2023-2024 is the Right Moment to Expand to Europe for Direct Selling Companies
Updated: Jul 28
You might be skeptical about expanding your direct selling company to Europe, especially with potential concerns about market growth and readiness. However, I believe that now is the opportune time to think ahead and be prepared for future success.
While statistics from the WFDSA (World Federation of Direct Selling Associations) might show that Europe may not offer organic and easy growth, there is still a compelling case for your company to flourish, especially with the concept of "white space."
What is White Space and How Does it Benefit You?
If your company hails from the USA, Canada, or Asia, you possess a significant advantage in Europe due to the existence of white space. White space represents untapped potential and opportunities where EU-based direct selling companies lag behind. By expanding your business to Europe, you have the potential to attract distributors more effectively than local competitors. Here are several reasons why your company can maintain a competitive edge:
Size and Funding
Many local European direct selling companies are smaller, family-owned businesses with limited funding compared to international enterprises.
IT Tools and Innovation
European mid-size companies might still be reliant on older IT systems, lacking cutting-edge tools like Affiliation and AI-powered apps that your company can offer.
Your company's vision is likely more attractive and aligned with current trends compared to some EU companies, who may still be using outdated marketing strategies.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
US-based companies often emphasize CSR with clear mission statements and a culture of charity, making them more appealing to younger generations seeking meaning and purpose.*
Favorable Legal Environment
Despite variations in distributor statuses across Europe, the legal environment is generally favorable for direct selling. The registration process is straightforward and cost-effective in many countries, particularly with entrepreneurial statuses that appeal to the younger generation. Additionally, European consumer protection regulations are similar to those in the USA, facilitating compliance for companies experienced in North American markets.
Strong and Stable Women Entrepreneurship
The presence of direct selling has had a positive impact on women entrepreneurship in Europe. Well-established consumer protection laws and regulations have created a safe and official environment for women to build successful long-lasting direct selling businesses. France, for example, witnessed over one million small businesses set up in 2021, demonstrating a solid trend of entrepreneurship. Initiatives like WEgate and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) further promote women entrepreneurship within the European Union.
Seize the Opportunity Now
In 2023, our boutique consulting firm is assisting companies in expanding between France and Germany, revealing a clear momentum for growth in the European market. Waiting for the perfect moment might cause you to miss the chance to gain a competitive advantage. Europe is ready to embrace your business, and the time to act is now. Waiting for the stars to align might delay your expansion plans, but with the support of European partners, you can seize the opportunity and embark on a path to success.
VDD is a specialized boutique consulting firm with a proven track record in Direct Selling. Our team has successfully facilitated expansions for renowned companies such as Pampered Chef, Stampin’Up!, and Southwestern Advantage. If you're interested in exploring your options and taking your company to new heights in Europe, contact us for a one-hour consultation to discuss your potential journey toward success.
On CSR, the World of Direct Selling and our friend Hakki : https://worldofdirectselling.com/sustainability-in-direct-selling/
*: VDD also helps EU based companies get better with their Direct Selling strategies and systems, but we simply cannot work with everyone. Although it is fair to say that some EU based companies are trying hard - including our clients - we do have plenty of examples of immaturity, as a matter of fact.