Monday, August 31, 2015
When I moved by myself to a new city, I wanted very badly to meet people and resume a normal social life. Normally outgoing and easy to make friends, I found myself a hermit for basically a year until a co-worker from another office across town invited me to a party. Boy, was it awkward for me to get back into the swing of things and reconnect with my old self - the one who knew how to have fun at any party!
One important thing to do when feeling awkward at a party is to assume a role or take on a job. A great way that I have found to feel like you're blending right in is to show up a little early (make sure it's ok with the host or hostess first) and help them with food, decorations, etc. This not only helps the person hosting the party, but it also ensures that you will be introduced to people one-by-one as they enter Way better than showing up late when everyone is already there and the party is in full swing!
Can't show up early? You can still assume a job no matter what time you get there. Help the host with serving drinks, help make cocktails, or take the birthday card around for everyone to sign. Keep your eyes open and you will see a role that needs to be filled! This is a great way to mingle and meet people, and you won't feel awkward doing it since you have a purpose.
Obviously you know someone at the party (at least a little), or else you wouldn't be there. Be bold and ask your acquiantance to introduce you to some of his or her friends. Even if you just meet them in passing at first, you can take note of who seemed friendly or who you had something in common with, and go back and visit them later.
Go with an open mind. Parties are for fun and mingling, so don't be a wallflower! If your connection at the party is busy, be outgoing and introduce yourself to people. Even if you feel like you have nothing to say, you can just open with, 'Hi, I'm _____. Great party! How do you know (host/hostess)?' and go from there.
Parties don't have to be intimidating! Have fun and go with a goal of meeting at least one new person that you will hang out with in the future/network with in the business world/play tennis with, etc.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Select and register your domain name. To do this, go to a domain-registration company, such as GoDaddy.com, and perform a domain name search to make sure your desired domain name is available. Your domain should end in .org (which stands for organization) for this type of site. Once you've found a unique name, register it.
Select your hosting company. The hosting company you select will depend on the services you will need. You can either select a discount hosting company, such as GoDaddy.com, which will offer fewer features for a lower fee. On the other hand, you can choose a full-service option, such as CharityAdvantage.com, which will design your Web page, host your site, collect donations and provide information on your donors.
Write your site content. The most important aspect of your site is the content you provide your readers. You will want your readers to know all about your cause at first glance. On your home page, you will want to tell your readers the name of your charity and the cause it is dedicated to, what your charity provides to its recipients, if your charity is tax deductible, your 401(c) number, how to donate to your charity (covered further in step 5) and any other pertinent information. On other pages in your Web site, you will want to provide your readers with your charity's history, some testimonies of what has been accomplished and the charity's vision for the future.
Design and upload your new Website. You may choose to design the site yourself (if you have the technical skills), use a Web site building application (available through most hosting companies) or hire someone to do this. If you wish to hire someone for this task, freelance companies, such as RentACoder.com, can help you find someone with the skills you need. Using photos will give your new Web site a more personal feel. Your Web site's written content needs to be used together with the design features (colors, photos, etc.) to convey your message.
Collect donations. Now that you have created your site, you will want a way for your readers to provide donations online. This can be easily done through PayPal.com. This option will not require to you open a merchant account to accept credit cards, which usually requires both high start-up costs and monthly fees. To accept payments through PayPal.com you will need to open an account and add a 'Donate Button' to your new Web site. Although online payments are the most convenient for most people, it is always good to provide a mailing address for those who prefer to mail in their donations.
Develop an outline or format for your trivia game. There are endless options when designing your own trivia game. Common trivia games will have about four rounds with ten or so questions in each round. To decide how many rounds or questions you want your game to include, figure out how long you want the game to last. If you only have an hour to complete the whole game, you will want to structure it with less rounds or questions.
Establish rules for game play. Because trivia questions are typically open ended, it is important to specify the rules for acceptable answers ahead of time. For example, if the answer to a trivia question is a person's name, will just the last name be accepted or does the team need to know the full name? You should develop rules associated to the actual game play as well. These can include the time given to answer the questions, the types of technology not permitted, and how score is kept.
Select the questions. Before actually writing each question, you should decide whether you want your trivia game to be specific to one topic, such as sports or movies, or a compilation of many topics. In addition to writing the number of questions specified by your format, you should also set aside some tiebreaker and bonus questions.
Write instruction guidelines for each table or group. Even if you plan on announcing your game instructions and rules, it is always helpful to have some guidelines at each table during the game to serve as reminders for the players. For games with more rules and specifications for acceptable answers, the necessity and benefit of written guidelines is greater.
Collect your inventory. At minimum, most trivial games require a pen and paper for each table and something to keep time. Other common objects may include a bell or whistle to signal the end of the allotted answering time, a scoreboard, and prizes for the winners.
Invite your attendees and play. With the game rules established and the inventory assembled, all that is left is to play and have fun.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Hold a raffle. Advertising prizes will get more people in the door, some of who may walk out more interested in your products than they may have expected. Remember, just because people think they won't be interested, doesn't mean that they really won't become so. Getting them in the door for your party can sometimes be your biggest obstacle.
Keep plenty of samples, so that you can make sure that everyone gets one. Many people don't think they will like a product, but change their mind after using it. Therefore, it is important that you don't run out.
Find a friend who is in a related direct sales business and host a party together. This will give you both a chance at additional customers or prospects, since those who came for your friend's products may be interested in yours and vice versa.
Offer to have a babysitter on hand for those who have small children. Sometimes a mom of a young child feels that she cannot attend a direct sales party like this because her child may disrupt the party. If you have a baby sitter on hand for these parents, they are more likely to come. An ideal candidate would be a teen, who won't charge too much and will like to make a little extra cash.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Start researching home party businesses by attending home parties and looking up party companies on websites such as the Home Party Plan Review. You will need to see what kinds of products are available to sell at home and which ones you would be interested in selling.
Examine the offerings of the companies that interest you to see what your initial investment would be. Find out what each home party company's start-up kit comes with, what kind of support it offers, what it charges for products, what kind of purchase discounts you get and what its return policy is. It is important to have a comprehensive understanding of how the home party company does business before you get involved.
Designate one of the rooms in your home to be your product party room. It should be one of your larger rooms with plenty of center floor space. Make sure your product party room has a television and DVD player in case the party company offers video demos that you can show to customers. Be sure your room is easy to walk around in, and is clean. You can add to the experience of your party guests by investing in some new curtains for your room and putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
Decide on a date for your first party and begin circulating informational fliers to your friends and family. Be sure to advertise the home party as a casual event. Most people are familiar with home product parties and may come out of curiosity. It would help to schedule your first party close to a holiday such as Christmas when people may need quick and easy solutions to their gift-buying needs.
Create a feedback form for your party and ask each attendee to fill it out anonymously. Include questions about the quality of the product, the quality of your party room and how interesting your presentation was. Make adjustments to your next party based on the feedback you receive.
Purchase a domain name,which is the address for the website. Inexpensive and reputable sites to purchase domains include GoDaddy.com and Namecheap.com, but there are others. Choose the right domain name to give the site a more professional and branded look.
Sign up for web hosting. When running a professional website, it is important the site does not crash on customers. Check for either VPS or dedicated servers. Common sites to consider are ServInt.net or ThePlanet.com.
Create your website pages. It is important to include a 'Contact' page and an 'About' page. The 'Contact' page should include a phone number and an email. The 'About' page should explain what the company and its origins. If you offer a certain product or service, include a page on that as well.
Choose neutral colors and avoid flashy graphics. In addition, the colors should mesh well. A professional designer can help you choose.
Upload the files to the web host with an FTP client such as Filezilla-project.com. Depending on the size of the files, this should be accomplished in a very short amount of time.
Select a date for the event based on other athletic events in the area or fundraisers that may take away from your core audience. Choose a rain date if the target audience is diverse in cycling experience or geared toward families and children. However, if the charity ride will be geared toward experienced riders or mountain bikers, weather should not deter them from riding.
Form a steering committee that includes at least an event coordinator and volunteer coordinator who have experience organizing a cycling event and/or participating as a rider in similar events. They will help you avoid overlooking details that are important to cyclists and bike rides.
Establish a budget, expenses and target fundraising goal.
Select a location and a back-up location (ideally four to six months in advance.) You'll need enough time to get permissions, submit necessary permits and coordinate municipalities to lock down the details of the event. Keep the back-up location in mind, and be ready to move fast if your first choice is denied.
Choose the bike route. For a mountain bike event, match trail difficulty with the experience levels of the riders. You may want to select one route and have more advanced riders complete multiple routes. Mark trails clearly with arrows and warning markers that cannot be confused with existing trail markers.For a road bike ride, come up with a set of distance options for riders. Typically, a set of 10-, 25-, 50-mile routes will satisfy most charity cyclists. If you feel adventurous, include a 75- or 100-mile route. Use the longest route as the 'base' for all other distances; for the shorter distances, figure out turnaround points. Develop a turn-by-turn cue-sheet.
Establish rest areas every 10 miles for a road bike event and every 3 miles for a mountain bike event. For each rest area, arrange for a set of volunteers (preferably one that has some form of medical experience), water, food, first aid, a safe place for riders to set their bikes and a means for riders to go to the bathroom.