Category Archives: Before You Start

9 Things to Consider when Joining a Direct Sales Company

When you are thinking about joining a direct sales company there are many things that you should look into.  Of course, there are many other items that might be relevant to your search but these are some of the main ones.

Man thinking on a train journey.

Thinking about direct sales? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Signup Fees – How much is it going to cost to get going?  Is there a way you can earn any of these fees back or get your kit for free?  Is there an application fee regardless of earning your kit for free?  What do you get for the fee?

Renewal Fee – Is there a renewal fee that you have to pay each year to continue being a consultant with the company?

Website – With the Internet being such an integral part of our lives, a website is becoming necessary.  Do you get a website for customers to shop on? If so, what is the cost and how long is that for?  How much is shipping off this site for your customers?  Can you build your own website and link to this one for people to shop?  Can you host and do parties through this website?

Supplies – What types of supplies are necessary?  This would be items such as catalogues, order forms or other paperwork.  For the basics such as catalogues, how much will they cost you and how often do you need to purchase them?   How much do other supplies cost such as order forms?  Do you need to buy new product every 3, 6 or 12 months?

Quotas – Are there quotas with this company?  If so, what are they?  How often?  What happens if you do not make them, not only to yourself, but to any team that you may have accumulated?  Does the company remind you in advance if you are below your quota?

Commission – How much commission do you make when you make a sale?  Do you get the money right away or a month later?  Is that the maximum you can earn or does it go up as your sales increase?  If you build a team, how much commission do you make from them?  Do you have to do something in regards to sales to earn this?

Credit Cards – Can you accept credit cards through your company or do you have to get your own credit card account?  If the company handles them for you, do they charge you anything?  If you have to get your own credit card processing account, make sure to compare monthly/yearly fees, and the fees for processing each card.

Perks – What kind of perks does the company offer?   Many direct sales companies have monetary incentives throughout the year or ways to earn free product.  You can typically earn a trip for free by making certain sales or recruiting levels, or earn some jewellery.  Some companies offer car and home allowances once you get quite high up on the company ladder.

Training – What kind of training does the company provide you with?  Is your upline expected to do it all or will the company provide materials?  If so, what is provided and how do you access it?

You will likely want the answers to most, if not all of these, before making a decision.  Occasionally you find a company you fall in love with, and nothing matters, but you should still find out all the details you can, as otherwise it can end up horribly.   You should have no difficulty finding a company that will meet your requirements once you do a bit of research.

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Six Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Direct Sales Business

If you believe in your product and are willing to work hard to promote it, starting a direct sales business can be a great way to turn your passion into a profit. While direct sales has relatively low start-up costs compared to other businesses, there are a few important things you need to consider besides your initial budget to become financially successful in the long run. From assessing ongoing costs to creating your work schedule, planning how your direct sales business will work on a daily basis can help you decide if starting it is the right decision for you.

1. Will YSix Thingsour Product Sell?

You might love the product you want to promote, but will other people feel the same way? Remember to always be honest about the product’s drawbacks. Looking at the pros and cons objectively will help you decide if this product is worth your time and money.

2. Can You Afford Ongoing Expenses?

Gasoline, phone, Internet, printing toner, business cards and graphic design services are just a few examples of bills you might need to keep up with on a monthly basis. If you’re joining an existing direct sales business, rather than starting your own, you might not have as many of these expenses. The key is to make a budget and plan for any spending accordingly.

3. Do You Have the Space?

If you’re like many newcomers to the direct sales industry, you’re probably planning to start your new business out of your home. To make sure that you’re ready for growth in the future, it’s important to start thinking about it now. You’ll probably need to have a certain amount of inventory on hand so that you can easily fulfill orders for your customers. If you don’t have a big enough home to store your inventory and supplies, you’ll probably want to consider looking at local storage facilities like Extra Space Storage so that you don’t crowd your home with merchandise.

4. Are You Outgoing?

Running a direct sales business involves approaching strangers with a marketing pitch, it’s not the best field for people who are shy or who prefer to be alone. Before you invest your money and your life into this business, make sure you can handle it. If you have a friend in the business, try going out on sales calls with him to see if you are comfortable with this type of career.

5. Will You Make Enough Money?

Figure out what your profit margin will be if everything goes as expected to decide if the return on your investment is high enough to cover your time and expenses. Make sure you have a back-up plan. Direct sales can vary greatly from person to person. You could be selling the same product as another person and make double or triple what they bring in, or you could flop. It’s best to plan for each scenario and have a strategy.

6. Are You Willing to Recruit Others?

Since every entrepreneur’s goal is to build a successful business, you need to have a plan for how you’re going to handle rapid expansion if it happens. In many direct sales industries, the more people you recruit, the more money you bring in and more successfully you become. Are you comfortable talking to customers and friends about joining your ranks?

After considering the above questions and deciding to move forward with your business, you’ll want to document it with a business plan. Separate it into financial information, marketing ideas and future goals. When things get hectic, being able to refer back to an organized plan will help you stay on track. With the right tools and proper planning, you’re sure to be successful with your sales endeavors.

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Do I have enough time for direct sales?

IBM Lotus Organizer

Image via Wikipedia

One of the best things you can do for your direct sales business is to sit down with your calendar and figure out your schedule.  You can do this to help you make the decision if you have time for a direct sales business and then in the future to keep yourself organized.

  • Mark in your shifts at work if they vary
  • Mark in your partner’s shifts if there are children and someone has to be home with them
  • Mark in anything that you have committed to that cannot be moved. I.e. Sports, events, appointments
  • Mark in anything else you have to remember
  • See what kind of time you have left
  • Do not forget to make sure you have some “me” time so you do not burn out

Keep in mind that you do not only have to do parties when in direct sales to make money.  It is the easiest method but you can do well with catalogue parties or individual sales if you promote them enough.

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I don’t have a car right now; can I still enrol in direct sales?

You can, but it may be more difficult for you to get to and from parties.  That said, you may prefer to stick to catalogue parties or Internet sales until you have a vehicle.

If you have access to public transit, that can be a good way to get to and from, but as you know, it is not always the fastest or more efficient way to get around.  Invest in a good suitcase to help haul your stuff to and from.

Of course, you can always cab to and from, but this could get pricey and there is no guarantee you will be make your money back.  You can use these costs on your taxes though.

Can I start my own direct sales business instead of joining one?

Yes, you can, but be prepared for a lot of work and money to get it started.

If you are serious about it, you will want to do a lot of research as money will flow very quickly.  Write up a business plan o help you determine different aspects of the business that you may not have thought about.

Seek an accountant and a lawyer to help you get started and to do all the paperwork.

Can I sell for two direct sales companies?

You will need to check with the first company to see what their rules are but there are a few general guidelines.

Different Products – If the two companies sell totally different products, than it typically is not an issue. Therefore, you can sell for a cosmetics company and a food company.

Sales Level – Keep in mind, when you are recruiting and making big sales, you are moving up your company’s ladder.  Some companies do not allow this once you get to a certain level with them.

What do I need to ask before I sign up with a direct sales company?

from Yuri Arcurs Website

• How much is it going to cost to buy a kit? Can you earn it? Can you get a refund on the cost?
• What type of commission do I make on my own sales? Does this ever change? Do you get paid at the time of the party or do you get your commission later?
• Who pays for the hostess rewards?
• How much do extra supplies cost – catalogues, order forms, product?
• How much commission do I earn if I sign up new teammates? Do you have to do a certain amount in sales each month to get this? If you are not as active, do you lose your team?
• Does the company process credit cards for you? Do you need your own merchant account? If you need your own account, is there a preferred vendor and what are their rates?
• What type of training is provided? From your upline? From the company?
• Shipping – Does the product come to you or to the hostess?
• Sales tax – Do you submit these to the government or does the company?
• Is there an annual fee to stay a member and sell with the company?

Why should I start in direct sales? What is in it for me?

Well, there are a variety of things you will get.

Money – This is always a big thing for people, as most are looking to make extra.

Flexibility – The ability to work when you want to work.

Getting out of the Home – For some stay at homes, this is a big reason to get into direct sales.

Confidence – This can be a big factor for some people.

As with anything, what you get out of your direct sales business will be proportionate to what you put in.  If you only put in one event a month, you can’t expect thousands of dollars and all the perks.  But if you put time and effort in it, the rewards can be endless.

Before Joining Direct Sales

If you are contemplating joining direct sales, there are some things to consider before signing up.  Here are some ideas to help you if you aren’t sure what you should be asking.

What costs will I encounter with direct sales?

What types of products are out there that I can sell?

How to pick a direct sales business?

Benefits to working in Direct Sales

Downsides to Working in Direct Sales

Questions to ask a Potential Sponsor

When you are interviewing a potential direct sales sponsor, there are a lot of questions that you can ask.  I have spent more than an hour on the phone with a potential recruit and still not necessarily gotten through all their questions.  These questions are just some ideas to help you get started but chances are you are going to come up with more beyond these.

  • How long have they been with the company?
  • Why did they pick this direct sales company?
  • Why do they want to build a team?
  • What are their sales like?Questions?
  • Do they have a favorite product?
  • What is the commission rate?
  • Who processes credit cards?
  • If you need your own credit card merchant, is there a vendor that they recommend or the company uses?
  • Who pays the hostess benefits?
  • Do you offer your hostess a gift?
  • Is there a set shipping rate or can you set your own?
  • Who collects any sales tax that may exist where you live?  How does it get to the government?
  • How long does it take for the product to arrive at your door?
  • Do you get paid the night of the party or the following month?
  • Can you earn your kit for free?
  • How many people are on their team?
  • What kind of training do they provide?
  • Do they do any type of recognition?
  • What do they feel their strengths are as a sponsor?
  • What do they feel their weakness is as a sponsor?
  • Do they know if there are any meetings in your area that you can attend if they are not local?
  • Does the company offer fundraisers?
  • What are the benefits to building a team?
  • How much do you make off your team?
  • Can you earn free trips/products/vehicles/house with the company?

Are there any questions you ask a potential direct sales sponsor that I have not covered in the above?

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