Black Friday News & Offers – Stop!  Newsflash!!

Black Friday News & Offers – Stop! Newsflash!!

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.

UNIQUE ITEMS!!!

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.

Top tips for a Kids Bee Happy Halloween

Top tips for a Kids Bee Happy Halloween

Top Tip – Not everything that sells in October is a Pumpkin.

If I was to ask you what proportion of pictures sold between November and December were Christmas Themed – what percentage would you guess – 80%? 60%? 50%?  Well let me let you into a trade secret – in 2015 only 32% of the pictures sold in November and December were Christmas themed, and in 2016 it was 36%.  So why is this?  It’s Christmas – surely everyone would want to make a Santa picture???  Well, there are a number of reasons, firstly Christmas is literally all around, from Halloween until 26th December it is completely everywhere, so it makes sense that not everything that everyone would want to do or buy during those months will be Christmas themed – if it was, everyone would be totally sick of Christmas long before Santa’s elves had loaded the sleigh.

Think back to Easter – did you exclusively sell only Easter themed ovals?  Or were these in fact just a proportion of pictures and your sales?

So what’s this got to do with Halloween?  Well its exactly the same, just because the date is Halloween, it doesn’t mean that everything everyone wants to buy or do during October will have ghosties and ghoulies on it.  Infact, the majority will probably want the opposite. So here are our Top Tips for Halloween Sand Art.

 

1. Look to what the kids choose as costumes

If you want to know which designs sell well at Halloween, then learn from the masters – next time you’re in your local fancy dress shop, take a quick squizz at the childrens costume section and Disney characters will be dominant.  In fact Snow White, Belle, Cinderella, Elsa and Anna are consistently year on year in the top20 Halloween costumes list for UK, adult versions as well as children’s.  I’m lucky, I have one of the UKs biggest fancy dress suppliers just down the road, and I can verify that every October for the past 14 years I have visited and spent over an hour helping my daughters choose that years Halloween constume, and what can I tell you – that over 1/3 of the shelf space will be for Disney character costumes,  and not just the princesses, but also Woody from Toy Story, Cars, Dory, Nemo and the Good Dinosaur are there too.  Remember that when you’ve got the little kids – the costumes and characters they pick at Halloween aren’t the scary kind – they’re the friendly familiar kind. And even the bigger kids drift back to Disney after a couple of years as Witches, and Devils – which is why of course there are so many adult Disney costumes.  So make sure that your stocks include as many of the Disney Characters as possible – they are all available in packs of 5 so you don’t have to buy hundreds, and remember any character picture can be made “scary” just by mixing it up with the colours.

2. Capitalise on Trends

Did you know that Scary Elsa has become a real “thing”?  Give it a quick search on google and you’ll be amazed at what you find.   I remember last year that Debbie, our Leaders did some great Scary Elsa pictures with some of her Halloween customers – green faces, orange and black dresses, red hair – it was amazing – and the children had such good fun letting their creativity run wild with them, and the best bit is that these pictures are never out of “season” so you know that they are always a safe buy.

3. Remember the Parents

The thing about Halloween is that it tends to happen in the dark, which means that all of the children are accompanied by parents – so make sure that you’ve got some Ailsa Black pictures or Mandala pictures in your stocks so that the grown ups can have a go too.

4. Halloween Themed Pictures

Halloween themed pictures are another essential.  There a range of 6 different designs of Halloween pictures, but remember don’t make your event exclusively Halloween only pictures because our statistics tell us that at least half of kids will want to do something else.  There are already 4 Halloween pictures available on site – Haunted House (A4), Trick and Treat (A5), Ghostie Boo & Witches Hat (A5) and Bat and Boo.  From the 5th October we will also have the Spider back as an A6 picture, and the Cat on a Broomstick as an A6 picture too.

5. What is Scary?

The most scariest piece of music in movie history contains only 3 notes.  Those three notes aren’t scary, and if you’ve never seen Jaws those three notes on their own probably wouldn’t make you hide behind a cushion.  So what makes it scary ? – our imagination, knowing what those three notes are telling us, knowing that something is going to happen but we don’t know what, and we don’t know when, the suspense, the tension, the build up.  Can you feel it now – just reading this?  So use those same techniques in HOW you deliver the sand art, stories whilst the children are making the pictures, suddenly turning the lights off unexpectedly, etc.  All of this stuff is free – there’s no cost – but its going to be this stuff that makes your Halloween event the stand out event that they’ll remember for years to come – rather than just the design on the picture card itself.

6. Be Imaginative

So, we’ve ticked the obvious boxes, Halloween themed pictures for the ghosts and broomsticks.  Disney pictures so that the kids can make a picture of the character that they are dressed up as.  Now its time to let your creativity take over.  For example, in Scotland a fairy isn’t traditionally what you would think of as a fairy, they are faeries – tiny mischievous and powerful beings that deliberately wreck havoc in peoples lives – that sounds pretty “halloweeny” to me, the same with Leprechauns who do infact magically exist all year round, not just on the 17th March 😉 and of course Leprechauns are real, we know because an  Irish MP has blamed the wee critters for permanent road problems only a few weeks ago .  Another one – the Ailsa Black isn’t just any cat, it is infact a magical Witches cat in disguise, full of magical powers.  All these little stories etc are special to the children, and help them engage and enjoy the sand art much more than simply the design, they take the picture home, share the story and the imagination……

7. Halloween Bears

And don’t forget that the bears can be all halloweened-up too. As well as of course as making witches cats, you’ve got the opportunity for creating Halloween designs and doodles on the tee-shirts and hoodies.  But again, back to being creative and imaginative, bear making gives you such good environment for telling scary Halloween stories, for example Did you know that dogs and cats are supposed to be able to see the supernatural – so if you’ve got some children who really are a bit spooked out by Halloween, what better thing for them than a lovely Cocoa, Lemon or Charlie, who will sit watch all night next to them protecting them from all the scary monsters.  There are lots of stories about phantom and magical tigers all over the world.   And well, anyone that’s seen Fortitude can definitely verify that Polar Bears can be very scary.  And i’m willing to bet good money that 2 minutes on google will reveal a whole wrath of american scary stories about bears.  So every bear has the potential to be a Halloween bear – and it won’t cost you a penny extra.

8. Halloween Sand

Mix the colours up – be brave, take out the pink and add some darker colours.  Top up your orange, red, black and brown.  And don’t forget the silver – always fab to give a picture a completely different sense.

 

So, there you go, a few of our top tips, and as you can see the simplicity is in looking beyond simply the date and the theme, using your energy, creativity and enthusiasm, and making it about more than just colouring in a picture.  Why don’t you join the brainstorming session in your teams and share spooky stories and ideas.

 

 

 

Bear Club now available in your Online Store

Bear Club now available in your Online Store

Kids Bee Happy is delighted to announce that the Bear Club bears are now available for your customers to purchase directly from your online shop.   Please remember though that when customers buy directly from us we need to add VAT and delivery on top, so we have put in great big letters that customers are always best to contact their individual consultants first.

(PS Remember if you want to see your online store, and see what customers see, that you need to log out of your website – and maybe even clear your cookies.)

Disney, Clarks and Gender Neutral Classrooms – what does it have to do with me?

Disney, Clarks and Gender Neutral Classrooms – what does it have to do with me?

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.

Launching the Kids Bee Happy Bear Club

Launching the Kids Bee Happy Bear Club

The perfect way to expand your Kids Party Business

We are delight to announce that Kids Bee Happy is launching our very own Bear Club.  From 1 September all of our wonderful local consultants, all over the UK, will be also be able to offer UK and Irish children and families make a bear workshops, parties and activities, alongside our already popular sand art.

Kids Bee Happy is the UK’s only direct sales company that provides kids activities and parties, which means that it really is the flexible work from home business that the whole family can get involved in.

“We are very proud to be adding the Kids Bee Happy Bear Club into our product range” said Sandra Patterson, Managing Director of Kids Bee Happy.  “Children love making their own teddy bears, but for many families its costly and difficult because of where they live.   As Kids Bee Happy has a network of over 300 local consultants covering the whole of the UK, it really does mean that we can help all children have their very own bear party, wherever they want, whether they are in the Sicily Isles or the Orkney Isles.”

“Parents pay one all inclusive price, and includes not only the bear, and all you need to make it, but also a hoodie or a tee shirt for the bear for the kids to decorate themselves, plus all the little things like wishing stars, and birth certificates, that make it all so special for the children, and all of the bears are the same price, making it nice and certain for the adults too”.

The Kids Bee Happy bear club products are available to all registered consultants, and anyone who wants to start their own Kids Bee Happy business can do so by joining up as an independent consultant on our website http://sales.kidsbeehappy.com.  When consultants join everyone is added to a team, where a local team leader and fellow consultants are all on hand offering help, tips and knowledge, mentoring support and advice to really help you start and grow your business.

“Kids Bee Happy already provide their Independent Consultants with an amazing product that works well in different settings with Sand Art. Now they are adding in another great product that is just as exciting, Bear Club! I’m excited to add it to my business & be able to offer both to my customers.” said Maddi Rowley, one of Kids Bee Happy’s team leaders based in Berkshire, “It’s reassuring & rewarding to represent a company that prides themselves on quality.”

Direct sales is a great way for many UK families to top up their incomes, as household bills continue their steady increase, being able to earn an extra £100 per week by simply doing 1 or 2 parties or events makes a real impact to a families income.  People can start and grow their business at the pace they feel comfortable with, and full training is given so no previous experience is necessary.

“I just love these bears” continued Sandra.  “I’ve had them sitting on my desk for the past few months as we’ve been busy preparing to launch them into the network, and they have become familiar faces, I even know them all by name now too.   I can’t wait to see the excitement and pleasure that our Bear Club workshops and parties will bring to families all over the UK”

What you can learn from the smallest ASDA in the world and Tinned Tuna

What you can learn from the smallest ASDA in the world and Tinned Tuna

I used to live in Girvan, it is a small seaside town in the West Coast of Scotland. Not a lot of big employers and not a wealthy area.

About 10 years ago, Asda finally got planning permission to build in this town and they started building the smallest Wal-Mart store in the world. We had all the bigwigs over from America, all closely watching this tiny Asda,  flying executives in from all over the world to show them how they can run a profitable supermarket in a fraction of the normal floorspace, after all, bigger is better right?

How would a company that stocked tens of thousands of lines get all the products into this teeny weeny store? After all, the main Asda in the next town had 5 shelves just for Tuna alone? As a business person I was definitely curious.

What followed I can only describe as the best stock rotation on earth. Somehow this tiny store managed to sell pretty much all of the brands but from just half of one shelf – so lean in while I tell you how.

We start at the beginning of the month, people had been paid and were doing the “big shop”. This week the Tuna was all multipacks and premium brands, and also bang at eye height. Second week and third week of the month we saw Asda’s own brand multipacks and the premium cans in singles, and they moved either up or down a shelf as other products moved into the premium spot. Last week of the month it was Asda own brand and smart price only – and you’d find them right down at ankle level.

Those Tuna cans moved around at night switching position from the middle to the end of the shelf, up a shelf, down a shelf, in the Stockroom, back out onto the shop floor, it was like a ballet.

And after noticing this pattern, I started seeing it every month. And not just the Tuna but the squash, and the biscuits, and the frozen food – everywhere where there were a mix of alternative substitute products.

One of my biggest business mantras is don’t reinvent the wheel. If big companies with big budgets to spend on researching the tiny intricacies of consumer behaviour do something – then they do it because it works.

So I sat and thought about that Tuna. Each week Asda continued to offer the core product (Tuna) but in a manner that matched the feeling and price point that best suited their customers that day. 

What Asda knows that you can’t make a hardup mum spend £5 on a mulitpack of tuna 2 days before payday – so you give them what they want, even if it’s a lower value sale, because they know that that mum won’t suddenly find a fiver for extra sparkly tuna, they’ll just go and buy baked beans instead.

And so I apply the same logic to Sand Art. If I’m at a premium event and it’s twenty pound notes flying everywhere, I’ll put away the mini pictures and the ovals, and limit the offering to A5 and A4.  If we’re at an event like a school fayre and everything is 50p or £1, I’ll put away the A4 and the A5s, and focus on Ovals and A6.  You see, Asda’s Tuna taught me that there is no point putting the premium product in the prime selling space if people are just after the cheap alternative.

In Kids Bee Happy sand art you have a while range of products with sales prices all along the scale from £2 to £10, so think about what products will best suit your events and customers THAT day, and select and display your products accordingly.