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.