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Review of the Summer Spectacular and Launch of the Autumn Season

30th June 2015

The morning of Friday 26th June saw the Staverton Park Hotel abuzz with Usborne Organisers as they shared their excitement for the day ahead.

With the flag flying high, the music started and doors opened at 10.30am for everyone to take their seats. Marketing Director, Mark Franklin then took to the stage to welcome everyone to our first ever Summer Spectacular and Launch of the Autumn Season...

"Our goal today is quite simple. We aim to share with you new tools, skills, training, tips, news and resources - everything you need to have the most successful autumn season you have ever had with Usborne - as an Organiser, a Recruiter, Mentor and Leader."

A brand new journey for Usborne Books at Home...

"Today is a journey - a journey we hope to take you on to lead you from where your business is now, to where you want it to be by January [...] What would happen if we stretched everything we do by 20%? At first this may sound scary, but think about this:

A £100 party - how might you stretch it to £120?
20 prize draw slips at a book fair - why not make it 24?
Turn five bookings into six
Hoping to recruit five new Organisers? How about six?
Want 10 of your downline at the Gala in January - make it 12!

"But what do all of these little things achieve? If we grew our business by 20% every year, year on year, then we would hit £10m by our 40th Anniversary in 2021. Little steps, one by one, goal by goal... if you dare to try... what might happen to your business?"

"Many of our people aren't driven by money. I confess I am not. I am hugely excited by success but success to me isn't a number, it's a feeling - it's happiness. So what makes YOU happy? Everything Usborne can become for you and your team is there for the taking."

"And we want to make ALL of this just that little bit easier. Today we present to you a journey that isn't especially focussed on money (although it will increase your earnings). A journey of several steps (some small, some big) that can take any Organiser from where they are now, to where they might like to be."

"Our existing incentives package goes from Runaway Success to Team Usborne and then a Travel Incentive. We know this works, but what if we could make it 20% better?"

Grab your Passport...

"By following this journey, you are adding stamps to your 'Passport to Success' and starting 1st September 2015, our new Passport to Success booklet will replace the Runaway Success Wallplanner that new Organisers currently receive in their Starter Kits. It will present them with a sharper, better thought out, more balanced and more achieveable journey towards business success."

"Starting at the beginning, Runaway Success will (from September) be called the Quickstart Programme. It's still based on those crucial, simple behaviours - getting some bookings, selling some books and talking to people to see if they fancy doing these things as well."

Our Business & Leadership Development Manager, Sue Bennetts, then took to the stage to help our Organisers walk through this brand new incentives plan...

"With the new Quickstart Planner, we have tried to make it as interactive as possible so that new recruits can get started straight away. This will hopefully enable you as Mentors to have more of a structure to work with these new team members."

A round of applause then erupted for Divisional Leader, Kate L'argent, who shared her top tips on how to get the most out of all your Usborne events:

  • Add some height to your Starter Kit.
  • Add appropriate signs and a place to display them.
  • Open the wind-up book and get the toy whizzing round - remember that's the eye-catcher at an event!
  • Get the balance right between higher and lower priced books - it will make hitting the £100 much easier.
  • Decide BEFORE your event what you want from it and plan accordingly. Is it about sales, future business etc?
  • Don't hide behind your stall, the side is best.
  • Make a prize draw slip posting box - the more visual the better!
  • Looking for bookings? Read the Perfect Party Perscription (in Tools & Downloads) - it's a fantastic tool.
  • Challenge yourself - 'today I'm going to get X prize draw slips or X bookings...
  • Don't be afraid to try things and don't give up!

What's new from Usborne?

After a brilliant first exercise that focussed on bookings, Sue delighted her audience with a New Titles presentation. Featuring around 40 upcoming titles, there were plenty of 'oohs' and 'aahs' as so many gorgeous covers were revealed. We even brought along a few so that attendees could feel them for themselves (much to their excitement!)

After lunch, we turned back to Passport to Success...

"There will be a new step in our Quickstart Programme - Recruiter's Reward. From September, any Organiser who simply recruits two new people in their first nine weeks, will receive a four month subscription to the Online Marketing Package - their own personalised website and e-newsletter."

Dee's Story

Next, we passed over to Team Leader, Dee Thomas. You may remember Dee. She opened our 2015 Spring Gala and Conference after joining only a few days before! After achieving Team Leader status in her first twelve weeks, she explained why she decided to recruit early in her Usborne journey:

"We all need someone to guide us, mould us. New recruits are like blank canvases. Fill it the right way and you could have a masterpiece! [...] My business and my team will always be a work in progress. New recruits bring new ideas and energy."

Here, our Business & Leadership Development Manager, Sue Bennetts, launched a little incentive for our Summer Spectacular attendees. If they recruit two new Organisers within the next nine weeks, they will receive a 'money can't buy' specifically designed bag to promote and use in their Usborne business! As Sue's 'glamourous assistant', Mark modelled this fantastic prize beautifully...!

How can we best manage our time to achieve success?

As we moved into the final part of the Quickstart Programme - Double Promotion Bonus - guest speaker, Karen Chamberlain was there to boost our Organisers confidence, highlight leadership techniques and give food for thought on how to get lots more recruits to Team Leader status within their first twelve weeks.

Some of our Organisers shared some fantastic ideas on how to 'best manage your time' too, including:

"My kids are six and nine and rather than separate time spent with them and Usborne time, they are part of my team. So they help me stick labels on things, they help me sort books when we're going to an event... they earn books by helping me out."

Sophie's Story

Usborne Team Leader, Sophie Whiffen, has been a consistently high achiever, from achieving her Double Promotion Bonus to winning the Dubai Travel Incentive. She made her way to the stage to share how it all happened...

"When I joined Usborne, I didn't really know anything about it. I loved the books and I wanted to run my own business as I had done before. I wanted something flexible and I came across Usborne and thought , £38 - why not!"

"I joined in September 2013, wrote my plan down, picked up the phone and just booked myself in everywhere. I just wanted to get those prize draw slips filled in and get parties in the diary! I do like to talk about Usborne a lot, so anyone that would listen, I would talk to them about the opportunity - because I was genuinely having fun, people were interested."

"I went from joining to promoting in 29 days... once I promoted it all fell into place! I now couldn't recommend building your own team enough. The company incentives are brilliant - use them and remind yourself why you're doing this [...] It's important to celebrate your successes - every little milestone!"

The onward journey...

"From 1st September, we will have a more efficient strategy in place to support people joining Usborne Books at Home. So what should you be working towards? Replacing Team Usborne, will be the Business Development Programme [...] The real change here is its focus. We want to talk more about Usborne as a business and to put in place an effective programme that incentive achievers use to grow their businesses."

There will be three levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold. You can find out more about these levels and what they mean in the Passport to Success booklet (now available in the Tools & Downloads library).

"Attending Team Usborne events help you and your team as you learn new skills to take home [...] Think about your business. Where are you now? How could networking and bespoke training help?" - Tracy Hickson shared her views on how Team Usborne experiences have helped her business.

Up, up and away...

So what sits above the new Business Development Programme? You could be heading Up, Up and Away by consistently excelling in your Usborne business throughout the course of a year.

Divisional Leader, Maria Scrivens shared her Travel Incentive experiences from the stage...

"Once you have experienced an Usborne Travel Incentive, you become addicted! In 2007 I won South Africa, the following year I won Monaco and Nice, then Mexico and Miami. Two years later I went to Iceland and have now been to Dubai!"

"A funny thing happened when I went for those amazing free holidays - my business was growing! To win a Travel Incentive, I had to win Elite membership into Team Usborne, to win that I had to have a new Team Leader - so my business was always moving forward and getting stronger."

"Building my business up and promoting to Divisional Leader has changed by family's life. Before promotion, all of my commission was eaten up by bills and food shopping. Now we're off on our first family holiday and last week I booked us tickets to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London!"

"When I started to go for the incentives, my goal was always the free holiday. Now that is a by product of me running my business successfully. Now my goal is to inspire others to achieve what I achieved."

A Message from the MD

"We have presented an exciting new journey. The steps are more logical, just as achieveable, and focus you on absolutely the right areas of your business."

"You have taken time to share with your own teams and Mentors where you think you are on that journey now - that's a huge step. You have also given thought to where you want to be and everything we do as a company is geared to help you every step of the way."

"We have a Passport to Success - an incentives journey that builds on every other aspect of our business. Let's aim, by the Spring Conference and Gala 2016, to make that business proposition brilliant!"

What a day!

You can find the workbook used at the Summer Spectacular in the Tools & Downloads library if you would like to share it with your teams. Keep an eye out for more pictures on our Facebook page from the event soon!