Are you interested in becoming an entrepreneur? Do you want to take control of your finances, your life, and your time? Does the thought of paying tens of thousands of dollars in business startup fees or applying for a loan to secure a franchise intimidate you? Can you set accurate goals and stick to them?
If so, there is another option.
In the ultra-connected world of today, it has never been easier to take control of your future. Opportunities abound for those who are willing to work hard, network with others, and think outside the box. With current technologies facilitating and even encouraging an online presence and social connectedness, there has never been a better time to take charge of your network marketing career.
What is network marketing?
Network marketing (or multi-level marketing) is a business opportunity for people who are looking for are looking for flexibility in choosing how and when they want to work and be rewarded for the effort that person is willing to put in to succeeding, instead of just being paid to show up to work. Some very well-known companies in America can be considered network marketing businesses, including Tupperware, Avon, Nu skin, Juice Plus, and Mark Kay cosmetics. According to the Direct Selling Association (www.dsa.org), at least 18 million people in the United States are involved in direct sales and network marketing, which added approximately $34.9 billion to the economy in retail sales in 2017.
How does it work?
Multi-level marketing involves the direct sales of a product or products with the participants paid on a commission basis. Additionally, the network marketer can sponsor/recruit other people to join their network and receive a commission based on what their recruits sell. These recruits then pursue creating their own network of sellers and selling their products. The original marketer also receives a portion of the commission form their affiliates’ recruits. This creates a hierarchal network of distributors that can increase sales, recruitment, mentorship, and potential profits.
How are Network Marketing Businesses superior to Conventional Businesses?
There are many ways that a network marketing business is superior to a conventional business. This can include:
- Low cost of startup
- Ease of entry
- Mentorship available
- Low Overhead cost
- No advertising cost
- Flexible hours
- Meeting new people
- Global Reach
- Potential for worldwide growth
- Technology Driven
- Results & Performance driven
- Being your own boss
Generally, the cost to start out as a network marketer is low, compared to starting a conventional business. Entry costs generally consists of purchasing a starter kit, product samples, and training materials. This cost can be as low as $100, with the higher range being around $500. This low cost of entry allows the seller to start collecting profits sooner than most conventional businesses, which after startup costs can take a significant amount of time (months or years) to secure a return on investment.
There are few barriers to entering the field of network marketing. There are usually no educational requirements. In fact, mentorship is often provided, as there is a vested interest in making sure that the new marketer to the network has the skills to move products and recruit additional members to the network. There are no income requirements and very minimal startup costs. The low cost of entry makes network marketing a viable opportunity for almost everyone. Since a network marketer can work from anywhere, there are no rents to pay, no utility bills to pay, no employee costs, or equipment maintenance, or equipment upgrades to pay for. In fact, a network marketer can get started using only the phone in their pockets, or the tablet in their backpack.
One of the primary (and expensive!) costs of a business is advertising. According to Wordstream, online advertising costs for the average small business using Google advertising is between $9000 and $10,000 per month. Advertising can take a SERIOUS bite out of you profits! Luckily, as a network marketer for an established brand like Avon or Tupperware, that advertising structure is already in place, and the customer has most likely already heard of the company and will have a general idea of the products you are selling. Your part in the process is just to promote yourself and your products using social media, blogs, or word of mouth in your social circles, and local venues.
Another giant plus in the favor of network marketing versus operating a conventional business is the ability to set your own work schedule. This allows the network marketer to achieve the work & life balance that they desire. The flexibility to choose when and how hard you work is one of the primary attractions that draw entrepreneurs to network and multi-level marketing. This flexibility and freedom to choose are great for stay at home moms or dads, retirees, those that are financially stable but looking for a little extra cash, or basically anyone who prefers to not be locked down by the normal 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week grind. Too many people sacrifice quality time with their loved ones or do not pursue their hobbies because of onerous time burdens placed on them by their conventional jobs and worry about their careers. Of course, the more time and effort you put into growing your network and selling your products, the more successful you will be as a network marketer. However, there is no pressure to perform, you set your own goals and create your own sales and recruitment goals.
Getting the chance socialize and getting to meet new people is another great benefit of becoming a network marketer. Socialization is a key aspect of the business model. This can include traditional socialization, getting out and meeting your customers and recruits face to face, or be focused on using social media tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms to promote yourself, your team, and your products. Using online resources can increase your reach to customers around the globe. Now more than ever, the world is one global marketplace, with emerging markets and opportunities arising every day. Thanks to the internet and technological advances, the network marketer is not limited to one town, state, or even country! It is even possible to secure your own products and start your own multi-level marketing company, but obviously, this comes with increased costs, risks, and work load than joining an established network marketing company.
Another benefit to becoming a network marketer is the range of technological tools available to help you become a successful seller, recruiter, and team manager. The low cost of web hosting and the ease of creating your own distinct website with a website builder or content management system makes every marketer capable of promoting their products and team worldwide in a very short amount of time after startup. Additionally, there are Customer Relationship Management Apps available that allow a network marketer to manage their products, track messages, store client information, and create to-do lists and more right from their phone or tablet. These apps can provide critical data like pipeline information, sales tracking, sales forecasts, and message history to enable the marketer to maintain complete control over their business and ensure they meet or exceed their sales targets. These tools apps can help simplify and streamline your business, allowing you to spend more time working on the life balance, instead of working.
Performance drives the results of a network marketer. To be successful you must produce results. The successful marketer must make sales, recruit other marketers, be self-motivated, and manage your time effectively. Network marketing and direct sales is perfect for the motivated and energetic person that loves getting the results that they strive for. Network marketing is not a field for those who are content to sit behind a desk for eight or ten hours a day performing repetitive and monotonous tasks. Network marketing appeals to those that prefer a challenge, and who like to feel rewarded for their efforts. While this can seem to be stressful, the important thing to remember is you set your own goals, dictate you own deadlines, and set the standards for what is considered a success. You are basically in control of your own business.
Finally, we get to what some may consider to be the #1 benefit to becoming a network marketer…you work for yourself. You are in control. You are your own boss. Your success or failure depends on one thing – you. The more you sell, the more profit you make. The more affiliates you recruit, the more profit you make. The entire process is in your hands, and you are only limited by what you can imagine and put into practice. Innovators and those that can think outside the box will excel in network marketing, and the chance is open to almost everyone. Do you want to travel the United States and Canada in an RV? You can and create affiliate networks and sell products while you are travelling from the Grand Canyon to the Smithsonian. The opportunities available for a network marketer are only limited by the marketer themselves.