Creating Success with Your Own Direct Sales Products
Usually when we hear the term “direct sales” we think of companies like Avon, Pampered Chef or Tupperware, those companies who have been around for years and who have thousands of consultants marketing their wares. But you don’t have to join a big company to create a successful home-based direct sales business. You can do so with your own products as well.
Direct selling, by definition, is simply the act of selling products or services directly to the consumer. So instead of selling your products to a retail shop or a distributor, you sell them directly to the one who will use them. That’s direct sales. And you can create a direct sales business with practically any product you make!
Before you decide to start your own direct sales company, or start selling your own products directly to consumers, there are some things you’ll want to consider.
First, ask yourself if other companies are already selling the same products you would be selling. A little competition is to be expected, but if there is too many others selling the same thing, the market could already be saturated. Do a little research online before you begin and you’ll save some heartaches down the road.
If there are other companies already selling what you would like to offer, maybe you can do something different in order to make your business viable. What improvements in the product line, customer care, etc. could you make? Looking for ways to improve on what your competitors offer is completely in your favor and could make it worth your while to proceed.
Once you decide to pursue direct sales of your own products, you’ll need to then decide on what products you’ll carry, the prices you’ll charge, how you’ll handle inventory, special orders, shipping and taxes. If you plan to sell online, you’ll need to set up a website and plan for managing it. And you’ll need to have catalogs or flyers printed depending on your needs.
Also determine how you’ll advertise your new business and set a budget (however small) for marketing and other costs. While you can build a business on a shoestring, you’ll still need some funds for printing flyers and/or catalogs, website hosting, and possibly offline advertising.
You’ll then want to create a marketing plan for your new business. Where will you advertise online and offline? Can you find ad swaps to save costs? Have you considered using articles to promote your business online and locally through newspapers and magazines?
While you don’t have to, you may find you want to hire consultants to help sell your products as well. If you do, you’ll need to develop a commission-based sales program including incentives and consultant fees involved. You should set your prices high enough to pay your consultants while still earning a profit for yourself.
In everything you do, strive for consistency and excellence. In your products, your work schedule, the quality of your customer service, your consultant support, etc. Whatever you do, do your best every time. This strategy will pay off in word-of-mouth referrals because people will know what to expect when they purchase from you and your company.