Every time our team goes to a live event, there is a sense of satisfaction with learning something new. The knowledge we gained, we carry with us as we build our businesses.
We are wiser and more prepared.
Sometimes it’s from a story shared or an educational piece from an industry leader.
I remember we were attending a regional network marketing event in Indiana. We had driven three hours late at night, slept over at a hotel and then attended an almost all day event the next day.
It was worth it because going to that event, we gained an "insider's" perspective.
Called to the front of the room, was a special guest, a former leader of the Direct Selling Association (DSA).
(She had since taken on a leadership position at a new network marketing company).
Having evaluated thousands of network marketing companies, this corporate executive shared how thousands of new network marketing companies are formed every year. All ready with superior products and compensation plans for marketers to take advantage of.
Not hundreds, thousands of companies.
Here is another fact:
Out of the thousands of new network marketing companies emerging every year, only a few hundred survive their first 12 to 24 months .
I personally thought it was interesting and it hit home. It made sense because I had actually experienced the demise of a start up within it’s first year of existence.
It was one of the first companies I was ever exposed to in network marketing. There was so much excitement because we had a killer product and a killer compensation plan.
This is no joke – we had a product that people would literally call you for. It was that hot, immediate gratification results.
So we had a great product. We had experienced upline leaders and a promising, lucrative compensation plan. Sounds great right? The founder of the start up was a proven seven-figure earning distributor from previous companies.
He knew what worked for distributors. On the corporate side of things, maybe not so much. He wound up going to court with the venture capitalist firm who had majority ownership.
Needless to say, the company did not go anywhere. Lots of lessons learned. It’s all part of the entrepreneurial journey, isn’t it?
With thousands of companies, products and services to choose from, how do you pick the right opportunity?
With anything in life, there are no guarantees. Entrepreneurs know this well.
It is a mindset rooted in how to handle risks in life rather than just settle for security.
We can narrow the decision down to the product, team and company.
Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a network marketing opportunity:
1. You Do You.
You may want to ask yourself if the product or service you're bringing to market would naturally integrate into your life.
If the company you're considering has health and wellness products, do you really care about health and wellness?
But Jenn, this is just basic common sense!
Don't be fooled.
Someone who's hungry, who sees an opportunity with the promise of changing one’s life into total freedom and wealth may just about go for anything.
Network marketing is a business of referring.
Let’s take another example. Say you are a big fan of sci-fi movies and not horror films. Would you naturally recommend a horror film to someone if you didn't even watch it? No, because it isn’t you.
Let’s flip this a bit. Say you really want to change your life towards a healthier lifestyle. Then your journey with the product would be inline with the marketing of that product/service.
Let’s say you’re not a glamour queen but you see the value in getting into make up. Your journey in learning how to use make up can be the marketing for a make up line.
Some people compartmentalize network marketing from the rest of their life. During the day they are their day jobs. Then for a few hours a week they “switch brains” and become the “network marketer”. I challenge you to start seeing network marketing as a part of your everyday life.
Let the business flow in your life naturally.
2. Consider Who Else Can Benefit Other Than You.
We all belong to a specific demographic. Male or female, age group, a labeled generation, belonging to specific interests, marital status. What have you. This is all well and good. Although, our tribes can be limiting.
Partnering with a company that offers products catered towards different demographics, other than the one you belong to, has its advantages. You have a wider audience to connect with. You can help fulfill their needs and desires with what you and your company have to offer.
Let’s put on our business thinking caps a little tighter.
3. Choose a Company with a Proven Track Record.
So let’s talk about the company. Products are great and let’s face it there are thousands of great products in the market place.
I remember when reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book "Retire Young, Retire Rich" - something struck me. The least of an entrepreneur’s concerns, in the greater business scheme of things, is actually the product.
What?! Yes, it's not the product. What really matters most in big business are actually the systems in place. Product is just one of the many moving parts that make a business successful.
Remember there are thousands of superior products out there. They all give great testimonials. Considering the company itself, is crucial in your business decision making process.
The product may not make or break the deal. Remember my story earlier?
We had a product majority of people wanted. It helped people lose weight, feel happy and get mentally focused.
And they felt these things within 15 minutes of taking it. Now that was powerful! The problem was there were managerial issues within the company. Mismanagement caused the demise of that company and the deal fell apart.
When evaluating an opportunity, the company, and those who run the company is a key component.
You may want to consider how old the company is. It has been recommended by sources like Success Magazine to seriously consider companies with at least a 5 year track record with increasing sales on a yearly basis. It means most likely the company is financially healthy and is being managed well.
4. Consider Competitive Advantages.
Companies that manufacture their own products and hold the patents to the formulas, are a huge plus. It makes the competitors unable to copy. They may have something similar but not the same and most likely not as effective. If a company manufactures their own products, it helps with the cost which means more money for the distributorship and competitive pricing.
Are the products consumable? Why is this important? Simply because it means repeat sales, month after month after month. Ever wonder how successful restaurants turn a profit? It is because of all the patrons who come back again and again to consume their food. Each table turning over several checks an evening, bringing in the restaurants revenue.
Consider if the products are “anyway” products. Meaning, products that a regular person would use everyday anyway. This is also referenced to as "transfer spending". Instead of spending money at a local drug store to buy an item, a network marketer would buy something they would normally use "anyway" from their own store and create a community of consumers to do the same.
But why would this community of consumers want to do so, even if the product maybe priced higher than the local drug store price? Because there is an incentive to do so. Such as, extra money earned on the side by referring new customers, a chance to buy the product wholesale and an opportunity to make some serious money.
5. Who Do You Really Want to Run With?
You want to learn another network marketing business hack? Let’s start with an expectation. This is a big one.
Understand, developing a substantial network marketing business will take time for several reasons. You have a learning curve to overcome in terms of skill and mindset.
Expect to have a business that yields a substantial steady income in about 2-5 years. And in those two to five years, guess what? You'll have a real long term relationship to consider with your team and the leadership you will follow.
I remember thinking to myself one day after seeing a presentation. Again the possibilities of lifestyle and time freedom. I was hungry, of course I wanted to go for it. There was this gut sensation that I had and it was bugging me.
Instead of sweeping it under the carpet, I paid attention and I heard this inner voice ask - "can you really work with these people in the long term"?
This is a people business folks. Yes, it is about products, services, testimonies and lifestyle. Boiled down to it’s essence, it’s a business about people.
Money comes from people. Joyful experiences are shared with people. Teams are composed of people.
So your long term business relationships do matter. Really consider if your potential business partners are the ones who you want to run with for the next 2-5 years. It can start by simply asking, "who would you like to be part of your A Team"?
We hope this has helped you in taking a look at network marketing from a fresher perspective.
Do you have any questions or is there another topic you would like us to expand on? Comment below.