SMEs Company news South Africa

Direct selling - a happy career choice

To mark World Entrepreneurs' Day (21 August), a new Ipsos survey of direct sellers' by Seldia, the European Direct Selling Association, has revealed that direct selling could be one of the happiest career choices for budding entrepreneurs.
Direct selling - a happy career choice

In the survey, 83% of Herbalife’s direct sellers (independent distributors) said that their businesses gave them great ‘job satisfaction’ – a far higher number than the European average, which sees only a quarter of us saying that we’re happy in our work. In addition, 87% said that their work was fulfilling, with 80% saying that direct selling with Herbalife has improved their quality of life overall.

There are about 6.6 million direct sellers in Europe who make money selling well-known products to their customers face-to-face and without the need of any business premises. For many of them, it’s a great opportunity to be their own boss, to choose their own hours and to build a network of sellers should they wish to develop their business further, but for Herbalife’s independent distributors, it’s more than just about earning money.

The research found that 85% of Herbalife’s independent distributors feel that they’ve gained more than just income in their roles, with 82% saying that they’ve sharpened up their business and sales skills and 81% saying that they’ve learned how to work more effectively in a team. Improved interpersonal skills overall (87%) and increased self-esteem and confidence (86%) were two other personal benefits enjoyed by a vast number of those surveyed.

Proud and connected

The survey also indicated a strong sense of personal affiliation to the brand among Herbalife direct sellers. Ninety two percent (92%) said that they felt connected to the products or services they offer, while the same percentage (92%) feel aligned to Herbalife’s values and purpose. A huge 81% had been attracted to joining a like-minded community of other direct sellers with an interest in health and wellbeing. More than nine out of ten (93%) Herbalife direct sellers said that they’re likely to recommend the company to a friend or a colleague and that they’re likely to continue with their Herbalife business activities in the future (95%).

Direct selling – an accessible route to career success

On World Entrepreneurs’ Day, it’s important to acknowledge that entrepreneurship can take many forms and it’s encouraging to see that direct selling is a credible option for people who want to start their own business but who otherwise could be deterred. The survey shows that prior experience isn’t essential in getting started in direct selling, with a third (32%) of Herbalife’s independent distributors having less than three years’ experience in the industry. They also report that the low start-up costs in becoming a Herbalife independent distributor were a key factor in them starting their businesses (90%) – a starter pack in South Africa is only R614.71 – with 88% feeling that the low risk of financial loss was key

Konrad Szałkiewicz, country director Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and South Africa says: “On World Entrepreneurs’ Day, it’s great to see such positive findings from entrepreneurs in the direct selling business who are clearly thriving, learning new skills and breaking down some of the barriers that they might have found had they started a business on their own. That’s why direct selling is a great option for those who want to go it alone but with the support and reassurance of an established brand and community. Herbalife’s ‘gold standard’ consumer protections also lead the way with a 12-month money back guarantee on membership and unused products, no minimum or repeat purchases, and full transparency on potential earnings.”

The future of direct selling

Face-to-face, in-person contact between sellers and buyers is still at the heart of direct selling with meetings and parties the favourite ways through which sales are made. However, a new generation of sellers is using technology to create savvy online communities and businesses, with almost half (45%) saying that social media was the way to go.

Finally, when asked to describe direct selling in three words, Herbalife’s independent distributors said: ‘freedom’, ‘simple’, ‘independence’, ‘fun’, ‘profit’, ‘satisfaction’.

About Konrad Szalkiewicz

Konrad Szalkiewicz is country director Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and South Africa.

Let's do Biz