Message from the Chairman
It’s an exciting time for the direct selling industry.
In 2015, 103 million people around the world generated sales of more than US $183 billion through direct selling. And we know that people all over the world are increasingly interested in getting into business for themselves, according to the sixth annual Global Entrepreneurship Report commissioned by Amway. Last year, nearly 55,000 people were interviewed in 44 different countries and 75% said they liked the idea of entrepreneurship.
This translates into a lot of opportunity for the industry. However, in order to fully capitalize on the trends we see, we must address a number of issues.
First, we need to better position the income opportunity. Most people work direct selling part-time and earn a part-time income. It takes hard work and often long hours to earn money. It’s seldom a way to get rich quick. A gap between income expectation and actual earnings creates dissatisfaction which tarnishes the industry’s image and reputation. It’s critical we set appropriate expectations for prospects.
Second, we need to tell our story. There are widespread misperceptions and misunderstandings about direct selling. Often it’s around what we sell, how people earn money, and what separates legitimate direct selling from illegal schemes. Explaining who we are and how our businesses work is an area we need to improve.
Third, we need to build more strongly on our product offerings. Direct selling companies offer high-quality and unique products. We need to highlight this more while also underscoring how no money is ever earned unless product is sold.
Finally, let’s continue to deliver strong consumer protections. We have the opportunity to improve policies to ensure the best protections of any industry and increase efforts to educate consumers about them. We will continue to work with governments to establish clear criteria in this area. This will help people in the marketplace more fully understand our industry and build more trust.
The WFDSA is doing a lot to provide a strategic framework that addresses many of these issues to gain greater trust in the marketplace. We’re working to improve how we communicate about ourselves, better connecting the value we provide to people looking for different ways to earn a living and addressing head-on the misunderstandings that exist around direct selling. We need to unify around these goals. We all have a responsibility to find ways to be better. This will only help us to capitalize on the current trends that are so favorable toward our industry and help our industry to thrive well into the future.