Today we’ll begin a series within the series. We’ve been talking about getting to know yourself and assessing your resources in an effort to find a business that fits you just right. The opportunities are endless, and are only bound by your imagination. But, sometimes it helps to start with the basics and go down a road that’s already been traveled! So, I’ve invited some friends who are each working in a different business model, building a business from home. They’re each going to answer some questions for us to help give us a glimpse of what it’s like to work in their specific type of business.
So, without further ado, I give you Cindy Taylor; Direct Sales Coach.
What are the basic start-up costs?
Start-up costs vary from company to company…from most companies you will get product at a discount and a business bundle which would include catalogues, order forms etc to get you started. From my experience, most companies try to keep it low…a quick search found most companies are under $200….some WELL under that.
What ongoing costs can I expect?
When starting out, you don’t need to spend a lot of money because most things you need come with your kit. You don’t need fancy displays or a new office! You DO need the basics like pens, catalogues and order forms…and of course your product! So the only ongoing costs would be the consumable items. Some companies have seasonal items, so that may be something to plan on purchasing, keeping in mind that you probably don’t have to have EVERYTHING in the new line. Set a limit and stick to it so you don’t spend all your earnings.
What skills are required? Tell me about the learning curve
The most important skill required is that you genuinely love the product, use it and want to share it with others. Your enthusiasm will take you far! Most companies have basic sales training as these skills can be learned. The learning curve depends on how familiar you are with the product already. If you have used the product, the learning curve will not be too steep. If you have never used the product, I would recommend you spend most of your time learning your product so you can answer most of the questions people will have.
What is the Income potential?
The income potential is unlimited…it really is! The challenge is that you DO need to put in the work to get the income out of any opportunity. There are definitely ways to work smarter, not harder, if you are wanting to make your direct sales opportunity a business rather than a hobby (which costs you money). Building a team is the wisest way to earn income…then you have a whole team of consultants working the business, not just you!
What are the time requirements?
The biggest benefit of a direct sales business is the flexibility. You can work when YOU want to work! The rule of thumb is to hold 6-8 parties a month…so 1-2 parties a week, planned around your family’s schedule. You will also need to set aside time for processing orders, customer calls etc., which can also be scheduled around your family, done while kids are doing gymnastics etc. and some things can even be done late at night…whatever works for you. With focus, I would say scheduling 10-12 hours a week is reasonable to be able to be successful.
Can you give us a picture of a “typical week”?
A typical week would include two “out of the house” events scheduled when it works best for you…evenings, weekends or while the kids are at school. Time needs to be scheduled for customer care calls, one afternoon and one evening a week. When you have a team to lead, you can set aside specific time to touch base with them. Entering orders and doing follow up emails can be done after the kids head to bed. If the company sends the orders directly to you, time is needed to sort the orders, which is a great opportunity for kids to be involved in the process.
What are the general pros/cons?
When looking at a direct sales business, you need to look at the pros and cons of how this business will impact your family…in fact, I would recommend having a family meeting to discuss the changes that will happen when you go ahead with it.Some things to consider:
- While your schedule can be flexible, you DO have to put in the time if you want to be successful.
- While you spend 1-2 nights a week doing parties, this is a great opportunity for dad to spend some quality time with the kids.
- While things will be busier around the house, you can work together as a family team to get things done which is a great opportunity for kids to learn about responsibility.
- While you are working during the day, the kids are learning lots of life lessons about how businesses are run.
I absolutely LOVE direct sales and the opportunity such a business can provide to a family! If you have any additional questions or want help getting up and running, I would be happy to talk to you about how I can support you as you aim for your goals! Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All the best as you consider this new direction!