Many of the jobs that are suitable for Mums (or Dads) to do from home involve some level of direct selling. Often when people think of this sort of work they think “I am no good at selling, I’d be embarassed trying to get people to buy things” etc, however we know from experience that it often isn’t like that..and that direct selling can be great fun and really enjoyable!
We asked Mum, Paula Brown, to share her experiences about working with and selling Barefoot Books and Tatty Bumpkin, and to explain what it’s really like….
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Confucius
I found myself stuck with the eternal maternal dilemma of whether to work after having my children. Having gone back from maternity leave for the second time and found it didn’t work I was desperate to find something that earned money and got me using my brain at the same time. I felt strongly that if you’re not happy with your work and there’s the remotest possibilty of changing your situation, find out what’s not quite working and change it! A mother’s happiness is important to her family and although money is a huge factor, there are often other ways.
Two things landed in my lap – teaching children’s yoga-inspired movement classes (Tatty Bumpkin) and selling both Tatty Bumpkin children’s clothing and the beautiful Barefoot Books. Both have worked brilliantly around the kids and been something they could truly share. But what is direct selling all about and why on earth would anyone want to do it?
- Direct selling can often work around children – you can do you admin and marketing in the evenings when the kids are in bed, you can do home parties in the evening and events at the weekend, often easier for childcare.
- You work for yourself so can dictate what hours you have spare for the work.
- Perhaps most importantly you can choose to sell something you feel passionate about.
- You might well make some tidy sums once you get the hang of your particular market.
- If you love the products and so does your audience then you don’t really have to ‘sell them’.
- Women are great at networking and this is the key to success in selling
- You get to meet some fantastic people.
- It works alongside a ‘proper job’ too!
- It makes an excellent addition to a CV, particularly if you’re having a long career break – prospective employers love the fact that it involves marketing, budgeting, customer service etc no matter how small the scale on which you’re selling.
- Your kids can help (some people run the business with their children as an educational experience or it’s fun just to ‘play shops’ with younger ones).
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t have its downsides. Lugging boxes of heavy books around isn’t my favourite thing, I have done some events where literally no one turned up and I’m not keen on keeping my accounts in order. On balance though, if you’re selling something you love (and use!) then there’s nothing better and free products, holidays and other perks really help to keep it rewarding.
Paula has her own Barefoot Books website, and would love to hear from any Mums (or Dads) interested in finding out more or joining her team – www.mybarefootbooks.com/PaulaBrownFind out more about Tatty Bumpkin here – www.paulabrown.tattybumpkin.com