Have you ever asked yourself, how can I make extra money while working my own hours? Well, we get asked all the time what are the best direct sales companies to work for and we asked an expert for her help to answer the question- Karen D’Agostino from Barefoot Books has been a vendor at a number of our events and is a great resource for direct sales vendors.

We want to thank Karen D’Agostino for sharing this information.

According to the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), 87 million people, roughly the population of Vietnam, are part of the global, direct-selling sales force. Direct sellers around the world have $132 billion in sales annually.

What are the Benefits?

There are many benefits of being a part of a direct sales business.

  1. The most popular is supplemental income.
  2. Having the ability of a flexible schedule allows you to work around your current work and family schedule.
  3. You set your own goals for your business, working as little or as much as you need to meet those goals.
  4. In contrast to franchising with a company, direct sales offers a low start up cost. This is attractive to those looking to be self employed and run their own business. The cost usually covers your distributorship, the company website, and a back office that has the resources to help you represent the products you sell.
  5. Most of the work is done from home so there is no commute.
  6. You can purchase from yourself at a discount
  7. When you recruit others into the opportunity, you can also earn from their sales!
  8. You can even use some home costs as a deduction on income taxes.
  9. Another advantage of direct sales is anyone can do it. All ages and backgrounds are welcome.  You do not even need a high school diploma! There are no interviews, no background checks! Just register, pay for your starter kit and get started right away!
  10. It’s also a great way to meet and socialize with people.
  11. Instead of investing in advertising and celebrity endorsements, companies invest in your success.  You are in business for yourself, but not by yourself. Becoming a part of an established company gives the name recognition along with training and support already in place to make things run more smoothly for your business.
  12. Running your own business also helps you grow as a person and leads to life and leadership skills. You build confidence along the way and are better able to communicate.


Which Company is Best for Me?

Okay, so you’ve made the decision to get involved in direct sales, but with so many companies out there to choose from, how do you know which company is best for you? There is no easy answer. You definitely have to do some research!

  1. The first thing you should do is pick a product line that you are personally passionate about. What are you interested in?  If you can’t see yourself using the products or giving the products as gifts, stay away.
  2. Once you’ve picked a product line, you’ll probably find many companies that offer the same types of products. Look at the quality of the product each company carries. Which company would you buy from?
  3. Find out the cost of start up and how much your commission will be.
  4. Does the company have monthly, quarterly or yearly quotas that you’ll have to meet?
  5. Do you have to carry inventory? How often do new catalogs come out and do you have to buy new products when they do?
  6. Is there a cost for the website or credit card processing?
  7. Are there restrictions on how and where you can sell or how you can advertise?  Do they have fundraising opportunities you can offer?
  8. Are you able to build and earn off of your team? Even if you are not interested in this option now, you never know when you may change your mind in the future.
  9. Find out some history about the company. Those that have been in business for a long time have gotten over most of the hurdles and are more stable. Are they part of the Better Business Bureau?  Find out what people are saying about the company.
  10. Discover what training and support systems the company has in place for their representatives.

Answering all of these questions will help narrow your choices. One company should stand out above all the rest. If you have narrowed it down to just a few, more research might be necessary until you find the one that best fits what you are looking for.

I highly recommend having an active team leader to help you get started and be there to answer questions.  You’ll want to research your team leader as well. With technology today, your team leader doesn’t necessarily have to live near you. What’s more important is finding one that has the same business goals as you. Decide just how much you want them to be in your business.

An important thing to remember is that the company you join will only supply the seeds you need to get started. Don’t expect the flowers to bloom by themselves. You will have to put in a lot of work planting, sowing, and watering those seed.

Karen D’Agostino is a Team Leader and Sales Leader with Barefoot Books.  Barefoot Books offers books, CDs, puzzles, puppets, games and more that capture the imagination, spark curiosity, inspire creativity, and instill a respect for the diversity of the planet and for the Earth itself.

2 thoughts on “Guest Post: How to be Successful with Direct Sales”

  1. Fabulous post, Karen! So inspired by you and so glad to be working our Barefoot businesses together! Karen is a wonderful team leader, everyone! If you decide to join the Barefoot Books Ambassadors, you will be part of a nurturing, supportive family of fellow book lovers! We’d love to have you! 🙂

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