How to choose a direct selling business

how to choose a direct selling business

Network marketing  (also called Direct Selling and Party Planning) is proving to be a great choice for people who want to work flexibly.

 

It’s the type of business you can operate in your spare time if you already work full or part-time.  It’s equally a great option if you want to develop it as a business full-time.

 

The start-up costs are often relatively low and if you’re buying into a well-known brand, you’ll likely have training and support behind you every step of the way.

 

However, if you are thinking about a network marketing business for the first time, what type of business should you choose?  Is it purely about the profits, or are there other factors to consider?

 

Firstly, guard your wallet. You should never have to take out a second mortgage to fund your new business and you should certainly be wary of companies that require you to buy hundreds of units of their products. The reality is that selling products is no mean feat – you’ll soon find that your hundreds of cute little bottles will still be sitting in your living room a few months after you’ve signed up!  Instead, many companies will offer you a more realistic starter pack, which will help you test the waters until you find your feet. You should also expect a clear compensation plan spelled out from the very outset so that you know exactly where you stand.

 

On top of this, however, many of the larger companies offer other remuneration rewards to incentivise you further. For example, NYR Organic, the Direct Selling arm of Neals Yard Remedies offers free gifts and other rewards to their consultants when they host a party. The more parties you host, the greater the rewards. Checkout their website for further details at www.nyrorganic.com.

 

Others offer you a sense of belonging to a larger community. Take for example, Herbalife, the well-known global health brand. Not only do they provide a commission structure to their distributors, each distributor is well-trained to educate his or her prospects on various areas of health – whether weight management, targeted nutrition (health supplements), sports energy and fitness, or skincare.  So you have a business model with the aim of changing people’s lives, which is admirable enough in itself. Yet Herbalife take this one step further with their Herbalife Family Foundation (HFF), dedicated to improving children’s lives and helping organisations provide healthy nutrition to children at risk. HFF even supports relief efforts in response to natural disasters. This is a company which has a very strong social conscience and goes to great lengths to put something back into local communities. Visit their website at www.herbalife.com for further details.

 

I asked people via Twitter whether they had a network marketing business (i.e., direct selling/party plan) and if so, how they chose which business to go for. A particularly nice response I received was from Kate Churchouse ‏@katechurchouse, who said: “Loved the product, the value for money and the repeat nature of product. If I liked, then thought could sell to friends/family”.

 

When I responded that I hoped it was working well for her, her response was “10 years later, still loving it!” What a fantastic example of someone who not only takes pride in the products that she sells, but thoroughly enjoys the business too.

 

Does the business tap into a niche with very clear aims, or will it be a one minute wonder with little or no repeat sales?   The two examples referred to earlier have very clear aims.  NYR Organic sells organic skin, body care and natural remedies using the finest organic products.  Herbalife’s strapline is “nutrition for a better life”.    Both have their finger on the pulse of the 21st Century consumer – green, eco-savvy and health-conscious.

 

So when you are considering which network marketing business to buy into, by all means look at the prospective profits and commission structure, but do also have a think about what aspects of the business really appeal to you and whether it is a company with products or services you can really believe in.  If it is a company you can feel truly passionate about, it will likely have staying power like Kate’s.

 

Do you have a network marketing business?  What other tips would you give?
photo credit: Oberazzi via photopin cc

Author:

I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.