Direct Sales - What Is It?

in Small-business

Have you heard of companies like Avon, Mary Kay, and Tupperware? If so, than you are already familiar with direct sales. Direct sales is an affordable way for women to start a business part-time or full-time from home. Companies, like the ones previously mentioned, have done the ground work for you so you can get your business started with little investment and little business knowledge. They have the products, marketing materials, payment processing, shipping, etc., in place so you don't have to spend an exorbitant amount of money on start-up costs.

How do I make money? You are an independent sales person for the company. You earn a percentage on the products you sell. Another term for percentage is commission. The more products you sell the more money you make. With many direct sales companies you can earn an additional commission by recruiting and mentoring new sales consultants. In return for mentoring them you earn commission from their sales.

Do I need experience? One of the greatest benefits of direct sales is that you do not need any business experience. Direct sales companies are experts at helping you succeed in business. After all, the more successful you are the more successful they are. In many cases you will join through referral by an existing consultant and that consultant will help you get started and answer questions throughout your business. Between the company and the network of existing consultants you should have resources to help you get comfortable with your new business.

Doesn't it cost a lot to start a business? Many companies help you get started by offering a "starter kit." This kit should include all the materials needed to launch your business. The kit costs vary depending on the company, the product, and the contents of the kit. Typically kits range from $10-$300. In addition to the kit you will have regular business expenses to maintain your business such as replacing used catalogs, order forms, office supplies, etc. These costs are usually at your discretion and can usually be spread out over a manageable amount of time.

Why do people start direct sales businesses? There are many reasons. That's the beauty of direct sales, it's very flexible. You can work your business at your own pace and on your own time table. Some typical reasons include the following:

  • I work full-time but I need additional income.
  • I don't like my full-time job. I want to build a business so I can quit.
  • I love the idea of owning my own business without having to take time away from other things in my life.
  • I want to be part of a network of like-minded men and women.
  • I want to get out and meet more people.
  • I'm bored and want something fun to do.
  • I love the products and want to get them at a discount.
Do I have to conduct home demonstrations? Home parties can be a great way to offer your product because you have guest's undivided attention. However, not all direct sales companies require that you hold home demonstrations/parties. Many companies allow you to do a combination of sales including person-to-person, online, and through vendor events. However, people still enjoy earning free products. The incentive to host parties is getting free and discounted products. There are other ways to offer parties such as through catalog orders.

What types of products are available to sell? There are dozens of direct sales companies to choose from. You can find companies that sell food, health and wellness products, fashion products, educational materials, skincare, travel products, business services, home decor, as well as a combination of products.

How do I know what business opportunity is right for me? The first thing to do is to determine what interests you. If you find a product you believe in you will be more confident sharing it with others. If you don't wear makeup you probably shouldn't join a makeup company. If you don't like to spend time in the kitchen you probably shouldn't join a food company. Start with writing down your interests than search for a company that offers the type of products you would enjoy offering to others.

Direct sales is the perfect alternative to a structured job with limited income and flexibility. Find a company right for you and get started. Keep in mind that, as a business owner, you will need to invest the time and effort to build a customer base. The pay off can be very rewarding both personally and financially.

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Loretta Arscott has 1 articles online

Loretta Arscott
You can learn more about direct sales and work from home tips at

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Direct Sales - What Is It?

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This article was published on 2010/03/27