Direct Sales Businesses

Things to know before joining a company

One of the most popular options for work-at-home moms looking to start up on their own is direct sales businesses.

What are direct sales businesses?

These are businesses that market and sell products directly to customers, but away from a fixed retail location. The selling and buying usually takes place within the home, through the medium of a party held by the representative, so this kind of business is also often called a home party business.

If you're thinking that this is an outdated notion and Tupperware parties went out in the 70s, think again. Industry representative The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) represents around sixty regional member associations. They say that these associations account for more than $114 billion in direct sales every year, through the activities of more than 62 million independent sales representatives.

Why try direct sales?

Direct sales businesses are unique in that they offer great benefits to both the sales representative and the customer.

The customer benefits from the convenience of buying in a comfortable environment, and the level of service they receive - the product is introduced and demonstrated, with a sales representative explaining every aspect of it. They often get home delivery of the product, with attractive guarantees for satisfaction.

The sales representative gets a good deal too. For you, the main advantage is that this kind of business does not require a large start-up investment. In comparison, the returns are potentially very high. You will earn commission, not only from the sales you make, but also from those people you introduce to start doing the same work.

The other good thing about direct sales businesses is that they are ideal for the mom who wants flexible working hours. There is no 9-5 about this job, in fact you are free to devote as much time to it as you like.

Before you join a direct sales company

It's crucial you choose the right company to start working with, as a lot depends on how much YOU believe in the product and how much enthusiasm you show for it. Customers can spot a lack of conviction a mile off! You also need to be sure that the company is genuine and will not require unreasonable things from you, like buying large quantities of stock and storing them.

Before you join a company, ask these important questions:

1. Will I have to maintain a minimum stock inventory? Is there a monthly purchase requirement that I will have to fulfill?

2. Will I have to purchase any business tools, or will all training be provided by the company?

3. Is the compensation plan fair, and easy to understand? Bear in mind that you may soon be in the position to recruit new people, so the conditions need to be attractive for newcomers too, not just seasoned representatives.

4. What is the product like? Is it priced reasonably, does it work well, is it likely to bring repeat sales? The better the product, the more your potential for earning is.

These are just a few of the questions you could ask. Of course you are likely to have many more but as long as you know the basics, it will be enough information for you to make an informed decision. And before you know, you'll be part of the world of direct sales businesses!

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