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Home-Based and Online Business - Is Direct Sales for You?

Updated on March 16, 2011

Do you like people?

Direct sales is a great job for people who like people.  You have the opportunity to meet lots of different kinds of people from lots of different backgrounds.  You are going to meet nice people, not so nice people, and people you're just not too sure about.  You are going to meet people who are receptive, and people who are only going to be receptive after you've talked them into being receptive, and people who may become receptive in the future.  Lots of people.

Don't like people?  That can be okay, too.  These days, a lot of direct sales can be done through the internet.  It all depends on the company and their policies.  I would think it may be harder for some things to be sold exclusively on the internet - things that need to be demonstrated.  But some things just require the proper research, which can easily be done on the internet.

Know your product

If you are going to sell something, it should be something that you use, enjoy, and believe in. It also helps to know about your product.  What is it made of?  Where does it come from?  How does it work?  You need also to know about the company.  Who started it?  How long have they been in business?  Where are the corporate headquarters?

Starting and At-Home Business

I'm using the term "at-home" loosely.  Many of these businesses do require you to either go out and have parties at other peoples' homes, or to go out and meet with other people to introduce them to the opportunity that you have for them.

If it is a party business, start out by having a party.  This is where you may have a decision to make:  Do I use the lady down the street who has been selling {whatever} for 10 years and is a dynamic hostess, or do I use my sister-in-law who is trying to start her business?  There are benefits to both, but unless you have a boatload of VERY close friends that are going to throw parties, and none of their friends are your friends, then I would strongly consider using the gal that knows the ins and outs of the business.  Once you've had the party, then you can sign up.  Sometimes you can even use your "hostess earnings" to pay for all or part of the startup costs.

Before you sign up... let me repeat... BEFORE YOU SIGN UP, make sure you have some folks who are going to host parties.  You should be looking at hosting six parties your first month.  This is usually a good start.  Get your mama, your sister, your BFF, your ex-boyfriend's daughter's friend's mama, whoever, but get six folks to commit.  Preferably six folks with rich friends that like to drink a lot and the fill up order forms.  

Figuring Out What to Sell

This was always a problem for me. I like so many different things, but you need to find a balance of something you like, something the folks in your area like, and something that has not already saturated the area.

Here are some ideas to get you started.


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