The new rise of at-home businesses

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For many, myself included, a little extra income outside the typical 8-to-5 job is always a perk – but a part-time gig that has the flexibility you need, with the extra income you want, is hard to find.

Enter direct sales. An industry made up of independent consultants and representatives working at home and offering products directly to consumers, away from a fixed retail location.

I myself, an admitted skeptic of the direct sales model, am now a full-fledged consultant for Rodan + Fields, a dermatological skin care company taking the direct sales industry by storm.

This business model is by no means new – you know Mary Kay, Avon, Amway… These decades-old companies have been doing it for years. But, the model is changing and becoming more popular than ever – not to mention showing huge growth.

“By March 2012, [Rodan + Fields] flew past the $100 million revenue run rate mark, and is just now crossing the $200 million run rate,” published Forbes Magazine in an article featuring the company’s CEO Lori Bush. And that was just through 2013. R+F, like many other companies, is truly thriving under the direct sales business model.

So what has made me, and so many others, jump into this $30 billion industry? Most of it boils down to three major factors:

3 reasons to get into direct sales

  1. The rise of social commerce

The way we shop nowadays has changed. Instead of walking into a mall, we turn to our computers. We make a purchase on the couch in our pj’s and watch as it is delivered to our door a few days later. And, when we want to find out what product we should buy, we no longer turn to TV or magazine ads – we post our inquiry on Facebook and wait for our friends to comment with their recommendations. This way of decision making, buying and selling via social media and the web is becoming the new norm. Direct sales is essentially social commerce in action.

  1. Low start up and monthly costs

Being an entrepreneur seems glamorous – doing what we want, then taking home all the profits. But we often forget that a traditional business owner takes on a lot of financial investment. Franchise purchasing, storefront rental, utilities, advertising, employees… the list goes on. With direct sales, none of these expenses exist. It is you, your computer and phone, and your network of people. There’s a lot of profit potential without the upfront and ongoing financial investments.

  1. Time freedom and flexibility

In a traditional corporate career, flexibility is coveted. We are on a 40-hour-a-week (and then some) schedule. Our hours are dictated by our boss, or her boss, or her boss. With direct sales, you get out what you put in. The amount of time you work, and when you set that time, is up to you. For me, as a now stay-at-home mom, I clock in with Rodan + Fields during my kiddos’ nap time and in the evenings on the couch while watching Netflix, plus a few nooks and crannies in between. It leaves me with flexibility to play barbies with my girls, run to the grocery store or make a doctor’s appointment when it works for me and my family.

Is it right for you?

So, is direct sales right for you? Possibly. And likely. You don’t need a resume and interview to get started. You find the company that is right for you and start sharing with your network. Remember, it’s simply social commerce.

To find that right company, do your research and pick one that stays true to its vision and to yours.

How I knew it was right for me

“When [Rodan + Fields] Chairman Amnon Rodan pulled [the company] out of department stores and chose direct selling as their go-to-market strategy, the company created a vision and mission that would remind the organization that it is about delivering value by changing lives and changing skin – not about taking shortcuts to quick, but unsustainable profits,” published Forbes Magazine.

This value system is what made me know Rodan + Fields was the company for me. And since I started my career in direct sales, I haven’t looked back. I have become an ‘at home’ entrepreneur and am a walking success story for this growing channel and way of doing business. I hope others can find the joy, success, time and financial freedom direct sales has given me.

I am always excited to chat and share with others about my experience and how direct sales can fit into their lives. Let’s connect! Don’t hesitate to reach out!

~ Michaela

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