Would you like to boost your personal finances? Direct sales can be a fantastic way to earn money. According to the Direct Selling Association (DSA), more than 16 million people are involved in direct selling in the US, and over 90 million worldwide.
Misconceptions about Direct Sales
Direct sales distributors earn revenues by selling high quality products to customer networks, either in person or online. You'd probably see even more people taking advantage of direct sales opportunities if it weren't for a few lingering misconceptions about the industry. Here are a few myths about direct sales:
- Misconception #1: All direct sellers are work-at-home moms. Some folks think of direct sellers as work-at-home moms without education or skills. In reality, many people working in direct sales are highly-educated individuals, often with extensive business experience. Although some are mothers with children still at home, you'll also find many college students, retirees, and individuals with full-time 9-to-5 jobs who want to boost their income with additional cash.
- Misconception #2: Direct Selling isn't a ‘real business.' One of the beauties of direct sales is that you can be your own boss. While some people do launch direct sales businesses as a hobby or sideline to work on at night or on weekends, it is still hard work, calling for you to market your business, sell products, keep gaining and retaining customers, and add team members. Many people earn so much money in the industry that, sooner or later, they quit their day jobs to focus exclusively on their entrepreneurial businesses.
- Misconception #3: Direct sales are pyramid schemes. For some, a few bad moves by multilevel marketing companies have tainted the name of direct sales. But not all direct selling models involve MLMs. Many direct selling companies focus on single level marketing methods that don't require distributors to recruit other team members.
Pros and cons
While direct sales provides abundant opportunities for boosting your personal finances, it isn't a line of work well suited to everyone. Here are some of the pros and cons:
- You can work when and where you want. Working as a direct sales distributor is nothing like a traditional 9-to-5 job. There's no need to commute each day to an office, put on clothing that conforms to an office dress code, or punch a timeclock. You can choose between meeting with potential customers personally, running your business online, or some combination of these two approaches. And you can work as many hours each week as you'd like.
- You get support from co-workers. Let's face it. Starting any type of business can be daunting. When you work as a direct sales distributor, though, you get support right from the start from the company you partner with. For example, with Amway, Independent Business Owners never have to wonder “how does Amway work?” Right from the beginning, distributors of this company's home, health and beauty products are partnered with mentors who teach them all about the company, its products and ways to succeed.
- Start-up costs are minimal. If you try to open a brick-and-mortar retail store, for example, you have to find and pay for storefront space, as well as to hire, pay, and manage employees. As a direct sales distributor, on the other hand, your start-up costs are minimal, and you can focus exclusively on selling.
- Direct Selling is commission-based. Although earning potential can be immense, direct selling is commission-based. You won't be earning an hourly wage or a monthly salary or tapping into benefits such as health insurance and vacation pay.
- You need to like selling. Working as a direct sales distributor is a sales job, so you need to like selling. You should also believe in the benefits of your company's products, and be willing and able to invest time in getting to know and respond to your customers' preferences.
- A ‘warm market' is a big help. In the beginning, many distributors start selling to members of their own warm markets, consisting of family, friends, colleagues, and other people they already know. If you don't feel comfortable with that approach, you can either build a cold call list from scratch or participate in a lead purchasing program, but it might take longer for your business to take off.
Finding success in direct sales requires effort, but the benefits are worth the work. If you think you have what it takes, go ahead and get started. Good luck!