Direct selling is unique among retail channels because of the way in which products and services are marketed to customers. Instead of relying on traditional retail outlets or online marketplaces, direct selling companies maintain a salesforce of millions of independent workers that added $36 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015. Real estate, insurance, travel and technology companies and well-known brands also rely on independent workers to deliver products and services to consumers. Independent work adds value to those who choose to pursue it, to the economy and to society.

Independent direct selling consultants earn commissions on sales but work for themselves. They set their own hours, create their own marketing plans, determine whether to build a sales team and how to mentor those within it and how to serve their customers.

Millions of independent direct sellers see advantages in working for themselves. The most obvious is the chance to build and grow their own business and run it how they see fit. The freedom and flexibility to set their own working hours draws all types of people to direct selling, including parents with young children, students, caregivers, retirees, military spouses and many more.

Start-up costs for most direct selling companies are a few hundred dollars or less because direct selling isn’t reliant on overhead like real estate, facilities and equipment or traditional advertising that can cost tens- or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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