I find that I am still surprised that more direct sellers do not think of themselves as running a small business.  Yes most of them only sell on a part time basis and yes, they usually work from home, even when they build multimillion dollar businesses.  But too often even with significant financial success they still do not think of themselves as managing a business.  So, when you are running a small business as a direct seller here are some business things to think about:

  • Do you keep a mileage log for tracking the miles you drive in pursuit of your direct selling business activities?  If not, you should.  You may be able to have a tax deduction or credit for these miles.
  • Do you keep track of your purchases of office supplies?  Those costs may also be a deduction against the income you make from your business.
  • How about computers that you use for the business to place orders and communicate?  You may be able to deduct all or a portion of the cost of the computer, security software for it, repairs, upgrades, travel cases, etc.
  • What about staplers, pens, copy paper, internet service, paper clips, envelopes, postage, cost of tax preparation and other services that you use all or in part for your business?

Chances are if you had opened a store or a service business in a rented office or store front someone in the family would have pointed you in the direction of keeping your expense records and getting business tax advice.  But too often we start our direct selling business in an offhand, casual way as just something we are giving a try on a part time basis.   As such, we don’t think of it as a business or treat the activity as a business activity.  And for some, who work hard and find they have a talent for it, this part time thing becomes a significant contributor to personal or family finances and we still do not treat it as a business.

How about this:   If your UPS guy is delivering a package you need for your business and slips and falls on your porch steps will your home owners’ policy cover it? Chances are your home owner’s policy does not cover business related activities on the premises.  What if you damage a customer’s property on a sales call or worse yet injure your customer?  Are you protected?  Probably not.  When you want to take a booth at a fair or bazaar are you able to easily produce the liability insurance coverage the event organizers require or do you have to go out and buy a temporary bond to get coverage for each event?

Help is available.

We direct sellers are small business people and we should take all the steps necessary to both maximize our business profits by keeping good business expense records and taking allowed deductions.  More importantly as small business people, we should also take steps to protect our personal finances and assets from possible liability claims that can arise in the ordinary course of conducting business.  Fortunately now there is an excellent source of insurance and business services that are specifically designed to support small business direct sellers.  Go to www IDS.com to learn more about how you can take advantage of the services offered on the Independent Direct Sellers web site.  You can also access specific insurance services at www.dscoverage.com

For years direct sellers have struggled to find affordable business services and insurance that were both affordable and designed to cover the nuances of their businesses.  Now it is here at these two sites.  Take advantage and help yourself now!

Alan Luce Managing Principal Luce, Murpny, Fong and Associates

Alan Luce
Managing Principal
Luce, Murpny, Fong and Associates

Few people in the direct sales industry can match the experience, expertise and successes of Alan Luce. With over 25 years in senior management, guiding start-ups and established companies alike, Alan has met virtually every challenge a direct sales executive can face.  Learn more about how Alan can help your company at http://www.lucemurphyfong.com/Alan-Luce.html. – See more at: http://lucemurphyfong.com/blog/#sthash.At2W3qNo.dpuf