Not All Home Based Businesses Are Created Equal – Tips to Help You Decide

images-1I am passionate about the Network Marketing industry.  Whether you call it Network Marketing, MLM, a home based business or even an un-franchise it’s all the same to me.  Many have misconceptions about this industry due to some unethical fools who manipulate others for their own personal gain. There are schmucks in every profession.

I am a network marketing professional and I hold my head high.  I’ve been involved in the industry now for nearly 10 years and my experiences have run the gamut from pathetic failure to top income earner.  Having been around the block a bit I wanted to offer a few tips as to what to look for when starting your own network marketing business.  There are many options out there so perhaps this will be of help to you.

Top Tips for Selecting a Home Based Business

Choose a Solid Company– I used to believe that the only way for the average person to achieve success in MLM was to get in on the “Ground Floor”; it’s actually exactly the opposite. This lottery strategy is exciting and many fall into it’s trap.  I did.  I was involved in 3 start ups before choosing to partner with a solid company.  All 3 of those companies folded before I even had a chance to call my entire list!  The promises of ‘get in early’ are attractive to some who have seen others have success but in my experience I have NEVER YET seen a person who chose to build with a new company who was still with the company after 2 years (most are burned out before their 1st year and walk away murmuring about how the industry is horrible.) If the words “ground floor” or “get in early” are in the pitch kindly smile, nod & back out of the room.

Find a Successful Leader to work with– I love to go to dinner & movies with my friends. My family loves to frequent the movie theaters of our area to check out the newest blockbuster.  But here’s a fact you may not know- The friend who shared the business with you is probably not an expert in the industry.  I’m certainly not saying to only work with the top leaders but I am saying that you had better have some conversations & do some research on the reputation & qualifications of the leaders on your team.  Speak with them on the phone and ask them your questions.  I have seen many a friendship get weird when one is put in a role as business mentor when just last week you were babysitting their children.  Some friendships can make this transition. Personally, I find it rewarding to build a business with friends but if you are looking to have the type of success you were promised on that video you’d better have direct access to someone who has attained what you’re after.  I like to introduce all people to my wife…She has the ability to see things in people that I miss.  She calls it intuition but I call it magic!

Does the Company Have a Simple System & Quality Tools-  I joined a company once because they had the most amazing & exciting 3 minute video I’d ever seen.  Many of my friends joined our team based on the same exciting video.  The problem, of course, was that nobody really ever tried the product! If someone is coming at you with big promises and unwavering belief about a product they just heard about a few weeks ago I advise you to take a deep breath and sit on the sidelines for a bit.  Your friends and warm market are going to take action based on your relationship with them.  When they hear your passion & conviction they will be compelled to join you.  There are many great products represented in this industry and some mediocre ones as well. Don’t risk your social equity on the promises of a snazzy powerpoint slide, a well-made video or some lady you’ve never met in front of a room with a story.  If the company is solid now it will be solid when you’re done doing your due diligence.

Unless you plan on learning everything about the product, compensation plan and business model then I suggest you closely inspect what kind of tools the company has to offer.  There is a wise saying that I share with my team all the time, “USE the tools, don’t BE the tool!”  Many start ups rely on the magnetism of a few well-spoken leaders to leverage a large group to join the company.   If you can’t do what they can do when it comes to sharing the company with others then your business is doomed for failure.  Solid tools (websites, videos, brochures, sizzle calls, sampling) are the pathway to success for the unexperienced networker.  No tools, No Team!

Customers Are Good For Business-  Here’s a red flag.  Someone goes on & on about how revolutionary their product or service is!  You are sold and ready to buy when all of a sudden you find out that if you become a ‘Distributor’ you can get it at a discount.  Because this practice is so widespread in the industry I never even saw any problem with it until I experienced how healthy it feels to simply let a customer be a customer. Don’t misunderstand me, some company reps offer discounts for becoming a rep but they offer it as an option and don’t make you feel stupid for simply becoming a customer.

Most of your friends probably want to try the product or service you have to offer but when they suddenly are confronted with starting a business to get a good deal it can get awkward.  A healthy business model focuses primarily on getting customers and then promoters.  It’s totally acceptable for a company to make a customer aware of being a distributor but If the overall message of the company & the folks in the room focuses on a culture of “JUST GET YOUR 3 AND WE’LL ALL BE RICH” then proceed with caution! In fact, I have found that my best promoters were happy customers first!

These are just some initial things to look for when starting a new business.  It’s an exciting time for sure.  This industry has dramatically transformed the entire course of my family!  My intent with this post is to simply bring to light some very important factors to look for in deciding on a entrepreneurial vehicle for you &/or your family.  Success is possible in this industry and I am living proof.

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Posted on July 16, 2013, in Business, Leadership, MLM | Network Marketing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great article! I have been involved with two MLM companies and those experiences ultimately led me to become an entrepreneur and start my own business!

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