Network Marketing – Fact or Fiction?
By: Sandra Koehler
The Internet is jam-packed with multilevel marketing businesses (MLM’s), most of which you can start for relatively cheap. But, what’s the story behind these “work at home – get rich quick” proposals?
How It Works
Network marketing is an “unseen” business where common people invest small sums of money to create their own business, most commonly through the Internet. Most are created through providing a service or product to the general public. Your first task is to gather customers to buy your product. Next, you must sign up people to partner with you. These people work under you, and you make a profit from their sales and sign-up’s, but you will assist them in growing their company, just as someone did for you. The key to making significant money is to have a multitude of people under you.
Time Lines and Commitments
Network marketing, just like a traditional business, is what you make of it. If you are not committed, you will not succeed.
Traditional businesses require thousands of dollars and mountains of time to get off the ground. The usual time frame for success is 3-5 years. Though network marketing requires little to no money down, the time frame for true success remains about the same. The difference is the flexibility with online network marketing. But, if you are not committed to at least 5-20 hours per week, your chances for success drastically decrease. And, your financial obligations are far from over once you’ve paid the small fee and signed up. What most people neglect to figure in are advertising costs. You would have an advertising budget for a traditional business, so what makes this any different? Nothing! If people don’t know what you do or what you sell, they can’t be your customers! To honestly succeed, you must network outside the Internet with public presentations or previous professional contacts.
Most MLM’s offer training programs, which is great for you. You get to earn while you learn. But, is it enough? Successful marketing requires a commitment to learning about the business in general, not just your company’s philosophy. Seek out marketing training programs separate from your online company – the more you learn, the more you earn!
Fact or Fiction?
Are MLM’s just scams on fancy websites? Indeed, some are. This is where your learning comes in – the more you know before you sign up, the more protection you will have against scams. If an offer sounds too good to be true, chances are, it is!
You must first make sure your company is providing a service or product of real value. Many companies pay your dividends from sign-up monies – this is not what you are looking for. Beware of false representation – do your homework! If the company does not provide a unique product or service that the average person uses almost daily – rethink!
Beware of the “multiplier effect”. Most companies give you a set number of people to signup under you before you can start making the big bucks. What they fail to clarify is that those signups must be active. Consider this – usually 1 out of every 5 signups will be active. And once they find out the “big bucks” is only a few hundred dollars a month instead of a few thousand, the likelihood that they will drop their status goes way up! This is where your patience and consistency pays off.
Don’t expect exorbitantly high paychecks from the start. Making real money takes time. Expect to beef up monthly income by only a few hundred dollars at first. This may not be enough to quit your job, but with the flexibility network marketing offers, there’s nothing wrong with supplementing your present income until considerate monies start rolling in from residual income and steady sales.
How To Get Started
Getting started in a network marketing business is easy. Usually you express some interest on a website and before you know it, someone is calling you to sign up. The initial expenditures are minimal, so why not, right? Wrong! Before signing up with any company do your homework!
Ask questions. Make sure sponsors are experienced. You need the right mentor to guide you through the startup process and for continued support while you grow your business. Make sure you know what is included. Proper marketing training is essential, and most offer this service. Research the products or services provided. Most companies offer your own website where customers can shop at your own online store, but don’t be fooled by flashy websites.
A word of caution for the “free” signup companies – they are less likely to provide you with in-depth training, and unless you are already a successful marketing professional, chances are you will not know enough to make a go of your new venture.
There are several reasons why you or your company in general fails. The primary reason is lack of education. MLM’s are real businesses are require know-how and patience. You wouldn’t start a traditional business without proper education – network marketing is no different. Consider these opportunities only if you are serious and committed. Go beyond initial training and never think you know it all!
Beware of false representation. By doing preliminary research before signing on, you decrease your chances of getting into a less-than-reputable company. Make sure the company has experienced managers to assist you throughout. Be wary of ineffective products – make sure they are unique, yet able to be used by the average person. Inquire about recruitment and capital – many MLM’s fail due to lack of both.
Another common problem why network marketing fails is lack of commitment. If you, or your company does not take the business serious, you will not succeed. Most network marketing companies are almost too easy to join, leading to rash decisions on your part secondary to bold claims of making millions in a short period of time. MLM’s are not a “get-rich-quick” scheme. They require patience and know-how.
Network marketing businesses can be worth the time and effort for the right person. But, as with any new business, it is what you make of it. Sure, they offer you increased flexibility and the option of working at home, but that is no reason to slack off. With a little bit of dedication and know-how, you can turn a small amount of money into success.