Choosing a direct sales company might be one of the hardest parts of starting your own home party business. How will you know what company is right for you? There are so many choices nowadays and a company for every product imaginable, so it’s important to do your research before joining one. Consider the following factors and you will be well on your way to starting your own home party business.
What products interest you?
First and foremost, you will want to find a direct sales company with a product that interests you. If you actually enjoy what you are selling, this will come across to your customers. Just think back to a time when someone you know raved about a new product she had found—weren’t you interested in trying it out for yourself? Your enthusiasm for your product will make others want to try it too. Passion will help keep your business strong.
What are the costs involved with joining?
Money is almost always an issue when joining a direct sales company. Most companies have some kind of initial investment. Keep in mind the cost of joining and the starter kit and what it includes.
You will also need to think realistically on what other costs may be involved in the weeks and months ahead. What kind of inventory will you need? Do you plan on advertising? What other promotional items may you need to get started?
Also, make sure to find out if the company has any monthly or quarterly quotas you have to meet. Do these seem realistic to you? Make note if there are any minimums when placing orders, as well. If any of the company’s requirements seem unrealistic, take a look at another direct sales company in the same category. They are all a little different.
What is the commission rate?
This is a very important factor to consider when selecting a direct sales company. How much money are you actually going to make? What is their commission plan? Ask yourself, “If I sell $1,000 in product at 25% commission, is $250 worth it to me?” Look for a company that has the highest commission rate for the products you are interested in selling.
Are you compensated for building a downline?
Is there any benefit to you in recruiting others and building a downline? Can you earn money for signing up other people underneath you and building a team? If you have heard of someone making $100,000 or more a year in direct sales, this is because of recruiting, building a downline, and living off of the residual income.
You are also rewarded when your team members build their own team, and this goes on for however many levels the plan allows. Often you are paid a percentage of what downline people buy from the company.
The more team members you sign up, and the more they sell, the higher your residual income checks will be. This is the easiest way to make money with out ever selling anything yourself. It is the only way to go to make money long term.
So take note of the percent of residual income you make per member and how many levels this goes down.
And make sure to check out the company’s website—it will come in handy later when you want to branch out and do some online networking.
Do you have any say over what you are selling?
Do your products have a predetermined price that is set, or can you set your own price? How are you allowed to sell your products—is it only through home parties, or can you also do craft shows and fundraisers ?
Another important thing to find out is whether or not you can do advertising. It may be hard to get a business going that does not allow advertising of any kind. Can your advertising be offline, online, or both? Take a look at the company’s list of rules about this.
Will you have support from the company?
After you have joined a direct sales/home party plan opportunity, will there be any kind of training to get you started? Will you have a sponsor that will be there for you and answer all your questions? What is the customer service like at the home office? Does the phone ring unanswered when you are trying to reach headquarters? Ask yourself if things are run in a professional and timely manner. This can tell a lot about the success of the company and how they do business.
What will your competition be like?
Another major factor to consider when beginning a home party plan is knowing what your competition will be like. You usually do not want to be involved with a saturated market. Find out how many representatives are in your area and, if possible, how well their business is doing. See if you can spot something they are missing and focus on that aspect of sales. When possible, try to be one of the only consultants in your area and try to offer a unique product that can’t be found anywhere but through you.
Can you grow your business online?
As you may know, many direct sales and home party plan companies have taken their business and consultants online. Find out if the company you are considering is doing this. Can you have your own website that is not affiliated with your company’s? Is their online ordering allowed through your website? If you do plan on taking your business online, make sure you can advertise online.
Summing it all up…
Direct Sales can be a very fun and profitable venture. And, long term, it can make you a lot of money. But don’t jump into a direct sales business opportunity without doing your research. Use these tips to choose the company that suits your needs and you’ll be on your way to starting your own business.
Stefanie Fauquet is a blogger and freelance writer. Visit her at www.mommymusings.com.