Network Marketing Strategies

Social Internet & Face to Face Business Development

Getting Started: THIS Company is Perfect for YOU!

Did I get you hooked with the title of this entry?

Bet you thought that I was ready to sign you up with Mary Kay!

Well I won’t even begin to name names here as it would be unfair to companies that are perfectly great but simply haven’t crossed my path. The truth is…

…that there are probably more great direct selling companies than I could list.

Please know that VERY few companies are out to rip you off. Also know that direct selling companies operate according to very lucrative business models and are in it for the profit. This is capitalism in one of its purest forms (regardless of what is presented to you at a marketing plan meeting.) So your involvement constitutes complicity with that premiss. I have no problem with that myself, I’m an avid capitalist. Where I demand integrity is in product excellence and personal profitability. I have to be selling quality products and I demand a profitable opportunity for myself and my team members. So long as those two essential elements are met then I’m in the game.

Another vital element of integrity that anybody should consider when choosing a direct selling industry is product enjoyment: You need to love what you do. Steve Jobs LOVES Macintosh computers. Even when the stock swooped to $13 a share back in the late 90’s he was ready to jump right back in, shareholders-be-damned. He loves that company, he created it and then he recreated it out of pure enjoyment for excellence in his industry (and maybe just a little ego.) Its just his thing. So anybody might tell you (as they probably told Steve Jobs) that the product or the industry that you’re in (or thinking about) is a far long-shot to success. So what? Do you love it? Then do it. Or don’t: I can guarantee you success selling Coca Cola but if you know that its bad for people’s teeth and you don’t even drink it yourself for that very reason then I’d say that you’ll have some serious integrity issues to deal with if you go into that business. Love what you do and do what you love -its a vital element of any success story.

Now decide what you’re in business for. Is it a hobby or a business or somewhere in between? The closer it is to being a hobby the more it needs to be in sync with your personal lifestyle. For example, I have a friend who is a Creative Memories consultant (scrap-booking.) She LOVES to have parties and she gets all of her ladies from her church together every Sunday to spend the afternoon scrap-booking and socializing and just having fun. She makes an okay second income doing it but its just a blast no matter what. Had she chosen to open a direct selling business marketing power tools to automotive shops she would have quickly burned out in that business. On the other hand, if my friend’s primary goal were to run a highly lucrative business then lifestyle synchronicity would be far lower on the list of considerations. Thats NOT to say that Creative Memories isn’t a highly lucrative business to own, only that the decision of “which business” becomes less about lifestyle and more about pure profitability to somebody interested more in “business” than in passing time productively: An avid capitalist like me will go a long way out of the way to make a profit, a hobbyist sticks closer to home. Decide what is right for you (and it may vary depending on the product.)

  • A quick plug for a purely financial perk from owning a home-based business (ANY home-based business) regardless of whether your reasons are more about pastimes or profit. Its a little thing called “Schedule C” in your personal income tax forms. Tax deductions for owning a home-based business are substantial because our government wants to foster small businesses and will help a new business owner with many of the costs associated with starting and running a new business. There are deductions for rent for maintaining a qualified office space within your house or apartment, deductions for losses incurred in the infancy years of new businesses, etc. The IRS is quick to warn individuals that starting a new business with the sole intention of taking Schedule C tax deductions is against the law. Thats as it should be; these deductions are intended to foster new business development, not to simply offer a tax shelter for deadbeats. So be in your business to be in business but take the deductions that are owed you, its how your government can help you and they are very willing to do that so long as you obey the law.

Now look into the different support systems offered by companies that would like you to go into business with them. My best consultants are not “Sales People” and may not be terribly sophisticated business managers. They do well in my business because they identify with their clients on an intimate level and while thats a major key to success in direct selling it also means that they may need help in the operational aspects of their business: Accounting, filing, organization, etc. If you’re a “Natural” then you might show a high return in a riskier “Go-It-Alone” type of venture but if you’re new to all of this then you are going to need help and it should be in the form of a director that is local and easily contacted by phone as well as weekly meetings with experienced peers who will keep you on track.

The last consideration that I will mention here is to gauge your stamina with projects. Owning a business is a project no matter what your intention is. Are you the type of person that has several unfinished projects sitting in the rafters of the attic? Have they been there for several years? Were you into Tole Painting / Jewelry Making / T-shirt Screen Printing and now have that stuff cluttering up your garage or basement having been unused for months or years? Well the good news is that there IS hope for you in owning your own business even if you have the attention span of a shrew so long as you make some wise decisions up front:

  • First off, choose a company with a proven brand identity: If you were selling snacks you’d be better off with an inventory of “Dorrito’s” than you would be with “Ginny-Mae’s Home-blanched Organic Poppy-seed Puffs.” That way it’ll be a lot easier to dump your stock if you grow tired of the business (and you also won’t have to fret over investing in a large initial inventory either -which can make or break a business by the way, more on that later.)

  • Secondly, check in on how willing your company is to do a “Buy-Back” if you get in over your head. Mary Kay has a 90% Buy-Back Policy for any consultant with inventory who decides to close up shop before the end of their first year in business. I don’t recommend it because I believe that you should be in the practice of making rational decisions with money and that means committing to your responsibility to yourself to see any financial project through to the end. On the other hand, a company with a liberal Buy-Back policy like mine can make you feel pretty secure about venturing into uncharted waters so look for it and ask for it: Its not only your baseline insurance policy, its also an indication of the company’s integrity.

So arm yourself with knowledge about yourself as well as knowledge about any company that you’re considering and make the choice thats meets most of your own criteria given the food for thought here. I can’t tell you which company is best (my choice is clear) but I can tell you that considering your options wisely will absolutely result in a positive experience and may just cause you to become a millionaire in your spare time like all the ads say.

Love, Tony.


Getting Started: Get Rich Quick! …yeah right

Getting Started: THIS Company is Perfect for YOU! -YOU ARE HERE!

Getting Started: Where’s the BEEF!

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