Interactive Investor expert discusses hike in interest rates
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Vili’s youngest is just three years old but she earned £7,200 last year in her spare time, without having to leave the house. Like many Britons she makes money from direct selling, mostly on Facebook and Zoom.
Households face a £3,000 spending squeeze in 2022 due to soaring energy and food bills, and tax hikes, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, says: “The latest Bank of England interest rate increase will increase the pressure by upping mortgage costs.”
Vili, 41, says rising prices have already added £250 a month to her family’s bills and she is working hard to cover the costs and make a little surplus.
She lives in Rotherhithe, London, with husband Vancho, 40, and sons Leonardo, 11, and Alexander, 3. Their gas and electricity bills have almost doubled. “We used to pay around £120 a month, now it’s more than £200. Yet we are the same four people, living in the same house.”
The family’s food bills total more than £700 a month, up around £150, while rising petrol prices add another £20 or £30.
The £600 monthly income Vili generates from sideline her is a massive help. “We’d be struggling without it,” she says.
Like millions of Britons, most of them women, Vili makes a bit of extra cash by direct selling.
It’s work anybody could do, with a little time and enthusiasm, she says.
She earns commission from selling nutritional and health & wellness products for Aquasource online. “The money is so useful and I could continue working during lockdown, because the most of the selling is done on Facebook and Zoom.”
She works hard to build her online community. “It helps that I believe in the product, our family has used Aquasource supplements for years.”
Vili says the key to success is to create an online community, which means building trust. “I answer all texts and calls immediately, have regular Zoom meetings with customers, and talk about the product without any pressure to buy.”
That £600 is a financial lifesaver but she needs to earn more as inflation surges. “It’s a tough time so I’ll be looking to find extra work on top.”
An estimated 631,000 Britons work in direct selling, generating income of £481 a month on average.
Most work on a part-time basis to fit around family commitments or another job, according to the Direct Selling Association.
Director general Susannah Schofield says start by finding the right products to sell, ones that match your personal interests. “Be realistic about how much time you have to dedicate to your business as direct selling requires time and effort.”
Know your rights, and those of your customers, and learn about upholding good practice. “Beware of anyone making unrealistic claims about direct selling being a chance to ‘get rich quick’. Anything that looks or sounds too good to be true probably is,” Schofield says.
If unsure, look for the DSA logo. This is the recognised trade body in the UK for direct selling and its members must adhere to strict codes of conduct, which ensure greater rights and protection, prompt payment of commission and adequate training.
A full list of DSA member companies can be found online at www.dsa.org.uk.
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