Flexible entrepreneurship: Choosing the right Direct Sales company for you

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

When I was teaching, I loved my work hours. I loved going in early (hello, I'm a morning person!), I loved getting home before 5 p.m. I loved having two weeks off at the holidays. And let's be honest, I loved having time off in the summers to recharge. 

But when I had our son, I knew that this schedule wasn't one I wanted while trying to spend time with H. Those early evenings after work were great... but they were often spent grading until my eyeballs fell out. Weekends too. And summers could easily be spent revamping lesson plans, attending professional development, and rearranging the classroom for hours or days. So that schedule wasn't ideal for my image of mom life for me. 

I really didn't intend to work while I was home, but when our son was five months old, I got the itch. I needed something that made me feel productive. I needed something that was just for me. 

I needed something flexible. Something I could do from home. Something that would add a little income but on my terms and my hours. And I wanted something I truly believed in. I'm not a saleswoman, and I didn't want to sell. I wanted to share something I loved with people I love. 

Find a company with a mission you believe in. 
When I set out looking for a company, I knew I wanted one that primarily focused on women. I was looking for a company that related to my passions: people, family, reading, writing, story telling, or working out. And I wanted something that I hadn't seen 100 other people selling. 

If you ever get the chance to hear Jessica Herrin speak, you need to listen. I don't care if she's reading you her grocery list. There's a chance she's throwing in nuggets of wisdom sandwiched between her spinach and her bread. Her mission - to help women design their one-of-a-kind lives - is maybe my favorite ever. KEEP was a no brainer for me. Find the company that's a no brainer for you! 

Make sure it's a product you love. 
I have mad love for all sorts of products. Peanut butter. Shoes. Carbs. Facebook. 

But I wouldn't go broke trying to keep up my supply of those things. The second I saw my company, I knew I kind of NEEDED it all. It took me a week to place my first order because I couldn't trim my list. And the more I learned about it, the bigger my list grew. Financially, it TOTALLY made sense for me to join! If you love the product, you'll never have to sell a day in your life. Choose something you love. 

Think about the initial investment (not just of money, but time and energy too). 
I've never sold a thing in my life. I majored in English. I spent ten years in the classroom. The thought of owning my own business?! That was a scary one. What if I couldn't sell anything? I was invested emotionally, but I was scared to invest a lot of money into something that I didn't even know if I could do. For me, it made sense to go with a company that didn't require a huge start up. On the flip side, I know a lot of people who liked having a larger investment in their company because they felt like it would push them to be more successful. Whether I spent $149 or $10,000, I knew I'd make a push to make it succeed. 

Decide how much you're willing to invest. And then stick to that. Direct sales companies range from a super low start up to thousands and thousands of dollars. Make the right choice for you based on finding a company you love. 

Take into account how much space you'll need for inventory. 
Ya'll. Let me tell you a story. For MONTHS now, I've been trying to find a place in our house to put a desk. We used to have an office. But then we had a baby. And our workout room became a work out room/office. Only, we can't fit two desks in there. Alas, our house is FULL, friends. 

So when I was starting a business, I knew I needed something that didn't take a ton of space. I couldn't devote an entire office to paper products and inventory. And futhermore, I really didn't want to be with a company that I had to hold inventory for! I liked the idea of customers receiving their products directly from the company. I chose a company where the space needed is nothing more than the top of my jewelry case and my inventory is my own personal collection - my inventory! I don't ever have to worry about having inventory for customers because the company does it for me (and super flipping fast, might I add!)! 

Know what resources are available through your home office. 
Knowing nothing about business prior to starting with KEEP, I wanted a company with a ton of support, not only from my mentor and upline, but from my home office too. I wanted a company that had written resources that I could access whenever I needed them (especially because I was up a lot to nurse at night and had time to look!). I knew I needed resources I could look at when I had the time to look - and I loved that they'd be there for me. 

Ultimately, pick a company where you see happiness. 
There are so, so many direct sales companies to pick from. But ultimately, you're going to want to be somewhere that makes you happy. Do your research. Ask other consultants about their experiences. But in the end, pick the place that makes you happiest. Happiness wins - every single time. And if you're happy, your business is going to thrive. 


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