The 10 for 12 Challenge

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

Yesterday our pastor challenged us to come up with 10 goals for 2012. The 10 for 12 Challenge he called it. The premise for this challenge is to have 10 goals for 2012 across five areas:

  1. Personal Goals
  2. Professional Goals
  3. Relational Goals
  4. Spiritual Goals
  5. Financial Goals
I have been thinking on what some of my goals are going to be this year and some of them are really changing the way I think about my life. Goal setting is good. Having it written down and planning for success is how you will achieve the goals you set for yourself.
One of the things I push my sales to do is to set goals for their sales. But more than just setting goals, you need to set realistic goals. When it comes to your sale, what are realistic goals and how do you go about setting those goals?
For your first year, you need to focus on breaking even. Now to focus on breaking even, you need to have a budget. If your budget is too high, you won't break even, in fact, it may take years to break even if you have extraordinary start-up costs. Sales that spend $20,000 on their first sale, may not break even their first, second or even third year because you only have 2 opportunities to be in business a year and you spent too much to start with. However, if you are starting with $2000-$4000 in start up costs, breaking even your first year is a very realistic goal to achieve.
Once you have your first sale under your belt, your next goal will depend on whether or not you started in the Spring or in the Fall. It's important to remember that your Fall merchandise will bring more than your Spring merchandise, so if you started in the Spring, you want to set a goal of gross sales increase of 25%-50% for the Fall sale. If your first sale is in the Fall, you want to set your goal of gross sales goal equivalent of the last Fall's sale. Remember your Spring merchandise is going to have a lessor per item value than Fall/Winter, so you are going to have to move more of it for the same gross sales. And then for the Fall sale you will again look to setting a 25%-50% gross sales growth goal.
Now, that's not to say that you won't grow more or less. My gross sales of my second sale (Fall sale) from my first sale (Spring sale) showed a growth of 300%. It's uncommon, but it does happen and it is unrealistic to think that growth like that is the norm. It's not. And now that I am maxed out on my participant space, my goal is to maintain where I am. However, I am still seeing growth.
The downfall of setting unrealistic goals will inevitably see your hopes dashed and your spirit discouraged, whether it's in losing weight or business planning. So be thoughtful and practical as you look towards setting your goals for this year.
I am pleased to say that my Editor informed me that we met our Professional Goal for last year on December 5th! Yeah for goal setting! Can't wait to see what 2012 brings!

It's All So Overwhelming!

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

There's an old saying... How do you eat a cow? One bite at a time.

A lot of new sale organizers find the whole "getting started business" overwhelming. And it can be. You have so much to do and a limited time frame to do it... and even more limited if you are working around children's schedules or work hours from your "other job".

One thing that I started last year was to keep a dry erase calendar in my office and each day I designate one task. I don't need to do this for my sale, because I am past the point of trying to launch it, so my sale schedule doesn't look anything like a new sale schedule does. But with my consulting business (Consignamania and Consignamaniac), I am often asked to write articles, produce videos, handle interviews, and of course... promote my business, in addition to scheduling consultations, preparing Consignment sale Action Plans (CAP's) for existing sales, processing quarterly sales reports and payments from my editor, and conceiving and executing business promotional packages. Oh and lets not forget the 3 times a day I am in the forum answering questions and giving guidance to my new sale organizers.
Whether you are a new sale, or you are just driven to succeed, you have got to have a plan or everything gets very overwhelming, very quickly. And let's not forget why you are doing this. It's probably for your children, or more time at home. If things get out of control, you have lost sight of the things that are driving you to host a consignment sale.
So... make it simple. Go out today and buy a nice big dry erase calendar so you can see what you need to do this month. Then break it down into little bite sized tasks. It's like a Consignamaniac friend of mine... she is a seller of epic proportions... the kind that sells $4000-$5000 in merchandise PER SALE. She doesn't wait until the week before the sale to tag, she tags for an hour each night while she is watching TV, all year round. No madness, no craziness, just bite sized, manageable pieces.
Break it down and your overwhelming to-do list will get much simpler and you'll be glad you did.

Paying for College

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

I have to say it's time for a rant. I was listening to Dave Ramsey the other day and he was talking about a story in the Huffington Post. The story is about how young college aged ladies are selling themselves in order to put themselves through school. Hot on the heels of that story, was this next story in The Scotsman. The story in the Scotsman is about how debt-hit students are urged to sell their kidneys to pay for college.

Really? I don't even know where to start, but urging people to sell their body parts and their bodies for sex just to pay for school? It's so obscene I can't even begin to express my disgust on this subject. However, for those of you with common sense, let's talk about how reselling can help you pay for college.

I've been tracking several families this season who, for various reasons have taken to reselling to supplement their incomes. One of these ladies is already at $12,600 in sales after selling at just 3 consignment sales. Now of course, she has to spend her weekend searching for her treasures, prices them and then takes them to the sale... but look at the other options... selling your body? How do you live with yourself? And all in the name of getting your education?

If you want to make money for college, please don't search the web for a "sugar daddy". Instead think about other legitimate options like shopping for resale. I promise, it may be a little more work, but you won't be compromising your morals or your safety when you finance your education through reselling at children's consignment sales.

Let The Countdown Begin!

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

It's that time! Spring season is upon us, and whether your sale is in February or March (probably not so much for those in April) then the countdown to your sale has begun.

It is important to have clearly defined goals of what you will accomplish each week. For those new sale organizers, you are going to be working diligently every week to promote, promote, promote! But don't forget that you have a host of other things that need to get done as well.

Making a list will help make sure that you don't skip anything. For me, I like to use a dry erase calendar and I have a clear cut goal written every day. Doing this, or finishing that, whatever it may be, and I erase them as I complete my tasks. I'm a big list maker. If I don't write it down, I will forget... and then have nightmares about how I forgot to run off copies of my consignor agreements before drop off! Thankfully, it's just my irrational brain thinking I have forgotten something.

As you start your consignment sale this season, make a concerted effort to have a written plan of attack. You need to do everything you can do to make your sale a success. It's all up to you. I had a friend who once told me that she thought she would put up some racks, do a little shopping and make a little money, who knew you had so much to do? Yes, there is lots to do when your sale is young, so make sure you don't forget anything. Your countdown has begun...

Copyright Jenifer Gifford 2012. All Rights Reserved.