Do you relate to this picture? Working today while raising a family is challenging. With rigid schedules and long commutes, there is little flexibility and very long days. Part-time work is hard to find, often pays low, and the schedules can be hard to manage. Full-time work is even worse with the cost of daycare sometimes taking as much as 2/3 of your paycheck.
In this article, I talk about a better way to help your family’s finances and manage your life. You will learn about owning your own direct selling business. It can help you balance family, personal, and career while enjoying recognition, rewards, and encouragement.
What is Direct Selling?
Direct selling is the sale of consumer products, person-to-person, away from a fixed retail location, marketed through independent sales representatives. As a representative, you are not considered an employee of the company. You are an independent contractor who markets and sells the products in return for a commission on those sales. You also make your own schedule, there is no set time frame to do your business.
Did you know that 74% of US adults have purchased products from a direct seller? Just think, they could be making that purchase from you! You’re in good company as a direct seller. There are more than 15 million direct sellers worldwide who represent a variety of standout companies like Avon, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, and Scentsy.
What’s in it for me?
Well, fun and money of course! Representatives are folks just like you. They are often full- or part-time employed women, stay at home Moms and homeschoolers who want to make money and improve their lifestyle. Direct selling offers the flexibility to set your own hours. The start-up cost is low, it’s simple to get started, and there is no limit to the money you can make.
In exchange for your fee for the startup kit, the Direct Selling Company provides product samples, business supplies, marketing materials, and sometimes a free website. Training and support is offered as no experience is required to get started. You can also earn bonus commissions, free products, and incentive trips (Jamaica anyone?).
As a Mom, owning your own business is wonderful opportunity to teach your child about money and how business works. Your children can even help you with the business. By doing so they can learn about concepts such as profit, marketing, customer service, etc. These are all things that will help them later in life.
How do I make money?
In Direct Sales there are two main ways of making money. The first is earning a commission (typically 20-40%) on your product sales depending on the amount of your sales. It’s pretty simple. Sell $500 worth of product (which is easier to do than you would think) and you’ll make $200 in commissions. You don’t have to be a professional sales man to sell products; many companies have brochures that you can share with family, friends, or people you meet while you are out and about. Just think – you can make money while watching your kids play soccer or while waiting in line at the bank!
The second way to make money is growing a team. You can earn thousands in bonus money plus commissions on your team sales. When you’re excited about what you’re doing, people will often find your enthusiasm contagious and want to join you in the business. Pretty soon you’ll have two, three, four or even more people on your “team”. Building a team is not required but encouraged for a successful more profitable business. Most direct selling leaders started their business with no intention of building a team — it just happened along the way.
How do I choose the right Direct Selling Company?
It’s important to do your research. Some things to consider are:
- What are you enthusiastic about? Is it skin care or makeup? Jewelry? Kitchen products? Home fragrances? Home décor? Chocolate? Wine? Find your passion and go with it.
- What is the startup cost? Some are as little as $10, and others are $99 and up. The cost depends on what is in the start-up kit.
- What is in the start-up kit? For some direct selling companies, they often include a selection of their products in the kit which is helpful for demonstration purposes. Make sure the kit is comprehensive enough so you can hit the ground running.
- What is the commissions and possible earnings? Commissions will vary depending on the company you choose. Bonuses for team building are also important to consider.
- What additional fees are associated with running your business? Some direct selling companies ask you to participate in a direct-ship monthly purchase; some charge you a yearly fee for participating. Others are free to operate and only charge a fee when an order is placed.
- What kind of training is included? What support will I receive? Many companies offer good training and support but it’s important to find out what they have. You don’t want to feel alone in your business.
- What kind of shipping and costs are associated with selling? Find out what the company will charge you when you place your order. Because you are a consultant, you will not receive your products tax free and you may have to pay shipping. Also, find out what the shipping charges are for your customers when they order from your website.
This next section highlights a direct selling company that I am passionate about. I’ve been with Avon for over two years and have found that they are a great choice when considering owning your own business.
Why Avon may be the right business for you
- Avon is the largest, oldest, and most well-known brand in the direct selling business. Avon has been empowering women to earn an income before they had a right to vote. They have a sound business model and because Avon products are so well known, they are easier to sell.
- Avon is a champion for causes that women care about like finding a cure for Breast Cancer and ending domestic violence. They contribute millions each year to these causes. They also sponsor Breast Cancer walks every year all over the country.
- The skin care and makeup wins awards and accolades from magazines like Allure and O by Oprah, as well as being featured on the Dr. Oz show as an anti-aging breakthrough. They are pioneers in developing cutting-edge skin care products. For example, they pioneered the use of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) in skin care.
- They use highly recognized spokes people like Derek Jeter, Fergie, Jon Bon Jovi, and Paula Abdul to launch fragrance products and accessories. Fergie’s perfume Outspoken won a Fifi award in 2011.
- Avon’s products are incredibly reasonable, and they are always coming out with new products which make it exciting to sell. They have awesome collections for the Holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween that sell out every year. They have products for everyone in the family – for instance the Tiny Tillia line for Mom and baby includes wonderful products such as baby clothing, bath and body, and stylish accessories. They also have mark – a line for 20-30 year olds with fashion-forward designs in fashion, shoes, purses, and makeup.
- The start-up cost is only $10 and the training is comprehensive. The starter kit contains catalogs for two campaigns, samples, training materials, plus you get a free website where customers can purchase 24/7.
- They have comprehensive training they provide online and one on one support. With Avon you are in business for yourself but not by yourself.
To sign up with Avon online, go to www.startavon.com and enter DMUSTO as the reference code. I will contact you when your startup kit is shipped and will help you get started.
I hope this article helped you understand more about direct selling as a viable home-based business. It has helped me as a mom of two with a full-time job; earn enough income for those costs associated with raising two teenagers. Such as paying for medical and dental bills, school supplies, clothing, and most recently a car for my 16 year old. Everyone has their own why; know why you need more income and then find a business to help you reach your goals.