Starting a new business can be overwhelming, but I’m here to help! Whether you’re new to blogging, Noonday Collection, or both, here are some tips for you.
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Good Reads for Business
Imperfect Courage: Noonday Collection’s founder, Jessica Honegger, wrote this to encourage us to step into our calling even when we don’t feel fully equipped and ready. It’s awesome for anyone looking for some practical steps to go scared. See my full review here. **Update: in March, you can join hundreds of women for the Imperfect Courage book club! Read more here.
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz: this is a great book for entrepreneurs, to help us pay ourselves, set aside profit to protect our businesses, plan for tax time, and moderate our expenses to ensure our business can grow and serve our needs!
Building a Storybrand Framework by Donald Miller: I love Don’s Storybrand podcast, and the book lays out his framework for creating a compelling brand story.
Getting Things Done by David Allen: this is a system I (try to) follow to keep track of what needs to be done. In conjunction with some block scheduling, I love following GTD to ensure my big ideas, little tasks, and everything in between are captured in a way that gets my mind on them when, and how much, it needs to be.
The Marie Forleo podcast (note - pop in your earbuds for occasional NSFW language) - Marie is the queen of online marketing and genuine, heartfelt connection to move your business forward.
Building a Storybrand with Donald Miller - Don has fascinating interviews that point to his framework of using story to connect with customers.
Mama Means Business - Jennie breaks down topics specific to direct sales/MLM businesses, such as social media, personal branding, and serving well.
Tools for Online Entrepreneurs
Canva (free): this tool is indispensable for creating graphics for your business. With a little practice, I learned to create social media shareables, flyers, and more in a snap.
Tailwind (free trial; about $150 per year thereafter per account): this is what I use to schedule my pins to Pinterest. They also can post to Instagram, although I haven’t connected that account yet. They are an official partner with both Pinterest and Instagram, which means seamless posting, a deep understanding of how to optimize each platform, and more. (It’s a common belief that no scheduling tool can post to Instagram on your behalf; however, that’s because only Tailwind, to my knowledge, is an official partner. It’s the only tool I know of that posts for you.) You can effortlessly add pins to your queue in preassigned time slots to keep the content flowing. You can add a single pin to multiple boards, spread out over a customized period of time. You can participate in Tailwind Tribes, where you connect with like-minded content creators to share content with one another. This is a fairly inexpensive way to get consistent eyes on your content without spending hours on the platform itself. I’m all about getting in a groove and pounding out several days’ worth of posts, so this is a perfect tool for me.
Trello (free): this is my favorite tool for managing checklists, resources, projects, tasks, ideas, and more.
An email management system: I use Mailerlite, which is free for the first 1,000 subscribers. It lets me schedule email campaigns, create a signup form for my website, etc.
YNAB ($84/year): this is “You Need a Budget,” and it’s a great tool for your personal as well as business budgeting. It connects to your checking accounts so you can see transactions in real time, assign them to the appropriate budget categories, and stay on track. Click here for a free month!
Resources for New Ambassadors
To start a business with Noonday Collection, you really just need 5 things, and you likely already have 4 of them! Honestly, it doesn’t take much to get started - and you can choose to earn back your investment in your first month, before spending on other items, such as new display samples.
A starter kit ($199 for the smallest option, which is what I started with): this includes deeply discounted samples to display, catalogs, and more to get started. Purchasing the kit is how you join, and Noonday will set up a personal website for you so you can start taking orders right away.
A paper shredder to shred customers’ credit card info after entering their orders.
A computer. Between emailing your customers, entering orders, and more, you’ll want a computer. I just used a desktop when I started, and I could have continued that, but I decided to invest in a laptop. I got an Asus Chromebook ($470) that I LOVE. It’s the perfect size to take everywhere, it has a long battery life, it’s lightweight, it has a touch screen as well as a keyboard, and it folds different ways for a nice display when I want to show a looping video at my trunk shows.
A printer. This isn’t necessary, but when I started, I didn’t own a printer so I printed things like the monthly specials flyers at OfficeMax, which I knew would be a pain in the long run. I got this Canon printer and it gets the job done.
A few display materials. You’ll want to stick with white, wood, and linen or burlap in your materials, but you likely have some things around your house that will work well, like wooden trays or white placemats you can display your items on. I have other tips for items that can accommodate a bigger display while maximizing portability for shows, but you don’t have to get them right away! I will give further suggestions for your display as I coach you. (My primary source is gemsondisplay.com, and I have a few items from Amazon listed here.) Just know that you can start simple and build as you go!
Further Resources for Ambassadors: Coaching Tools
Calendly (for coaches) (free): this is a great tool for scheduling meetings. I have a link my team can use to set up coaching calls with me; I just set up what times I want to make available, and when someone signs up for a slot, it gets added to my Google calendar automatically. I can even set up questions for them to answer to help us both prepare for our time.
Zoom (free for limited functionality such as calls up to 40 minutes; $150/year for a Pro Plan): I use this for my team calls and sometimes to record a video of myself with screen sharing. People can join via video conference, or just dial the number on their phone for audio. I can record meetings to share with the team later. My team can always use the same link for my “Zoom room.”
Voxer (free): this app is awesome for chatting with your team!