This time last year we were busy deciding the winner for the 2016 Winter Incentive – 15 people won a place on the Spa break – 5 top sales, 5 top team builders, and 5 Head Office heros.
And today I am busy preparing for the Team Leaders meeting, and I am so delighted to see that this year, twice as many consultants will will a winter incentive. 12 lucky consultants have already secured a wonderful day out for their family at a Merlin Theme park of their choice, and I am so very happy about this. When we talk to our consultants, the one thing that comes through strongest in all the conversations is that some many of you are doing Kids Bee Happy for your families – for some extra income yes, but also for the extra skills and experience too, and to build a proper business.
So a shout out to Jennifer O’Hanlon, Michelle Munt, Kate Fletcher, Louise Padmore, and Vicky Gregory who have not only already won their Theme Park tickets, but who are also in with a good chance of adding a hotel stay onto that family day trip, or escaping on a cottage weekend.
And another shout out to Lauren Samson, Karen Ord, Claire Rothwell, Dina Emmons, Adele Emmerson-Ryan, Martin Fearnley, and Katy Reed
And as our Winter Incentive period is still running, we have another 7 people who if they are simply active in January and February will also win their Family Theme Park tickets, and then another 6 people who are so close, they just need to be active and a little bit more to win the prize. I’m not going to tell you who you are right now (just to build the suspense and tension) – but your leaders have a list.
And this is what makes me happy – giving away prizes – so Remember – there are still 2 months left of the Winter Incentive period, so everyone is in with a chance of winning a prize for their family too.
Black Friday is coming! It’s all over social media. Offers, Discounts – argh!!!
So what is Kids Bee Happy doing for Black Friday? Well firstly let me tell what we’re not doing.
MASSIVE HUGE BIG DISCOUNTS!
We’re not doing big headline massive grabbing discounts, and we’d like to advise you that you shouldn’t be doing this really either – and here’s why. When you see those offers that say 70% off its important to remember that it actually means 70% of the very expensive price that was charged for a few days in only a few of their stores – rather than 70% of the actual real price that most consumers would have bought it at over the last few months.
Top Tip – As you’re selling a good product at a very fair price all of the time, if you do the silly discounts, you’ll be selling for no profit. So don’t be worried that you haven’t got a big Black Friday massive discount – tell your customers that instead you choose to offer good value for money prices all year round rather than hike your prices, and then give fake discounts.
TOP SECRET DEALS!!
We’re not doing top secret, confidential, not telling you til midnight on Thursday deals because these don’t help anyone. Everyone knows that the last payday before Christmas tends to have a lot of expectation on it anyway, and so keeping everything secret, and not letting people plan or prepare, doesn’t really help anyone. So, we will be telling you what our offers will be and they will be valid for a week, so that you time to decide that you want to take advantage of them – or not.
For Unique Items – you should read “some really weird brand that no-one’s ever heard of, but if stick up online reduced down from an articifically stupid high price, people will think that it’s an “exclusive” item rather than something that’s been left over with one of our wholesalers. – so yeah – we’re not doing those either.
ONLY 5 AVAILABLE!!!! GRAB YOURS FAST!!!!!
Having only a few of these deals available to only a tiny number of customers means that the majority of customers wont get the deal. Now that’s not very fair. And not very nice. It might create a panic, but the majority of your customers will be left out. Not the way to make your customers feel appreciated and wanted. So, the products that we have discounts on will have lots of stocks, so that lots of consultants can take advantage of them if they wish.
BIG TICKET ITEMS!!!!!!
We know from past experience that actually consultants like to spread their purchases over the year, to stock up quietly and bit by bit as they need it and to match their purchases with their sales. So our offers will be on a few small ranges, on things that will actually help your business grow.
So, now we’ve told you what we’re not doing, time to tell you what we are doing:
Black Friday Offers (Monday 20th November – Sunday 26th November)
- Magnet Sheets – 50% Off – That means you get a magnet for less than 3p! Yes 3p!! What a great way to add value to your customers pictures. Haven’t tried them yet – shame on you! Well you’ve no excuse now, so get some!
- Buy 500 Business Cards and get 1500 Free – Yes 1500 Free. 2000 Business cards for £30, or a penny and a half each. At that price you can really afford to distribute them liberally wherever you go, you can leave a whole Hansel and Gretal style trail! Don’t have business cards yet – why not??
- DOUBLE POINTS on the New 2018 Join My Team Mini Roller Banner. Cost £20 – get 40 Points!
- Free Christmas Competitions Cards with every order placed during the period.
So, as they say in Scotland – that’s us 😉
But please, remember that Black Friday is 90% marketing gimmick, and that all those big companies aren’t really giving away all those products for nothing. Make sure that when you’re setting your own discounts and offers (and please don’t feel that you have to) remember to check your prices and make sure that you are still making profits. Be a leader, not a follower.
Our partners, consultants and customers will be delighted to know that once again Kids Bee Happy has been awarded the Let Toys be Toys Toymark Award for 2017 for continuing to champion gender equality in childrens play.
At the moment, it seems that gender is a permanent fixture in our news and headlines, and that itself is an important benchmark for indicating how society is shifting from the old stereotypical perceptions of girls and boys, men and women, to something much more equal. As research highlights, these stereotypes start at a very young and early age with soft dollies given to baby girls, and tractors for baby boys, so as a toy provider and leader of children’s craft workshops, Kids Bee Happy has an important role to play in making sure that all toys are open and acceptable to all children, regardless of age, ability or gender.
“Sand is such a great product” says Sandra Patterson, Director of Kids Bee Happy. “Everyone loves playing with sand, regardless of age or gender, so it’s a perfect medium to promote gender neutral play, and we encourage all children to be creative with their choice of colours, pictures and designs. We mix up our designs and products so that there is no such thing as a “girls section” or a “boys section” and when we make suggestions to the children of pictures that they might like, we’re always very careful to ensure that those suggestions are from a broad selection across the entire range – and that we don’t make pre-determined stereotypical recommendations based on the gender of the children. We actively encourage parents to do the same too, which is sometimes more challenging, however we do see that changing over recent times, as campaigns highlight to people how silly it is to restrict children’s choices based on gender “.
You can find out more about Let Toys be Toys and their campaigns on their website and you can follow the campaign Facebook
During the very busy run up to the end of August, you might have missed this post that went viral about a little boy not being allowed to go to a “Princess for a day” party at Disneyland. And with BBC’s No More Boys and Girls, and the Clarks shoe debacle, when big companies get it wrong it seems like a great opportunity to discuss what the public is increasing expecting regarding gender neutrality in play.
As you know, Kids Bee Happy has been the proud supporter of Let Toys Be Toys, and been awarded the Toymark Award for the past 2 years, but it’s something that we should never rest on our laurels and always be at the forefront of how we do business. There is a fantastic moment in the No More Boys and Girls episode 1 where the producers swapped a baby boy and baby girls clothes round, and then put the babies on a mat with an adult and a selection of toys, and then watched as the adults pushed gender stereotype toys onto the children without even realising that they did it. It was very noticeable that the stuffed passive toys were directed at the “girl”, and the mechanical toys for the “boy”. And it shows instantly how all these influences are around children everyday, and how they all add up.
Now me, you might have noticed that I have a huge passion for levelling the playing field. I personally have spent the majority of my life being the only female in the room, and I haven’t lived that rebellious a life. And as a mother of girls, I had hoped that what gender they are would have no impact on the choices of my children in their careers and future. However, the world moves slowly it seems and we’re still fighting the battle. But the one thing that I can do as the Managing Director of Kids Bee Happy is to try my upmost to make sure that its something that we as a company join the battle to eliminate.
Kids Bee Happy offers a very wide range of Sand Art pictures, and we try to ensure that there is something in there that appeals to everyone, however, when i’m out at the events I have to consistently remember to help the children choose in a gender neutral way. All too frequently we see the parents or grandparents steer their children’s choice in the direction of “suitable” pictures, how many times have we seen wee boys hovering over a butterfly or a fairy picture to see the mum go “Oh, there’s a dinosaur, or how about a car?” Or to see a girl thinking about a robot picture and their parent suggest a “pretty butterfly”.
As advocates of gender neutral play, we have a role to play here, little things that we can do can make a difference. If a parent is pointing at lots of stereotypical pictures then interrupt (gently) point out other pictures that they can equally enjoy. If we’re making recommendations to children then again mix it up so that the suggestions are wide and varied, and be brave, make the first picture something that could be associated more with the opposite sex. Make it clear to the boys that if they want to colour in a picture of a princess then that is absolutely fine, and make it clear to the girls that we know that they like cars and planes just as much as boys. On the tables, in the displays mix up the pictures, make it clear that there is no such thing as a “boys” section and a “girls” selection.
When we colour in our display pictures make sure that we make them as multicoloure as possible, using all the colours from pink to blue, and all the other ones inbetween, so that we don’t send out the subtle “pink for girl” messages that we see so often in the clothes and fashions sectors. What I personally prefer to do is to mix up the colours in the most wonderful and creative way, pink loins, red dolphins, brown butterflies, orange fairies, orange, pink and yellow skies, even a punk rock hedgehog. There is no right or wrong with colour when it comes to sand art, so the more creative we can be with our display pictures, the more we send out the “anything goes” message to the children. If a boy’s colouring the picture point out to them that they’ve not coloured anything in Pink yet. If we’re chatting to the children about colour start a conversation about how “brown” is your favourite colour etc and make up a whole load of wonderful reasons why brown is so good.
Draw attention and offer an alternative, that’s all we have to do.
In the great big gender debate it’s very easy for critics to dismiss it all, saying “oh why do we need to worry, the children will choose what they want”, but the problem is that by the time the kids get around to choosing they’ve already have years of marketing, fashion, TV, books, films, cartoons, and adults telling them subconsciously what they “should” be preferring, and sometimes its difficult for them to say something different. And this is where our role comes in. I know that all of our consultants work hard to ensure gender neutrality with our young customers, however, its important to remember that they might not have that same influence elsewhere, they could perhaps live with very traditional parents or grandparents, so your voice is important, even if it by doing something as tiny as just adding in the word “fairy” into a list of suggestions of boys pictures, let them know it’s OK to do something different. From little acorns big oaks grow, so please continue to plant those little acorns. Thank you.
It’s the last day of my holiday as I’m writing this and I must confess to have been suffering a little with the holiday blues; that feeling that you just don’t want it to come to an end and wish that every day could be filled with lazy hazy sunny mornings and that feeling that the day ahead is yours to fill in exactly the way you want to fill it!
Like many I will be going back to organising returns to school, starting new ones, mountains of washing and the like as my thoughts turn to the forthcoming Autumn and dare I say that one day in the year that starts with C!
For me, the year always seems to start in September, there are other times of the year when I justify a little boost of enthusiasm but I think that years at school always gave September that special quality and so it has become a marker in the sand that point in time where we compare where we were last year and perhaps where we want to be next year too.
So as I sit here mourning the end of my holiday I of course recognise that there are two sides to every story and that whenever there is an ending, there is always inevitably a beginning and so whilst I could focus on what has been, it makes me feel so much better when I focus and dream about what is yet to come.
Of course none of us know what the future holds and it’s a conversation that I have frequently with clients who worry about the future – it is merely a creation of our thinking, a story that we tell ourselves, we don’t know whether our thinking is true or not! How many times have you worried about something in the future only to find that when it happens it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be? So I’m always of the view that if we are going to make something up I may as well make up something to get excited about! Ok so it may not turn out exactly how I think it will, but remember it’s not a prediction, it’s not set in stone, it’s merely a ‘wouldn’t it be fab if this happens?’
So for me the key to busting those holiday blues as I’m sat here in the sun (sorry I couldn’t resist that bit) is to dream about how exciting the next year is going to be and about how next year I’ll look back and think ‘wow wasn’t that a journey!’ I have no idea what is going to happen but I know if I approach it with dread and trepidation I’ll miss all the good bits, I know if I worry about it I won’t enjoy the moment I have now, a moment I know I won’t get again.
So if you are coming to the end of your holiday, instead of feeling fed up and blue, allow yourself to dream your ‘what ifs’ and ‘wouldn’t it be great if’ and create an amazing year ahead, that way your holiday end won’t seem like an end at all but a fantastic beginning.
Andrea Morrison is a Transformational Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist & Speaker (andreamorrison.co.uk) and is author of The Feel Good Factor in 30 days.
Kids Bee Happy crowned Champions at Wembley
On Saturday 15 July 2017, over 350 family business leaders and entrepreneurs descended upon London’s iconic Wembley Stadium for The National Family Business Awards (formally known as the Red Ribbon Awards) – celebrating the achievements of Britain’s finest family-run businesses.
After months of searching and interviewing, our Winners were crowned. These businesses were selected as the best in their categories and regions they represent. With over 3 million family firms in the UK as well as hundreds of entries for the Awards, the winners had to be exceptional.
Family firm, Kids Bee Happy were crowned both winners of the Scotland Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. and the highest accolade of the Mazars National Champion Award.
The judges commented –
“We loved the fact that they identified a great idea, worked hard on their product design, changed their business model based on assessing the market and have worked tirelessly on every aspect of making their dream a reality. It was wonderful to hear about all the family members playing to their strengths …. Jessica in particular is clearly one to watch for the future!
Identifying two clear markets for their product and being successful in each, with such a small team, is inspirational. This has included negotiating contracts with big companies which is no mean feat for any business!
However, what also really stood out in their submission was how much importance they placed on social responsibility…. from providing good employment in their rural, local area… to taking on apprentices and ensuring that they got good all round work experience.
Of particular note was the transformational role they have played in the lives of their direct sales consultants…. giving some people who have had a rough ride in life the confidence to pursue a fresh start and become entrepreneurial themselves, treating them as business owners and investing in their training and mentoring.”
Hosted by Family Business Place, and now in their eighth year, the awards seek to recognise and honour some of the most exciting, innovative and longstanding family businesses around the UK. From 200 year old cheese makers in Yorkshire to second generation perfumers in London and sibling start-ups in Devon, the awards have become one of the most sought-after accolades in business.
Anita Brightley-Hodges, Managing Director of Family Business Place says,
“Family businesses are the shining stars of the British economy and the beating heart of our local communities, employing 1 in 3 people. Despite their incredible contribution they are often modest and shy about publicising their achievements and so we founded The National Family Business Awards to celebrate them. This year’s winners all excel in their field and are true beacons of British commerce.”