The average American spends 32.9 percent of their annual income on housing, 17 percent on transportation, and 12.5 percent on groceries. That totals to more than 60 percent of their pay. Healthcare, education, and clothing are more expenses and may exceed the remaining 38 to 40 percent. When you factor in emergencies and miscellaneous needs, there is nothing left for entertainment and social activities. In order to cover the latter costs, you could supplement your income with direct selling.
Definition of Direct Selling
Direct selling is the one-on-one selling of a product or service. The sales are conducted in a non-retail setting by independent sales reps, consultants, or distributors. The most popular products are cosmetics, household improvements, and nutritional supplements. The direct selling business has quickly become a perfect gig for stay-at-home moms, entrepreneurs, and retirees. There is typically a start-up fee, but some companies guarantee that you will receive a return on your investment shortly afterward.
Determine if It Is a Good Fit
Take money out of the equation and ask yourself, “Will I be comfortable selling products to strangers? Could I actively seek new customers?” If you answered yes, then you are well on your way. Do some research on direct selling to educate yourself on the basics and how you could be successful. Being able to set your own hours, earn additional money, and reap company benefits are attractive perks. However, you will still need to put in the work, especially during the first few months when you’re just setting up your business.
Locate Products to Sell
Are there any products or services that you are passionate about? Skincare, vitamins, or eco-friendly systems? If so, the ideal direct sales job is at Amway. They are the number one direct selling company in the world, and they come complete with exclusive products and low start-up costs. Their extensive training and support is geared toward helping people like you start your own business. The founders began as entrepreneurs too.
Do Your Homework
Become familiar with your products through research and practical use of them. Remember to read the fine print about the company’s policies. In addition to the start-up costs, find out what your profit will be. Is there a cap on how much you can earn? How are returns handled? Is there room for advancement? Many direct selling companies operate as a multi-level marketing company. This means that you could begin as a representative under a mid- to high-level executive, and later recruit representatives to work under your direction. Your compensation would eventually include a percentage of sales from your recruits.
Manage Your Time Wisely
Don’t underestimate the amount of time needed to begin a direct selling business. Even if you are doing it as a side hustle, there will be a learning curve. Wake up early or stay up late to overcome obstacles that may arise. Tackle the tasks that you want to avoid first, then focus on the tasks that you enjoy. Direct selling will involve working from home. Avoid distractions such as television, household chores, or the internet. Prepare yourself for the day by making plans and setting goals.
Think Outside of the Box
IBIS World reports that direct selling generates $41 billion in revenue annually. To get your cut, you could use various networking practices for generating customers. Once you have sold your initial inventory to your friends and family, tap into other resources. Take advantage of the extended reach of social media. Set up accounts with Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. These outlets are perfect for sharing vibrant pictures of your products and services. It also allows viewers to share your content for you. Create gift baskets loaded with your products and services to sell as a bundle instead of individually. If company policy allows it, offer free samples or discounts to existing customers that refer new customers to you.
Direct selling provides an opportunity for you to gain financial security on your terms. Perhaps you are not ready to commit to it full-time. Try selling products and services on your lunch break, after work, on weekends, and during social outings. Once you have established a consistent customer base with repeat business, you can expand your selling time.