The problem with sponsoring dreamers

Dear WAHFAQ, I am having the worst luck with my network marketing company. I love the products, and I have a steady stream of customers, but I’m having a hard time finding people to sponsor. The purpose of me doing this business in the first place is to create some residual income from other people’s sales…but most of them flake out! What can I do? In various businesses, I have encountered many people who say that they are committed, who say that they want to make a change in their lives, but never really follow through. These people amaze me, Read More…

Why I love MLM and Direct Sales

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Iosphere

Dear WAHFAQ,

I’m really disappointed that you recommend MLM and Direct Sales as a way to earn money. They’re just pyramid scams! What are you thinking?!?!

It sounds like you may have had a negative experience with an MLM company…maybe you were over-promised on what you could earn? Or maybe they didn’t really explain to you what kind of time commitment was required to run your own business? Or maybe you didn’t do your research enough and got swept up into a company that was new, or had founders that went bankrupt?

Whatever it is, I am sorry for your experience. But I do still believe that MLM and Direct Sales companies offer a way for the average person, with little business experience, can buy into an established model to make extra income. Of course, you have to go into it with your eyes wide open!

Let’s say you want to get out of the rat race, you want to have more time to do things that you want to do, be it spending more time with family, traveling, or creating the next great symphony. Whatever. You want to have the freedom of being self-employed, but you don’t know what kind of business you’d be good at, and the whole McFranchise idea hasn’t quite grown on you. Perhaps it’s just too expensive, or maybe you just don’t like the idea of dealing with 16 year old kids who are more concerned about their Instagram stats than your fries.

Enter Network Marketing, stage left.

Some of you have probably already had an experience with MLM, (Multi-level Marketing,) Network Marketing, or Direct Sales. Perhaps your uncle was selling Amway, maybe your neighbor was an insurance salesman…maybe you’ve been involved with it in some form, and it left a bad taste in your mouth. Regardless, we’re going to clear up some of the myths surrounding these types of opportunities.

MLM, Direct Sales, and Network Marketing ARE NOT pyramid schemes! As long as a company has customers outside of the business, it is a legitimate organization. What the FTC warns us about are those “membership” opportunities where you are required to find people to “get in” the business even though there are no products, no services, no nothing to sell.  There are only membership fees, and you earn commission on those fees. The more people recruited, the more money you make. (In theory.)

If you find a company that focuses more on getting people in the business than selling products, just stay away:

It is illegal…it is not good. Don’t do it.

MLM, Direct Sales, and Network Marketing ARE NOT get-rich-quick schemes. It’s more like “get rich slow with lots of effort.” There are a wide array of companies and industries from home products, vitamins, and make-up, to food, jewelry and even, ahem, romance products.

These companies create a system that allows you sell their products to customers. You generally get a wholesale price and your customers pay the retail price. You then get commission off of what they purchase.

Of course, if your customers decide they like the product, they can always join you in business to get the wholesale price. Additionally, they can then find their own customers to sell to. When that happens, you not only get commission off of your own sales, but off of their sales as well.

It’s a brilliant way to leverage time. Think about when you were a kid, and you had to sell stuff for your school. (I’ve sold everything from oranges, to wrapping paper, to candy and nuts.) Did you do it alone? No, of course not. You gave a catalog for your Mom to take to work, your Dad to take to work, and, if you were lucky to have a big family, you enlisted the help of aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors, and anyone else who was willing. Sure, one person can sell a certain amount of things, two can sell more, and so on…

You may have heard of some of these companies that follow this model: Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Ameriplan, Amway, Discovery Toys, etc.

When you’re a business owner, you’ll have to pay a start up cost, and monthly or yearly renewal fees. Generally these are less than $500, depending on the business. You may have minimum quotas to reach. You still have to cover marketing and promotion costs, after all, this is a business and you should treat it as such. The company you work with should have ongoing training sessions and a good support system to help you be successful. It is truly like a mini-franchise.

The income potential is enormous. If you love your product, and believe in it, learn some marketing basics, and have a great “upline” (those who train you) your chances of success are HUGE. For those of you who have the entrepreneurial bug, but don’t know where to start, I highly recommend taking a look at some companies who follow a Direct Sales/MLM/Network Marketing model. Of course, make sure you research and evaluate the company before joining to find the right fit for you.

 

Get in on the ground floor — plus other home business lies

Dear WAHFAQ, I’ve been looking into different Direct Sales companies to join because I really want to start my own business. I don’t quite have the money yet to get started, but people are pressuring me to sign up, saying I’m going to miss out because it’s a new company and they’re growing really quickly. And it seems to be true. I’ve seen their growth charts! What do you think? Should I just take the jump now, or should I wait a bit until I’m really ready to start a business? Who wouldn’t want to be ahead of a trend? Read More…

Evaluating a home-based business opportunity

Dear WAHFAQ, I have been toying with the idea of getting into one of those MLM companies. I have been wanting to start my own business and have a friend who has been really successful with her health and wellness company. I’ve tried the products and really like them. I’m not sure I’m the “selling” type, though, and I just don’t know if I should do this. Do you have any tips to help me make a decision? There are a lot of options for starting a home-based business, even if you don’t have ideas of your own. MLM, Network Read More…

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Zurvita (Health and Wellness) www.zurvita.com Zurvita Exists Because We Believe Every Person Needs To Believe They Matter. When people truly believe they matter, their lives can change for the better. Moreover, when people believe other people matter, it can change the entire world. Our mission is to help and empower people from all walks of life to become the best version of themselves. We want people to experience a higher way of life. Zurvita began in 2008 as the vision of founders Mark and Tracy Jarvis. Mark and Tracy had experienced tremendous success within the direct sales industry, creating a Read More…

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Home Business Profile: YTB International

YTB International (Travel) www.ytbpulse.com Here at YTB, we’re all about travel! In fact, we started with two simple but ambitious goals, and we have yet to lose our focus on either of them. The first idea is to become the world’s largest travel company. The other, provide people with an opportunity to work from home, either full-time or part-time, and take control of their own lifestyle. YTB already has thousands of people who own travel booking engines in the United States, Bermuda, the Bahamas and Canada. Our presence is being felt by the travel industry having sold over $2 billion Read More…

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Youngevity (Health and Wellness) www.youngevity.com We are Youngevity. We’re different. And proud of it. Established 20 years ago, Youngevity’s core philosophies are based on the principles of co-founder, Dr. Joel Wallach, who has dedicated his 40-year career to answering one crucial question: How can we live younger, longer? Dr. Wallach’s pioneering work proves that nutrition and environmental changes have a profound effect on our overall well-being. He helped expand the definition of wellness, while launching a movement that puts people on a holistic path to better health. Today, we continue to answer Dr. Wallach’s all-important question to achieve our mission. Read More…