Chances are if you’re reading this article you are interested in MLM, or network marketing. With the growth of the internet, and people looking to earn some extra money from home, the appeal of an MLM side business has grown over the last decade. Think how convenient it is, you can do it from home in your spare time, you probably already have all the tools you need (e. g. : computer, fax, internet), and you don’t have to hire any employees, pay a franchise fee, or even stockpile merchandise anymore.
With this growth in interest in network marketing, many new companies have sprung up to join the ranks of the time-tested, older MLM companies. If you’re thinking of starting a side career in MLM, or want to see how your current company measures up, read on for the critical things to look for when choosing an MLM company.
The first thing to look for is stability. At a minimum, it would be best if the company has been in business for 2 to 5 years. It might be cliché, but there is something to be said for ‘standing the test of time’. The longer a company has been around, the more chance of it staying around. There are enough things to worry about in network marketing, such as sponsoring and advertising, without having to wonder if your company will be around next year. Even if you’re able to build the biggest downline and become the highest earner in the company, it won’t matter if they shut down. There are never any guarantees, but a company with a longer track record generally has more chances of longevity.
Who’s in charge of the company? Who is the president, and who are the directors? What is their track record? Have they spent time in the network marketing industry, or are they new to it all? What businesses have they been involved with in the past? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, call or email the company to find out. It is critical to know the answers to these questions from the outset. If you plan to spend many years with this company, you want to be dealing with people who are honest, savvy, and have integrity in and outside of the business world.
Does the company have one sizzle product, or many products? Generally speaking, the more products the better. The less products you have, the more chance your prospects or potential customers might not be interested. If you’re only selling vitamins, and Mary already buys her vitamins from the drugstore, what else do you have to offer her? If you’re only selling a juice, and Joe doesn’t like the taste of it, what else do you have to offer him? There was one MLM telecommunications company that recently went bankrupt. They basically only had a few products in the telco industry. Perhaps if they had added some nutritional products as well they could have survived. In addition, the products should be competitively priced, and somewhat unique.
How easy is it to get started in your company? Can people join online, or do they have to fill out paper forms? Having the option to join online makes the whole process a lot easier. Can a prospect join for free to start, or do they have to place an order when they join? Having the option to join free will open up your opportunity to many more people. Your company should let people join free and allow them to market the products to earn income. Once someone has joined free, they have partially committed to the business, and it makes it easier for you and your company to follow up with them, via mail or email.
One of the biggest barriers for people entering network marketing is the monthly purchase. Many people aren’t sales types, so they usually need to meet their monthly sales quota (at least partially) through a personal purchase to remain qualified for commissions. I can tell you from experience that people will stay around longer if they only need to spend $50 or less per month. I have seen companies that require $150 per month in volume for members to stay qualified, and if those people aren’t making money quickly, they will quit. How much volume do you need to do for your company to stay qualified?
The more automated the company is, the better. They should give you a personal company website that you can refer prospects to. A prospect should be able to contact you from that page, and the company should have a series of emails that follow up with your prospects. You should also have a company product website that you can advertise and send customers to. They need to have an online back office where members can log in and check their stats in real time. You should be able to see hits to your web pages, your downline, your commissions, your monthly order, company information, and so on.
If your company has all of the above, then congratulations, you have most likely associated with a winner and have greatly increased your chances for success in network marketing!
Robert Borhi is a freelance writer who operates a marketing website at http://www.HugeGrowth.com For information on free advertising and online opportunities, visit his website at http://www.HugeGrowth.com
I grant permission to publish this article, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included, with a live link, and the article is not changed in any way.