Direct selling basics: getting started

Light bulbLast week we introduced the idea of direct sales and party plan. This week, read on to find a few more basics you need to know before you get started.

Meet your manager

Before you commit, try to meet your local manager. A good manager is there to answer your questions before you join, and support you to meet targets once you have signed up. They get an incentive to support you, such as a small percentage of your sales, so make sure you feel that the manager is offering you the help you need.

Direct Selling Association

Check whether the company is a member of the Direct Selling Association before you sign up. This means that each business complies with a code, which demands truthfulness and openness in recruitment advertisements, ensures you pay a reasonable amount to start up, and requires proper training, contracts, cancellation and buyback rights for reps, as well as prompt payment.

Start up costs

You will be able to get started with many companies for somewhere between £25 and £50, especially if you watch out for special offers. If you have £100 or £200, you will have a wider choice of starter kits. You shouldn’t have to invest more than £200 in the first week to get started.

Check the contract

Once you are happy with what you are being offered, you will be given a contract to sign. Read this carefully before you make your final decision. It should lay out your cancellation rights, how much notice you have to give if you want to stop selling, and how the company buys back unsold goods, which is required under UK law. Check if you are covered by insurance. The company should have product liability insurance, but check if you are covered by public liability insurance or whether you have to arrange this yourself. You should also be clear what percentage of sales you get. Most companies offer in the region of 15 to 40 per cent. Some offer a higher percentage for bigger orders. Ask how often commission is paid.

Come back next week for tips on selling.

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