Archive for July, 2010

work from home business,work from home job, mlm, networkingWe are looking at MLM as a viable work from home business. Today we will dig deeper to uncover some sources that will be helpful to you.

Do A Media Search;

Find out what the news media say about your target company. You can do this free of charge at the library researching Lexis-Nexis database. Finally, you can search by following using LEXIS-NEXIS express, which charges by the hour and by the amount of text printed out. Any articles found will be sent to you by mail, fax or e-mail as you request. Telephone number, 800-843-6476 fax number 937-865-7418 e-mail

Check For Complaints

Several government and private organizations keep records of complaints made against MLM companies. These include the State Attorney’s office, the state Department of Consumer Affairs, the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Direct Selling Association in Washington, DC.

Use caution when evaluating complaints. Many companies generate complaints due to temporary problems which are later resolved. Whether or not the complaints were resolved is a far better indicator of a company’s ethics. Use caution here as some agencies failed to distinguish between complaints and inquiries.

Every call is registered as a complaint, even if it really is just a request for information. Be sure to ask whether the agency distinguishes between actual complaints and other types of calls.

Check The Financial Stability

If your target company is listed on the stock exchange, check it out. Public companies are often required by law to publish detailed reports on their finances. You can request an actual report directly from the company. Or you can obtain the company’s financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission or from Dun & Bradstreet at 800-234-3867. SEC filings can be retrieved from the Internet at Firms that are privately held may not be required to divulge financial information. You will have to do some detective work. Dun & Bradstreet supplies some information on private companies, but not all.

Try asking the target company directly for their P&L statement. Most will refuse. Call up the company’s banker and asked whether the company is a borrowing customer, and is the company timely on its payments. Also ask whether it has applied for credit, and was the credit granted. You may be able to run a credit check on the company through credit reporting agencies such as Trans Union, Experian, formerly TRW or Equifax. Reports can be retrieved through the Internet. If you’re not on-line, ask your banker for assistance.

 Check the Litigation History

Find out what legal actions your company and its principal officers have been involved in. What are the amounts of the judgments, if any? Have there been state or federal tax liens? Credit reports will list  others. Beware, for instance, of companies that claim outlandish miracle cures for their products. They risk unwelcome scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration.

Also problematic are companies that promise a quick and easy path to riches, or companies that engage in front loading while pressuring distributors to purchase large quantities of inventory. They risk being investigated as a pyramid scheme. Legitimate MLM companies will not place onerous purchasing requirements for new recruits. At most, they will ask recruits to buy a starter kit. It costs usually between $10-$50. In addition you will need to make a start up product purchase.

This could include showcase packs that are discounted to familiarize the new recruit with the product line. Start up kits can contain videos, audio tapes, pertinent sales aids, distributor applications, product samples and the like. Legitimate companies will also guarantee a full refund on all products that you wish to return. They will refrain from guaranteeing high levels of income and will make it clear to new recruits that success comes only to those who work hard and sell lots of product.

Beware also of companies whose distributors boast too much about their earnings. Regulators will sometimes interpret such statements as an attempt to mislead prospects into thinking that everyone who joins the opportunity will make an equally large income.

Wise companies play it safe by discouraging distributors from flashing their paychecks. However, it is prudent to request copies of checks, annual income statements, p/l statements prior to joining as well as averaging the income of a natural distributor, who is someone that buys the product because they like and use it.

Beware if companies push distributors to build a huge down line over selling product. If there is no true product, people would not join if there wasn’t a business opportunity associated with it. Recruiting is important, but it spells bad news if it is the primary focus.

Companies whose main focus is recruiting are considered Vampire companies. In our next post we will look at the three questions you must ask  that will  identify a Vampire company.

So you don’t get sucked in.

We all have weaknesses that can inhibit our success. Today look at what you do well. Be thankful that you can do it. Then Just Do It…This slight edge is truly a game changer for your success.

work from home, Home based bussiness, mlm networking fro homePolicies And Procedures….A term that has most home based buisness owners eyes glazing over.

We touched on this earlier, but it is a critical aspect that bears repeating. Every company has a set of policies and procedures. Make sure that you read and understand them, prior to becoming involved with the company.

Many of the larger companies have similar non compete agreements that once you have enrolled with them prohibit you from joining another network marketing company and enrolling individuals that you brought into the previous company for a stated amount of time. Ask the business support team, as well as the company very specific questions regarding their policies and procedures relating to sponsoring and enrolling. Some of the policies and procedures obscure stiff penalties that can be levied against you. You could even lose your business, and the income that years of hard work procured.

Make Sure You Read The Policies and Procedures……Your future could depend on it.

The movies “Twilight” and “Eclipse” which made it’s debut this last weekend explore the darker side of fantasy. With all the media exposure to vampires and the fatal attraction to them. How do you protect your self from them in a business environment?

Beware if companies push distributors to build a huge down line over selling product. If there is no true product, people would not join if there wasn’t a business opportunity associated with it. Recruiting is important, but it spells bad news if it is the primary focus.

Companies whose main focus is recruiting are considered Vampire companies. Ask yourself these questions to make sure that you don’t get sucked in.

-Vampire network question #1:

Is anyone retailing products or are they just garage qualified? Of course, everyone should continue to seek new leaders to grow and develop but not to the point where no retailing of products occurs. There has to be a balance.

-Vampire network question #2:

Where is the focus? If the focus is only on recruiting and you are getting paid just to recruit, this is vampire networking.

-Vampire network question #3:

What is the product price? Is it competitively priced? Is the product price being inflated? Remember, only a few companies manufacture products for most MLM companies. Inflated prices occur when a company’s products are very high and the same product can be found with another company for much less. Plus, if you can find the product in places like Wal-mart, Costco, Safeway, on Ebay, etc., this spells trouble for distributors. Who can compete against Wal-Mart? When it comes to how to be successful in MLM, being involved with a company such as this will make success difficult.

-Vampire network question #4:

What profit are people making? A profit is simply the difference between the wholesale and retail price of a product. If distributors only get 3%, 5%, 7%, etc. of the wholesale profit, they are going to need many, many people to build a good income. Many people more than likely means a couple of thousand or more. Ouch! Vampire networking!

-Vampire network question #5:

How much overhead does the company have? For some, this sounds weird but it is important to consider. The less overhead, the more a company can put in a compensation plan for distributors.

-Vampire network question #6:

Are bonuses paid out? Do people have to go through so many hoops that only the top 1% of people are qualified? This is especially important to consider since most people in MLM are part-timers. If almost no one ever qualifies, where does the money go? If people are looking at how to be successful in MLM, think about this very carefully.

-Vampire network question #7

Would people buy the product if there were no business opportunity associated with it? The question to always ask is: “if the recruiting stopped for any amount of time, would the company still be in business?” If there is no true product yet lots of recruiting is going on, it’s an illegal pyramid scheme. So, to answer the question how to be successful in MLM, think carefully about the above questions. If some people don’t like the answers, it means they very well could be in a vampire network where success will be very difficult.

Choose to be part of a company you can build for the future for your children and your grandchildren.

copyright, 2010, Debbi A. Ballard All Rights Reserved.

More good news validating the power of network marketing comes from social media research on the engagement of women online.

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