Making the decision to embark on a new direct sales opportunity can be thrilling. The possibilities of additional income for your family and the ability to snag new products that you love at deep discounts are exciting, but lurking behind that excitement is always a sense of fear and wonder. You wonder if you’re making the right investment and you’re worried what will happen if it doesn’t work out as you intended. These are all natural emotions when taking the leap to start a new business, but by being prepared and doing your homework, you can be more confident in your decision and focus on growing your business without fear and doubt.
More often than not, I see mompreneurs leap into a new direct sales company on a whim. Perhaps she was at a party and the opportunity was presented. Or maybe she has a friend that sells a particular item and got interested in it that way. While these aren’t necessarily bad ways to join a new company, they’re not the “smart” way to start a new business and you may just be setting yourself up for failure as it may have not been the right choice. So just how do you choose the right business for you? With hundreds of direct sales companies out there, there’s no perfect answer. What may be good for one person may not be good for another. But, there still are some general guidelines you can follow while doing your research to weed out companies that aren’t a good fit for you and ones that won’t help you reach your goals. To help you, here is a guide for finding the best direct sales company for you. To guide you along, I’ve also created a handy Direct Sales Start Up Research Guide to help you map things out on paper.
Set Your Goals
The first thing you have to consider while researching companies is to decide what you want to get out of your business. Are you looking to make a certain amount of money? Perhaps you’re doing it more for a discount on products you love. Whatever your reason, write it down. Setting your goals and having them accessible to refer to will help you to make sure whatever you choose is going to benefit you in the long run.
Select Your Industry
There are so many types of companies out there. From fitness to candles, make up to cleaning products. You name it, it’s probably out there. Your next step will be to narrow down what types of things you’re interested in. To be successful in business, you have to have passion behind what you’re selling. A word of caution-don’t just select one type of product. While doing more research, you may find that the industry you’re most interest in isn’t actually a good business move, so you’ll want to have others in line to turn to should your first choice not be right for you.
Identify The Companies
Once you know what industry you’d like to pursue, it’s time to find companies that offer those types of products. A good place to start is our Work at Home Opportunity Guide. We have many companies listed by category, but with new companies popping up all of the time, even our guide can’t keep up. Do a simple Google search to find even more companies. For example, if you’re interested in botanical cosmetic companies, Google “botanical cosmetic direct sales opportunities.” Make a list of all of the companies that pop up and do this for each of the industries you’re interested in.
Do Your Research
Once you have a list of companies, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Obviously, you like the products. Now it’s time to find out about the business. You’re going to want to gather some pretty important information, including:
How long have they been in business?
How many consultants do they have?
How much does it cost to start?
What does that include?
What are the price points of the products?
Who is their target audience?
Do they have quotas to meet to stay active?
What is the commission rate?
Can you build a team?
What are the downline commission rates?
Do they have training available?
A worksheet that you can print multiple times to use for each company is available in our handy Direct Sales Start Up Research Guide.
Analyzing Your Research
Once you’ve compiled the facts on each company you’re interested in, it’s time to go through them and figure out what’s what. Many of the decisions will be personal based on your needs, but there are some general things to look for that make a company appealing.
Number of Consultants: Finding a young company that isn’t over saturated with consultants across the country is an important thing to consider. There are many companies where there can be hundreds of reps in your area already. Finding new business can be tough in this situation. Young companies with ground floor opportunities will often be a better bet, although there is something to be said for companies that have stood the test of time, like Mary Kay or Tupperware. I wouldn’t discount them altogether, but it’s certainly something to consider.
Target Audience: Knowing where to find your target audience and being able to access them is key. For example, if you don’t have young kids, more than likely, your circles of friends and family don’t have them either. So picking a company that sells toys may not be a good fit for you. Make sure that whatever you decide to sell is something that you can easily market to your friends and family as they will likely be your first customers.
Price Point: This is where I find a lot of direct sales consultants have trouble. There are many companies out there that lure customers in with their extreme sales and low prices. Sure, this sounds great from a customer perspective, but is it great from a consultant perspective? If the prices of the items are too low, like $5 accessories or $2 lip balm, how many of those are you going to have to sell to make a good profit? You’ll spend far more time making those sales than if you sold products that were a little higher in price. For example, let’s say 2 companies have a 30% commission rate. One company sells cosmetics that average about $5 a piece. The other company sells handbags that average $50 a piece. To earn a $15 commission with the first company, you’d have to make 10 sales, whereas with the other, you’d only have to make 1. Always look at the cost of your time, otherwise known as opportunity cost. Your time is valuable. Your goal is to work smarter, not harder.
Training: A good company will have lots of resources available to support you in your business. Look for things like webinars, training videos, ecourses and mentor programs to help you along your way. A company that doesn’t invest in the success of their consultants isn’t a company you want to work for.
As you can see, there are so many things to consider when deciding upon a new business opportunity. Everyone has different goals, different needs, different interests, so what may be great for you may not be great for another mompreneur. I hope this guide helps you put thought into your business decision so that you have an enjoyable and rewarding direct sales career!
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