It is always fascinating to see which Flamingo Paperie Christmas card designs become the best sellers each Christmas season. I never predict it correctly! It’s a good job I don’t choose the range! I am so grateful every year for the fabulous artists which design our cards.
Most of these designs are packs of 8 Christmas cards, apart from the Snowman card which is a pop out character card.
The packs of 8 Christmas cards are priced at £3, £4 or £4.50 depending on the size of the cards.
My favourites again this year are the advent calendar cards. Both the sheep one and the reindeer one have been very popular with my customers. All of the advent calendar cards are only £3 each and they post as a normal letter, so they are a great special card to send to friends and family further afield. Just remember to send them early so they can be enjoyed for the whole of December!
I am having my busiest Christmas season ever, even with all my events being cancelled for this year. Whether November will beat November last year though, will be interesting to see!
If you are looking for an additional income and would like to take a look at the business opportunity with Flamingo Paperie click the learn more button! You are also welcome to contact me if there is anything you would like to know.
Social media takes time! It takes time to set up and it takes time to grow. There might be a lot of learning involved too if you haven’t had an online business before. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming.
I would advise trying to fit in some of the other ways of selling in and around your everyday life. Perhaps dropping off brochures to friends and family, colleagues and neighbours and using the cards you have in your starter pack to show what good quality they are. See my recent blog My 5 top Tips for New Flamingo Paperie Partners on the best ways to get started in your business.
When you are ready to dive in to social media here are my top tips:
My Top 10 Tips for Getting Started on Social Media for New Flamingo Paperie Partners
Have your website on your facebook profile so that people can easily see what you do.
Set up a facebook business page. There is some debate over whether a facebook group or page is better. Groups are better for interaction so you may decide this is the way to go. However when you get onto the next tips you will find it easier with a facebook page. I have a page as my ‘shop window’ I then use a group for my customers.
Join some local facebook groups. Some will allow local business promotion, others have specific days of the week / month where you can promote your business.
Join some facebook networking groups. This will help you to connect with other local business people. An example is Mums/Moms in Business International, they have local groups all over the country and will have special promotion days for example follow Friday, where you can share about your business.
Be social! Don’t try to sell all the time. Put up some fun posts too!
Stick to one or maybe two social media platforms and do them well. If you try to do all of them all of the time you won’t have time and will become overwhelmed. My main platform is Facebook and I schedule posts in advance so that I have something going out each day. I use Pinterest to pin all the new products when there is a new product release. I post occasionally to Instagram and Linked in. Twitter I only use to share posts from other platforms. Facebook may not be your favourite platform, go with the one which you are most familiar with.
Little and often is the best approach! Regular posts rather than a bunch of posts on one day works better.
Be brave, show you, talk about why you started your business, talk about why you love your business and what you love. People like to see your story.
Be consistent, if you only post once a week, make sure it is every week. I recently started to do a weekly facebook live (after many months and years of avoiding doing lives!!). I initially wanted to do Friday mornings, but I knew things happen through the week and I am not always around on Friday mornings. So I opted for Monday. Not necessarily when the most people are around but it is when I am usually home and it would mean I would be able to do it consistently.
Do what is sustainable for you. Don’t try to do more than you can manage as you will get overwhelmed and you will stop being consistent.
What a fabulous time we live in, with all the social media platforms available to us there are so many ways to advertise your business for FREE!! It also makes it so easy to connect with lots of people.
BUT social media can be a time drain! Use it wisely! Keep checking in with yourself, are you actually working on your business or have you just gone into scrolling mode?!
It takes time to build. It takes time for people to get to know you and it takes time for people to learn what your business is or does.
Get in touch if you would like any help getting started with your social media, I’ll be happy to help if I can!
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!
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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!!