Roughly 18 years ago I don’t think I would have ever thought about getting a business plan set up when I originally started with Avon and “before the days of mom-hood”. I already was working at the time and for whatever reason that I simply don’t recall, I started selling Avon. I liked it and my small business grew over a few years. After moving to another state that does not have a huge population, I stopped selling. I did try once more but the town I was in was more of a Mary kay town. Not that I am upset by that. We had a few Avon reps but honestly making money there was not going to be easy and also, there was a lot going on in my life that it didn’t seem to go well. Fast forward to 2.5 years ago when for personal reasons I had to show that I was doing something with my life. As if being a parent to a child that is 24/7 care wasn’t enough to show that the regular 9-5 job would not suit my needs as a mom. While there are a ton of jobs that you can work from home for, many of the well-paying ones require training and educational backgrounds that I don’t have or a much more dedicated workspace where it would have to be quiet so I can be on the phone all day. No thank you. I already use the phone for keeping up with doctors, therapists, the pharmacy, transportation services, and all the fun stuff that comes with being a mom of a child with special needs. Hey, I won’t say that I won’t call a customer for taking orders. That’s a bit different. This time I started with a super small idea of a business plan. Okay, so it was more of a small sum of money to get stuff going and running with it from there. Not the best idea.
Avon is always on the look-out for new recruits and we offer many enticing perks of being a rep. The thing is, and this is noted on many blogs and websites that discuss starting a small business, that you still need an action plan. A business plan. You don’t just jump in with both feet. But we tend to anyway. This shouldn’t stop you from having a business plan even after signing up as a rep. After all, there is training involved. Constant training. It is much better now than I first became a rep ever so long ago. Granted you have initial charges such as sign up fees and perhaps getting your starter kit. Which I highly suggest you invest in. But after that, you should at least give yourself an idea of how to financially go from there.
At this point, you may be wondering what the benefits are for having a business plan for being an Avon representative. How hard can being a rep be? You get catalogs/brochures and hand them to people. They browse, they buy, you earn. Well, there’s more to it than that. There is marketing as well but also if you demo products, you will need to figure that in. Because if you buy the catalogs and little demo products to show off, you still need to make up for the cost of buying those. Otherwise, you will be in the red. Let’s go over some good reasons to have a business plan even as an Avon rep. It is a business for you after all.
- To Have Goals and Objectives – What is it that you want to get out of being a representative in the first place, financially? It is an extra $100 a month? An extra $300 a month? To eventually be the one source of income you have (super big goal)? Or just as pocket money for what not (small goal)? When the company first started, it’s good to keep in mind that our founder wanted to help women earn their own money. Most of the time they were stay-at-home wives with husbands that worked. They sometimes had extra time on their hands and could have also needed a boost of esteem. The company started before women could vote. And that says a lot. Don’t worry, there are a lot of male reps out there. Our founder sort of started as one. No matter what your goal and objective are, you need to use that as a starting point. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t always happen. In fact, many of us current reps were hit hard during COVID and some of us are still recovering. We had to reassess our goals and objectives. And that is fine. You can do that on a regular basis if you feel it needs to be done. You can grow not really having a goal other than just to sell but as you grow, having a plan for a goal and objective is at the top of the to-do list.
- It helps you plan your own business purchases better – You don’t just spend on things you can’t afford to make your business grow if you aren’t making back the money you invest. Say one month you make less than you had previously, well, you may need to rethink any purchases you get for a demo or for yourself. It is fine to buy for yourself in this business. But if this is your only source of income sometimes you may need to forgo doing that. If you have a regular job outside of Avon you may be able to get away with it. Though if you want to plan an event such as a fundraiser and have an on-site set-up, you will need to know how much you can do for that and not be in the red and not really be earning anything.
- It’s good for taxes – Even if you don’t meet the $600 in earnings each year, it is still good for taxes. And no Avon doesn’t really send out info unless you make a certain amount. Other than that you can do it yourself. If you are new to it, you can get tax help. It does help if you feel you aren’t doing well in the market to decide to keep going and reassess or perhaps stop altogether. Not everyone stays being a rep. If you do well, you will know you are on the right track and also if you get help on taxes, you will know if you are in good standing with Uncle Sam. Or if you are reading this in another country than use can use whatever other figurative characters your country may have. We use Uncle Sam in many ways including for military recruit and not just for being nice in referring to the IRS.
- Keep yourself accountable – Are you doing what you should be doing as a rep? Are you sure you are out there selling or maybe using your social media to the best of your ability? I will be honest right now I am taking a break from social media because it is the end of the school year and I want to focus a bit on not just my college courses but my kids finishing strong. Though they really don’t care. I still am very aware that I have a goal to meet. I am only readjusting because I am busy. So, my business plan keeps me thinking of how I am managing everything and not hurting myself in the end. I have a responsibility I gave myself. I need to keep to it. It is part of my overall goal to make a better life for me and my kids.
- Work out what isn’t working out – Is your plan working for you if you already have one? Do you think whatever plan you gave now will be good in the next six months? Is that ad you took out really helping and should you be paying for it? These and other questions play into having a business plan. If that ad isn’t working, stop. Just stop. I have heard of many reps doing ads on Facebook to no avail and they get discouraged. It brings in views but not money. It could be for a number of reasons. Mostly it isn’t engaging enough. But that is another topic for another day. In the end, if it isn’t working either take it out of your plan or reconfigure it.
- Viability – Many start Avon because they love Avon. We are mostly all guilty of that for those of us who chose to be a rep for that reason. But it has to be more than interesting int he brands. You need to show you can do it. Not everyone likes Avon. Some like Mary Kay. I had a friend that liked Mary Kay and did ask me to join. I just didn’t care for how the business model worked out and there were downsides I was aware of. This time around I did Avon so I can prove that I am not just being a stay-at-home single mother. I have a plan to get to a point in my life, a goal I keep to myself, and having to start somewhere was an idea I had to prove that I am trying my best to keep moving forward. I am more than just a mom of three who can’t work a regular 9-5 because I have familial limitations and a small support group. I have one but they can only do so much. I love Avon. I trust the history it has. I like that it started as a business for women that was the idea of a man. But this can’t be the whole reason for becoming and staying a rep. I want to be self-sufficient. I know pretty much where the earning lie in light of which people tend to buy. And this should be considered when you have a business plan. Is there going to be competition? Is there a market for it where you are locally?
- Lay of the Landscape – The last reason leads me to know where you stand as a rep in the industry. I am still new. I am well aware of that. I am nowhere near the level of my mentor and that doesn’t bother me. I know if I make the right moves I could move on up. But if I feel I can’t then I will change my plans. As I have mentioned when I moved to a town where I honestly couldn’t make it as a rep. I knew that. I have a much better chance of where I am and a better chance of moving on up. As long as I keep myself accountable.
Business plans don’t have to look complex. You are not a multimillion international hub. You are staying small. Think small, to start. You don’t need to be fancy-schmancy and have the same plan as a bigger company or as a rep that has been in the business longer than you. This is why business plans can be personalized. It wouldn’t hurt to take a few classes but if you are fine scouring on the internet, let me tell you it can get a bit overwhelming knowing where to look. You may not know what a business plan looks like and that’s fine. I am here to help. Keep in mind that math is involved. Dreaded math. I went and found a great post written by Susan Ward of thebalancesmb.com titled One-Page Business Plan Templates. Mine turned out to be more like 3 pages and that is why I did a video on it referring to it as a 3-pager. It really is comprehensive to use and that’s why I chose it. You can change it if you need to, over time, and choose a different one, but I really liked her post and information on her page.
Part of any small business, even being a representative (essentially a contractor because you are selling the companies products for them), it is good to know that you need a plan. It doesn’t have to be fancy but it helps to know where to start and how much to start with so that you can plan how much you will earn and how you will run what you do as a profit and not a loss. No, it isn’t easy. But it can be done and can be profitable. You won’t become an overnight success. No. Success takes work.
We are still taking on new recruits through campaign 12. If you would like to join with me as your mentor, that would be great! I would love to help you become the best boss lady (or guy) you can be. It’s free still and you have a great option for starter kits. Click this link and sign up. If you want to see how it looks signing up, check out my Avon Representative FAQ page for any questions you may have and if you have others, comment below.
Also check out my post on Creating a Facebook page for your Avon business Creating a Facebook Page for Avon Business + Pointers