Network Marketing, Direct Selling or Multi-Level Marketing is a great way to earn additional income, have time freedom, enjoy family time and freedom, and earn residual income. The benefits go on and on but how do you choose a company?
Making a selection among the more than 3000 network marketing/MLM companies can be difficult. After all there are many variables to consider. One factor can make the decision simpler–the Direct Selling Association. The DSA is a watchdog organization over network marketing companies. Companies are invited to join when they meet certain criteria. The Association’s mission is “To protect, serve and promote the effectiveness of member companies and the independent business people they represent. To ensure that the marketing by member companies of products and/or the direct sales opportunity is conducted with the highest level of business ethics and service to consumers.”
“Compliance with the DSA Code of Ethics is a requirement for membership in the Direct Selling Association. All applicants for membership must complete a one-year pending period during which time the company’s business plan is reviewed to ensure compliance with all provisions of the Code. After becoming an active member of the association, companies are required to maintain compliance with the Code as a condition of continuing membership.
Company compliance with the Code of Ethics makes a bold statement about that company’s commitment to practicing the highest ethics in business. By doing business with a DSA member company, the field sales force and the ultimate consumer can be sure they are dealing with a company serious about providing quality and service at the highest levels. In other words you can rest easy that the company you are joining is concerned about quality at all levels including protecting you the distributor. Only 200-300 companies are invited to be members of the DSA which reduces the pool of contenders.”
Beyond the DSA you can do Due Diligence in checking out the companies you are considering. Years in business can be a good indicator that this company will still be in business many years in the future. Some companies have gone public and their stock is traded on one of the exchanges. Companies that are public must have their books available to the public. Nothing is hidden. Expenses and debt obligations are listed. A company that is debt-free can certainly allow you to feel confident that the company can meet its obligations and make necessary investments.
Is the CEO of the company and other Principal members accessible to distributors? Has the CEO been with the company for years, months or since last week? A CEO that stays with the company provides additional assurance that the company is stable.
Are the products effective and unique? Can you be passionate about the products? Some companies have patents on their products. Patents are issued for products that are unique, do what they say they do and can be reproduced time and time again. This provides additional assurance that the company is high quality and supports their distributors.
How is the company marketed? Is it online? Online business opportunities are growing rapidly. Some people are looking for an opportunity that is only online. Others would like to avoid the computer entirely. It depends on your personal preference.
Is the company part of a growing industry in addition to the Direct Selling/Network Marketing/MLM industry? An example is the Wellness industry which is predicted to grow to a Trillion dollar industry in the next 3-5 years.
Does the company have any media coverage? Are they on Forbes Magazine’s list of “Top 200 Best Small Companies” or Business Week’s “Top 100 Hot Growth Companies”. 3rd party validation can be very important.
Does the company provide training and support? Are distributors handed books and tapes and sent on their way? Or, are there regular training meetings? Some Network Marketing businesses can be competitive and distributors are discouraged from working together. While others operate in a spirit of cooperation and teamwork. Additional training is provided by other members of the team through mentorship.
Does the company have a System of support? A System is a schedule of conferences, special events, and conference calls. Training and presentations are standardized–they are the same from location to location.
Finally, how do you make money at the business? How is the compensation plan? Do you make money several different ways or just one way? Residual income is an important part of Network Marketing businesses. It allows you to earn money on work done previously. It allows you to retire someday. Does the company provide bonuses and trips? Are the trips completely covered by the company?