Everyday Australian women are taking business into their own hands, surviving the economic downturn, earning six figure salaries and redefining their professional independence as part of an industry that contributes approximately $9 billion to the economy.
Once synonymous with the Avon lady, direct selling is finding a new place in the Australian retail market and it is exempt from the ongoing battle between bricks and mortar stores, and online. The industry’s regulatory body, the Direct Selling Association of Australia, says the sales force fluctuates between 400,000 to 600,000 year to year, with 80 per cent being women.
The formula is simple; direct salespeople supply items like beauty products, household goods, luxury lingerie, jewellery, and much more, to everyday people in the comfort of their own home. For the time-poor, shopping from home is increasingly popular; the benefits are similar to online shopping but with the added value of customer service and the ability to touch and feel the product before you buy.
When considering direct selling as an income option, it’s important to understand the path to starting your business and achieving lasting success.
Cindy Dinh, Independent Consultant with The Body Shop At Home™ (The Body Shop®’s direct-selling channel) stresses the importance of identifying a company or product that appeals to you: “Working with an ethically minded brand, selling beautiful products that I’m passionate about, is the motivation behind my business,” Cindy says.
“I recommend speaking with others in the industry, and taking the time to ask critical questions relating to training and support before deciding to invest time and money into a direct selling business.”
So, how do you know if direct selling is for you? If you are a self-starter, confident, and have high-energy, direct selling might be just the thing. If you’re seeking an occupation that rewards effort but does not require an exorbitant initial outlay or investment, this could be the answer. Through direct selling you can enjoy the benefits of a flexible working life and self-made success without the constraints of a traditional business.
What other benefits are there to being part of a direct selling business?
Financial rewards & incentives
Whether it’s working a few hours a week to supplement your household income, or the commitment to grow your business to include a wide network of salespeople, there is great earning potential in direct selling. A New Zealand study found 83.5 per cent of those in the direct selling industry thought themselves more financially independent since starting their business; a trend comparable in Australia. The incentives offered by the direct selling industry are also extensive with businesses rewarding sellers with cash incentives, exclusive bonuses, overseas trips and even jewellery.
Customer loyalty & social interaction
Building a loyal customer base is exciting, challenging and a little daunting. The nature of direct selling organically fosters a loyal customer base, particularly in the beauty and accessories industries, where discounts and added incentives are greater than what’s available in-store. Nothing compares to the one-on-one social interaction that the direct selling experience provides, or the sense of camaraderie encouraged between members of a direct selling business.
Flexible working hours
The nine to five workday certainly isn’t what it used to be with Australians working longer hours, for little or no added benefit. Direct selling provides the flexibility to decide your own hours; fitting with other life and family commitments. Imagine earning a six-figure salary whilst still being there for school drop-off and pick-up.
Finding your own independence & security
Doing a job you enjoy everyday, under a successful brand that you love and respect, motivates you to sell to the best of your ability. Imagine being able to increase your earnings in the lead up to a holiday; set your own goals and work to achieve them for yourself; and determine the work hours that suit you.
Direct selling offers an opportunity to be part of an industry where business is booming and growth is imminent. Anyone can start their own business for even just a few hundred dollars and experience flexibility, financial freedom and success; the sky is the limit.
For more information on running your own business in Australia with The Body Shop At Home™, visit www.thebodyshop.com.au/TheBodyShopAtHome.aspx or call 1800 355 750.
Cindy Dinh is an Independent Consultant with The Body Shop At Home™. Joining the business in 2005, her organisation is made up of 300 Consultants with annual business revenue of more than $2 million.