted by your nearest and dearest!   Make sure you register as self employed, keep all business related receipts, record all sales and try and have a system!   Enjoy being your own boss and remember why you’re doing it!