Monday, June 22, 2009

Born on the Fourth of July

I can't believe we are approaching the fourth of July and the year is half over. As we watch the news everyday, even though things aren't great, we still have a lot for which to be thankful. Our freedom is the biggest one. To Celebrate Our Freedom, here is a special offer from me, send a soldier a Thank You card with my compliments. Log onto If you don't know a soldier personally, check out this website,, for list of names and addresses.

Here are some other occasions for celebration and to send greetings during July. (Dates and holidays from The Earth Calendar).

Also be sure and look at the end of the list for the Quirky Holidays!

Month Observances

Fireworks Safety Month - Prevent Blindness America
Light the Night for Sight Month - Prevent Blindness America
Anti Boredom Month - The Boring Institute
Baked Bean Month - Michigan Bean Commission
Hot Dog Month - National Live Stock and Meat Board
National Ice Cream Month - International Dairy Foods Association
July Belongs to Berries Month - North American Blueberry Council
Purposeful Parenting Month - Parenting Without Pressure
Recreation and Parks Month - National Recreation and Parks Association
Tennis Month - Tennis magazine
Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month - ASPCA
Skin Care Awareness Month - Women Health Concern

First Two Weeks

Dog Days of Summer

Second Week

Therapeutic Recreation Week - National Recreation and Parks Assoc.

Third Week

Coral Reef Awareness Week - The Coral Reef Alliance

July-2 - Salvation Army Founders Day

July-4 - Independence Day

July-12 - Parent's Day

July-20 - Moon Day

July-23 - National Hot Dog Day

July-24 - Pioneer Day (Utah)

July-27 - Cross Atlantic Communication Day

July-30 - Father-in-Law Day

July-31 - La Hae Hawai`i (Flag Day in Hawaii)

July-31 - System Administrator Appreciation Day

Quirky Holidays from WellCat

July 3 - Stay Out of the Sun Day -- For health's sake, give your skin a break today. No Joke - It really is Skin Care Awareness month. Remember to wear your sunscreen.

July 6 - Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day -- Show your appreciation to your webmaster by taking him out for some good food. That way, he/she/it will feel loved and have the energy to fix all of the typos on your site.

July 10 - Don't Step on a Bee Day -- reminds kids and grownups that now is the time when going barefoot can mean getting stung by a bee. If you get stung, tell Mom.

July 13 - Embrace Your Geekness Day -- Into dungeon games, comic books and doing vampire dress-up? Spend endless hours going strange places on the internet? You're a geek, and this is the day to roar!

July 13 - Gruntled Workers Day -- There's so much news about disgruntled workers that today's the day for Gruntled Workers to Unite! Drive to a fast food restaurant and say, "Thanks, your service is fast. Have a nice day."

July 15 - Be a Dork Day says that this is the day to be a Dork and be proud. Wear goofy clothing, don't brush your teeth, eat yucky food, and fall off a swing set.

July 23 - Hot Enough For Ya Day -- Here’s the day when the tired old greeting actually gains acceptance. Go ahead, say it, if you don’t have anything else to add.

July 27 - Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day -- Walking your plants around the neighborhood enables them to know their environment, thereby providing them with a sense of knowing, bringing on wellness.

Hope you have a Great July!

In gratitude,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Monday, June 15, 2009

What's Your Back Up Plan?

Recently I've seen several articles like this one talking about how the ranks of direct sales companies are increasing due to the economy. And I have also observed many people signing up for these opportunities to make some extra cash. I have been a part of direct sales industry myself for over 27 years. I signed up the first time in 1969 to make some extra money to buy an area rug for my living room and to send my children to kindergarten. It was hard work, but I reaped the benefits and I was very successful. I was able to be with my children, take them to their after school activities, etc. I won trips, jewelry, furs, silver, and bought four new cars, among other things for my family. I did the home parties, placed the orders, put together the orders, delivered the orders, etc. It was hard work, but I loved the benefits especially the trips. Even walked away with a substantial amount of money which we used for a down payment on a larger home with a pool. Things changed (life happened) and I decided to pursue something else, the corporate job.

I did the corporate thing. Went to work for a company that boasted they never laid anyone off. Well in the mid-90s that changed. This got me to thinking. I needed a back up plan. I had been successful in direct sales before, I could do it again. I decided on the company and after the second call to the representative, she agreed to come out and talk with me and my husband. I ordered my inventory, a lot of it, and started my part-time business. Eight years later my company (the corporate job), after being bought out for the second time, offered me early retirement. I took it with the plan of working on my part-time business full time. Back to the home parties, placing orders, delivering orders, stocking inventory, etc., etc. I didn't have quite the same success as the first time, but I did advance in the ranks, won a couple of trips, jewelry, and other awards.

Which brings me to the present. Along the way with the above company I discovered another service that I signed up for that I could use to help make my life easier to send invitations, thank you cards, birthday cards, etc. which was an on-line greeting card service. My intention was to use the service for my current business. Well like anything else, I started telling my friends and family about it and they decided to start using it. After signing up a few people and receiving my commission, I looked more closely at the compensation plan. Didn't take me long to make some changes in my focus. No home parties, no inventory, no deliveries, a service everyone needs and uses, both men and women, it's international, costs less than you can buy the product at the store, it's fun and easy, all I needed was a phone and a computer and people to talk to. These are just some of the reasons why I'm excited about the service I offer today! Even my daughter told me, 'Mom this just suits you better.' I totally agree.

Why am I writing this you ask? The article that I referenced in the beginning could just as well be written about the greeting card business, it's just that the companies mentioned have been around longer. Here is my advice to anyone considering the direct sales, network marketing, MLM business, etc.:

- Find a product/service you love first and foremost
- Something you will use - at least if you love it and use it, you will receive the benefit of a discount for yourself
- Consider the price of the product/service. Can a comparable product/service be purchased elsewhere at a lower price?
- Something you will feel proud to present to your family and friends
- Consider your target audience - Who will you sell your product/service to
- How will you sell your products - Are you required to hold home parties? Stock inventory? Think about the time and expense of travel and the inventory for demonstration products.
- Costs to get started and what is included in the price
- Consider subsequent administrative and other costs - monthly charges for websites, marketing material, yearly fees, training, etc.
- Basic requirements to remain active
- Ongoing support from your sponsor - someone who is going to be there when you need them
- Any meeting attendance requirements
- Training - How much training is required before getting started
- How long will it take to re-coup your investment?
- Understand the compensation plan and how you will receive payment - in products, credits, money, and at what intervals
- Consider the integrity of the company - how long in business, management, debt, growth, testimonials of other representatives.

Having been in the industry, I will say there are some good and not so good companies out there, just do your 'due diligence' before signing up. Don't be blinded by the glamour and the hype of making tons of money overnight. I will be the first to tell you that yes you can make money, earn awards, trips, etc., however it takes time, work, and persistence. For the majority, it doesn't just happen (overnight). But when it does happen there's no greater feeling of accomplishment and success.

Yes, I love where I am now and love offering this wonderful service to others.

If you would like to know more about what I'm excited about, Click Here.

I would also love to hear your comments regarding your experience with direct sales, network marketing, MLM, etc.

To Your Success!
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

R.S.V.P.....Regrets Only??!!

The term R.S.V.P comes from the French expression "répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "please respond". If RSVP is written on an invitation it means the invited guest must tell the host or hostess whether or not they plan to attend the party or event. It does not mean to respond only if you're coming, and it does not mean respond only if you're not coming (the term "regrets only" is reserved for that instance). It means the host/hostess needs a definite head count for the planned event, and needs it by the date specified on the invitation. Or if a date is not specified, then the invitee needs to respond with a yes or no answer ASAP. Exert from Entertaining

I think most people think that RSVP means, 'I'm suppose to let you know if I plan to attend.' That would be nice, especially if there is a date stating to please respond by such and such a date.

Have you ever planned or hosted an event, party, dinner, etc.? Is it me or are people just oblivious to the terms, R.S.V.P, Regrets Only, or even more directive, 'Please let me know you are coming OR NOT.'

I started musings about this a few weeks ago and wrote out my thoughts and said OK, let me come back to this later. The next evening I showed up at a networking event and got busted because guess who had not responded!? You guessed it, Me! I swear I thought I did. So I guess the moral of the story, (as the old saying goes), 'don't point the finger at anyone, because you have three pointing back at you.'

In today's busy busy world, we forget, we procrastinate, we get busy, etc. I think we all have good intentions. We need to put ourselves in the person's shoes who is hosting the event. Think about the last time you hosted an event. Let them know yes, no, or maybe, and follow up as soon as you know the maybe turns into a yes or no. And try not to wait until the last minute unless it is just unavoidable. The hostess has to plan. If food is involved, they have to plan for the number of guests, prepare the food, etc., not to mention every thing else that's involved.

Get yourself organized. Plan ahead. Does living in a 'spur of the moment,' 'flying by the seat of your pants,' 'Let's see if the stars and the moon align just right I might go' work for you? This is not being very respective or courteous to the hostess. And I love it when someone says, Well you know I'll probably be there.' No folks, the hostess doesn't know. She is probably like me, she failed 'Crystal Ball 101' and 'Basic Mind Reading.'

One more thing.....If you need directions or want to ask a question, call a day or two ahead of time. Don't wait until you're walking out the door. Another one of my other pet peeve, waiting until the day of the event and especially a few hours before hand to call and ask for directions (which were included in the invitation), ask if they can bring anything, or to call to say why they can't come and keep you the phone for an hour. For several years we hosted a huge summer party and I always put my significant other's cell phone number on the invitation as the number to call the day of the event. When you're trying to get ready for 50 to 100 people to show up, you just have got some stuff to do and you just don't have time to shoot the sX%!)... I'm mean breeze.

So the next time you receive an invitation and it says R.S.V.P., put yourself in that host/hostesses situation and give them a courtesy answer, even if you may not know until closer to the date. They need some sort of idea of a headcount for planning purposes.

I would love to hear any of your ideas on ensuring your guests reply to your invitations and R.S.V.P.

May your next event or party be a smashing success.

In gratitude,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Time to Sell Value, Not Price

The article below is by my very favorite marketing expert, Liz Goodgold. She brings home a very good point about Price vs. Value. Which do you offer your clients?

Everyone in this economy keeps shouting “sale!” or “lowest prices guaranteed.” But, I think they should be talking about value instead.

Let’s take a look at the short-lived Lowe’s commercial. This home improvement retailer thought it was ever so clever by adding a “t” to the end of its brand name - making the word “lowest.” Geez! Here I thought this big box retailer was so much better than its flaming orange competitor by virtue of it's women-friendly layout, selection, and helpful salespeople. Instead, these marketers are trying to become the Wal-Mart of home improvement!

Or, let’s take a look at the latest series of ads from JC Penney. Their entire message is built around “price, value, and style”. These are not unique brand attributes, these are traits every fashionable retailer must have!

And, let’s look at the travesty created by Saks Fifth Avenue. In November of last year, beginning on Black Friday, it panicked and marked down merchandise by as much as 70%. In fact, sale signs were so ubiquitous that it taught its customers to never pay full price again. With 52 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 51 of its sister discount brand, Off 5th, it’s now impossible to tell the difference!

BUT, who is getting it right? Neiman Marcus. Although it too suffers from the same store sales declines, it appears to be recovering more quickly than its luxury competitors. My current fave promotion? Purchase at least $500 in full price women’s clothing, and get free alterations. See why I love it? It is selling value vs. discount.


So, what’s the lesson here? Never compete on price; it is a long-term losing proposition. Instead, sell value, offer bonuses, or extensions on purchases. Example: Sign up for 12 months of coaching and get 3 additional months free!

The above information is by Liz Goodgold, branding expert, author, and speaker. Sign up for her FREE BRAND FINALE newsletter with valuable information at I highly recommend her newsletter. Also, if you are on the west coast, try and make one of her seminars. Very well worth your time and a tremendous Value.

Value is a fact of doing business in this decade. A focus on value should be a high priority during times of economic downward cycles. Economic downturn is no longer the exclusive time to search for value. To be successful, businesses must understand the value they can add to their products and services. Loyal clients tend to stick with those businesses who offer value and don't go running somewhere else just for a better deal.

"In the absence of a value barometer, the relationship is reduced to a price eliminator." Bill Lee author of Gross Margin

What Value and/or added services do you offer your clients?

Here are just a few examples that I thought of:

- Publix will carry out your groceries and there's no tipping accepted
- Kroger offers free eco-fiendly wine bags. (At least my Kroger does)
- Hotels that offer free wi-fi
- Hotels that offer complimentary breakfast
- Pharmacy that offers free delivery and no tipping accepted
- Tire place that fixes flats at no charge, even if you didn't buy your tires there
- Car dealerships that offer a loaner car while yours is in the shop or a ride to local store within a 10 mile radius
- Coupon cards - Buy so many - get one free

We look forward to hearing some of your 'added values.'

Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"


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