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Thursday, 24 January 2013

How to get started with a direct selling business?

Direct selling – An easy way to gain a firsthand feel of running your own business


Jumping onto entrepreneurship requires a lot of courage. You need to have the money to start, a solid plan to proceed and most importantly a positive attitude. If any of this is absent you are bound to fail. But fear not, you can easily run a risk free demo business by joining any direct selling company.  In fact, the idea is too brilliant that you can make your career out of it. Let me show you how.

Why Direct Selling and not entrepreneurship?


I’m sure that you must have had an experience of meeting a direct seller through Amway or Tupperware.  A direct seller is someone who works for a particular company (like Amway or Tupperware) and sells its products directly to the consumers like you and me. Interestingly, with little effort, you too can be a direct seller. Here you provide a minimal investment, buy the products from the distributor (or the person above you in the hierarchy) and sell it to your kith and kin. Definitely, you will receive a profit for all the products that you sell.  And all the risk of running it, starting from how to start, the money flow and growth chart is taken care of within the organisation.  Also, the quality of products is established by the company itself.    

The best part about these direct selling companies is that they recruit mostly women and you will always feel ease at work. There are no language constraints either, as your peers will be from your locality itself and they are just fellows like you.  Companies push you forward to utilise your earning potential and be independent. How wonderful will it be if you also turn out to be an integral earning member of the family!

What are the major Direct Selling Companies? 

Most of the direct selling products are strongly consumer centric. They range from home care to beauty products primarily focusing women. Let me now list out a few direct selling companies which you can try out.  


QNet:

QNet is a Hong Kong based direct selling company started in 1998 and started its Indian operation in 2001. The striking character of QNet is that it is completely ecommerce and you dont need to worry about the inventory at all. QNet is now considered as the fastest growing direct selling company all over the world.


Product catalogue - Global Vacations, Wellness, e-learning, swiss watches, Jewellery, personal care and home care products
Initial Investement - INR 25000 to 9 lakh rupees. To register, somebody should refer you and you need to be ready with PAN card, bank name and address proof.
Profit Margin- 10-14% of the transaction amount. Anywhere from few thousands to 95000 INR
Product Procurement - No headache! All online. Just do the transactions right from the comfort of your home.
Whom to Contact - Contact QNet
For more details, website - http://www.qnetindia.net/

Amway:


Amway is an international company established in 1959 and commenced its commercial operation in India in 1998. Within this short span of just more than a decade Amway has risen up as the leading direct selling company in India.

Product catalogue- Nutrition and wellness, beauty, home care and personal care products
Initial Investment – Joining is totally free of cost. While joining, you need an address proof, an identity proof (voter’s id), PAN card and a photograph.
Profit margin – Products available at 20% discount for you to resell.
Product Procurement- You can shop the Amway products online and get it delivered at your home.
Whom to contact - Contact Amway 
For more details, website - http://www.amwayindia.com/

Modicare:

Modicare is an Indian direct selling company started its operations 16 years ago.

Product catalogue- Nutrition, Health and wellness, skin care, cosmetics, home care
Initial Investment – Rs.399 to buy the starter kit
Whom to contact – Contact Modicare 
For more details, website - http://www.modicare.com/

Tupperware:

Tupperware is a worldwide company established in the year 1942 specialising in storage products.

Product catalogue- Water bottles, freezer safes, cooking aids, storage containers and much more
Whom to contact - Contact Tupperware
For more details, website – http://www.tupperwareindia.com/

AMC Cookware:


AMC cookware started in 1963. The company specialises in healthy cook wares that consume less energy, time and cooks healthier food.

Product catalogue- Cookwares ranging from pots, pans and much more
Whom to contact – Contact AMC Cookware
For more details, website - in.amc.info

Oriflame:

Oriflame is an international company established in 1967 specialising in beauty products.

Product catalogue- Skin care, Fragrance, Hair care
Whom to contact – Contact Oriflame
For more details, website - http://in.oriflame.com/

Avon:

Avon is an international cosmetic company established in 1886 and aims at empowering women. The India operations of Avon started in the year 1996.

Product catalogue- Lipsticks, Fragrances, Anti ageing creams and much more
Whom to contact – Contact Avon
For more details, website - http://www.in.avon.com/

Herbalife:


Herbalife is an international company started in the year 1980 focusing on nutrition, weight management and wellness products.

Whom to contact – Contact Herbalife
For more details, website - http://www.herbalife.co.in/

K-Link Healthcare:


K-Link healthcare is an international networking company started in the year 2000 based in Malaysia. They specialise in health care products.

Product catalogue- Agro products, Ayurveda products, personal care, beauty care, health care, health drinks
Whom to contact – Contact K-Link
For more details, website - http://www.klinkindia.in/


What to look for in a direct selling company?

 
Your comfort: Choose a company based on your comfort. For example if you are very keen on running the home, you can try the home care ones like Amway or Modicare. Otherwise if you are an ardent lover of cosmetics you can try Oriflame or Avon. This will ease your job of convincing the consumer to buy your product. Being a Tupperware seller is far easier as every home maker wants more storage space and the quality of the product speaks for itself.

Credibility of the company: In the past many direct selling companies have boomed up and doomed in short time. A credible company will have a good performance record and increasing sales growth and an expanding business empire. While choosing the company do research about its past from the internet and through legible sources working within. Also look for the payout history too. There is an autonomous organisation to monitor and regulate the direct selling companies in India called the IDSA (Indian Direct Selling Association).  Ensure that the particular company, which you wish to join, is listed as the IDSA member.  
Personal growth more important than company growth: You join a direct selling unit to improve your life. Proper trainings and guidance will help you to churn out the better you. You will improve on your finance management skills, communication and succeed in running a business. But what if the company puts itself ahead of its people? If the company aims at its own growth more than yours, I bet that is not the ideal place for you.  For example it is not good if the company forces you to work more than what you can, just to meet their targets. Always read the company policies carefully before finalising your decision.

Product procurement: The modern facilities like online shopping and mobile shopping applies to the tech oriented direct selling companies too. You can order for the products online or through mobile and get them delivered at your doorstep. Whereas some companies want you to personally get in touch with the distributor nearby and collect the products by yourself.  So choose the business in which the product procurement is easy for you.

Earnings or compensation plan: The earnings from direct selling happen mainly in 3 ways. The first one being the direct profit you receive after each retail sale. Secondly, these direct selling companies provide discounted products for your own consumption. So there is an advantage of reducing your house running expenses, without compromising on the quality of the products. A penny saved is as good as a penny earned. Third form of earnings is from the sales happening in your network.  A profit percentage of the sales happening in your sub-network (that is mainly the people who joined the company with your reference) is cascaded to you. Apart from these, a few companies do offer performance based bonuses as well. Before choosing the direct selling company ensure that you understand what all sort of income you receive and how it will be paid to you.  

Working culture: Always enquire about the work timings and the hours you should devote for the business. Ensure that you don’t end up working 24 hours just because you have a flexible work time. Some direct companies fix a monthly or timely target to sell the products that you procured. Choose the company that has a flexible target system. Look for a genuine feedback system in the company where you can post your comments, be it about a non-co-operative peer or asking for more guidance. Working will turn to be a pleasure time only if you are satisfied.

Even during the rough times of economic instability most of these direct selling companies have reported a growth percentage of more than 20%. Introduction of new products and generating awareness among more people has been their success mantra. Well, go ahead and join the one that suits your profile and show the world how to succeed in life!