My Flamingo Paperie Journey

Phoenix Trading – The Beginning

My greetings card business teresa4cards began in January 2011. I was at a school fair selling items from another business and as is often the case I entered the raffle. I won a prize and I was drawn to a gift bag of items. When I got the bag home I rummaged through the contents and I LOVED the cards, gift wrap and stationery items from Phoenix Trading which were in the bag. I thought about it for about 2-3 months and I finally decided in January 2011 that I wanted to sell these cards too!

I bought the biggest pack I could and I jumped in! I did not have the best start. I had just started a new job and didn’t have the flexibility I had before to run a business on the side. I dabbled, I did bits and pieces as and when, without any real direction.

I joined the business because it was flexible and there were no monthly targets. Unfortunately over the years this has worked against me as I picked it up and put it down as and when I was busy with other things. I worked inconsistently and did it when I felt like it. Although there were some periods when I did work hard with it.

A Few Years In

After a few years of dabbling, I made the decision that either I had to give it a better go or it had to go!! I worked hard for about 6 months going to all the events I could find and could fit in to my schedule. I saw my business starting to grow. I had regular customers and people were starting to recognise me as the card lady! I had also started to gather people onto my mailing list.

Then I moved house! I moved away from North Devon and back to my home town. It felt like I was starting again. I did not know what events were good and all the stallholders I previously networked with were out of my area. I struggled to get started again and really I ended up going back to dabbling!! In between dabbling I had long periods of doing nothing at all towards my business!

The End of Phoenix Trading

Then in early August 2017 I got the news that Phoenix Trading was closing. I was in a long period of doing nothing towards my business but I was gutted. For a short while I believed I wouldn’t be able to ‘do my card business’ anymore. I did not like this. I wanted to be able to carry on, it had been something I had always fallen back on and gone back to.

Flamingo Paperie was Born!

When it was announced that Flamingo Paperie was going to open, I joined up straight away. I promised myself then that I would work consistently at my business, week in and week out. And I do. I still get distractions coming along but I keep working at my card business.

I can honestly say I love the new Flamingo Paperie business, it is more streamlined, the designs are beautiful and HO are gradually introducing new lines which are opening up new markets for me.

At the start of lockdown I thought I would struggle and I did struggle to post on social media, or blog, or email for a long time. I just couldn’t find any words! Without being able to go to events I thought my sales would plummet. I am happy to say I was absolutely wrong!! I have had the busiest first 8 months of the year ever.

How I Stay Focused

🦩 I have made some things in my business non-negotiable. For example, I send a monthly mailchimp email and I post to social media daily.

🦩 I have connected with my Flamingo Paperie upline. This really helps me to stay on track.

🦩 I have attended company events and connected with other partners

🦩 I have done LOADS of online training on goal setting and vision boards, helping me to keep focused and enabling me to have clear strategies in place to grow my business

🦩 I have had free training and from my local council by Cool Ventures Ltd plus 1-2-1 mentoring

🦩 I have learned a lot about social media and growing your business online

🦩 I have done a lot of personal development helping me to grow and learn. This is ongoing!!

🦩 I have started to grow a team, so I need to stay focused to be able to help them!

My Tips

This business is super simple, there isn’t loads of product information to learn and the cards are beautiful! My tips are to set your goals, make a plan and get to work. Work consistently and focus on your goals!!

Scalable Business

The BEST thing about the Flamingo Paperie business is it is scalable. By scalable I mean that your business can grow without being limited by the time that you yourself have available.

It is scaleable in two ways.

Firstly you can introduce other people to Flamingo Paperie and grow your own team and business that way. You can then earn by helping to develop your team members.

Secondly with online ordering you can simply promote your business and let Flamingo Paperie HO do the rest, they process and send out the orders for you. This has worked brilliantly for me during lockdown.

Christmas 2020

What will the Christmas period bring? Christmas events are unlikely to be happening that’s for sure. I had an amazing Christmas period last year so there is a lot to live up to! My plan is to keep doing what I am doing and continue to work consistently. And to keep finding those different ways of doing things which makes having a business which is flexible, all the more valuable.

You can learn more about becoming a Flamingo Paperie partner here.

Love Teresa xx

My 10 Top Tips for Working at Home

I have been working from home for more than 10 years and I have run teresa4cards since January 2011. Here are my top 10 tips to help you make working from home work for you, whether as a Flamingo Paperie Partner or with another home based business and especially when you have children at home!

1. Have your Own Work Space

Find a space somewhere in your home and get a desk or table that is yours and just yours. You need to be able to leave work out that you can come back to and you need to have everything to hand so that you aren’t wasting time getting set up for work each day.

2. Have Everything you Need to Hand

Get your workspace set up so that everything you need is to hand or close by. This will save you time and help you to keep your focus on the jobs that need to be done.

3. Make a To Do List

Make a to do list, or if you don’t like to do lists, have some idea of the jobs that need to be done each day. Break it down into longer tasks and quick tasks. The quick tasks can be fitted into small ten minute time slots around the other things you have going on, it can be surprising how many quick tasks you can get through! You may need to find more focused time for the longer tasks.

4. Find Some Time

Easy to say but it might not be easy to do! If I have a longer task I want to get done, I might get up early, or work later into the evening. Other alternatives are getting someone to look after the kids for an hour or two so you can focus on your project, or getting a takeaway so you don’t have to spend time cooking that evening. Now they are older the kids will quite often keep themselves occupied and I will crack on!

Break down the larger tasks into smaller jobs so you can chip away during shorter periods of time.

5. Be Flexible with your Time

Your work schedule may not always go to plan, if ever! Be flexible and prepared the accept that it may take you longer to get things done than you expect. Be flexible too in that you may have to work early in the morning or later in the evening to get things done.

6. Get Organised

Plan ahead and get lunch prepared as if you were all leaving the house. This will free up some time at lunchtime as the food is already prepared. Set aside some snacks in a box too for those inevitable ‘Mum I’m hungry’ moments! Plan your work around the other things you have going on that day and be realistic as to what you can achieve. Taking small steps everyday will help you to move your business forward.

7. Start with Something Easy

If you are struggling to get started, or are feeling stuck, start with something easy or something you love doing. That will help you to get started and hopefully encourage you to tackle the harder tasks or bigger jobs. I always find having a sort through my cards or getting a basket of cards ready to go out will help me to start some of the tasks I find more difficult.

8. Find Your Motivation

Working from home can make you feel isolated and it can be hard to remain motivated to keep going. Keep your goals in mind and write them down. Track your progress against your goals to keep you heading in the right direction. It really helps if you love what you do too! Join some work from home groups, or networking groups and chat with other people. Lots of us are dealing with the same things and it’s good to share tips.

9. Work on Personal Development

Personal development might be working on your mindset, improving your motivation or developing a new skill which will help you in your business. There is a lot of online training available, some of it is free, so be prepared to spend some time doing training and developing the skills you need in your business.

10. Find time For You

When you work from home it can be very easy to go from home stuff, to work stuff then back to home stuff throughout the day, without taking a moment for yourself. I am very guilty of this! This does not save you time in the long run as eventually your body will go NO, I’ve had enough, timeout! And you will either start to feel overwhelmed, get ill or just feel fed up with it all causing your business to suffer. So try to find some time for you each day!

I hope you have found some things here to help you. To learn about my home based business teresa4cards, I have an information page here.

Love Teresa xx

Flamingo Paperie with teresa4cards

From Bumper Month to Lockdown!

February

February was my busiest month in my business ever, outside of the Christmas period and even then it was busier than every month except November last year! This showed me two things, firstly my business is growing and the stuff I am doing on a day to day basis is working (and I should do more of it). Secondly there is actually plenty of business to be had in the early part of the year. I had traditionally thought ‘people have no money in the new year’ and ‘events aren’t worth doing until Easter’. I had proven myself wrong!

During February I had some great events, made some good contacts and made good sales. this all left me feeling very positive about my business

March

And then we got to March! We had some fabulous new cards launched, which sold brilliantly, see my Blog on the March Cards. I had some early markets in March which I did very well at and then Lockdown came!

I felt like the rug had been pulled from under me and I had no clue how I was going to continue to move my business forward. All of my events for the foreseeable future were cancelled or postponed due to the Lockdown.

That’s OK I can take this time to work on the online side of my business, I want to grow this anyway, was my first thought. I made a lovely list of all the things I could work on now I had all this extra time.

What Extra Time??

How wrong I was. There was no extra time. There was less time. A LOT less time!! My usual working day was now home schooling time.

When I had time, I suffered with constant interruptions and a complete block as to know what to write on social media. It took me a long time to adjust and settle enough to be able to do any of the work I wanted to do on the online side of my business. Even now I find it a struggle. See my blog on why working from home in Lockdown is not the same as normal working from home.

April

I need not have panicked. Throughout April I had a steady flow of orders coming in. Some through social media, some from my mailing list, some from baskets I had sent out before the lockdown started, some through the post from my January brochure mail out, some from brochures I had given out at events in February and some through online networking.

I did not meet the target for April that I had set myself at the beginning of the year, but I was happy with the sales I had made. This was helped as well by lower costs, as I wasn’t paying event rents and travelling to events!

May

We are only a few days into May as I write this, but interestingly the orders are still coming in. People from events I have been to in the past are looking for me and contacting me requesting the most recent brochure, or ordering using my website.

I have learned the valuable lesson that the contacts you make at events and your mailing list are so important when getting out is not possible. Finally I am so so grateful to everyone that has supported my business over the last few weeks, so THANK YOU!!

Love Teresa xx

Lockdown is not Like ‘Normal’ Working from Home

My Work From Home Background

I have been working from home for some years and I have a routine in place which suits me. I normally do the school run and then work during school hours, stopping at school pick-up time. Sometimes I do a bit of work in the evening but that is rare now. And in school holiday time that flips around, we are usually out doing things during the day and then I get to work late afternoon or evenings.

As well as the routine I have, I also accept that during school holidays I will get less done. I compensate for this a little, by doing more in the lead up to the holidays, scheduling what I can, or drafting newsletters etc ready to send when they are due.

What I found Under Lockdown

Well this is new and totally different to ‘normal’ working from home, even when compared with the school holidays.

First of all there is home schooling, which is basically homework on steroids! There is sooo much of it! My normal working day is taken up by home schooling and it is exhausting. Some task can be done independently and after about a week of home schooling the kiddies did get used to doing some of their work independently. And thankfully my partner took on some of the home schooling too.

Secondly there are people in my house during the day! Whereas I can usually get on with things quietly, usually with the radio on, people keep talking to me! The kids keep asking me stuff, stuff they don’t need to ask. DON’T TALK TO ME! I found I can only do short tasks before I get interrupted by someone. I have even told my partner off for talking to me when I was working!

Finally overwhelm was also a massive factor in the first week or so of lockdown. The overwhelm of the home schooling plus of the general situation gave me total brain freeze. I didn’t feel like posting on social media, everything seemed irrelevant. A blog was out of the question because I had nothing useful to say! I didn’t want to work, I couldn’t focus on it and all but the most simple tasks were overwhelming.

Papercraft kits by Flamingo paperie. Koala, Llama and Cat.

Finding a Way

This could not go on, I had a week off but I still had to keep my business going somehow. Bit by bit I am getting into our new routine. I am gradually getting bits of work done. I started with easy short tasks that I didn’t need to think about very much. Then one evening I had some quiet time and put pen to paper and started writing. I had so much to say! I made lots of notes and had lots of ideas for blogs and social media going forwards.

This week has been much better, I am learning to be flexible with my time again, it is much like before my littlest started school. (I am writing this at 8pm on a Friday evening!) It is still a struggle to get time to concentrate, but I am adapting and so are the kids!

That’s all from me, stay safe and stay well.

Love Teresa xx

Goal Setting in Your New Flamingo Paperie Business

One of the most fabulous things about being a Flamingo Paperie partner is that there are no monthly targets to meet, it is totally flexible and you can work as much or as little as you want. Fabulous if you need to take a long period out, are unable to work, or if you have other projects going on. BUT it can also be a disavantage as it means you can easily become distracted and find it difficult to find time for your business. This is why it is important to start your new business off in the right way and set yourself some goals!

Why Set Goals?

Having a goal you are working toward will help to keep you motivated and encourage you to work consistently. Goals help to keep you focused on what you want to achieve and you can track your results against the goal to see how you are progressing towards it.

If you don’t have a goal in mind, you can drift along not really doing much and completely forget why you joined the business in the first place!

What Goals Should I Set?

This will be completely personal to you and will depend on your reason for joining Flamingo Paperie in the first place. If you have become a partner to take advantage of getting the cards at a discount and just sharing with a few friends then you might not need specific goals.

If you have joined to earn a flexible income then here are some of my suggestions for you to get started with:

  1. Set a goal to sell the contents of your starter pack. All of the packs are designed with an extra discount built in so that you are instantly in profit once you have sold the contents.
  2. Selling around £350 a month will earn you £100 instant retail profit, plus you will get to the first bonus level earning you a further £20 in retail bonus. This is a great goal to set as it will encourage you to work consistently every month.
  3. Think about what you would like to earn each month, and the time you have available, and work back from there to work out what sales you would need to make.

You might feel that what you want to achieve is out of your reach, but its somewhere to start. You can set smaller goals and gradually work towards your bigger goal, these will help to keep you on track.

If you want more help with goal setting then contact the person who sponsored you, I am sure they will be happy to help you. You can also find lots of online training around goal setting and planning for small businesses.

How Goal Setting has Helped Me

I set an annual goal, which I split into monthly goals and I also set weekly targets from that. I have a tendancy to get distracted by other things, so setting goals has really given me more focus and has definitely lead to improved sales.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Flamingo paperie partner cick the button!

Love Teresa xx