The Direct Selling Advantage: Why Start in Direct Sales

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With every new chapter of life comes an opportunity to embrace change. Whether you’re growing your family, planning a move to a new city, close to earning that academic certification, or simply feeling stuck, many circumstances could push you to make the next move in your career and life. For some people, it may be writing the opening chapter of a novel. Others may want to become more involved in their community through local organizations. For the entrepreneurial-minded folks, opening a small business may be the big bucket list item to tackle.

But where to begin? Starting a business is expensive, and those first crucial steps seem daunting. If you’re unsure where to start, direct sales may be a viable option for you. Direct selling is a business model where everyday people start on the path of entrepreneurship without the financial risks that come from securing a long-term lease, carrying a sizable inventory, or investing in branding from the ground up.

Here are direct selling advantages to consider if your soul-searching points you toward starting a business.

Faster and Easier to Start

Partnering with a direct sales company is often as simple as paying a nominal startup fee, receiving onboarding training and documentation, and possibly placing an initial order or setting up recurring orders (more common in consumables like skincare or nutritionals). Within a few days or weeks, you’ll be ready to approach potential customers and start building your business. There’s a real direct selling advantage if you’re ready to put in the work with a little guidance—and without the wait.

To help you hit the ground running, connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs who distribute for your chosen company and see what insights you can glean from their experiences. Everyone has different goals and measures of success, but they’ll give you a good idea of what to expect as you start.

On the Right Path

The best companies in the industry will give you a huge direct selling advantage in the form of exclusive distributor resources to help you become the best business owner you can be. These could include:

  • A resource center with designed social shareables, training files, presentations, and more.
  • Active social media communities.
  • Training programs with sensible advice for running a business in compliance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations.
  • Market-specific sales and customer service support teams.
  • Regularly scheduled in-person and online trainings, celebrations, and other events.
  • A transparent product guarantee and return policy for you and your customers.

Work Your Way

Nearly 90% of distributors work part time to enjoy discounts and a modest supplemental income. Others put in serious effort, building their customer base and even recruiting team members. You have the flexibility to start your business as a side hustle without derailing your career or overloading your work/life balance.

You may find your ability and willingness to invest in your business ebbs and flows over time—and that’s fine. Unlike a brick-and-mortar shop, direct sales companies typically ship their products directly to your customers. If that’s the case, you don’t have to worry about being stuck with unsellable inventory. You also don’t have to contend with a restrictive lease agreement if circumstances require you to shift focus from your business.

The opposite could happen, too—you may have great synergy with the business model and truly enjoy using and sharing the products. Developing an authentic testimonial makes selling second nature. Some companies, like USANA Health Sciences, sell quality health and wellness products and promote core values for a life well-lived—believing in a company and their products will encourage you to go that extra mile to share with your friends, family, and potential customers.

A Solid Foundation

One direct selling advantage is the precedent set by longstanding industry leaders. Many have been in business for decades, experiencing market expansion and a steadily growing number of active distributors and retail customers. These corporations should offer tried-and-true training materials and best business practices, networking opportunities, business tools, and compensation plans suited for every level of commitment.

Third-party organizations also exist to uphold the ethics of the industry and provide networking opportunities for distributors. The Direct Selling Association (DSA) advocates for the rights of direct sales companies and their salesforce while also holding them accountable to high standards when conducting business.

Put Yourself to the Test

The modern world of direct sales is open, energizing, and actionable. There are many ethically operated direct selling businesses with quality products and services. Like a traditional startup, it’s up to you to put in the work and realize your dreams.


About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.