Finding the right network marketing opportunity for you is an inspiring yet challenging process. Maybe you’re ready to get started with your own home business, but just not sure how to sort out and evaluate the various opportunities.
Maybe you have been working a business, but something just doesn’t seem in sync between your company, products, and you. You’re looking to see if a different opportunity might be a better fit for you.
Let’s look at ten important things to consider when evaluating a potential network marketing opportunity.
1. Looking at the product or service, do you think it would be fun to tell people about it?
This might not be expected right on top of the list, but honestly, if your product or service doesn’t get you fired up you likely won’t be very good at telling others about it. This business is hard work, to be sure, but it should be fun!
2. How stable is the company financially?
Many companies that offer a network marketing opportunity are private, thus you really don’t know for sure what their debt and cash position really is. There is a lot of talk in some companies about being “debt free”, but seriously, it’s pretty tough to operate a large business totally debt free.
While researching look for any mention of issues that could indicate a cash flow problem, such as late bonus checks or unusual delays in getting products out to distributors and customers.
3. How long has the company been in business?
Length of time in business isn’t the most important consideration, because all successful companies were once startups and older companies have gone out of business. However, it’s still something to look at because many MLM company startups will tend to crash and burn in the first 2-3 years of operation, so longevity is one solid indicator.
Note that many network marketing opportunity promoters will hype it up and talk about “getting in early” to catch some sort of wave or momentum….and there is a point in the growth curve of any company where things are exploding and growth is fast.
However, focus more on the quality of the products and the market for them – a solid long term opportunity won’t be limited to some magical “momentum” phase.
4. How unique are the products?
Watch out for “me too” products that aren’t substantially different from those available through retail channels. Companies sometime pop up with products that are intended to “catch a wave” for a while but ultimately the value isn’t there. They go away and leave a lot of disappointed reps behind.
5. How interesting is the product to retail customers outside the opportunity?
Sometime companies take a product line and build a network marketing opportunity around it, but the products are expensive and don’t really fill a gap in the consumer market. Think value. I remember a company a few years ago that marketed a line of consumer electronics gadgets.
People who worked the business hard made some money but the company didn’t last the test of time. The products were overpriced even at “wholesale”, so most of the purchases were by distributors. When almost all product purchases are made by distributors for personal use, with little retail activity outside the opportunity, there is usually trouble ahead.
6. Is the appeal of the product or service based on something trendy or faddish?
If you’re looking for relatively fast short-term income and don’t mind the risk, products based around fads or trends might be a quick hit. Some people enjoy riding trends and making as much as possible over the short term.
An example of this would be an opportunity built around a juice or weight loss product made from exotic berries found on some remote mountain range. Might be a great product, but things like this come and go pretty regularly.
If you’re more interested in a long-term business and prefer stability, select products or services based on long-term appeal in the market.
7. How quickly can you be in profit?
Check out the compensation plan carefully. A network marketing opportunity can pay out so much per dollar of product sold, and how this is distributed can make a big difference in your success. Look for a plan that allows you to make some decent money up front.
Ideally, there should be retail customers for the product as well as bonuses paid for achievement early on. It’s very important to your team building for new associates to be able to make some income quickly.
8. What type of tools and resources (for both online and offline marketing) are provided?
Most companies are up to speed with websites, marketing tools, videos, DVD’s, and other tools that help you tell the story. Just be sure they are professional and appealing. Ask for details about the training offered for new reps, as well. This is important.
9. Is the person you’re talking to a recruiter, or a sponsor?
A sponsor is interested and committed to your success. They will be there to train and help you get started successfully. A recruiter will pay attention to you until you sign up, then point you to training and move on to focus on more recruiting.
There needs to be a balance. A good sponsor cannot hold your hand and literally build your business for you, but they can take time out from other things to give you direction and assistance when you need it. They don’t forget you after you’ve signed up.
10. Is the network marketing opportunity something you can fit into your schedule on a part-time basis?
Consider whether the opportunity you are looking at can be realistically worked around your schedule. Check out the tools and resources available to reach prospects. Most people start this business part-time while working a regular job.
If you have a job that requires you to work evenings, then an opportunity that is built primarily through booking and holding in-home parties might not be a good fit.
Think about these ten things when choosing the right network marketing opportunity for you. And, above all, have fun with whatever business you choose!
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