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What is Network Marketing?!?
Whether by choice, or just plain necessity, more people than ever are starting their own home-based businesses. Network Marketing is an often over-looked, home-based business opportunity that is open to anyone and in these current economic times, certainly worth consideration.
Over time, Direct Sales and Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) have generally become synonymous with each other and more recently, the friendlier term of "Network Marketing" has been coined to describe this industry. For the purposes of this article, Network Marketing will be used to describe Direct Sales companies with an MLM compensation plan.
In Direct Sales, products and services are marketed directly to customers, generally in their homes or the homes of others, through personal explanation and demonstrations. To over 1 million+ Canadians, direct selling is a viable, potentially lucrative home-based business.
Multi-level Marketing or MLM, is a compensation plan used by most (but not all) direct sales companies whereby representatives receive compensation for products they sell, and are also compensated for the sales of representatives they sponsor into the organization.
Unfortunately to most people, Network Marketing continues to remain covered in a shroud of dubious mystery. This is due in part, to bad press generated from a few unscrupulous companies but even more so, to a lack of positive information being made available to the general public.
Network Marketing is:
1) Not a "get rich quick" scheme - People who succeed in Network Marketing, do so only because of hard work, determination, perseverance and more hard work.
2) Not a "pyramid scheme" - Network Marketers do not profit off the losses of other people. Network Marketing is structured so that an individuals success is directly attributed to how well they are able to help others become successful
3) Not Illegal - Pyramid schemes are illegal. True Network Marketing companies are not pyramid schemes. Some pyramid schemes try to disguise themselves as Network Marketing opportunities. Do your homework - before joining any company, research, research, research. Most reputable companies are members of the Direct Selling Association (In Canada: www.dsa.ca, in the US: www.dsa.org), which means that they practice their business according to certain guidelines (i.e. offer product guarantees, will buy back products from distributors - less a modest restocking fee, etc.).
4) Not all about "recruiting" - The most successful Network Marketing companies are founded based on providing products and/or services of the highest quality. Almost any product you can think of is now sold through Network Marketing: house wares to health products, toys to phone services.
5) A proven business system - As mentioned above, almost every imaginable product and service is now offered via Network Marketing. Why? Because it works. For the company, it is an extremely effective channel through which to market a product. For the representatives, it is generally a complete "business in a box", that offers the opportunity to earn a good income and in some cases, financial freedom.
6) A business opportunity available to anyone - Any individual, regardless of gender, race, religion and education, can start and successfully run these time-proven business opportunities.
Many great books have been
written on the subject of Network Marketing and if this article has peaked
your interest, I encourage you to investigate further!
Michelle Cooper is a full-time mom to a 4 year old daughter, 4 month old son and 30 year old hubby. In her "spare" time, she runs a successful at-home toy business and helps other moms join the wild, wooly, and very rewarding world of self-employment. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through her website: www.homebasedmoms.ca.