Going Back To Work? This Might Be The Career For You
This article was written by The Direct Selling Association for eumom. Visit dsa.org.uk for more information.
Going back to work after taking a break to have children can be tough. How do you know if it’s the right thing to do? And childcare is so expensive these days; is it even worth it?
Wouldn’t it be perfect if you could find a job to easily fit around your family? Well, you can, and lots of moms have already done it. It’s called direct selling and the top three reasons for taking the leap are flexibility, being you’re your own boss and the start-up costs are minimal.
Over 20,000 people in Ireland work as direct sellers – and over 70% of them are parents. Its flexibility is its biggest draw – over 65% of sellers run their business alongside another job. It’s your business and you can work as many hours as you want to, when and where you choose.
READ NEXT: Read More Great Career Advice In Our Career Section
Gabby Kelly started direct selling with Captain Tortue over eight years ago - she was the first Captain Tortue consultant in Dublin. Previously, she had a stressful career in finance, but after the birth of her second daughter, she found that childcare costs were eating up her salary each month. Becoming a direct seller gave her the perfect work-life balance; she would work in the mornings if her children were in school and then some evenings when her husband was at home.
Gabby loves the interaction with people on a daily basis, and really enjoys selling products that she loves, wears and endorses. Gaby says: “The world is your oyster and there is no cap on the earning capabilities. You can work to your own level, earn as much as you need or want, and do it on a part-time, or full-time basis. The friends I have made as customers, team members and other managers in Ireland and the UK are a huge part of my life and I speak to them every day. It has created a whole new world and social life along with a successful and rewarding career.”
If you like the sound of this but you’re not too sure what it is, what it entails or if it’s for you, then read on as we’ve some insight and advice from Lynda Mills, Director General of the Direct Selling Association of Ireland. The DSAI is the trade association for direct selling, so if you need advice, they’re the people to be asking!
So, what is direct selling?
It’s where products are sold directly to consumers by an independent seller outside of a fixed retail environment. This may be in person, over the phone or via social media, at a party with product demos, or through a catalogue.
What would I be selling?
There’s a huge variety of products on offer; from cosmetics and cookware to home interiors, books, food and fashion. My advice to anyone thinking about starting their own direct selling business is to consider what it is that you’re interested in and look into companies in that sector. Passion goes a long way!
How do I know which company to choose?
Firstly, look for the DSAI logo - the DSAI has been the recognised trade association for direct selling in Ireland since 1981. Its membership includes some of the world’s most well-known and well-respected direct selling companies, including: Kleeneze, Amway, Captain Tortue and Mary Kay Cosmetics. Member companies sign a code of conduct which ensures they uphold ethical trading standards and best practice. By joining a company that’s a member of the DSAI, both you and your customers will be protected.
It’s relatively cheap and easy to get started, which is what makes direct selling so accessible. It’s important to know that no DSA member company will ask you to pay more than €200 for a starter kit - this contains core products to help you get started and more often than not, the contents are worth more than the €200 you pay! This kit will enable you to try out the products for yourself, as well as with friends, and then you can start selling.
If you’re worried about doing it alone, don’t be. Every company provides training and support - help is always available in this industry. You’ll have a supportive community of sellers that will be on hand to help and guide you. Plus, you can start your business in partnership with someone if you want to. A lot of sellers are now working with their partners, friends, or even parent or offspring.
Who will I be selling to?
Direct selling uses network marketing, which relies on your contacts. The best thing is to start by talking to your family and friends about your products - some of them will probably become your most loyal customers. Then start contacting acquaintances; friends of friends, neighbours, other parents from school and work colleagues. Your network will grow gradually and most of your connections will be made through word-of-mouth.
It’s important to nurture all of your relationships – keep in touch when you have special offers, new products or are hosting a party – as they are your core customer base.
It can also be very motivating to meet other direct sellers and share experiences, so don’t forget to take advantage of the regular opportunities to meet other direct sellers within your chosen company.
How do I make money?
You’ll get paid a percentage of the value of your sales. This industry doesn’t guarantee a fortune; it’s like any other business venture though – the more you put in, the more you’ll get out. My advice would be to set achievable goals; take it step by step and don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything at once.
For more information on direct selling, visit the Direct Selling Association website: dsa.org.uk