I’ve distilled the whole “MLM company research” process down to 7 key points for you to consider… This is by no means comprehensive but it captures the big picture when evaluating potential network marketing companies you might want to join. It distills the essence of what is important when looking to join a MLM company in this day and age.
Here we go.
- Usage of Its Brand Name
- The RISK Factor
- The Product(s)
- Compensation Plan
- Personal Experience
1. Does the Company Allow Its Distributors to Use Its Brand Name?
Simply put, do you get in trouble if you so much as publicly mention the company’s name and announce that you are a distributor? Does their legal police come knocking and threatening you with a lawsuit on the basis of trademark infringement?
This happens more often on the internet, where many network marketing companies shudder at the thought of their distributors utilizing their brand name in their marketing efforts. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can understand WHY some of them are so keen on protecting their trademarked name, because they are fearful that some nonsense distributor will misuse and misrepresent them and bring about a lawsuit on the company (ya know, via false advertising and plain ol’ shenanigan).
Regardless, it’s still a pain to have to dance around the company name. It’s like creating a blog that goes, “Hi my name is Raymond and I am a distributor for a company whose name I can’t reveal publicly… but rest assured that this is absolutely a LEGIT company with NOTHING to hide.” Uh huh… yeah, that’ll go over well.
What some companies have done now is to only allow distributors who’s “proven” themselves (as in, reached a certain level within the company) before allowing them to utilize the brand name.
Ideally, find a company that allows you to utilize their brand name. Second best… find one that has some qualifications. To me, a company that REFUSES to let its distributors use its name is just making it more challenging for its distributors to promote.
2. Analyze the RISK Factor
Welcome to the business world where risk is an inherent aspect of our daily lives
- When it come to analyzing the risk involved in joining a home business company, there are several things you have to bear in mind.
- What is the history of the company? Has it been around long enough to be considered “stable”?
- What is the cost of your investment upfront? What about the cost of investment every month in the form of autoship (which you might have to sign up for to qualify for certain “benefits”)?
- What about the product? Is it just a fad that’ll go away in the next few months leaving you, your team, and the MLM company empty-pocketed and in shambles?
- What about the risk of you NOT succeeding – plain and simple? Are you likely to succeed or not given all the other factors?
See, it’s not a matter of finding a company with NO risk, that’s impossible. Everything in business requires you giving up SOMETHING for the possibility of gaining something in return. It’s a matter of mitigating the risks involved and being okay with those risks considering your investment and the possibility of losing it all.
Like they say… little risk little reward, big risk, well, TYPICALLY means big reward but could also mean you just got fooled.
3. How Good is the Product?
While it’s true that most people join MLM not so much for the product but more for business opportunity, You see,» the MLM product you’ll be promoting STILL matters. Because at the end of the day, if the product doesn’t sell, you just have a bunch of distributors whose clients are ONLY other distributors who bought the product because “they had to” or so “they can qualify for their paycheck” – and THIS is a pyramid scheme in the making.
- Is it desirable by the general masses? Is there a market?
- Is it relatively fair-priced? Would a client seriously pay that amount for it?
- Is it a fad that’ll die out soon?
- Is the product a liability (FTC won’t be shutting the company down right)?
- Does it actually do what it CLAIMS to do or is it just all bull and hype?
- Will the product sell?
Look, it’s network marketing company, you don’t need the best product on the market to succeed (heck, general brick ‘n mortar stores are stuffed with crappy merchandise, and they do alright…), however, you still need a product that’s not complete garbage so that it CAN sell.
Be smart about your decision to join a company – don’t get easily swayed by talks of compensation plan, about helping you realize your dreams, and all that other “feel-good” stuff they feed you – look at the goods, if it sucks, GET OUT.
4. What’s the Compensation Plan Like?
You are in it for the money… admit it. You are looking to join a business opportunity because it is a viable option to produce some side income that just might turn into a lucrative income stream. Sure sure, you can twist and turn it and say, “I like the product.”, “I like to help others realize their dreams.”, “Money is evil…”
But truthfully, you would NOT consider building this business if you did not get paid.
So glad we come to agreement on that So with that said, let’s make sure that the multilevel marketing you are considering joining will pay you and pay you well! And you do that by examining its compensation plan.
- What’s the payout like?
- When do I get paid?
- Do I get compensated now AND later?
- Does my pay help do justice to my “rank/level” within the company?
- How is the residual income potential?
- Are there some ridiculous rules in place that will PREVENT me from getting the paycheck I deserve/earned?
- What is the “exit strategy”? (This has largely to do with the passive income potential.)
- Is the compensation plan structured such that my upline is encouraged and motivated to help ME and such that I am encouraged and motivated to help my downlines?
If the compensation plan sucks and you will hardly get paid… unless you are into volunteer and charity work, I’d reconsider joining that specific multi level marketing company.
5. Is the Training All Just “Hoo-Rah-Rah”?
How’s the training provided by the company? Is it just all “hoo-rah-rah” or does it actually have any sustenance? Hoo-rah-rah stuff stuff is great, it’s where the company gets all of its distributors all fired up. There’s a time and a place for that sort of stuff, however, if that’s all that company has to offer its members in terms of training, that’s when you should start getting a bit worried.
Too many multi-level marketing companies rely merely on the “excitement” of its members to propel and grow the company. They prey on their members’ hopes and dreams and belief that THIS MLM company will help them achieve their goals in life… These companies capture on that excitement and tries to drag it on as long as they can – by holding highly energetic and emotional meetings where no real education happens but just a bunch of ex-crack addicts who happened to do well in that company (because they got in first…) and “transformed” themselves.
You might consider skipping on the companies that don’t know how to train their folks.
Look into companies that teach their MLM distributors oh I don’t know… things like:
- Personal development
- People skills
- Business sense
- Prospecting techniques
- Overcoming your fear of rejection
- Actual marketing skills
- How to run your business LIKE a business
- Developing interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- The list goes on and on…
Note that on that list, just having meetings/events where they do nothing but to just “pump you up” does NOT qualify as training (yes, again, it has its place but there HAS to be more training than just pump you up).
6. Does It Allow You to Market the Way YOU Want to Market?
It’s called network/multi level MARKETING for a reason.. because the idea is that you are suppose to MARKET your business/those products – I know, what a concept right?
So find out what sort of marketing restrictions (if any) the company has in place? Do they allow you to market online? What about their policy when it comes to using their trademarked names (both company and product)? Are there any red-tape in place that might prohibit or restrict your ability to market and therefore build your business? How easy do they (and their products) make it for you to market?
Even though you might be new to all of this, be very clear upfront with what you can and CAN’T do when it comes to marketing – because ultimately, that’s synonymous to how you will be allowed to build your business. And you don’t want anybody telling you how to run YOUR business
7. Personal Experience… So Far
You may not have had much experience with that specific company but maybe you’ve had SOME. From what you’ve seen and know so far, how do they make you feel?
Does the company look “professional” to you? As in, do they know like a fly-by-night company or do they have some true potential? What about how receptive the market is to their philosophy and products?
You can tell a lot by some of its distributors. Where was your impression of the member that prospected/contacted? Did he/she try to hard-sell you like a used car-salesman? Did he/she pressure you? If so, that’s a reflection on the company and certainly on the team you’d join (although I have to say that this is not always the case… don’t let one rotten apple ruin the whole experience for you – it COULD just be the distributor doing a bad job).
Whatever the case, listen to your gut feeling, go with your instinct. Don’t believe everything you read/hear and keep an open mind.