Should You Join Network Marketing (MLM)? 5 Things To Consider!

It’s been said that network marketing or multi-level marketing (MLM) is right for everybody, but not everybody is right for network marketing. And while that may have some truth to it, don’t be reluctant about getting involved because you believe only businesspeople get involved in network marketing. 

Anyone can find success in network marketing—college students, stay-at-home parents, and restaurant waiters have all created incredible rags-to-riches stories in network marketing. A general understanding of basic business ideas and a strong desire to learn is more than enough to start with. Let’s take a closer look at what you will need to consider before joining network marketing. 

5 Things To Consider Before Joining Network Marketing

1. Business Experience

You won’t need any prior business experience to succeed in network marketing. In fact, some of the largest income earners in the industry are those who have had no experience in being self-employed. Network marketing is an “earn as you learn” business: You can rack up experience and even earn a de- cent income while still navigating through what it takes to make the business grow.

Network marketing is more about teaching, training, and supporting a team than traditional selling. It’s definitely not about convincing people to buy your concentrated laundry soap or selling them on a new phone line when they’re totally satisfied with what they presently have. Rather, network marketing is first about sharing the benefits of your products and business to those who are searching for a solution.

If someone is looking for a business opportunity, and when it is in her best interest, share your business with her. If you can talk to people, if you are trainable, and if you can be enthusiastic about helping other people improve the quality of their lives, you can be successful.

You don’t have to sell people on the business; it involves communicating the same information you have had the chance to look at and allowing people to make up their own minds as to whether it is for them to take advantage of or not. Ask people to take a look, not buy or join. People can make up their own minds. If they say no, don’t take it personally. After all, they are not saying no to you; they are just saying no (or not right now) to the product or the opportunity.

2. Commitment Level

Despite the exaggerated stories that some may use to entice new people to the industry, this isn’t a business where you can come in, sponsor a few people, and sit back and count your millions. Network marketing takes a high level of commitment to not only launch successfully but to continue to succeed and develop an income.

If you are looking at network marketing to help supplement your income, be sure you are prepared to set aside time and money to purchase a starter kit, get hold of the materials necessary to promote your business and products, and then spend time meeting with those who may be open to using your products or joining your team.

To win in this business, you’ll need to do more than making a list of ten people who might be interested in what you’re selling. You must take into account that the ten on your list may have no interest in being involved or could be planning on joining another network marketing company or business opportunity.

It’s easy to get frustrated when this happens, and you may begin to wonder if you are cut out for this work. Even the most resilient, persistent people can find this initial rejection of their business daunting, and in many cases, it can be deflating enough for them to quit. If you are easily discouraged, lack the motivation to overcome your fears, and see every obstacle as a major roadblock, your network marketing journey is likely to be a short one.

If you choose to do this business part-time, you will still need to regularly share and sell products, invite others to join your team, attend local events, and stay updated with company communications. Finding the time may not always be easy, especially when you have a job and a family to look after. But the re- ward of bringing in that extra income is worth it, and the chance for it to develop into something much greater than you can currently imagine will help keep you motivated and disciplined to make it work.

If you’re looking to eventually go full-time, be prepared to do all those things, with the addition of developing your skills, knowledge, and leadership. Travel will be an important factor as your business begins to expand. It’s important that your family is aware of why you need to do this and how it helps the business. If you can, get the support and commitment upfront from your family members.

3. Teamwork

Growing an organization is a team-building exercise. Your goal is to grow the largest team you can, creating as much sales volume as you can until you reach the income goals you have set yourself. There is simply no way you can reach the higher income levels unless you are prepared to help develop and support your own team.

You will receive the help of your upline and company to help make this happen, but primarily it is your role to focus on team development, making sure your team members are aware of what it takes to build their income and reach their own goals.

You will become a teacher, motivator, inspirer, confidant, and coach. Your team will look to you for leadership and encouragement. Some people find this difficult to adapt to. They’ve succeeded with most things by working on their own and relying on their own efforts. If you are someone like that, just be open to the possibility that sharing your knowledge and success from the past with people eager to learn from you will bring about an incredible change in you and your perspectives in working with a group of inspired people.

4. The Financial Investment

Of course, you simply can’t build a business without incurring expenses. Most companies offer several start-up options that require various degrees of financial input on your part. Some plans can start as low as just $50, but it’s more typical to need to invest at least $100 to start up as a representative, and some organizations require a minimum of $500.

Don’t let a high start-up cost scare you, though. First, it’s a way the company can make sure you are serious about working in the business. It’s not uncommon for a company that has a low-end start-up plan to find that people join as reps as a way to buy the product for themselves and have no intention of selling it to others or finding other team members. If you have a bigger in- vestment to recoup, you’re more likely to really work the business.

Higher start-up costs usually point to more services that the company provides for you, such as four-color product catalogs or a personal website. You may find that the cost of buying these services later on far exceeds the cost of getting them in the beginning because you can no longer take advantage of the discount packages offered to new recruits.

Before you get started, you will need to think about the parts of your new business venture that will require some kind of investment on your part.

Starter Package 

A starter package is usually your first order with a company. Depending on the company, a package could include sample products, catalogs, marketing materials, and information on the support that your new company will provide as you get started. Sometimes a starter kit is no more than a link to a website and access to a corporate office with all the start-up information and materials you’ll need. Some companies have no fixed packages to choose from, but allow you to pay a small registration fee followed by an order from the company for any amount of products you choose.

You should keep in mind that the option of sponsoring new people is not a compulsory part of you becoming a team member. There are reps who join a company and then build a small retail base that brings them in enough income to be satisfied with. What you do after you register with the company is your choice and responsibility. Your sponsor and the company will support you in whatever that choice is.

Marketing Material 

Your company and upline will have produced professional materials for you to use to help promote and educate your prospects about your company and its products. 

Much of the company material is often sold at cost or for a small profit in order to encourage reps to make use of them. Using company-made resources means that the information will be in compliance with both company and government requirements. This is especially important if you will be selling health and wellness products.

Events 

Company-sponsored events often include information nights or business presentations for those looking at the business for the first time and training events for established reps. Almost every company holds an annual convention, open to all reps. At an annual convention, new products are launched, major incentives are unveiled, and significant company announcements are made.

While business presentations are often held an hour’s drive away or less, attending a major event like an annual meeting could require booking a flight and staying in a hotel for a few days. For most people that’s not a small investment. However, almost nothing can beat the inspiration you can receive from a regional or national event having spent time with thousands of excited team members ready to take control of their lives! 

An event ticket can cost anywhere from $10 for a local business presentation to more than $400 to attend a two- or three-day company convention. Speak to your sponsor about which events you should be aware of and expected costs involved so you can budget for them. 

Travel Expenses 

As your business grows and your leadership level rises, you may be expected to travel more in order to help either support a new team or attend an event. This won’t be a factor if you are focused on simply retailing products and making a few hundred dollars on the side to help increase your income. 

But if you are looking to build a secure, residual income, you should be prepared to invest some money in getting around to meet with your team members and help boost their growth. Don’t feel like you will be living out of a suitcase for weeks on end. That is rarely, if ever, the case. You’ll be looking at a total of per- haps seven to ten days of the year at most, with most trips away not lasting more than a couple of days.

Office Expenses

The best part about a home-based business is that you can decide just how much money to spend on creating your personal workspace. You can turn a spare room into an office with actual office furniture, or you can work in your kitchen or dining room. There’s no need to start with a state-of-the-art home office, filled with the latest gadgets and expensive stationery. Your smartphone, a computer, and perhaps a printer are more than enough to get you going. 

Basic items such as pens, a whiteboard and markers, and printing paper should be included in your office. Just remember that you won’t be expected to sit and work in your home office all day, nor should you. Keep to the minimum amount of items you will need in order to get started, then add other stationery and equipment when the income from your business allows you to and only if you really feel it is needed.

5. The Time Investment

Over 90 percent of reps who enter the industry work part-time. They are often working full-time in a job or another business or could be busy looking after a young family. One of the most notable aspects of network marketing is that you can build an income no matter how much you can invest into it. There are team members succeeding with five hours per week, and there are team members who have two or three days or more per week to invest into growing their business.

Even some of the very highest income earners put no more than fifteen to twenty hours a week into business building. This is simply because network marketing was created as a part-time business. The way it is structured and the tasks involved in growing your business were established for those who have little time but wanted to find a way to leverage it.

As you begin your business, sit down with your sponsor and make it clear as to the hours you can commit and when are the most likely times of the week and month you will be free for business activities. Then be disciplined about sticking with your time-management plan. You will notice, like many before you, that time can slip away very quickly if you are not firm with engaging in business-building activities at the times you have allocated.

Checklist: Is Network Marketing Right for You?

While the benefits of network marketing are highly appealing, the requirements of building this type of business are not for everyone. You will, like most people, be great at some things and need help with others. Or you may have “non-negotiables” in your personal life that could get in the way of building it successfully. It’s a good idea to go through this list and be totally candid with yourself about whether network marketing is something you believe you can succeed in.

Have you allocated money to invest in starting the business properly with the right tools and starter kit? 

  • Are you committed to making a monthly or weekly order of products? Will you pledge to use them yourself? 
  • Are you willing to learn the skills needed to promote and market the company’s products or services? 
  • Are you flexible and resilient enough to deal with unexpected events? 
  • Are you ready to make a list of friends, family members, and associates? Are you ready to present your business and products/service to these people knowing that some will reject the offer? 
  • Are you committed to overcoming your fears of starting a new business or becoming a salesperson
  • Are you committed to working with your upline and company? 
  • Have you thought about the time it will take to succeed in network marketing, and how you will find five to fifteen hours a week to grow your business? 
  • Are you willing to travel if necessary? 
  • Do you have the discipline to run a business so that tasks can be done in a timely manner? 
  • Are you committed to building your business in the face of possible opposition from family members or friends? 
  • Do you consider yourself a team player? 
  • Are you prepared to support and encourage your team members? 
  • Do you have the patience to stick with your new venture for a period of time before you experience a demonstrable increase in income? 
  • Have you budgeted for monthly marketing tools to help promote your product and company? 
  • Are you prepared to attend local and national events in order to spend time with other achievers and your own team? 
  • Have you allocated a specific space for your home office? 
  • Are you willing to be mentored and open to learning from those who have achieved success?

Where there any questions that surprised you? Anything you felt made you uneasy? Or did you go through the list and feel exhilarated by the opportunity that awaits? Make sure you’ve really thought about your answers, as the list you have just gone through is filled with the very questions you will ask yourself often during your experience, particularly in your initial business building days.

If you’re unsure of anything or feel that you need clarification on certain points, be sure to speak with your upline or a company leader so she can ex- plain exactly what the expectations are within your company and your organization.

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