Direct selling is a retail channel used by top global brands and smaller, entrepreneurial companies to market products and services to consumers. The direct selling channel differs from broader retail in an important way. It isn’t only about getting great products and services into consumers’ hands. It’s also an avenue where entrepreneurial-minded individuals can work independently to build a business with low start-up and overhead costs compared to traditional businesses. In fact, direct selling is one of the most accessible paths to entrepreneurship.
Direct selling is a global business across numerous countries and continents. More than 17.5 million people in North America are involved in direct selling either on a full or part-time basis – that’s about 1 in 7 households. The direct selling industry retail sales exceeded $37.7 billion in North America and $180.5 billion worldwide in 2019.
Absolutely. Millions of individuals around the world are earning money through direct sales. While most work the business to supplement their income, some work the business to fulfill long-term goals and create an incredible lifestyle. Success in direct selling – just like in any other business – isn’t guaranteed. There are many factors that influence success, but part of it comes down to an individual being willing to work hard, stay focused for the long term and build a business of their own.
Myth #1: Direct Sellers Make Money for Recruiting People
Truth: In direct selling, no compensation is paid for recruiting people on your team. Compensation is only paid when customers are acquired and use the products and services.
Myth #2: Direct Selling is a Pyramid Scheme
Truth: Pyramid schemes are illegal. Yes, there are pyramid schemes out there, but direct selling is a legitimate and legal way for entrepreneurial-minded people to build a business for themselves but not by themselves. The main difference in a legitimate direct selling company as compared to a pyramid scheme is how the company compensates its sales force. Direct selling companies compensate based on the sale of real products and services to real customers. A pyramid scheme compensates based on recruitment, and in most cases, there is no real product and no actual customers are acquired.
Myth #3: Direct Sellers Are Not Serious Entrepreneurs
Truth: While many people begin a direct selling business on a part-time basis with the hope of supplementing their income each month, a number of direct sellers operate their business in a full-time way to support their family. Both are Entrepreneurs- someone who organizes and manages a business, usually with considerable initiative.
Myth #4: Direct Selling is Outdated
Truth: Direct selling was the original social network, way before Facebook. What retailers and big box stores lack in customer service and relationship building, direct sellers excel at, providing a personal one-on-one shopping experience. With the rise of social selling and social media, direct sales are more relevant today than ever before.
Myth #5: Direct Sellers Are All Work-At-Home Moms Who Lack Education & Skills
Truth: Direct selling provides an opportunity for individuals from all walks of life and all backgrounds to build a business of their own. While many stay-at-home parents start their business on a part-time basis to help bring in some extra income, a number of direct sellers work the business full time. The industry is filled with former business professionals, traditional business owners, former professional athletes, doctors, lawyers and much more.
Myth #6: If You Don’t Get in on the Ground Floor, You Won’t be Successful
Truth: Direct selling provides a level playing field. It doesn’t matter when you start a direct selling business, you have the same opportunity to build a successful business as someone who started years prior. In fact, most direct selling companies improve over time, making the products, services and business opportunities better today than ever before.