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Pampered Chef: Discussion Topic - How long does it take to "build" a business?

  1. janetupnorth

    janetupnorth Legend Member Gold Member

    I thought I'd bring this topic up for discussion for some more of the "long-term" consultants to comment to encourage the newer ones.

    People start PC for various reasons and tenures are varied. Often I see newer consultants with unrealistic expectations of their business without the work put in. Or good consultants putting in the work, but not getting results like they expected. You get it...expectations or results not matching wherever they may be on the spectrum good or bad.

    Basically, any direct sales job is that, a job. It takes work to achieve results and often you will have ups and downs. I recently just had a former consultant who I've only talked to about PC "forget" that I was a consultant (granted, we've had at least 4-5 conversations about PC since the beginning of the year and two were if she ever wanted to be a consultant again...) and sign with someone else in town. I've talked with her...she is busy like me...she did truly forget and feels bad (her words were that she felt like a schlep). Anyway, I brushed it off and moved on and offered her any help she may need in the future. It happens! Nothing I could have really done to change that except be there at that moment and I was at Conference! Well, yesterday I had a host from 2 years ago randomly call and ask for a November show. So, there is a positive in the negative.

    However, those stories don't "magically" happen 2 weeks into your business. If they do, consider yourself lucky...

    So, long term consultants...when did you feel you really "took off" with PC, or built a good "base" of contacts. What were some of your struggles and down times (to show others those with success have them too) and what are some of your neat random stories about finding business.

    Oh, for me it is almost 3 years and I STILL feel like I'm building for the future...
    Aug 24, 2009
  2. NooraK

    NooraK Legend Member Gold Member

    I've been a consultant for 3 years, but I don't feel like my business has "taken off" yet. Mostly, that's my own fault. I have not been good at doing the work that I need to be doing, and I know it. I was working my business at a hobby level for the last three years, averaging about a show a month.

    After conference, I made a commitment to do my calls every day. I've faltered in the last week or so, having a day here and a day there where I haven't done as well. I haven't seen humongous results yet, but I believe in the 90-day rule (what you do in your business today will affect it 90 days from now).

    I did recently have a consultant sign with me. I'm very excited for her, and I think she'll do great. It's a great motivator for me: I can't expect her to do something I'm not doing myself.
    Aug 24, 2009
  3. pampcheflisa

    pampcheflisa Advanced Member Gold Member

    I feel very similar to NooraK.
    I've been a consultant for 2 1/2 years. I do not really feel that my business has "taken off", but I also KNOW that it is 100% me. I do not complain about this, in fact, I think I would be extremely overwhelmed to do one show a week. I think the goal I have for myself is to average 2-3 shows a month and I pretty much do that on a regular basis.

    I started this as a hobby and because I love and believe in the product. Things may change in the future for me where my business can "take off", but I'm content where I am right now.

    Also, I do have one recruit, and I feel a sense of obligation to my director to make sure that I qualify each month so she can get paid as a director. This really works as a motivator to me to get my shows closed by the end of the month, whereas I used to not care too much if it was a few days later (unless there was an incentive!)
    Aug 24, 2009
  4. colegrovet

    colegrovet Veteran Member Gold Member

    I look at this as being like a building a snow man.. and I'm working on the base. I know I can't start with a big ball to begin with.. but have to start with something small, the more I work it the bigger it will become. I've been doing this about 18 months now, and last year I dabbled, and didn't see much growth, this year I put a little more effort into it and I've seen it starting to grow, I was doing 3-4 shows a month, now as I give it that little more elbow grease I see it increasing, I'm now doing 4-6 shows a month. Am I working harder to get them, not really, just wearing my t-shirts and making my nightly calls.
    Aug 24, 2009
  5. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

    I started my business more as a hobby. I thought it would be a good way to feed my PC habit. Fourteen months later I went to my first NC. I decided then and there to focus on my business. It took another few months for me to get into a groove.

    I think the most important thing about my business is momentum. I find that the more I work my business by making calls and other contacts, the more my business kind of takes care of itself. (Like the FB message I got today asking to do a show and the 3 random orders I got last week.)

    However, slowing down on those calls and contacts is like taking my foot off the accelerator. I'll coast for a little while, but soon I notice a distinct drag.
    Aug 24, 2009
  6. AJPratt

    AJPratt Legend Member Silver Member

    My business has been very fluid, based on my needs at the time. Right after our kick off, I made it a priority to get into high gear (or I will have to try to find a job). So, I've been a consultant 4 years as of June 30th! I feel like now I have a list to draw from, I've had repeat shows and I am really comfortable making calls and asking for bookings. It took me a while, but I really feel like when I treated it really seriously, it made a big change.

    PS When I first told my DH's extended family in NH, someone made the remark, "Well, that's great, but at some point the well will run dry." Supportive, huh? I was thrilled to get to tell her, "Can you believe its been 4 years for me working with PC? And the economy... OMG, I am busier than ever." Her response; a shocked "Really?"
    Aug 24, 2009
  7. chefjeanine

    chefjeanine Legacy Member Gold Member

    There is so much to say about this topic, especially after 8 years in the business so I was waiting around to see if someone would capture some of my experience in their comments. Rae & Anne have covered a few of the things I've gone through.
    Aug 25, 2009
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