Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Inventory and Money

While steadily reinvesting some of your Barefoot earnings in your business, don't forget to have some fun. I take my family out for pizza after a successful event or let my children each pick something from the Barefoot catalog.

I'm happy to say that a Barefoot business can be started on a shoestring budget. In fact, when I went to France I found out that none of the leaders there had invested their own money in inventory. So, how did we build our businesses and our inventories?

"Slow and steady wins the race" we hear from the tortoise throughout The Hare and the Tortoise, Fables of La Fontaine as he eventually crosses the finish line in front of the hare. The same goes for your Barefoot business.

I started with a small selection of samples (the equivalent of a Kick Start Bonus) and took orders at every free or low-cost event around. I made it my goal to participate in a few small events a month, reinvesting much of my earnings each time in inventory until I could do those large events (20,000+ visitors) that would only take me away from my family six times a year. This was accomplished in eight months with community events, tiny craft fairs, home events, and daycare fundraisers -- all catalog orders -- and I made leader to boot.

Those large events can put you in front of a wide audience, result in large sales and the opportunity to grow your team more quickly. They also carry higher costs and risks so your homework should be done in advance.

Think through your goals and decide where you want to finish. No matter what, remember: slow and steady wins the race.


  1. What a timely post! Just when I was starting to think I needed more - more inventory, more events, more everything... you remind me that I need to simply breathe more. I don't need to neglect paying the electric bill in my efforts to get ready for the busy season!

    Slow and steady will win the race!

  2. Hi Sarah,
    More inventory and more events are great but if you work wisely you can do it without adding stress to the mix.
    Hope you have a great 4th quarter!

  3. This is a great message and so true, Richele! I had a team member figure out that she sold about $1 per attendee at the small church-fair type events. For example, if 300 people came through she typically sold about $300 in products. $300 in sales is enough for the next stock order, which gets you $600 (roughly) in inventory. You can really build some momentum at that pace. It is managable and can be really fun. Those smaller events are not only more afforable but also tend to be closer to home and shorter in duration. You gain experience talking with customers, handling sales, setting up and breking down your display. It is a great way to build a business.