Start your own business
Be your own boss, create your own unique business and set your own financial targets!
Starting your own business can be the most daunting and at the same time most exciting and fulfilling adventure. Most people dream of starting their own business, but few actually go on to make that dream a reality. Most people think it will be extremely expensive, complicated and time-consuming to set up a business.
However, setting up a Direct Sales business can be very easy and remarkably inexpensive, opening the door to a rewarding venture for the right people. But we can only turn that dream into reality if we fully understand the Direct Sales business model.
Hani Rifai, Managing Director of Tuttoluxo shares his thoughts and experiences on direct selling.
How direct selling works
Direct Sales simply means passing the products from the manufacturers to the end users through personal and “word of mouth” recommendation of the products. This is normally carried out by the sales agents, known in the industry as Independent Consultants.
You may ask yourself whether there’s a place for this type of selling in today’s world, where consumers are spoilt for choice in terms of products and ways to shop. However, experience shows that Direct Sales and selling through personal recommendation is still one of the best ways of marketing a product to consumers. The reason is simple: consultants bring the shop to the customer; they provide a personal service by explaining, demonstrating and bringing the product directly to the customer in the comfort of his or her own home.
The Direct Sales process can be split into two phases.
The company manufactures or provides the products, creates a business / commission plan, provides product training and facilitates all that is needed for the consultants to carry out their business, such as the availability of stock, documentation for customer receipts and much more. The consultants on the other hand have the task of spreading the company’s name and distributing its products to the customers. They do so without having to worry about stocks, office costs and without having to work from nine to five.
As a result of this split, the company benefits by having its products distributed without the need to open shops and the consultant benefits by being able to start their own business with the absolute minimum financial commitment; most Direct Sales companies have starter packs in the range of £20 to £100. The income from such co-operation is always divided between the Direct Sales company and its consultants, according to the business / commission plan.
Now that we have an understanding of what Direct Sales is, we’ll take a look at some important aspects of direct
• The characteristics of a successful Independent Consultant.
• The recommendation / selling strategy.
• The rewards for an Independent Consultant.
In my opinion, every man and woman is capable of starting their own Direct Sales business. There is very little to lose and potentially a lot to gain. However, I am aware that some people may be put off by the thought of having to “sell” something. Well I am pleased to say that you do not need sales experience. In fact, you have probably
noticed that I am using the word “recommend” more than the word “sell”; this is because the success of your Direct Sales business is about personal recommendation.
You probably do that every day without even thinking about it! Let me explain; on a day-to-day basis we like to talk about things we’re enthusiastic about such as a movie, a restaurant, a pub, a clothes shop, a song and so on; the list is endless. Direct Sales is really talking about products that you like, believe in and use, and that you know
you’ll earn income from when people buy them.
Are you cut out to be an Independent Consultant?
Characteristics of a successful Independent Consultant include:
• The determination to succeed: as in any business, there will always be ups and
downs and challenges to overcome.
• High ethical standards: the customer needs to be able to trust you.
• Good manners: customers do not shop where they are not treated courteously.
• Social skills: in the Direct Sales business you will meet new people with
different backgrounds and characteristics every day and you need to be able to
communicate with them effectively.
• Self motivation: this is the most important as you are now your own boss and
waiting for someone else to motivate you will not produce income. There are a
lot of companies that build hype and high hopes with frequent “motivational
Eventually, these become routine and you will find yourself saying
“I’ve heard it all before”. Motivation must come from within!
Getting startedGetting your business off the ground starts with the basics of marketing and branding yourself. Overwhelming your friends and family with requests to buy from you will not work! You do of course need the help of those closest to you, but the way you approach them plays a vital element in developing your business.
Simply talking about the products you are using and the fact you have started your own business should be enough to prompt them to spread the word. You will be impressed with the business results that you will generate once a family member or a friend decides to help you promote your business. Once the ball is rolling all you need is to develop your strategy.
Direct Sales can be done through a party plan (PP), person-to-person (PTP) and catalogue distribution. The truth is you can customise the way you retail a product to what suits your personality and your customers. Home presentation is best when you are dealing with products that need to be explained and demonstrated. Plan
your demonstrations, book appointments, distribute catalogues and talk about your business to those you meet. You will find that combining several methods will give you greater rewards than relying on a single method alone.
Remember, recommendation is the key word, so use the product yourself where applicable. Ensure that you make notes of what and when your customers buy from you. This will enable you to call your customer when they may need more. Look after your customers because they are the people who will refer others to you. Your customer is the most important asset to your business. When a customer is satisfied, then do ask for referrals and offer gifts as a reward for their help.
The rewardsSuccess in Direct Sales comes from a positive personal attitude and a healthy approach to this kind of business. A Direct Sales business can be started with ease and offers personal freedom and flexibility. However, these features can be a doubleedged sword.
On the one hand they allow you to set your own work regime and targets. On the other hand, if you don’t put in the effort, the rewards will not follow. Success will always be the result of the actions you take.
Some Direct Sales consultants start their business to make some extra income and to socialise, thus they work part time. Others strive to make this a full time occupation to maximise their income. A Direct Sales company will have a business / commission plan clearly defining minimum retail income, targets and levels to achieve in order to
increase your rewards.
It is then up to you to decide how much income you want to generate from your business. Also, be sure to remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! “Get Rich Quick”, “Make Money Today” and “Make Money Fast” are things that do not exist. What is true, however, is that the combination of quality products, business ethics, perseverance and dedication to your business will in the long-run create success that you can continue to enjoy and benefit from.
There are two ways of generating income with Direct Sales companies. Retailing and getting others to join your business (“sponsoring”). Both methods are effective and, in my opinion, provided that you are happy with the business / commission plan that you have been offered, then you may want to consider doing both, especially once you have mastered the retailing aspects.
Sponsoring others works on the principle that the turnover is collectively calculated to reward everyone fairly and ethically within a group of consultants. Every member in the group has an equal opportunity to earn from his or her own sales. A good business / commission plan will ensure that everyone will benefit from working side by side.
The sponsor is rewarded by the company directly and according to the business / commission plan for getting the group together in the first place and for the responsibility that sponsoring entails. At this point it is worth mentioning that any reputable Direct Sales company would never pressurise you into building a team. You should always have a choice because this is YOUR business.
If you think of sponsoring as an expansion of your business, you’ll immediately realise that a business cannot grow unless it has the capacity and tools to do so. This means you will need to dedicate time to your group to provide guidance, training and motivation. This is not easy unless you have the understanding and experience that
comes from building your own business. The advantage of building a team is that you grow when your group grows. The successful growth of your group is an indication of your own success as a businessman or businesswoman.
Direct Sales – a rewarding and liberating route to business success
I started working for Direct Sales companies in 1993 in the customer service function, then moved to the finance department before reaching my current position with the Zepter Group. I had no idea what Direct Sales was about when I started. Through the years, I have seen for myself the level of income a Direct Sales consultant is able to
make and have had the pleasure of writing some of their cheques. I have seen many fail and many more succeed, and the reasons vary from one consultant to another. Generally, those who were successful did something unique, used their own initiative and created their own style. They planned their business and were proud of being self
Before embarking on your own business, it is important to do your homework. Get all the facts, study them, ask questions and make a decision. Remember that time does not wait for anyone. There are many Direct Sales companies that are ready to help you start your own business. Choose your company carefully and check the products it offers as well as its business / commission plan.
Direct selling is ethical, legal and, with the continued support of the Direct Selling Association, poised to grow significantly in the UK. Direct Sales businesses open the door to all of those who are willing to work to establish their own business and create income for themselves. You can start part time or full time. Running your business will enable you to meet new people, improve your negotiating and entrepreneurial skills, learn about business at first hand, buy the products you and your family like at discounted prices and, most of all, have fun creating your own business and unique, personal lifestyle.
Tuttoluxo Ltd, Part of the Zepter International Group
Tuttoluxo Ltd is part of the Zepter International group. A global enterprise which produces, sells and distributes exclusive, high-quality consumer goods around the world.Apply now to be an Independent home based agent for Zepter International.
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