HERE’S HOW I DID IT – Started up in direct selling  

PATTY BRISBEN founded direct selling company Pure Romance in 1993 with start-up capital of just $5000. She set up the business from her basement; selecting, ordering and shipping products as well as planning her own parties — and all this while raising four children.

At the moment, Pure Romance, which sells relationship and intimacy aids, has a network of over 75 000 trainers or certified consultants across the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and now South Africa.

Q. What are the benefits of direct selling?

Most importantly this kind of opportunity empowers today’s women to be independent and take control of their own lives. Whether you want to start a business enterprise or supplement existing income, direct selling gives you the choice to make that change in your life, and the ability to set your own rules. For instance you can set the amount of hours you work, meaning it is as appealing for a part-time mom or a student in debt, as it is for a budding business owner or entrepreneur.

Q. What questions should you ask before getting into direct selling?

It is important to ask yourself :”What do I want to get out of this?” For instance, do you want to establish a full-time business, or just earn some extra cash on the side. What are your objectives? And how much time can you afford? If you want to make a success of anything you have to work hard and put in the time to make it work.

Q. What skills are necessary to sell well?

The most important quality, as with anything in life, is determination. Passion and knowledge are key to any type of selling, if you believe in the product then your customer will too. Also confidence helps but that will come with practice, especially after you make your first sale.

Q. What makes Pure Romance different to other direct sales models?

When you own your own Pure Romance business, you call the shots. The business model is about empowerment and making a difference to women’s lives. Women are most comfortable in their own homes so this model make perfect sense to me as it encourages discussion and conversation about intimate topics in a safe environment.



–  This article was published in the February/March 2012 edition of Your Business