The start of 2023 is most likely resetting and refocusing for companies. 2020 and 2021 saw phenomenal growth in our industry. The somber reality of 2022 set in as direct selling will likely see a year-over-year decrease in sales. Many companies are asking how do we retake the market share gained over that 18–24-month period?
If you’re reading this article thinking some secret tips and amazing insights are coming, I have bad news for you. But, I will explain how to ensure that government regulation does not become a barrier to what we all hope is many coming years of growth and prosperity for direct selling.
If you’re reading this article hoping it will say there is nothing to worry about and that any regulations forthcoming will likely have little impact on direct selling I’m sorry to disappoint you yet again.
The Federal Trade Commission has undertaken two rulemakings in less than a year that could have a substantial impact on our businesses. With the potential to negatively impact how salesforces can present their businesses and how new participants are brought into the business.
That’s not all—the United States Department of Labor is seriously examining what being an independent contractor for all sectors of the American economy looks like. Potentially impacting the independence enjoyed by salespeople and companies alike.
I am happy to report (deep breath) none of these are likely imminent.
DSA’s role is to be the advocate for our businesses on these issues. We are highly engaged in all these rulemakings with the agencies as well as with members of Congress who have oversight authority over them. But, our engagement and position on these issues is driven by our amazing members who volunteer their time on a daily basis to ensure what is presented to regulators and policymakers will help (or at least not harm) their businesses.
The association understands the precarious timing. Many of you are focused on righting the ship of your business with no time for these efforts. But the two go hand in hand. It is difficult to grow our businesses if new, burdensome regulations prevent us from doing that.
We thank the DSA members who volunteer their time to ensure that the channel’s position is clearly articulated among Congressional leaders. We would love to welcome any DSA member companies that are not a part of that circle of leadership into the fold.
An industry challenge is a challenge for us all. Now is the time to stand united and not divided.
Brian Bennett is the Senior Vice President Government Affairs and Policy of the U.S. Direct Selling Association.
From the March 2023 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.