Women ditching office to become ‘evening entrepreneurs’ are earning up to £98k per year

Passive income: Expert on making money when you're not working

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Latest figures show a 45 percent year-on-year growth in sales through the direct selling sector, with 12 percent more people working as independent sales reps year on year. While side hustles have increased due to the pandemic, Express.co.uk spoke to women who are ditching the office job altogether for a more flexible and financially rewarding way of life.

And a fifth of them are working between three and five days a week on their direct selling business.

Apart from wanting to earn money, the study found that the “evening entrepreneur” was also a common theme, with 39 percent of people favouring working after 7pm.

Almost half (47 percent) of those working in direct selling have school-aged children.

Mum of three, 40-year old Amy Collin, from Kent began her career in direct selling three years ago and now earns around £5,000 per month.

Ms Collin said: “I never miss a school play and earn a wonderful income doing a job I love, working from home.”

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Jayne Clancy from Swansea earns £500 per month selling Vorwerk cooking and cleaning products.

The 62-year-old grandparent said: “It’s a flexible, sociable job. Working within your own time frame on days that suit you to earn extra income.”

Gemma Renwick is 38-year-old and lives in Eastleigh, Hampshire with her husband and two children aged 9 and 6.

As an independent rep for The 1:1 Diet, a weight loss consultancy which also sells products, she takes home between £5,000 and £8,000 per month.

Susannah Schofield, director general of the Direct Selling Association, said the pandemic has served as a catalyst to far more widespread support of direct selling via online platforms.

She explained: “It’s largely due to this evolution and its effectiveness in facilitating both the new ways that consumers want to shop, and people want to work, that direct selling is seeing a renaissance.

“Direct selling has always been an industry powered overwhelmingly by women, and whilst working women have been hardest hit by the pandemic, it appears that many are taking control of their financial future by opting for more entrepreneurial styles of working.”

Ms Schofield has some top tips for those considering a career in direct selling.

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Five tips for choosing a direct selling side hustle:

  • Choose the right products to sell – Many brands sell their products direct-to-consumer: Avon, Usborne Books and Neal’s Yard Remedies Organics, so there are a wide variety of products to choose from.
  • Set realistic expectations – Money is earned through commission on product sales. Be realistic about how much time you have to dedicate to your business: direct selling requires time and effort.
  • Know your rights (and those of your customers) and learn about upholding good practice as a direct seller.
  • Beware of rogue traders – As in many sectors, there are individuals that can do huge damage to the reputation of the wider industry. Beware of individuals 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.
  • Always look for the DSA logo – the Direct Selling Association (DSA) 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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