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I am a new consultant this month and am looking for some tricks of the trade. Any organization/business habit tips would be very much appreciated. I have read the manual, but am looking for some additional, practical tips. Thanks much.
I don't have alot of space in my "office" but I do have cabinet space so I tend to separate things into binders: Kitchen Consultant News and Director Newsletters binder, Potential Recruits (with divider tabs divided into "cold", "warm" and "hot") binder, Super Starters (with divider tabs divided into SS1, SS2, SS3)binder, postcards and letters for host coaching binder, theme show binder with color copies of all the theme shows I offer (I pass this around at shows to spark interest in hosting). I then have one large binder that I keep my calendar in along with Host and Guest Special fliers for the next 3 months and fliers that I use to copy for host packets. I have these tabbed too for the 3 months in advance. This is sort of my "Bible". If I need to go out the door in a hurry, I can grab this one and it will have most everything I need in it in a rush.
For my hosts, each one of them has a manilla folder. I write on the outside everything pertinent to their show (show #, date, name, address, phone, email, host password for web site, directions, recipe to demo, any special requests from the host, etc...anything that I need to look at at a glance for that show. On the inside I keep any correspondence from emails (emailed orders, etc.) deposit slips, show order forms, etc.
I like to find what I need at my fingertips and not have to waste time digging for something. (I'm a little bit OCD...can't you tell?!?!)
I also have a recipe binder. I put marked up recipes that 1) I've used at a show and was a hit, 2) I've used at a show and wasn't a great hit, 3) would like to try at a show.
The mark-ups include: tips for show presentation, items that I want to have prepped prior to show, additional PC products needed so that I don't have to re-invent the wheel each time I select it for a show, etc.
one tip I learned at conferance that has saved me a lot of time... always fill out the additional information section in PP when you get the customers info. That way you will always have the addresses and phone numbers handy and don't need to hold on to every drawing slip and scap of paper. You can also do mailing lists from the program. And I always get my host's email address. That way I can get ahold of her if I am unable to reach her by phone, and send her the ingredient list that she can just print out and take to the store with her. If you have an email address PC will also send out an email to let them know that their order has been shipped, so they know when to expect it. And I reminder when their 10% discount is going to run out.
I did think of one thing that REALLY helps me stay organized. I have my calendar color coded with the post-it flags. I have the pink post it flags for dates I'll do shows. Orange flags are for meeting dates or other family events. Red flags are absolutely NO SHOW dates.
On the flags I put the hosts name, address, phone, email, time, and past host booked off. I also pencil in what type of show they want or special recipe. I write tiny to fit it all in. I have everything handy in my car at all times (calendar stays in my purse).
I'm taking that workshop too! I need it. I forget what session you're going to. I'll be at session 2 and I have that Managing Time workshop on the 2nd day at 2 pm. I can't wait to put all that I learn into action!