So … you know how I have mentioned my business BFF, Melanie Moore, a few times here on the blog? Well, she has been after me to blog about this topic for a long time because she believes it is a resource that every direct seller needs, whether you have been in the business 10 days or 10 years. I will be honest, I kept pushing back on her about writing about this because it is totally out of my norm for this blog, it is something I am not an expert in, and truthfully it is a little depressing talking about insurance and accidents … but here comes a #truthbomb straight from her lips – “sometimes bad stuff happens to good people”! She’s 100% right and I want nothing more than to share an awesome resource that could help you should any of that bad stuff happen to you, something that will protect the well-being of your family & your personal family finances!
So here we are, with her help in writing this blog article, I am going to do it!
We are going to talk about getting BUSINESS INSURANCE for your direct sales business!
YES, such a thing does exist!
YES, you can get it quickly and easily!
YES, you need it!
Why You Need Business Insurance:
Times have changed, my friends, and if you do not have insurance coverage for your business, you should! You are entering people’s private homes, what if you knock over the Hostess’s prize possession with your bag? Or you are carrying-pulling-dragging products, tables, garment racks, and shelving units into vendor events, what if you take out another vendor’s table or worse, hit a child with one of your poles as you blindly walk in carrying more than you should because you are trying to minimize your trips in and out to the car? And with the Spring vendor event season upon us, I have noticed more and more venues requiring “proof of insurance” in order to participate. Do you have proof of insurance for your business? Most home owner’s policies DO NOT cover your business.
I know, I get it, “but that would never happen to me”. But that’s just it, it DOES happen to people like us every day. You need to think proactively for your business and be prepared for the “what if”, just like you do for your home, your health and your cars. Insurance exists to cover the unknown and the accidents.
I am sure you can connect with your own local insurance provider and get quotes, but I went with an insurance company that was referred to me by Melanie because she has used this company for years. Just so you know, I do not get any kick backs for this, I just want to provide you with information and a valuable resource that I have found to get you & your family protected!
This insurance company specifically caters to direct sellers and understands our language, that is what I like about them. For only $75 a year, you get $2 million in general liability insurance for your business (including property and bodily injury), plus $3,000 for property coverage (including products and samples). I have looked into other options and for me, this is the best deal.
Printable Insurance Certificates for Events:
But here is what I love the most about this company, the printable event insurance certificates! I can download and print them myself anytime I need to provide them for an event (I just bring it with me to each event). Other companies require you to request a certificate and then you wait until they send it, some charge you extra to print a certificate, but with this company, I can just go print it on my own whenever I need it. They have been a Direct Sales Association Supplier for 27 years, which is quite impressive. And I know that they offer health insurance for Independent Contractors too, but I have not looked into that yet myself, you can check it out on their website.
When you apply for coverage from them, you will have to choose your company from the dropdown menu, they cover A LOT of companies, but not every company out there. A quote from their FAQ page says, “Because we must look at the nature of the product being sold, we must qualify all direct selling companies. When you enroll you need to select from the approved list of companies the one you represent. If your company does not show up on our list then our insurance carrier has not approved issuing a policy to cover your activities on their behalf. We cannot write policies unless your company is on the approved list of companies. Remember coverage will only be for you as a sale representative for the company you register for as an authorized representative.”
Do Your Own Research:
I invite you to check out getting insurance specifically for your business, the truth is …. when you are working with tons of people, taking credits cards and cash, carrying things in and out of locations … you just never know what is going to happen. I am not claiming to know everything about everything when it comes to business insurance, but I can tell you for certain that for $75 a year, it gives me enormous peace of mind that my family is protected from loss. You will need to do your own due diligence and research what is best for your family.
Here is the company we are referring to in this article: http://www.independentdirectsellers.org/
Creating your own images for your business is essential.
Having access to free stock photo sites is life changing. Literally. The one above is from my favorite, Gratisography. He has a very eclectic sense of humor that I love.
When I started using these sites to create my own images in Canva (a free graphic design website), I kind of fell back in love with my business.
Don’t be a Copy:
People don’t want to see stock images from your company. People don’t want to see cookie cutter images that you took zero time to invest in. And that’s what it shows. When you post a stock photo, it shows your customers you are just like every other person/consultant out there.
How many of you have heard of Facebook jail? Not fun! Do you know why it happens? Because one person posts something and 5,000 consultants upload the same graphic and the same words. And Facebook algorithms instantly scream SPAM! Never take someone else’s post, especially without their permission, and post it as your own.
I get asked about watermarking a lot. What is it? Simply adding your information to a photo so no one else can use it. It could be your name, your website, your logo…something that identifies YOU as the creator of that graphic. Why should you do it? Because you worked hard on your design and they didn’t. You took the time out of your life, your family, your kids…and created something great in order to be a better business owner. They have zero rights to that graphic. So make sure you watermark it.
And…it will keep YOU out of Facebook jail. Because people won’t be taking your photos anymore.
Free Stock Photo Sites:
Below, I have 5 of the top free stock photo sites for you. You go there, type in what you’re looking for (dog, yellow umbrella, red phone, cell phone, desk, anything you want). And you’re instantly connected to hundreds of free photos you can download and edit as you please.
Designing Your Own Photos:
And then I hear you…saying… I don’t know how….(insert whining). Stop it! Neither did I. Just like anything else in life it takes an investment of your time. And you know what? You’re gonna SUCK at first. Just being honest here. But every single time you do one, you will get better. Every time you take 20 minutes to do them, you will learn something new.
Canva is the BEST free graphic editing site out there. Hands down. A lot of people say they can’t figure out Canva. “It’s too hard”. It’s not. I promise. And I created a video for you. In this video, I create 5 different photos. They have free templates of graphics to help get you started, and they also have a stock library of graphics just like the sites below. Where you can grab their photos and edit away!
Happy graphic day everyone!
Have you ever looked at someone else’s graphics and said, “How did they DO that?!”. Or…”Where in the world do they find those cool graphics?”.
Well, I’m no expert, but I get by pretty well. So I want to show you some things I’ve done and some tips and tricks to help you get started!
First, you can’t do ANYTHING worth doing, without investing some time into it. It took a lot of practice and a lot of research. Was it HARD? No. Was it FRUSTRATING at times? Yes. But was it worth it? Heck yeah!
Here’s some graphics I created with a program called Canva. It’s a FREE website where you can create your own graphics. I’m going to give you LINKS to the video tutorials that helped me get started designing great graphics.
And I learned everything from a Cinchshare Facebook post that I’ll share with you below.
Rules of Graphics & Where to Find Them:
So, first…let me throw out some etiquette tips on graphics. NEVER, and I mean NEVER take someone else’s graphic and change the information to your own and use it. The ONLY exception to that is if you have permission from the original creator to do that. This goes for Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, anything…do not take someone else’s hard work and claim it for your own without permission!
Now…let me send you to a Cinchshare post that talks about WHERE to find great FREE graphics that you can edit for your own business. And you’ll want to follow that page while you’re over there. Cause…those people are smart peeps. And they post a lot of really great stuff you don’t want to miss! Here’s the link to the post that tells you how to find free graphics:
FREE GRAPHICS: https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14494657_1337316782960250_5533310808981908782_n.jpg?oh=815bde544d975b46f6a9e7edbafb6c64&oe=590E1B18
Now How to Get Started Creating & Editing in Canva:
I had NO idea what I was doing in Canva. I was a die hard fan of Picmonkey.com. And I still use Picmonkey on occasion, but if you want amazing, professional, classy photos, I highly suggest Canva.com.
So here are the people at Cinchshare again, making my life easier and teaching me how to reach for the stars! Heili Erika, pretty cool kat, walks you through a series of videos on how to get started on Canva. And…you can actually use Canva INSIDE of your Cinchshare account if you have one.
So check out this playlist on YouTube and do it when you have TIME. This will not be an overnight success. But you will get better and better every single time you create something. I learn something new every single day! And I LOVE IT!! This playlist will get you started and there’s tons more on YouTube. Don’t know how to do something? Search YouTube for the answer. You have zero excuses anymore!!
So here’s to all you creative monsters who have been hiding behind, “I just can’t do that”…now you CAN. There goes Melissa…taking your excuses away AGAIN! #YouAreWelcome 🙂
Canva Tutorials Cinchshare Playlist:
Love ya, Hugs,
Instagram is all about hashtags!
If you’re not using hashtags, people really don’t have a way to FIND what you’re posting.
And it’s great to have a theme each day. Why? Because that’s what everyone else is doing! And the idea of Instagram and Hashtags is to find people who have similar interests.
So I did a little research and found the best hashtags for each DAY. Put them in your “notes” in your phone so you can easily copy/paste and follow some of these daily themes!
The name of the game is to be FOUND. For you and your business. So here you go! Happy hashtagging!
So i wanted to show you something I am doing. I wanted to be able to have my whole month in front of me. Along with some planning on the side. So this is what you see:
HOSTESSES: for this month and next
TOP LEFT: my word for 2015. INTENTIONAL
New Recruits: just so i know who to check in on a little more often
IDEAS: things I’m toying with. Things I don’t want to forget about but are not priority right now
EVENTS: events I’m attending this month: home shows/vendor events/launch parties/personal
NEED TO: things I need to get done but aren’t a huge priority immediately
MONTHS: April/May/June/July: holidays, themes, nurses week (EX), gift giving months, 31 events, life events, etc. This is a planner. Focus on what’s coming and what’s going on
MONTHLY FOCUS: each month I pick an area to work on in my business. And I hammer it out hard. Any extra time I spend on this. Researching, fixing, updating, etc.
It’s all about 100% focus. If I get off track I can look at this board and say, ok…what can i work on. I saw something similar at Leadership Council from Melissa Kaule, and really liked the idea of it. So I just love it. I love being able to just look up and see it ALL. FOCUS!! One more thing I’m going to add is PROJECTS (mostly for video ideas and team trainings) 🙂
So what do you think? What would you put on your board? What is your focus?
Melissa Fietsam, Ind. Senior Executive Director at Thirty-One Gifts
#31 #31bag #31bags #thirtyone #thirtyonegifts #focus #business #stayathomemom #visionboard #businessplanning #directsales #strategicplanning