Get started in direct selling

The direct selling industry in booming in the UK. There are currently over 400,000 direct sellers in the UK, a rise of 20,000 people since 2009, and the industry is worth over £2billion to the UK economy each year.

For many mums direct selling offers the perfect way to balance work and family life. Direct selling is incredibly flexible and you can work as many hours, when and where you choose, to fit around your own life and commitments. When you start direct selling you are effectively running your own business, so it’s very much a case of what you put in you get back out, as well as giving you a level of flexibility that standard 9 – 5 jobs often just can’t offer.

Very simply direct selling works like this – you choose a direct selling company (think Avon, Oriflame, Kleeneze, Stella & Dot), sign up and can begin selling their products to your friends, family, colleagues or neighbours. You then get paid a percentage of the value of the sales you make. It’s cheap and easy to get started – opt to work with a reputable DSA member company and you will never be asked to pay more than £200 for a starter kit (which often contains products to a much higher value) and many companies even charge nothing for this.

Top tips for direct sellers

Pick a company you feel passionate about

Direct selling encompasses a huge variety of companies and products here in the UK – from cosmetics and cook-wear to food and books. I’d recommend all potential direct sellers choose a company that sells products you are interested in and can relate to as this enthusiasm will then come across when you are selling, making it much easier and more fun. The Direct Selling Association website has a list of all DSA approved member companies so is a good first step to finding the right company for you.

Be a people person

First and foremost direct selling is all about people and one of the reasons that the industry continues to thrive is the very personal, unique service that it offers. What’s more, many direct sellers love the social aspect of the industry – whether it’s throwing a party for friends, chatting with other mums on the school run or popping round to a neighbour’s for a cup to tea.

Be flexible

One of the beauties of direct selling is its flexibility – you can work when you want and as frequently as you want. The amount of money you earn through direct selling is relative to how much time and effort you invest into your business – so many mums find they may want to work more hours and can find ways to do this – for example when the kids are in bed or at school. Likewise if you need to cut back this is not a problem either and some mums use direct selling as a second job to supplement their income in the evening or at weekends.

Look for the DSA logo

When considering a direct selling company to work with, it’s important to make sure they are a reputable and responsible firm. By choosing a DSA member company, direct sellers and their customers can be safe in the knowledge that they are working with a reliable firms who work in line with this code. For more information on direct selling visit the Direct Selling Association website

*Lynda Mills is Director of the Direct Selling Association.

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