Network Marketing: Legitimate Business Opportunity or Not?

Network marketing is the chiropractic of the business world. I say this with authority and confidence because I am a chiropractor. For many years we were looked at as the charlatans of health care. In recent decades, though, the profession has made great strides in proving its value and validity, both through anecdotal evidence as well as solid research. However, in spite of this, I still hear prejudiced comments that we are not “real doctors.” We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.To anyone in the network marketing world, this story must sound very familiar. Just do an internet search on “Network marketing scams” and see the plethora of information that comes up. Even when you are doing a legitimate search on the topic, the search results are peppered with naysayers.I’m going to tell you something that not many people realize. It will immediately open your eyes up to the legitimacy of the network marketing industry. In current times, most well known (we’re talking Fortune 500 companies) traditional companies are involved in, or at least considering, how to sell their products through network and/or affiliate marketing. As an example, Discovery Toys markets their products exclusively through network marketing with sales figures that exceed $100 million. Sprint’ MCI and AT&T make their long distance phone service available through network marketing companies. Major chains like Best Buy and Target use affiliate marketers to market their stores and products.So, as the dark veil of scam has been lifted from network marketing just a little bit with that juicy tidbit of information, let’s put this negative image to rest once and for all, shall we?Here are the facts:1. MLM, or what is more commonly referred to as network marketing these days, has been around since the 1940s, with the vitamin company Nutrilite.2. In 1959, Amway was born. They eventually took over Nutrilite, and MLM never looked back.3. The success of Amway drew attention; hence multiple network marketing companies were born.4. The people who ruin it for everyone came along. They saw the potential for lucrative rewards, created a counterfeit version of MLM, and Ponzi and pyramid schemes were developed. This caused the network marketing business to become associated with the word “scam”.5. At the urging through petition by ethical MLM companies, the government established ethical practices for a reputable MLM company and clearly defined what MLM is.6. MLM companies that are really just pyramid schemes get closed up relatively quickly as a result of the laws that have been put into place.7. Since MLM came into existence, the industry has evolved into a wide array of companies with a diverse range of products to sell, good compensation plans, and tools to help their marketers build their own business. Despite all the bumps in the road, MLM is a thriving industry and a very good way to build a business for yourself.If the above is true, why does the negative image persist?Issues that enhance the “Network Marketing Scam” image are as follows:1. There is greater than a 90 percent failure rate in the industry because the people who sign up don’t take action. They then blame the business model and perpetuate the “scam” image.2. Just like any other start-up business, it takes time and effort to build this type of business. If people don’t start getting a 4 figure monthly residual income check after signing up a few people, they think it’s a “scam.”3. Relating to point number 2, the marketing tactics by people already in the business are not sound. Proper marketing must be done in order to create and duplicate success. Otherwise, the network marketing scam image is perpetuated when promises are made of riches and free time within weeks of joining, but in reality those promises cannot be kept.4. The laws that were meant to protect MLM also hurt the MLM image, unfortunately. The idea of pyramid selling is also a mentality, not necessarily just a business structure. So, with any MLM compensation plan, the attitude of pyramid scheme gets easily applied to it, and people immediately think “network marketing scam.”5. Most people you speak to about your network marketing business will never join you because it’s not for them. It takes persistence, perseverance, and maximum exposure of your business through solid marketing techniques to find the people who are cut out for network marketing.6. Network marketing gives people the impression it is easy to make money; the REAL truth is, network marketing is HARD.So, with everything I just told you, where is the good news in all of this? We have a reputable business model that has a somewhat tarnished reputation. It’s not as easy as it was once made out to be. You must ask yourself this question, then: Are you truly cut out for this business?Consider the following as you try to answer that question.· Do you want to continue working in a corporate job most of your life with the realization that you may never retire early and spend time with your family? For some people this is the easier route because at your J-O-B you just show up, put your time in, get your check, and leave. Not much effort besides what your job requires, and there is a guaranteed income, even if it’s not the amount you would like to have.OR… · Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to come up with an idea from scratch. You are just as entrepreneurial if you see an opportunity and create your own destiny based on how you present that opportunity to the world.My full and final assessment of network marketing is this: if you have ever wanted to own your own business, be your own boss, work from home, set your own hours, and not have a salary cap on how much you can earn, then you should consider network marketing. You must not enter this business, though, if you think it’s going to be easy, and you aren’t willing to put in the work.Do your due diligence; study the company (or companies) you are going to get involved in – in addition to the material they provide you, there are also websites that list the top network marketing companies. Learn about their products. Understand how you will get paid. Ask questions. Talk to other distributors. Assess whether or not you yourself can duplicate a successful business model within that company.Take your time with this decision. You are going into business for yourself. Once you figure out if you are ready to take your career into your own hands, move forward with confidence and a solid business and marketing plan.

Looking For A Business

Finding a business to open is not as easy as it sounds. Pre-work is necessary if the business is to even survive. For example, when thinking about a brick and mortar store leg work is needed for location and the type business. First, an area is needed. One needs to search the target area and determine what businesses are already operating. That allows one to select a business that is new to that area, which assures customers. If the town or local area is not important, then choose a college town, with a location near the college. Second, the best location in any area is a street corner where there is heavy traffic, and with parking. Quickly it is seen that just renting a store building and filling it with products is not the best idea. Doing the homework is a must.An online business is harder to determine in some ways. In some it is easier. Setting up an online business is harder because the businesses are worldwide already. No doubt you have received all kinds of offers via email. And searching the Internet can be disheartening for it seems that anything and everything is already available. It is easier to set up online and cheaper running from free web sites to a some what costly dot.com. If you are fairly proficient with HTML, etc, then setting up a dot.com may not be very expensive. Cost up front then may not be expensive, and is likely less expensive than setting up a brick and mortar store.There are some keys, or thoughts, that can help.For a brick and mortar store location, as indicated above, and products are very important to keep down competition and be assured of customers. However the products should be repeat purchases, and the more frequent, the better. Fast food restaurants, grocery stores, and drugstores are apt to do well because of the repetitive buying, if they are not near or next to a chain. If one is setting up an independent business next to a chain with the same general products then there must also be specific items not carried by the chain, or the item quality must be better than the chain.A key item for an online business, even more than for a brick and mortar store is advertising. This can be done for free, or bought, but either way the store and particularly the products must be in front of surfers constantly. Either one must spend a lot of time advertising, or hire it done.Products should be unique, desirable, and useful. One can sell products that others have on the Internet if they can advertise better than the others, meaning getting your products up every time a surfer looks for your products or anything near to what you sell. Then you must have a good sales pitch.What about unique products. Take software for example. Can you find a programming student that is writing or has written, a useful software program and has not sold it ? That is possible at Universities and less likely among working programmers. Perhaps you could buy all rights to the software, or go into a partnership with the programmer. Then you have a unique product to sell.How about contacting a company, such as GE, and arrange to have a line of small products drop shipped for you ? That is a possibility.What about producers of children’s products. There are a raft of them from clothing to books, to toys. Would those producers drop ship for you.What are you expert at ? Write a book or manual explaining it in detail and sell it. Or perhaps begin a consulting service got that expertise.Then there is the possibility of outsourcing your own product where it can be drop shipped also. From books to you name it can be produced overseas in China, India, and other places.Do not jump in a pond, the Internet, crowded by others selling the same products. Think outside that box.Good luck at whatever you sell.

What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.