FROM THE DESK OF BARBARA:
Are you considering starting your own direct selling business?
Don’t do anything until you read these tips
Direct Selling: Part I
Many of you know that I recently resigned from a direct selling company that I had been associated with for the past five years. Direct Selling is a way of running your own small business with very little upfront cost. I really enjoyed my five years with the company I chose and there are a few tips that I would like to offer anyone thinking of starting their own small business in this way.
If you have reached a point where you have made the decision to join a Direct Selling Organisation these are a few things to think about before signing on the dotted line.
Research, Research Research . Don’t just jump in because you went to a party and loved the products. Think about the type of business you want to have, and the type of company you want to join. These are a few questions to ask yourself.
- What sort of compensation plan would make it worth your while to join
- Can you adequately commit to the monthly/quarterly requirements of the company you join in order to stay active within the organisation. Your recruiter will tell you that you can be a hobbyist, but if you want to earn some extra money you will want to run this as a business, not a hobby. So find out what is the monthly/quarterly commitment that will be expected of you?
- Read up and understand fully the Compensation plan – make sure you understand what you are committing to each month/quarter. This is something your recruiter will be able to help you with.
Recruiting is the name of the game in any Direct Selling company. You will be required to sign up with a Consultant/Demonstrator who is already a member of the company you wish to join. Remember, you will be that person’s recruit, and therefore a benefit and asset to their business. My advice is to Interview as many potential recruiters as you can, before making the commitment. Don’t go for the first person you meet at a ‘party’ who offers you the opportunity, or someone you find through an online search. Find someone you respect and remember you are not looking for a friend – this person is a business associate and will ultimately be your competition. Be open but cautious, this is possibly the most important decision you will make.
Once you sign up (have been recruited), you will become an independent consultant/demonstrator for the company. Take that ‘independent’ role very seriously. This is your business, it will take all you have to build it up, to recruit people and to get customers. Don’t be distracted by being part of the wider network. The only person that benefits from that is your recruiter. The only role your recruiter should play is to give you advice when you ask, and to help you grow your business.
- N.B. As you start to grow your business and start recruiting members of your own, my advice is this: Keep your recruits and customers to yourself, don’t introduce them to another direct selling business associate. * This is one of the biggest flaws in the direct selling model in my opinion. They promote a team/family feel to the business by encouraging everyone to mix freely. My advice, steer clear of it. Have a relationship with your recruiter by all means but don’t introduce your recruits or customers to them. Steer clear of your recruiters events, meetings, and get togethers. “His/Her activities only benefit him/her, they don’t benefit you.” Be wary. Do your own parties, meetings, recruiting events and get togethers. Never forget that it’s Your business, not your recruiters.
I will leave it at that for now. I may write another post on this subject in the future with some advice on ‘What to do, now that you are a Consultant/Demonstrator. Building relationships and sharing the opportunity with people who show an interest in what you are doing.
For more information about direct selling v Pyramid Schemes visit http://www.dsa.org .