“A plan is what, a schedule is when.
It takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done.”
When I first started selling Alison’s Pantry I pulled out my calendar and wrote down everything that needed to be done and when I was going to do it. For instance on Monday May, 15th I wrote: deliver catalogs. Life is so crazy, busy and stressful if we don’t plan ahead and schedule when things are going to happen, either A. they don’t get done at all, or B. we do them but rushed and stressed out because they should have been done yesterday or last week. I promise you that if you write down when you are going to do your AP tasks it will change your life! Procrastination only works for people who have a nice stash of Xanax because they are ALWAYS stressed out.
Everyone does things differently, and everyone is on a different schedule depending on what group you are in, but here are some suggestions on things to schedule and when.
- Get catalogs out either by mail or hand deliver them: 2 weeks before order
- Make a list of who, and give catalogs to potential new customers: 2 weeks before order
- Reminders – send email the week and a half before order closes, 1st text Mon/Tues of order week, phone calls Wed/Thurs of order week, text Friday, text Sat. night, last call text Monday night. Check out some great things to say in a text here: Marketing Helps
This is what Becky recommends, “I rotate through reminders, at least one of these per day – email, text, Facebook post, phone call, then start over. Monday, if my order is low, I would do an email and Facebook post in the morning, send a text at lunch, then email/text/phone calls after work until about 8 p.m.”
- Print invoices: Don’t print invoices before the Friday the order ships and the orders are processed. You can print invoices anytime after the invoice says “shipped” or “declined”. Don’t wait until delivery day to do this (your printer might break).
- Check declined orders and contact customers and the office: as soon as the order processes, the Friday after the order closes, or the next Monday. Read how to handle declined orders here: Declined Orders
- Decide on samples: when you place your own order, the day before delivery is too late, you won’t have what you need.
- Contact customers with pick up times or delivery schedule: The Monday before the order arrives (unless your order arrives Monday) send an email. The night before send a text (or phone call) with pick up/delivery times and if they owe you money how much, and you could text again the day of pick up/delivery (people forget).
- Sample prep: the day before delivery if possible, if not, before your customers arrive. You might need to schedule your pick up times a bit later to give you time to prepare samples. Here are some great ideas about what to sample: Ideas
- Print labels for catalogs and the Be Nourished Flyer: the day before delivery. Be nourished flyer
- Facebook posts: once a day all month long, at least 3 times per day order week.
I challenge you this month to pull out your calendar and plan ahead what and when you will do your AP tasks. You will find things go so much more smoothly and your sales will increase!