Q. Is Network Marketing (commonly known as multi-level marketing, or MLM) a legitimate business? Can you really make good money?
A. To help you understand what network marketing is, I must first explain what it isn’t. First, network marketing isn’t a pyramid scheme. Pyramids are programs similar to chain letters where people just invest money based on the promise that other people will put in money that will filtrate back to them and somehow, they’ll get rich. A pyramid is strictly a money game and has no basis in real commerce. Normally, there’s no product involved at all, just money changing hands. Modern-day pyramids may have a product, but it’s clearly there just to disguise the money game.
Network marketing is a legitimate business. First, it’s based on providing people with real, legitimate products they need and want at a fair price. While some people do make a lot of money through network marketing, their financial benefit is always the result of their own dedicated efforts in building an organization that sells real products and services.
Pyramids are illegal and are based on taking advantage of people. For a person to actually make money in a pyramid scheme, someone else has to lose money. But in network marketing, each person can multiply his or her efforts, skills and talents by helping others be successful. Network marketing has proved itself as part of the new economy and a preferred way to do business here and around the world. In fact, here’s some companies which use network marketing:
- Dell Computers
- Colgate Palmolive
- Usborne Books
- Telecom Plus
- Fuller Brush Company
Network marketing isn’t about taking advantage of your friends and relatives. Only a few years ago, network marketing meant retailing to, and sponsoring people from, your “warm list” of prospects. Although sharing the products or services and the opportunity with people you know is still the basic foundation of the business, today we see more people using sophisticated marketing techniques such as the Internet, conference calling and other long-distance sponsoring techniques to extend their network across the country.
Network marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Of course some people do make large amounts of money quickly. Many would say those people are lucky. But success in networking isn’t based on luck. Success in network marketing is based on following some very basic yet dynamic principles.
Let’s discuss what network marketing is. Network marketing is a serious business for serious people. It’s a proven system where the design, creation and expense the corporate team has gone through becomes a road map for your own success. Just follow the simple, proven and duplicable system that the good companies provide.
The real key is this: Network marketing is all about leverage. You can leverage your time and increase the number of hours of work effort on which you can be paid by sponsoring other people and earning a small income on their efforts. J. Paul Getty, who created one of the world’s greatest fortunes, said “I would rather make 1 percent on the efforts of 100 people than 100 percent on my own efforts.” This very basic concept is the cornerstone of network marketing.
For example, most successful people building a network marketing business do so in an organized method. They work a few dedicated hours each week, with each hour of effort serving as a building block for their long-term business growth. Then they sponsor other people and teach those people how to sell the company product and sponsor others who duplicate the process.
By helping the people you personally sponsor to sponsor others, you duplicate yourself. As this process continues, you create compound growth that can lead to hundreds or even thousands of people coming into your business. You leverage your time by helping others be successful and earn an income from all their efforts.
With network marketing, there are no big capital requirements, no geographical limitations, no minimum quotas required and no special education or skills needed. Network marketing is a low-overhead, homebased business that can actually offer many of the tax advantages associated with owning your own business. Network marketing is a people-to-people business that can significantly expand your circle of friends. It’s a business that enables you to travel and have fun as well as enjoy the lifestyle that extra income can provide.
Here’s some criteria I believe are important to check, before joining a network marketing company:
- Products / Services: Are they reasonably priced? Are they decent quality. Is there a large potential market? Are at least some of them consumable? Is there a guarantee?
- Company: Have they been around for a long time (at least 5 years) and have a good track record through various econimic conditions?
- Is there a support system in place for new distributors?
- Is the startup cost reasonable (shouldn’t be any more than £200).
- Can you make profit quickly (within your first couple of months)?
- Does the person you are considering joining with have some success? Will they be available to help you get started and provide you with the information you need to be successful?
- What is the growth potential? Local? Nationwide? International?
With all the “get rich quick” scams out there, it’s easy to become lost in trying to find a genuine opportunity. I hope that by checking the above criteria, it helps you make an more informed decision before you decide whether to get involved in this exciting and rewarding industry or not.
Do your research, get the facts and best of luck!