There are many negative articles on the internet about multi-level marketing companies. In this day and time, many people are very quick to believe and judge everything that is posted on Facebook and Google. As a "regular" business owner for over 15 years, my experience spans various markets and business models. In my opinion, Network Marketing is every bit a viable business model and the best type of business for many people out there.
Just because a company is a network marketing company does not mean that it is a "Pyramid Scheme". Pyramid marketing "schemes" are against the law. As with anything else in life, it is up to you as the consumer/business owner to DO YOUR RESEARCH before you sign or commit money to anything. To call every MLM company a Pyramid Scheme is false information. According to the Federal Trade Commission, "There are multi-level marketing plans – and then there are pyramid schemes. Before signing on the dotted line, study the company’s track record, ask lots of questions, and seek out independent opinions about the business." Use wisdom, do your research, and then you can choose to be a part of an MLM company or not, but don't bash those who go down that road.
There are many advantages to being a part of a multi-level marketing company. I have been involved with 4 different companies over the years and here are some great things about MLMs that I have experienced.
1. The ability to work from home on my schedule: With my MLM company, I pick WHEN I work and how much time I spend on it. We homeschooled our kids and being able to stay home with them during the day was a huge benefit. If you want to pay off debt, save for a vacation, or whatever, MLM is a good option to earn extra money.
2. Community: It can be great working with a team of people, even when that community can stretch your comfort zone. I have always loved the group atmosphere within a MLM company: Meetings and contests, a support system, light-hearted competition, and fun! Through my current MLM company, I have re-connected with old friends, made new ones, and built relationships. I love our team and leaders so much. They truly have a heart for people and want to see lives changed. We have all cried together and rejoiced together watching people discover our products.
3. It's a confidence-builder. As with any business that is your own, MLM is based on what you do and how much you put into it. Setting goals and achieving them with the support of a team and company can really push you beyond your normal limits. I have seen some of the young women on my team grow and build self-confidence as they share about the products they are using everyday.
4. Getting discounts on products that I would buy and use anyway: Why not take advantage of discounts and earning money to pay for things you want? It's a good plan.
5. Minimal Investment to get started. The cost of starting an MLM company is very minimal compared to another type of business where you have to consider overhead, inventory, technology, employees, etc... This makes it a business opportunity more readily available to anyone who is willing to invest the money and time into it. Just be cautious, some MLM companies require the purchase of thousands of dollars of product to get started or even additional business kits may be required, so consider those things when deciding which company to work with
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH COMPANY TO JOIN?
1. Do you love the products and want to use them yourself? This really should be a no-brainer, if you aren't using the products of your chosen MLM then you for sure won't be able to sell them. With the right company your business will be a more natural overflow of your love for the products.
2. Longevity - So many MLM companies are new to the market. Some have faded and died because the products are a niche or a trend. One company I signed up with ditched within three months, changed the name of the company, and went out of the U.S. That was my mistake because I didn't research the opportunity as well as I should have and instead purchased the business kit on a whim.
3. Product Variation: Are the products limited or is there a variety? Are they committed to the core products that draw and keep the customers? The company I am currently with has a broad range of products that are for every age and gender. This opens up my products and sales to anyone and everyone. One of the companies I worked with in the past had some excellent core products that people loved. But they started changing their formulas every year and it made it so difficult to maintain customers. It often felt like I was having to re-sell product to the same people over and over. These customers would also be upset when they weren't able to get the products they loved.
4. What is their compensation plan? Is there a separate business kit or fee you have to pay to start selling the product as opposed to being a customer? I made money the first month in my current MLM without even really trying, I just told a couple of friends. By the 2nd month I was paying for my product that I was purchasing. Within the first 2 years I was able to earn a serious 2nd income for my family, and it continues to grow. In the past, some of the other companies I worked with had difficult compensation plans. I often had to have a minimum of customer sign-ups every month before I would even be eligible for any kind of benefit. The first time I ever worked in MLM, the only money I made was in the mark-up from retail sales and I had to have parties over and over to meet that.
5. Regulations and Support: Is your chosen MLM company following within the rules and guidelines that might apply to them in the U.S. Do they have good reviews on consumer rating sites? Do they have any pending lawsuits? Do they have excellent customer service foundations in place. Do they answer your questions? Is there a home office providing great support for you and your team? These are all questions that need good answers and most people don't even look into these things when they sign on the dotted line.
Multi-Level-Marketing may not be for everyone. According to current statistics, only about 1-5% of those who start in the network marketing business actually succeed and MAKE money. (statisticsbrain.com) I believe it's not because it is a bad business model, but because IT'S HARD! H.A.R.D It is not a cake walk! It takes hard work and commitment. It also requires you to "put yourself out there," so it can be challenging for those who struggle with having confidence in themselves and their abilities. BUT, I have seen people bloom in this business that choose to take the risks and commit to following through, it is a beautiful thing to experience and watch. The opportunity is available for anyone who is willing to try and work it. If you decide to invest your time and money into something then make the effort to research it...that should be your policy on everything in life!. If you are interested in learning more about the business side of my chosen company, Young Living, I would be happy to answer your questions and have you join my team! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org