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So You Want to Join a Start-up MLM?

Mar 25, 2008
You're setting across the table from a prospect. You show them your company's presentation as you have shown others dozens of times before. And then they tell you, "my neighbor showed me this two weeks ago". You think to yourself, "If only I had gotten into my company during the early days, before everyone's neighbor was in."

They call it a MLM ground floor opportunity, a network marketing start-up. It is the opportunity to get in with the first distributors of the company. They are called the early adopters. They hear about it and have the ability to think quickly and move quickly to position themselves.

You hear the story of the one of those who got in early. You want to be one of those stories. For many the start-up position seems enviable. In an ocean of possible companies, it is the one that has grown to a position of preeminence in your mind.

In that ocean of possibilities, the start-up MLM may be a ship that it is best not-to-board because it is doomed to sink. How would you know? Consider the following:

What is the vision of the founders?

A company is only as good as its vision. Get to know what you can about the true vision. Not just the vision statement but listen to the founders speak and ask yourself, "Does what they are saying match with the vision statement of the company?"

What is the experience of the founders?

Have they been successful in networking marketing? But, that is not all. Have them been successful in leading a network marketing company? You want to associate with people who have good business sense and experience.

What is the compensation plan?

Unless you are looking for another hobby, you want a compensation plan that is worth your effort. You want one that pays out something early on so that people you sponsor see early progress. You want a compensation plan where there is no breakage. That is, all earned money stays with the distributors and does not roll-up to the company when no one qualifies for it.

What are the products?

Do they have broad or niche appeal? Are you excited by them? You want products that are consumable, so that you can get repeat sales from the same customers. You want products that are unique in their ingredients or value.

What is the trend?

Are the products positioned in an up-trend? Products that appeal to retiring baby boomers are going to be a major up-trend. An example is health products that offer anti-aging factors. Eco-friendly products are a huge trend. Nutritional products from the ocean or tropical rainforests are the beginning of an enormous trend. The public is paying more and more attention to how and where products are grown.

Does it have an expandable product line?

Product lines built on a single ingredient, juice, or extract, may go through the rise, expand, contract, & decline cycle much more quickly than products with a broad range of components. Look for a company that can adjust to changing market conditions with new product lines.

Is the company synergistic with internet business?

Can you market, transact business, and train people on the internet? Companies and products rise to prominence today faster than they ever have. If you want to reach a generation of young ambitious marketers, you need to be prepared to have your content, commerce, and community online.

Does the company offer international opportunities?

While you may not personally sponsor people internationally, those you sponsor may want to sponsor them. The most successful network marketing or MLM companies go international. The emerging markets are international in places like India, China, and the Latin American region. What about Singapore, the UK, Canada, or Australia and New Zealand?

Does the company offer good overall OGI?

OGI stands for Opportunity & Growth versus the Investment. There will be an investment of time and resources in a ground floor MLM opportunity. You want to make sure that the opportunity offers you and those you sponsor sufficient financial rewards. You want to make sure that it offers you professional growth to help you stay on the cutting edge of the direct sales industry. Why not sit down and do an OGI analysis?

When you examine a new opportunity or even an existing one, make sure you can get past the barriers. Many people today blame network marketing, or themselves for a perceived failure when they tried it once. That may not be accurate. Barriers may have been the reason.
About the Author
Rick Hubbard - B.A.Communication and Organizational Leadership; M.A. in Educational Technology He is a media specialist at a university and consults in communication and e-learning.He enjoys helping people successfully market their internet businesses.He is a rep for OceanLife International OceanGrown International OGI
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