Practical Business Tips and Tools for Papillon Distributors
Starting your own business can be a joy, the fulfilment of your dreams, or it may be a daunting prospect, even if you’re only intending to do your own thing on a part-time basis. At Papillon, we do everything possible to assist you, without infringing on your freedom of choice and flexibility.
Every successful business has guidelines, tips and tools that are applicable to its specific field, while some tips are fundamental to virtually any type of business. Although Papillon’s products – perfumes, fragranced lotions and natural skincare solutions – are manufactured and packaged locally in South Africa, we don’t employ a formal sales force to create an awareness of and a demand for our products
Instead, we utilise the talents of our fine freelance agents and their independent network of clients for the sales and distribution of our products. Our agents have the freedom and flexibility to choose how, where and when they wish to work, as well as how much they want to earn.
Nevertheless, we make use of every opportunity to support, guide and encourage our agents in their endeavours. In support of our invaluable freelance folk, we make use of modern technology and electronic media to communicate effectively with them.
We provide our agents with fresh ideas, tips and tools to grow and sustain their businesses, enabling them to maximise their efforts by working smarter, rather than harder, while saving on operational costs.
The value of today’s vast array of mobile media tools and communication apps is huge, especially for a new, independent business. WhatsApp is one of our firm favourites used to communicate with you, our agent. In turn, you can forward the news we send you to your individual customers or groups – instantly and inexpensively. Just ensure that all parties have WhatsApp and have captured your number.
Don’t make business personal or mix the two, financially speaking. Keep separate business and personal bank accounts. This is the easiest way to keep things, like money, correct and tidy.
The Accounting Wave
The internet provides many open-source business tools, which users may download at no charge – free, for nothing, mahala. We really like the free accounting package offered by Wave (www.waveapps.com), which is claimed to be “the best free small business accounting website”. Use Wave (or similar) to keep track of your finances.
Marketing and Markets
As an agent, it’s imperative that you get your business and products as much direct exposure as possible. The “party” route, where a group of potential buyers get together, remains popular, but there are more opportunities outside home environments.
South Africans love to attend informal markets, where vendors set up stalls, displaying and selling their wares – a great, generally inexpensive platform for you. Shopping malls also periodically provide spaces for independent vendors.
Your Business in a Box and its 69 testers is your most vital perfume sales tool. In a market stall setup, a Papillon retail display unit also works wonders to attract customers, as do our promotional items. These will draw potential customers closer, within speaking distance, perfect for greeting, meeting, introducing and selling items from your range, which is the goal of all successful businesses.