Should I quit my direct sales biz?
If you’re reading this, the thought “Should I quit my direct sales biz?” has crossed your mind. Or, you’ve likely had teammates on the fence between staying and going, spending countless hours debating whether it is worth it and if they can muster up the strength to continue.
Let’s get very real here. Warning: The truth stings a bit.
Direct sales is HARD work, ya’ll. It doesn’t happen overnight. It can take months and sometimes even years to gain a strong customer base and find “your people”. The reality is you don’t have a boss holding you accountable and nobody is making you do the work. And, SO many quit before they ever really get started.
- A 2018 AARP Foundation’s study indicates 44% of direct sellers dropped out within a year
- A 2011 eBook by Jon M. Taylor, Ph.D., founder of the Consumer Awareness Institute also discusses dropout rates:
- 50% drop out within the first year
- 90% decide to leave within five years
- 95% step away after 10 years
While these statistics are shocking, it isn’t uncommon for any small business owner to close up shop. About 20% of small businesses don’t make it past a year, while about 50% last five years or longer. Only a third make it past 10 years.
If you’ve thought about quitting your direct sales business, you’re not alone.
As a direct sales leader, I’ve had many conversations as consultants have contemplated continuing their business. In fact, my experience aligns with these statistics. Most direct sellers don’t beat the odds and end up quitting within their first year in business – often times within the first six months. Yikes.
So… When is it time to Quit Your Direct Sales Business?
#1 Question: Do you enjoy it? Does it make you happy? Do you like the product, the people on your team and doing the work?
If it makes you happy, keep at it, girl! For real. Because building a business takes TIME and FOCUS. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation with a teammate telling me that she couldn’t continue when things got tough. You know what? Her success was right around the corner. It was too soon to step away. She didn’t give it a chance. She left right when things got hard. And, it’s going to be hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
If it isn’t making you happy, go ahead – peace out. Life is short. Do things that make you happy!
#2 Question: Are you profitable? Are you making money – or, spending money?
It isn’t uncommon to be spending money and investing in getting your business off the ground – especially in the beginning. That said, the beauty of direct sales is you don’t need to have a storefront, a giant marketing budget or deep pockets to get started. In most companies, after 30 days, you should be in profit-mode. At the very most, after 90 days, you should see the result of your efforts hitting your bank account. If you’re upside down and spending more than you’re making after a few months, take a quick pause. Review your spending and reevaluate.
#3 Question: Are you learning and growing? Is the experience you’re gaining supporting your personal and professional development?
It is likely that direct sales is your first business venture. It’s an adventure, right? You’re now the boss, wearing all the hats and your success is directly correlated with the work you put in. As a new direct sales boss, you are likely feeling stretched and maybe a bit uncomfortable. This is normal. When you’re learning and growing, it’s 100% normal to feel a bit out of your comfort zone. Psssst…. That’s how you learn. Think of all the new skills you’re developing. You’re not going to gain those skills in a business class or by reading a book. By doing the work, celebrating each of your successes and learning as you fail, you’re growing – and that’s invaluable. If you don’t feel like you’re developing new skills, then it’s time to take a look around. What training are you accessing? (Ahem, look around here!) Do you have a mentor working with you? How are you leveraging the training tools provided by your company?
A Pep Talk (Keep reading, you need it – I get it.)
I’ll say it again, friends. Being in direct sales is HARD work. Some days, you’re going to want to quit. That’s okay. As one of my mentors has told me, “Go ahead, fire yourself tonight. And, get up tomorrow morning and re-hire yourself.” That’s the perks of being the boss!
Sticking with it is half the challenge. So give yourself the time you need to feel successful. For many direct sellers, it takes a full year to gain the product knowledge, customer base and skills needed to create a long-term sustainable direct sales business. Don’t quit too early. You don’t know what’s right around the corner.
If your business (and you) need a little kick in the booty, check out the Modern Direct Seller Academy. You’ll gain access to all the training on a dime, find a tribe of rockstar direct sellers that will motivate you on a daily basis, plus you’ll have expert access with just a few clicks.