The lure of the work-from-home business opportunity is an attractive one. Who wouldn’t want to be their own boss and maintain a flexible work schedule? Direct marketing opportunities are plentiful. They promise flexibility, unlimited earning potential and the chance to be your own boss. The question is: do they really deliver? Before you jump into a work-from-home business opportunity, consider these facts:
Tens of thousands of Americans are currently working from home in a direct marketing business. Many of them are making a good living. Far fewer are actually becoming wealthy.
This type of business can only be done partially from home. The sales aspect must, for the most part, take place outside the home. That’s why it’s called “direct” marketing.
Direct marketing companies typically draw in new recruits with the offer of making easy money from the comfort of home. This sometimes creates false expectations. Those who join one of these companies should expect to spend some time working outside the home. The most successful marketers spend an average of 20 hours per week outside of home. The idea that you can simply stay home and generate an income is typically untrue. A realistic picture of a work-from-home business opportunity is balanced between in-home and out-of-home efforts.
New recruits are also dazzled by the idea of unlimited income potential. This concept isn’t entirely false. However, very few people become rich from direct marketing. Only a few make a livable wage. Many more generate a satisfactory supplemental income to a day job or a partner’s earnings.
What most direct marketing companies neglect to share with recruits is their failure rate. An estimated 25 percent of recruits drop out within the first year. The biggest reason is disappointment. They simply can’t generate the big profits that lured them in. They frequently underestimate how much time actually needs to be spent outside the home. Sometimes they realize that they simply don’t have the knack for it. Often, the cost of generating business eats up all the profits.
How, then, do you decide if you will be one of the 75 percent who can succeed beyond the first year? Begin by asking yourself the following questions:
1. Am I willing and able to spend several hours per week away from home? If the answer is no, this type of business isn’t for you. There’s no such thing as easy money. Direct marketing requires you to spend time with clients away from home. Usually, you must hold shows and demonstrations. Participation in trade shows, forums and sales meetings is frequently encouraged and may even be mandatory. Working entirely from home is likely impossible.
2. Do I have a knack for sales? Many people who find success in this business would not necessarily consider themselves salespeople. Some even surprise themselves with their ability to make money without being exceptionally gifted at selling. However, public speaking and cold calls are part and parcel with direct marketing. If this scares you into a frenzied panic, you may not be cut out for sales.
3. How much money do I realistically want or need to earn? As previously mentioned, some people make big profits. Usually, though, it takes months or years to generate that kind of money regularly. Most never earn enough to live off of. If you expect to make a fortune right off the bat, you may be disappointed. Direct marketing can, however, be a great part-time or supplemental income. With practice and time, you may eventually find your earnings increasing.