Happy New Year! After a healthy winter break (went skiing – luckily no broken bones) I’m greeting the new year with a dose of optimism I hope will infect others so the economy can find the jump start it needs. Everyone is evaluating their financial situation and looking for ways to make things a little brighter. Over the break I thought about some of the reasons why direct selling is generally fairly resilient during any economic situation and thought the following five messages summed it up pretty well.
- Direct selling represents the ultimate microenterprise. Any individual who is willing to work hard has the potential to be a successful direct seller. Some choose to do that on a small scale – others take it much further. The flexibility, creativity and potential for growth distinguish direct selling from more traditional businesses. Low-start-up costs and ease of setting up shop add to the appeal.
- Direct selling is a case study in personal empowerment. From getting over the fear of standing in front of an audience to being the first person in a family to own a small business, direct selling provides millions of women and men around the world with a path to success. Reaching one’s financial goals is often secondary to the importance of the life skills gained through direct selling.
- Every direct seller is the equivalent of a local small business. Even direct sellers working with companies with billions in annual revenue are making a local impact through their individual efforts. For their customers, the company itself isn’t nearly as important as the fact that they are supporting someone in their community.
- There’s never been a better time to stay home and enjoy the company of family and friends. Who needs a night out on the town when you can have just as much fun at home – without the crowds. Adding shopping to the mix just doubles the fun.
- Consumers tend to look for things that will make them feel good during a recession. Many direct selling products can do just that. From a lipstick to “look good” to nutritional supplements to “feel good,” people are looking for little extras that won’t make big dents in their pocket books. Eating at home more? Try some new kitchen accessories or food mixes. Foregoing the family vacation? Redo a room in your home instead. With the wide variety of products and services offered through direct selling, it’s easy to get creative with ways to spark consumer interest.
The economy will rebound – it always does. It may take time and there may be some bumps in the road, but in the meantime, focusing on stabilizing and improving your personal financial situation is key. For some, that may mean pinching pennies, for others it may be looking for additional sources on income. Either way, the future for America is always bright.