Direct sales can be your ticket to a
profitable home-based business. There's low risk and low overhead -
and you'll find lots of conversation, creativity, and cooperation
among the company's representatives. But how do you know which
company is right for you? Here are ten things to look for as you
research your options.
1. Products. Successful direct sales
consultants exude a genuine enthusiasm for their products.
Before joining a company, you'll need to have the inner conviction
that your company brings products and an opportunity that no other
company can. It's important for you to get your hands on the
products before you sign. Place an order or, at the very least,
request a catalog and product samples before joining.
2. Passion. Does this company involve a
business you are truly passionate about? One of the nice things
about a direct sales business is that you can often find one that
suits your personal passion... whether it's cooking, home décor,
beauty, or scrapbooking & cardmaking. And when you're genuinely
enthusiastic about the industry and the product, you'll feel as
though you are sharing, teaching, and helping - not selling.
3. Initial investment. What kind of cash
outlay will your start-up require? Look closely at the company's
joining fee and/or the cost of your business starter kit, but also
think realistically about how much inventory you'll need to have on
hand and what kinds of business supplies or products you'll need to
get your business started.
4. Monthly minimums. What kind of personal
sales volume is required? Are you ready to invest the time and
energy that this level of business building requires?
5. Compensation Plan. Each direct sales plan
is different, and it's important to look over the fine print. What
is the commission rate and how is it paid? How are you awarded for
recruiting others? How does the company handle breakaways?
6. Control. How much control do you have over
the way you build and promote your business? Ask to see the company
"rule book" before signing on.
7. Support. What kind of support networks are
in place? How involved in the business is your upline? (Is your
upline able to answer the questions in this article, for example?)
How quickly does he/she return phone calls and emails?
8. Advertising. What kind of advertising and
promotion does the company deem acceptable? Most companies have
rules for the way their logo and trademarks are represented, both
online and off.
9. Accessibility. Does the company offer
exclusive products? Also, take a look at the level of saturation in
your particular market. A newer company that offers quality products
may hold a lot of promise in your particular industry.
10. E-commerce. Does the company have an
e-commerce option? Many direct sales companies are now offering
replicated websites so each representative can promote an individual
online presence. A few direct sales companies even have shopping
carts alongside these websites so you can make sales online, too,
with the product dropshipped from the home office.
your time researching your options. When you have found the company
that's right for you, you'll know it.
Cortright is the creator of the award-winning online magazine