Starting a Direct Sales Business

By Lynda Mills, Director of the Direct Selling Association (DSA)

Lynda Mills Direct Selling AssociationDirect selling is an excellent option for mums looking to earn an income around their family commitments. Here, Lynda Mills, Director of the Direct Selling Association, talks about why more mums than ever are getting involved and how to get started…

Direct selling is where goods are sold direct to consumers outside of a fixed retail environment and it is a popular route for parents because of its flexible nature. Unlike a 9-5 role, direct sellers can work full-time, part-time, during the days, evenings and weekends… it’s entirely flexible, making it a really appealing choice.

If you are interested in becoming a direct seller one of the most important things to remember is that you should always choose to work with a member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA). The DSA is the trade body for the UK’s direct selling industry and by choosing to work with one of its member companies, you can be assured that the company operates ethically and abides by the DSA’s strict code of business conduct.

It sounds simple but being passionate about what you’re selling is key. There are a wide range of companies to choose from and it’s important to choose one that appeals to your personal interests, be that cooking, reading, beauty, homewares – the list is endless. There are also member companies with an education or parenting focus which may work if you are thinking of selling to other parents in your social circle.

Another draw to direct selling from a mum’s perspective is that there’s a highly social element to direct selling – recent figures from the Direct Selling Association show that there has been a 120% increase in revenues generated through party sales, where direct selling consultants will demonstrate products in a client’s home before offering them for sale to the assembled group, with home selling parties now accounting for 27.8% of the DSA’s member companies’£1.4billion revenue and are worth £390millon to the UK economy annually.

To ensure you make the most of your party, make sure you are familiar with all the products beforehand and pre-empt any questions you might get asked by putting yourself in the shoes of your party – what would you want to know about the products if you were them? Also remember to follow up after the event to see if there are any similar opportunities or if any of the party would like to purchase anything else.

The opportunities with direct selling are truly endless and depend on how much time an individual wishes to commit to their business.  Some parents may wish to sell for just a few hours a week whereas others may dedicate several days or indeed work full-time if they wish. Although time is always tight when you’re a parent, by investing time and energy in your direct selling business in the initial start-up phase you will inevitably reap the benefits in the long run.

And with the average business kit and sample products starting from nothing to around £100 it’s also easy and cheap to get started – good luck!

For more information visit the DSA’s website.

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