Three Steps for Getting Started in Direct Sales
Starting and growing a successful direct sales business, just like any other business, takes work. But the joy of working your own hours, in your home office, and in your pjs if you choose, make direct sales an ideal solution for women, in particular.
As the keepers of the home, we women are most often the ones who crave the freedom to stay home and raise our own children, keep our house clean and organized, and put home-cooked meals on the table. Yet, in today’s economy, we are often forced to help our spouses earn an income.
That’s why a home-based business is the perfect solution. And a direct sales business that you work from home is even better. Typically, direct sales means you don’t have to keep inventory, maintain a high overhead or hire employees. And your hours are flexible enough that you can work when you want and still feel as if you’re fulfilling your number one dream of raising a family.
So, how do you go about finding, or creating this perfect home-based direct sales business? First, keep in mind that in direct sales, you’re not an employee, so you won’t be looking for a job. You are instead a licensed sales agent for a company’s products. That’s why it’s called a business. And that’s why we always speak of working with a company, never for.
Here are three things you’ll need to do before you begin:
1. Decide what kind of company you’d like to work with.
Your options are unlimited! You can choose to sell toys, cosmetics, body care items, crafts, books, romance paraphernalia, household products, coffee or food, home decor and just about anything else.
To select the company that’s right for you consider your interests and what you enjoy doing. Your best opportunity for success will come if you are truly passionate about the products you choose to sell.
2. Narrow your choice to one company.
Once you decide on the type of products to sell, you’ll want to choose a specific company. Your best bet is to choose only one company to begin with, even though the temptation may be to choose more.
Many direct sales consultants sell for more than one company, some for several. But your direct sales business will require you to focus. And that’s easier to do when you have only one company to promote.
3. Learn all you can about the company you selected.
Now that you know what you want to sell and who you want to sell for, it’s time to do some homework. Spend some time online or at the library researching the company you’ve chosen. Find out when they started the business, who the owners are, their annual sales and financial status, compensation program, hostess rewards program (if applicable), how and how often they pay, their policy on shipping and returns, any required minimums and everything else you can learn.
Take your time and research them well. See if they belong to the Direct Selling Association. Talk to other consultants, if possible. Look for complaints or accusations against the company or its officers. There will probably be a few, regardless of how reputable the company is. But if you find an unusually large number of complaints, you may want to reconsider your decision.
There may be any number of hidden drawbacks to the company you’ve chosen. If so, don’t be discouraged. Simply look for another company.
Above all, know who you’re dealing with! Many direct sales consultants have been scammed by unscrupulous companies and owners who took their orders and their money and left them to answer to irate customers for unshipped product and lack of service.
Once you’ve taken these steps to determine what you’ll sell and who you’ll sell for, and once you’ve been assured that you’ve chosen a reputable and trustworthy company, it’s time be get busy finding bookings and orders, and promoting your direct sales business. More info on that to come…