I'm pretty sure that the stamping demonstrator has the hardest time staying on a budget. Especially those of us that are hobby demos. While we love to stamp and have some customers and classes, we don't bring in enough extra money to warrant having all the new stuff. And we *want* the new stuff... we *need* the new stuff to keep our customers interested! (... or so we tell ourselves!) I could easily spend $100 a month in the TAC catalog and still want other things that I've seen just hit the market. Is there hope for demos to stay on a budget????
Here are just a few suggestions...
Don’t mortgage your family’s well-being to support your business. - If you can only afford to spend $50 cash, then don’t place a $150 order - even if you do get free stuff!!
If you have the money, consider choosing one accessory and one new stamp set for the month and teaching your customers how to use them. Base your classes, workshops, blog, etc., around them and you may sell more as they see how to use them in many different settings. Heres a blog from Canada with some great ideas... the link will take you to this months featured product... the Pretties Kit by Stampin' Up. Other ideas for featured products might be the cropadile, the bind-it-all, watercolor crayons, project kits, etc.
Determine your customer base’s financial ability. - If you have big spenders in your customer base, great! They will subsidize your hobby.
If you have customers who aren’t able to spend as much, consider offering a stamping club with a $10-$15 minimum, or a monthly class by mail for $15 or $20, or a Stamp-a-Stack where they can do all their monthly stamping. This will subsidize the purchase of your higher priced items, although it might not pay for them in full.
Don’t hang on to your demonstratorship so long that you jeopardize your family’s finances. - When I started with Creative Memories 15 years ago I was encouraged to always have inventory on hand, and told that the best way to order was $400 at a time because then shipping was free. When I left CM 5 years later we were $5000 in debt - even though Id been in the top 20 sales for the company a time or two!
Stampin’ Up has similar challenges.
“...But I’m only $70 short this quarter. It seems silly to drop for $70!”,
or “...If I only have $60 more in sales I earn another $10.95 set!”
or “... I know I only need brads right now, but I need to place a $40 order to make shipping worth while!”
I came out of Stampin’ Up ok, but only through great will-power at the end and by selling a number of things on Ebay. I’m now with The Angel Company (I just couldn't give it up altogether yet!), a company with much lower, easily attainable minimums. I still find however that the temptation is there to spend more than I have available. In fact I'm struggling with it today!! “Look at this great special!!” and "I love this Stamp of the Month! Do I have $30 to spend so I can get it, or is there something on my wishlist that I would like more??"
Always ask some questions before placing an order for yourself. -
Do I have the money available?
How many of these will I need to sell to get back my investment?
Do I love this enough to buy it even if I never sell one?
Is there something on my wishlist that I would rather have?
Am I out of anything (envelopes, cardstock, adhesive, etc.) that I should be getting with the money I have available?
Will I use this often, or will I want to get rid of it soon?
So there it is. I've tried to be honest with you and not pull any punches. Stamping is such a fun hobby! I hope that this series will help you take control of it, rather than having it control you.