There are hundreds of direct selling companies that offer work at home mums the ability to make money and stay home with the children…it’s just a matter of finding the best product that fits your interest, pasion and provides the best financial package for your needs.

When you work in direct sales you are an independent contractor for a company – your role is to sell their products or services, which you then get a commission for selling. We touch on in it our guide Affiliate Marketing: Selling Other People’s Products but this article will give you some more tips.

Sometimes, that commission comes via discount. So, your customer buys a cleaning product from you for, say, £10, but you get a 50% discount, which means you pocket £5 per sale.

Your income, therefore, comes from the difference between the price you charge your customers and the price you pay for the items.

Another income stream is by recruiting other people to sell the products, so not only do you earn a commission on the products you sell, but you will also earn a commission from their sales, too.

Start up costs

Like any business, there is an initial cost for joining a direct selling opportunity, and this usally covers a starter kit and materials to help you promote the fact that you’re selling the product.

Compared with starting your own business from scratch, which could set you back a few hundred pounds or thousands (depending on the business) direct selling startup costs are minimal. Some companies give you the opportunity to earn a starter kit for free. The Direct Selling Association (www.dsa.org.uk) recommends that people spend no more than £200 on a startup kit. In fact, laws around multi-level marketing (another name for direct selling) does not allow an investment of more than £200 in the first seven days of joining a direct selling opportunity.

The flexibility you need

Running a direct sales business also means that you have flexibility in your work schedule and your income. You make all of the decisions about when you work and your income is directly proportionate to the efforts that you put into your business. The more demonstrations you book and the more new clients you meet, the more money you will make.

A built-in support network

Good, well-established business models will have a good support network in place, where you’ll receive support and encouragement from fellow consultants. Weekly sales meetings will to help keep you motivated and give you fresh ideas for your business. You will be able to network with other consultants and get tips ad advice from them about how to make it work and you should also get access to training.

To be successful in direct sales, you’ll need to have great people skills. The products are really second to your personality – just think of anyone you know who sells products; you’ll see that they often have a very outgoing personality and are personable. The best salespeople are those who are enthusiastic about their products. Trying to sell something that you don’t use yourself or that you aren’t that interested in will make you appear insincere to your customers.

Your presence and your customer service will be what sell your items. You’ll also need to be very organised.

Do your research

Before you sign on the dotted line, or part with any money, make sure you research your options thoroughly and only sign up with a trusted company. Don’t feel pressured by anyone to sign up right away. This is your decision and it is up to you whether or not you want to join.

Also, make sure to ask a lot of questions. Know everything that you can about the company before you sign up. Do you understand the commission structure, how products are sold and if there are any monthly minimums you have to sell before getting a commission? Make sure you understand how much your starter pack will cost and what the kit will include. Understand how ordering works and how the products get to the customers.

If you are really serious about an opportunity, do a search online and see what other consultants and customers are saying about the company. If there is more bad than good being said about a company and its consultants, then that’s a huge red flag. Speak to friends and relatives and find out if they have heard anything about a brand – someone always knows someone who has been involved.

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