June 21, 2013
Those of you in direct sales know that working with the kids at home is not always easy. If you have young children not yet in school, it’s a real challenge you deal with year round. When you have school age children who are now home for the summer, how can you work with them in the house?
You can stay focused and grow your business in the summer even with kids, as long as you lay out the guidelines right now and understand that you will need a little extra flexibility, and a lot more patience. Here are some tips to help you have a more focused and productive summer with your direct sales business
Involve the Kids
If you have brochures that need labels or stamps, most kids are quite eager to help with this. You can even offer incentives like a penny a stamp if you’re willing to pay. It’s actually a good idea to help the kids learn the value of their time in exchange for pay. Put them in a quiet room with instructions on what to do (have them do a few with you there first). Then tell them you’ll be making calls or working on the computer and you’ll talk at a specific time. My daughter did this for me as young as 7.
Older kids can also sort and pack orders, work the copy machine if you need flyers printed and make sample packs if you hand them out. With a little instruction, delegating these tasks makes it a family business. Kids love to feel involved. Offering a treat for their efforts, of course, is a great way to keep them on task, and to reward yourself of course.
Remind Them of the Importance of Your Business
Sitting down for a little dinner time conversation may be best for this. If this is not fun or hobby money, the kids need to be aware that if Mommy doesn’t earn, the family can’t pay for food or bills or whatever the case. A basic discussion, and sometimes reminders, is what’s key so they understand that you are not just sitting on the computer playing games or calling friends.
Use a Timer
This one works perfect for me. I’ll tell the kids to go out and play for a set amount of time (maybe 30-60 minutes) and when I’m done with my work, I’ll bring out ice pops, as long as I am not interrupted unless it’s an emergency. I set my stove timer so I have to get up to shut it and that reminds me that time is truly up as I promised.
Be Flexible with TV Time
Another great incentive is to only allow TV or Netflix when you are working, not just at random times. This way the kids get a treat that occupies their attention completely and you get a break to focus on work that needs to be done.
Pay for Time
Sometimes you need to make adjustments. If 3 hours a day a few days a week of completely uninterrupted time is needed, put the kids in a half day camp or with a babysitter a few mornings a week. If you need nights to do parties and don’t have a husband or significant other who can watch the kids, hire a sitter and do what you can. The extra cash in the summer not only will come in handy, but more than likely you have quotas to meet and you need it to stay on track. Barter babysitting with a friend if needed.
Consider Your Office
Out of site, out of mind. I’ve found that when I am on my computer in the dining rom, I am interrupted way more than when I take it to my bedroom. So if working from a phone, laptop or iPad in your bedroom or private office is possible, take it there as long as the kids are safe in the house and doing age appropriate activities.
What tips do you have to share for working your direct sales business around the kids?