Those in direct sales always give mixed reviews about whether it's "worth it". I know of some reps who easily spend more than they make in commissions, but others who are racking in the rewards and earnings like there is no tomorrow!
I've spent a fair bit of time collecting tips and tricks of the trade to make sure I can give new stylists some solid advice in regards to maximizing their earnings.
Here's the bottom line: to get the most out of your Stella & Dot business, you need to treat it like a real business!
Imagine you were the owner of a jewelry boutique with a retail space – you would have to pay rent, utilities, and all those extra overhead costs. If you couldn’t keep up with your bills, you’d get into huge debt, be evicted, or even go bankrupt! None of us want that, so let’s talk about some things we can do, as Stylists and business owners, to stay smart.
Protect your investment
Your first priority when launching your Stella & Dot business is to earn back your initial investment (including HST and shipping). Work with your sponsor to calculate how many Trunk Shows you will need to hold in order to earn your investment back.
For example: If you invested at the $199 starter kit level, it will have cost you $199 + $14.95 (shipping) +$27.81 (HST), or a total of $241.76. If you spent a few more dollars on samples in addition to the amount included in your starter kit, be sure to calculate this too. The average Trunk Show has about $1000 in sales, resulting in $250 in personal commissions. Plan to hold a minimum of two Trunk Shows before spending additional money on samples, display pieces, etc.
Use what you have around the house for display items. The branded Stella & Dot display pieces are beautiful and great to have but if you aren't profiting from your business yet, why are you spending more than you are earning? Be thrifty. Use old picture frames with scrapbook paper inside as a substitute for the stacking trays. A beautiful vase can showcase a statement necklace or several pairs of earrings very nicely. Do you have a jewelry tree or hanger sitting around? Use that!
When you qualify in the month (hit the $500 retail sales mark) you'll earn 5 per cent (of your PCV) in business supply credits (BSC), each month. Calculate how much it will cost to get all of the business supplies you need for a month. Have you set a goal to do 4 Trunk Shows each month? Count out what you need in Look Books, Minis, S&D stationary for printed invitations, order forms, Trunk Show planners, etc. Then, figure out the level of sales you need to maintain to earn enough credits.
For example: You want to do 2 Trunk Shows per month. You estimate that you’ll need about $60 in business supplies for these shows. The average Trunk Show has about $1000 in sales, resulting in approximately $32.50 in BSC. Doing 2 shows will earn you $65 in BSC, plus about $500 in cash to cover the HST and shipping cost.
Project your expenses
Keep a running tally of projected expenses for the upcoming 6 months. Have one column for Projected Expenses and one column for Actual Expenses.
We know that in January there is a new line launch (which means new Look Books and Minis); same in July. Then, there are new mid-size LBs released in April and October for the capsule collections. Factor in your regular purchases of stationary, order forms, opportunity brochures, etc.
Set a little aside from each of your S&D pay days to accumulate enough to cover these projected expenses. Then, spend or save the rest! You’ll always have enough to cover your upcoming costs and won’t get blindsided by a new line launch.
Use every incentive you possibly can to earn free product credit (PC). Maximize your Jumpstart period, take advantage of stylist bonus award programs (i.e. Stack Up Your Rewards), and consistently qualify to earn your Qualified Consistency Bonus each quarter.
Historically, Stella & Dot H.O. has offered a stylist bonus award program the month before a new line launch – so two months ahead, plan for it! In May, start warming up prospectives and getting some June dates on your calendar to earn PC for the July launch; do it again in November. Put more effort in during these months so you can get the majority of your new samples for free! If you do one or two shows per month normally, the month before a new line launch you might want to do 3-4.
Sell your old and retired samples, and then flip that money into the new line.
Use your double dip shows (you get two per year) in June and December, giving you an extra show in the incentive period AND the hostess rewards to use towards new line samples.
Building a successful, sustainable, and thriving business with Stella & Dot is not difficult – but it can take time. It’s a simple formula: talk to more people. Book shows, sell, and sponsor! Make your work hours quality work hours. Consistency is the key.
Make a habit of evaluating the number of hours you spend on your business (and how you spend those hours), alongside the income you’re generating. Do this every few months and make little changes each time. You’ll watch your ‘dollars per hour’ earnings increase, steadily.
Woo! That's a long one. Do you have any other tips for new stylists? Leave them in the comments below.