Are you thinking about direct selling as a way to build your financial independence? This type of business opportunity is often ideal for people who are seeking entrepreneurial opportunities. You can keep your day job and start your new business as a side hustle to minimize risk. You can be backed by a large, brand-name company, but you still have all the freedom of an entrepreneur, and initial investments tend to be low. Find out the seven things you should know about direct selling.
Direct Selling Is Not a Pyramid Scheme
Direct selling is not the same thing as a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are built on the need to recruit others into the pyramid, and these schemes tend to collapse and leave empty-handed investors. Direct sales companies may reward you when you recruit new sales reps, but the focus of your job — and theirs — is on selling products, not on recruiting. Pyramid schemes are illegal and dangerous.
You Keep Your Independence
If building relationships is your strong suit, direct selling lets you focus on establishing relationships instead of developing products or producing items. You can align with a well-established brand such as Amway — which offers a full range of household, personal, and health products — without committing to an expensive and confining franchise contract. Even though you have the authority of the brand behind you, you can still set your own hours and run your business in the way that works best for you.
You Can Make Money
Not everyone who enters the direct sales field makes money. Many people enter the field with good intentions, but they don’t have the self-discipline to do all the necessary work without supervision. Their business dreams wither and die while they watch television. However, people who earn considerable money work with established brands such as Amway, Avon, or Pampered Chef. If you are a disciplined, organized go-getter, you can direct your success.
Recruiting Is Important
Many of the direct sales firms are set up as multilevel marketing operations, which means you’ll make more money if you recruit others to sell under your direction. This arrangement differs from a pyramid scheme in that the focus is on selling products to people outside the organization, but to boost your income, you will need to have the skills to recruit and motivate a team.
Choose The Right Products
Since most of your energy will go into selling products, make sure you choose products that you love and feel connected to. Don’t try to sell products you wouldn’t buy for yourself. What’s the point in trying to sell lipstick to other women if you hate cosmetics or selling high-end kitchen tools if you can barely boil water?
Choose products that you are excited about and could still recommend enthusiastically one year from now. You’ll need that enthusiasm to get you through all the hard work that lies ahead.
You Will Work Hard
Although direct selling has many advantages over starting a business from scratch, including brand recognition, training, and established systems, the process isn’t easy. If you’re looking for a get-rich-quick scheme that lets you make money while you sleep, direct selling isn’t it. You will need to keep regular hours, develop relationships, close sales, and deliver outstanding customer service if you’re going to succeed.
You Will Experience Lean Times
Even if you are a great salesperson with an extensive network and enthusiasm for your products, you will have slow times. Many people enjoy an initial surge of business as their friends and family support their new venture, and then they encounter a dry spell when the newness wears off. The secret to success is to push through that dry spell and recognize that you need to do the work of building a customer base outside your personal circle.
Direct selling is a flexible business opportunity that lets you attach your dreams to an established brand. If you are disciplined, organized, outgoing, and enthusiastic, direct selling may be the right type of opportunity for you.