Woman earns £200 a month with new business after cancer treatment
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Susan Poole sells around 50 items a week with a boost in sales over the Christmas period. She has built up her customer base by advertising on local sites and through word of mouth, and prefers to do her business in person.
The entrepreneur was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2019 and had to have a lumpectomy followed by six rounds of chemotherapy and 20 radiotherapy sessions.
She told Express.co.uk: “I decided to start my Avon beauty business after going through treatment for breast cancer.
“It was an incredibly stressful time and I found that during and after my treatment, I needed my work to allow me to be flexible around the times I felt well and had the energy to face the day.
“I was unable to commit to turning up to a job with set hours because every day was different, and I was unaware what each day would bring – not only physically but mentally too.
“As I’m self-employed as an Avon representative, I can work as many or little hours as I want and everything I do is met with encouragement.
“I was an Avon customer myself and found I spent a lot of money on their products so it made complete sense to sell them myself and make an income from it.
“I started my business not knowing how or when it would grow, but the excitement of expanding my customer base is so rewarding and motivates me to do better.”
Prior to starting her Avon business, Susan worked in a shoe shop, though she was familiar with the brand as she was previously a representative, and she particularly likes the company’s skincare products.
The business is now her primary source of income and she enjoys the training and tools that Avon provides to support her.
She earns around £50 a week with her business but this increases a lot over the festive period.
She said: “I earn about £50 a week but this is a lot higher as Christmas approaches – probably doubling this amount.
“It is hard work around this time as you want to fulfil customer expectations of their deliveries, but exciting nonetheless.
“You have to prepare in advance for the festive period as people start to shop for Christmas purchases early and products start to fly, so I start in November and place my last order on December 14 to allow enough time for delivery.
“Given my breast cancer journey, I typically have higher sales throughout October as I give the breast cancer awareness month products a lot of focus, but I do not earn any commission from these sales as 100 percent of the profits go to Avon’s charity partners, Look Good Feel Better and CoppaFeel.”
The 60-year-old, from Pontefract, said every day is different as her business is spread out across the town.
Susan said: “I deliver brochures to my customers once a month. Each week, I process orders and place these with Avon on a Friday, so my customers have a familiar and regular timescale.
“On the days that I receive my product deliveries, it is a matter of packing them up and getting them delivered to my customers as quickly as possible.
“I know most of my customers and their routines very well, so I plan my journey to align with their schedules.”
The sales representative is at Platinum Star level in Avon Rewards, meaning she gets 30 percent discount from her sales, along with reward points which she receives at the end of each three-month period.
Her points can be converted into vouchers providing incentives for her to work towards in her job.
She even takes her brochures to her local cancer support group and can provide offers. For example, if an existing customer gets her another order, she can give them both a free small gift.
The extra income has funded a holiday in Spain for Susan and her husband this year, and she is saving up for another treat next year.
She said: “My favourite thing about running my own beauty business is the people that I’ve met and the products that I’m selling.
“I love helping others and, because I use all the products myself, it makes it so much easier for me to give that personalised beauty advice.
“I also love that I’m able to work my own hours and to my own timescale – nobody is chasing me but me.
“Avon really is a community of like-minded people and I know that support is always there if I need it.”
She said the flexibility of working for Avon has been “fantastic” for fitting around her cancer treatment.
She said: “I was unaware of what each day would bring and how I would be feeling at a particular time. I knew at the beginning of my diagnosis I wouldn’t be able to work a job with set hours, and Avon welcomed the flexibility I needed.
“Cancer doesn’t just take a toll on you physically, it’s mentally too, and on the days I had to take myself to bed, I was able to without having to explain to anyone.”
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