Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Take On Network and Multi-Level Marketing

I have been a fan of network marketing since I was introduced to a company, some years ago. I loved their products and still do!  I loved the fact that they were delivered to my door!  I loved the fact that if I wanted to,  I could attract other customers to their products and they would pay me a commission for having done so.  I dabbled in the marketing side of this company  for some of those years, got customers, got paid, still get paid, but I found that there was also a lot of opposition to network marketing, a lot of misconceptions.  One common term I heard was "pyramid scheme".  People associated network marketing, even Multi-level marketing with pyramid schemes.  Maybe I was lucky. This was never the case with the company I associated with.  Of course it is always good to check out a company's record, customer service rating, BBB rating, etc. but that is true with any company, not just MLM's.. 

Personally, I now buy regularly from at least 3 multi-level, network marketing organizations.  Why?  Because the products from these companies far out-weigh any that I might find in a regular supermarket or department store and at much more reasonable prices.  The benefits I receive from their products increase the quality of my life and the life of my family members.  It is very convenient and I consume these products on a regular basis.  Plus there is always the built-in benefit of product recommendation.  If I refer a customer to any one of the companies that I purchase from, the company will reward me monetarily.  So I am not only getting quality products at a reasonable price, I am also receiving bonuses when I refer someone else.  Network marketing is something that Proctor and Gamble has even started doing, in a limited fashion, because they have seen how powerful network marketing can be. Their limited bonus program gives mom's a few free products if they will refer potential customers to them.

Recently Network marketing has been touted the  "Most powerful way to reach the end user" as quoted in Success magazine. We now have many companies like Microsoft, Coca Cola, IBM, Sharp, AT&T, Gillette, Texas Instruments and Colgate distributing their products via this Network Marketing system. These big companies are proof enough of the network marketing credibility and success. And within a few years, probably within the next 10 years, Network marketing industry will be distributing more services and products to the end user.

You will also see some of the most advanced, cutting edge products available to the consumer only by way of network marketing companies . Why is that? It is because they have spent more  money in product development and research, using distributors who move these products by way of network marketing.  They have cut out paying big advertisers, and some of them actually manufacture their own products, cutting out yet another expense.
We've all heard the extreme success stories of people who have received their golden ticket to life because of the money, time and quality of life they have gained through network marketing.  Many people believe it's kind of like the lottery or they think that one can only make it big if you get in at the 'ground level'.  They think that it could never happen to them and they better hold on to those dreary but dependable 9 to 5 jobs they trudge through every single day.  But how dependable are these jobs nowadays?  Where are they now?  I've always believed that there is an opportunity for everyone somewhere in America, if you work hard enough and believe in yourself.  I'm still optimistic about it, although I think that people really need to focus and work hard at what they believe in and not give up if it doesn't work at first.

Some advantages of Network Marketing Companies are:

  • Good quality products: Because these companies generally are able to cut costs on advertising, their products are very high quality.  A good question to ask oneself is 'Would I still consume the products and services of this company even if there were no opportunity to market them?  I have found the answer to be a resounding 'Yes!' in many circumstances.
  • Residual income:   When you have customers that consume a product on a regular basis, and you get a portion of the profit, that is residual income!
  • No employees to hire:  By far, this is a clear advantage over traditional businesses. An MLM affiliate program is a network of people independently working together.
    • Short commute:  It is possible to build a business right from home! This industry gives you that added benefit, to be in business without employee concerns, yet having a network of independent business owners working together towards a common goal.
      • No (or low) inventory:  Traditionally Network Marketing companies would have distributors stack up on inventory. This concept alone has given the industry a bad wrap for years.  This is something that has changed.  There are many companies that don't require any inventory - just a small portion each month that you use personally.  I think that is a fair requirement, given the fact that you are paid a portion of the company profit for every time you refer someone as a customer and the fact that you are telling someone these products are worth consuming.  Shouldn't you be the first example of that?
      • Modern technology can be used to operate your business, such as with:
        · The Internet
        · Drop Shipping Ability
        · Consumer Leads
        · Conference Lines
        · Web Conference
        · High Speed Internet Access

        • Low operating Costs:   The network marketing model makes it possible to run a business at low costs compared to any other business model. With the advent of technology, we can do today what distributors 15 years ago could not do and that's to make our business portable.
        With the advent of the cell phone, you can take your business and move it anywhere you like, at your convenience. So technically, you can be, for instance, watching your kid's soccer game, and be operating your business at full tilt!  That would be multi-tasking to the max!

        As long as you have access to the Internet via DSL or Cable, you can take your computer, your phone, and continue doing business while you are on the road, on vacation, or visiting relatives whether that be in another city or another country!  It is not just the money, but the fulfillment of a lifestyle that makes an MLM Affiliate Program the best business to get in and your individual skills is what makes it happen, period!
        As you can see, network marketing has many benefits. It  frees up a lot of capital, because we eliminate retailers, wholesalers, warehouses, and the big advertising budget that business and industries normally spend thousand of dollars on.  Money that is wasted in the traditional business can now be channeled into 2 main areas - the distributors of network marketing business and to product development and research.  In other words, the little guy has a chance!

        • Tax Advantages:  There are many tax benefits to operating a small business within your home, such as working as an independent distributor for an MLM Company.  You are able to deduct many expenses that you have through operation of your business from your total income.  For instance, you can in many instances deduct office space square footage, office equipment such as computer, phone, fax, copying, etc., business expenses such as lunch dates, gas mileage for trips, hotel expenses, gifts, etc.  Even the cost of the personal products you purchase can be deducted if you can show that the purchase of these items is required for you to operate your business!  (Consult your own tax specialist for verification!)
        When someone comes to me and presents an idea or opportunity that is MLM in nature, I don't immediately turn on the red light, throw up the 'Do Not Solicit' Sign, and say 'not interested'.  I give it at least 10 minutes before I decide that this may or may not be something I could use in my life.  As a matter of fact, I'll go so far by saying MLM is as American as apple pie.  This type of marketing works very well in the free enterprise system, and gives everyone a chance to benefit and succeed based on their needs, wants, and abilities, and of course, a little good old-fashioned luck!

        So next time a friend of yours comes to you and says "Hey, I've got a great business with great products/services that you need to look at!"  Give them a chance before you walk away!


        Chastina said...

        Great post! It definitely makes me think twice about MLM's.

        Robin said...

        This is very interesting..Im not sure I know exactly what you mean when you say MLM's..?I would really like to know of a few examples...and look deeper at them..Thanks for this..!

        Anonymous said...

        Great Post Helen! I myself have found the same very things with MLM. People either are so excited they can't stand it, or they immediately throw up the arm and shut it down. Thanks for getting the word out and clarifying many of the MLM misconceptions.

        Richard & Natalie said...

        Wow. That is a lot of information. It is clear you know your stuff. Great post.

        The Prudent Patron said...

        Following you back. Great post!

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