7 Things to Consider Before Starting a Network Marketing Business
Why bother getting involved in network marketing?
Well, a good, honest network marketing business can easily double or triple the average income. However, if you fall into one of the common mistakes of new, error-prone network marketing business owners and entrepreneurs, you will cripple your chances of success.
Here are a few points to think about as you seek the right home business or network marketing opportunity.
1. Is the network marketing company a good fit for you? While the ability to make a good income is important, one of the first things you should look at is how YOU feel about the company and its products. If you have questions or just don’t understand the product or service, ask. It’s fine if you need clarification. However, if you just don’t see the need, feel that the customer is going to be scammed or just can’t get a handle on the product or service yourself then you will probably have a hard time promoting the company or its product line enthusiastically. I can promote Amsoil synthetic motor oil comfortably because I have worked on cars all my life, understand the workings of lubricants, understand and recognize the benefits of synthetic lubricants, and have a keen interest in America’s moving away from its dependence on foreign oil. I would be hard pressed to stick my obviously masculine and heavily bearded face in some lady’s way and try to persuade her on the virtues of some Avon lipstick.
2. What does the commission schedule look like? Don’t just listen to the recruiter’s claims. Sit down and look at the figures and run a few conservative estimates. Be aware that despite all network marketing success stories and claims by the company, the profit expectations you hear or see are probably based on what someone will do after they have been with the organization for a while. There’s a learning curve to every thing. At first, your expectations of making a lot of money may be very small. As Tom “Big Al” Schreiter asked in one of his books, “They train burger flippers, don’t they?”
NOTE: On the reverse side of this, the first two network marketers I ever knew personally did not begin making a significant income until they had each been in their respective businesses for about three years. During that time, they both came close to quitting because of the small returns they were experiencing. Somewhere in the period between years three and five, they each reached a point in which they were making more than $100,000.00 a month.
My first successful year in network marketing came after four years of complete failure due to my habit of picking businesses because they looked like I could make a lot of money and/or quit before I had a chance to get my business off the ground. In that first successful year, I only made a few hundred dollars. Three years later, I was making a few thousand dollars a year and a year after that, I quit my job and now do network marketing full time; making 2.5 times as much as the highest salary I had ever received at a job.
3. Take a look at who is recruiting you and how they do it. Is it Slick Willie who is trying to talk you into joining his network marketing opportunity, your level-headed sister, or your fly-by-night brother-in-law (my brother-in-law flies by night, but he’s a pilot). Are they emoting about all the great money you “will” make, or are they explaining the possibility of building an independent business? On the flip side, the person you are talking to is not necessarily the best representative the company has. I recently encountered a situation in which an extremely honest and reputable network marketing company got slapped with a lawsuit as a result of outrageous recruiting claims by one of their reps. The claims that were being used to build a fantastic downline for this individual went completely against company policy and made the company look like it was just a pyramid scheme.
NOTE: Don’t turn down someone’s offer just because THEY haven’t made any money at it yet. As soon as you sign up, you will be in their shoes. Almost everybody above you was in the same position at one time. However, if they can show you that they are making money from product sales; this is a good sign, even if the money is still small. A reputable company should have no problem with you talking to the people in the recruiter’s upline. I signed up for a company several years ago under a very nice man who was hardly making any money at the time. The man who recruited him, however, was making a very good income and was working very hard to help his sales team produce the sort of results he was experiencing.
4. How were you recruited? Most network marketing occurs through…well…networking. This doesn’t mean that ads are never used, but if you answer an ad in a magazine, unless the company is well known, you might have no way of really knowing anything about the company.
In the age of computers, you can often do a few searches at Google or elsewhere and find out what success others are having with the company and how they are being treated. Also,
5. Are you going to be forced to buy product? Although this is not necessarily the kiss of death, a few years ago, many major companies required their people to buy large quantities of product monthly. The reason claimed was that the people were buying at wholesale and could sell the product and get more money back than they had put in. Since most people are lousy at sales, many people wound up with a garage or shed full of unused product.
On the other hand, there are perfectly legitimate network marketing companies that do expect a minimum amount of activity for the distributor to receive commissions on sales by their downlines. Some companies might offer bonuses if you exceed a certain minimum sales level. Some companies make a regular shipment of product or membership in services a part of the monthly or annual fee.
6. How much time can you commit to your new business? Although almost everyone’s goal in network marketing is to achieve enough income to quit working for someone else, many people just want to supplement the income they get from a job, retirement, or some other source. Believe it or not, many preachers for smaller churches become network marketers because they need the additional income and it fits into their lifestyle and personal abilities…plus, they have a built in network. Even they, however, have limited time to commit to their enterprise, and, over time, success in most network marketing businesses is going to be in direct proportion to amount of time spent working on the business, contacts made, presentations given, and materials placed in peoples’ hands.
7. Do you have what it takes? There are a couple of points to consider here, your personal work ethic, and the skills necessary to be successful in network marketing.
One of the most common recruiting claims of a network marketing business is that you can “be your own boss”. That’s great if you can be a good employee as well. As the boss, you will be able to make the plans and decisions, but as the employee you will have to show up for work and be ready to pitch in with waiting for someone to come along and tell you what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.
As far as skills are concerned, I have some good news. Most of us, and this probably includes you, hate to “sell” things to people. In network marketing, if you have picked a good business, the main thing you will have to sell is yourself. That’s where the networking comes in. Build a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, let them know what you do, do your part well, and the business will grow.
By all means, take your time before leaping feet first into a network marketing business opportunity, but once you have made the decision to start then don’t wait. The sooner you begin your new business, the sooner you can be on your way to achieving your dreams and goals.