Make the Herbalife choice
Health & Beauty
Join a company that’s been one of the biggest success stories in the direct selling industry in recent years
The past two years have been unkind to many businesses and individuals, and there’s no immediate end to the economic turmoil in sight. For some, however, this can only be good news.
The direct selling industry has seen huge growth in the numbers of people looking to either replace lost income, or simply make a little extra on the side to help with rising prices.
One of the most prolific successes in this arena is Herbalife, a global Fortune 500 company specialising in healthy nutrition products, which recently saw its share price hit all-time record highs.
Making Money asked Herbalife’s UK director, Gavin Aley, why the company is doing so well, and he outlined several core reasons why this is the case. Aley describes the company as hitting the eye of a ‘perfect storm’, in which the need to supplement household income combines with the need for healthy nutrition, which together drive product supply and demand respectively.
“Herbalife is one of the UK’s best kept secrets,” he says, “but that’s not likely to last much longer. There are almost no economic circumstances under which a determined Herbalife independent distributor [Herbalife’s name for direct sales representatives] could not create a successful business for themselves.
“Right now it’s happening in 75 countries across almost uncountable different cultures and economies. People always need good quality nutrition, and other people will always want to earn either a little or a lot more money.”
So why isn’t Herbalife already the same size as Coca-Cola? Partially Aley says this is down to direct selling being misunderstood, especially in the UK. “People think of it as either some strange black magic-type business or as the 1970’s door-to-door sales stereotype,” he explains. “In reality its structure is no different to any traditional sales-based model. If these were called ‘micro-enterprises’ or just ‘small business opportunities’, people would most likely think of it very differently.”
To prove his point, Aley highlights the fact that for an independent distributor, the money doesn’t just roll in. The work has to be done to earn the money. The more effort you make, the more likely you are to make your business successful.
They’re not on their own though. Both independent distributors and their customers are supported and protected by Herbalife itself:
Distributors are guaranteed money back on their start-up pack fees and all untouched products if they resign within 90 days of signing up. This is accompanied by a one-year product buy-back guarantee for Distributors on unsold product.
Consumers themselves have up to 30 days to return a product and receive a full refund, regardless of its condition.
Herbalife conducts regular training sessions and provides numerous materials for distributors on starting up their business and finding new customers.
And what then of the competition? Direct selling sounds good, but why would someone want to join Herbalife rather than one of its competitors? As Aley tells it, this is largely down to individual preference: “Herbalife offers up to 73 per cent return on all products sold - and to the best of my knowledge there isn’t another company out in the market that has a better offer.
“However, the majority of people start with us because they love the products; they’ve seen the benefits they bring, and they want to pass them on. The business side tends to grow after that, but people can choose exactly how fast they want to take it, from 5mph all the way to 100.”
He’s not unrealistic about this though. Some people simply don’t want to run their own businesses. “Being a Herbalife independent distributor is not going to be right for everyone, but for those that enjoy it and work hard, there are some amazing rewards to be had,” concludes Aley.