You've read my articles about Network Marketing, you’ve learned it’s not a Pyramid Scheme, you can see the benefits of a new community of badasses, and you’ve watched the videos/read the books I recommended about this industry. You’ve done your research. And you’re IN! You’re ready to start your own network marketing business! Hurray! Now the fun begins—finding the right company for you. In no particular order, I offer my own humble opinions on how to find the right company for you.
Is it a Product/Service you yourself would use?
I’m not saying you can’t sell a product you don’t use all the time, I’m just saying it’s a lot harder. If you already know a ton about essential oils and their various uses/benefits, then it only makes sense to work for a company that sells them. The entire design of the industry is that the consultants/distributors fall in love with the brand and authentically recommend it to others…the way we already recommend shows, books, etc. So, loving the products is a big plus, if not a major requirement. The biggest indicator of a good company with a quality product is if distributors continue to buy the products even if they stop selling. This indicates you have zero risk on investment, because any products you buy you’ll just happily use yourself. How thrilling!
It would also behoove you to take a quick glance at market trends and demands. Is there a great need for your company’s product? Will there continue to be a great need for your product in the future? Is the industry growing? While you may love your rotary phone, and be super passionate about it, this would not be considered a smart business move…since a lot of people reading this don’t even know what a rotary phone is.
Are the products consumable?
Consumable products are the secret sauce for a passive income. If a client falls in love with a lipstick shade, they’re sure as hell gonna be ordering that amazing color as soon as they run out. And you’ll continue to be paid for that lipstick sale every time they order it. For a sale you made once. That sounds awesome! I’m not saying a great product with a lifetime warranty isn’t worthy of selling, I’m just saying, for your own sake, work smarter and not harder. Imagine selling a lifetime product--you'd need to sell to all of Manhattan to gain the same benefits of a few hundred loyal users. You only need a few clients to fall in love with your products and continually order them to grow a solid, stable income.
Consider the Age of the Company
Network Marketing has been around for a long time. Legacy Companies (ones that have been around for decades) have proven over time that they sell a quality product at a market driven price. Just because these companies have been around forever does not mean you don’t have a chance to earn serious money. You do not need to invest in a ground floor opportunity to see your network marketing company thrive. In my company, there are people who are top income earners that have been in business for less than 10 years—in a 40 year old company! Now, there is a benefit in getting into a brand new company, but there is also risk. This company could explode thanks to all the amazing people you introduced it too! But it could also shutter in 5 years. The longer the company has been around, the lower the risk.
Avoid Inventory Based Businesses
Before internet shopping was a thing, network marketing distributors usually had to buy the inventory they would then sell. This created a huge amount of risk for the new distributor, and also allowed for a lot of pyramid schemes pretending to be network marketing companies immediately take advantage of new distributors. Thanks to technology (and lots of legal regulations) inventory is on the way out. If a company is still insisting you need to buy inventory to sell personally, I would take this as a very bad sign. First of all, it is way too much work. We are far too advanced technologically for you to have to stop by the post office every time you make a sale. Second, every bit of money you earn from your business will then have to be invested right back into it to restock products. And third, and most importantly, the ‘success’ of someone’s business is based solely on how many distributors are buying product instead of how many distributors are actually selling. This is the kind of business practice that can lead to companies looking an awful lot like a pyramid scheme. You should only have to invest in the products that you use, and perhaps an extra sample set for people to try in person. Other than that, please don’t buy 100 eye creams to try to sell off. The risk is incredible. What if the product isn’t viable? What if it’s not the hit everyone thought it was? That is how people end up with garages filled with products they never sold. Don’t do it!
Avoid Monthly Minimum Sales
Quotas. Ugggh, this is starting to sound like an awful sales job, amiright? To keep the integrity of the companies' payment structures, there are certainly ‘maintenance levels’ that each distributor must meet. Where this can become problematic is if distributors opt to buy the product themselves instead of making an actual sale. This can be avoided with a company structure that has a very reasonable monthly minimum (around what you would spend on product yourself, or meet with one sale to a client), and levels that can be regained if lost. This can get into the complicated ‘legal speak’ in a distributor agreement, but ask your sponsor what your monthly expectations are. A good sign is if they say ‘Worst case scenario you get a wholesale discount for a year if you never make a sale.'
Avoid a Company that Uses Advertising or Distributes Elsewhere
Does your company have commercials? Are they selling in a retail store? This means they are taking money directly from the distributors’ pockets. The entire industry is based on word of mouth advertising. People should only be able to purchase product through a distributor. Even if you were to randomly go to a company’s website, you should be linked up to your nearest distributor and they should receive the commission. Again, if this isn’t happening, they are taking money from their distributors. You want to feel like a partner in a company, and their most valuable asset, because you are.
Do you like the company culture? Do you trust your sponsor?
This is merely the cherry on top of a wise business decision, but it pays in dividends. Take a look at what the company values. You can explore this on their website, attending group events with your sponsor, and reading success stories. Are all the top income earners flaunting mansions and private jets? Are you into that? Are they giving back to their community with their earnings? Make sure your values are aligned, with the company itself as well as your sponsor’s own team culture. You can forge your own brand within whatever company you work for, but understanding a company’s mission for social impact is a big one. Then take a look at whoever introduced you to this company. Do you like them? Do you trust them? A lot of companies offer incentive trips and a fantastic community. This means you could very well end up traveling yearly with your sponsor. Do you want to hang out with this person? Some of your teammates end up being your closest friends. Again, none of this is required, but it will make the experience so much more enjoyable. Imagine a group of people encouraging you through the slow seasons in your business. Imagine a company whose message you stand behind whether you make a profit or not. This is the measure of a company you will stay with for the long term.
Those are just a few of the pointers I have in finding the right company for you. If you have any other signs of a good company to join, I’d love to hear them. I wish you the most success in your future business!