by Susie Cortright
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 decor, 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.
Take your time researching your options. When you have found the company that's right for you, you'll know it.
Susie Cortright is the creator of the award-winning online magazine http://www.momscape.com as well as a representative for a rapidly
growing new direct sales company. Learn about the company she chose here: http://www.momscape.com/scrapbooking/business.htm