Monday, February 20, 2012

What's so Good about Network Marketing?

Back in December, I began a thread looking at different aspects of the network marketing/direct selling business. Life and holidays intervened and I'd like to pick that up again. I'd gotten as far as "defining" network marketing before getting sidetracked, and while I may not have (or even know) an "official" definition, "A non-traditional way of selling and distributing a product or service in which the sales force is compensated not only for the product they sell but also for the distribution network they create" pretty much works for me.

Now I would like to take up the question of "so what, why bother?" What is it about network marketing that, despite the bad press and questionable reputation, makes it a uniquely attractive business opportunity? To me there are four key attributes of a reputable and viable network marketing business. And while these may not each be unique to network marketing, they combine to make it a business model that nearly everyone ought to at least take a look at.

1. Generally network marketing has a very low cost of entry. In the case of my Reliv business, $25.00. For companies that have achieved and maintain Direct Selling Association membership (and the best of them do), any initial inventory purchases should be accompanied by a 90%, one year money-back guarantee. Try asking your Coronary Burger franchise issuer for 90% of your money back if you change your mind a few months down the road. Network marketing offers you the opportunity to establish a real business for, often, less than $100.

2. Network marketing businesses require low or no overhead. You have no employees, no storefront, no equipment and, for the most part, not very much inventory. Large parts of your business can be done online and normally the tools you will need to get there are provided, sometimes for a small fee, by your supplier company.

3. Your potential income is unlimited. There really are people making 5-figure monthly incomes in network marketing businesses. As we discussed in an earlier post, that isn't typical. But it does happen. What are you doing now that even offers you a possibility of earning $10,000, $20,000 or more per month next year? Or five years from now? Or ever?

4. Residual income lasts a lifetime, and often beyond. This is without a doubt the most powerful and compelling feature of a network marketing business. That the distribution network you build today will continue to pay you for the rest of your life. Not only pay you, but continue to grow even if you choose to retire from actively working it yourself (most really successful network marketers never retire because they enjoy working this very social business), because your downline network is full of people who are still out building their own businesses.

There are lots of other attractive features of this type of business. No special background or education or training is usually needed, it can be built up gradually without having to leave an existing job until you are ready to do so, and you can set your own standard for success. But these four reasons top my list. If you need to generate some extra income, implement a Plan B for your retirement or just want to take on the challenge of building a business around your other chores and responsibilities it is hard to beat network marketing.

So then, if its so great why doesn't everyone have a network marketing business? We'll look at the reasons why in a future post.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

US - Eurozone Accept Each Other's Organic Food Standards

After about 4 years of negotiations. American and European Union officials have decided that, with just a few minor exceptions, the differences in their standards for being considered an "organic" food were not significant and that they would begin to accept each others standards. This means that the market for organic foods, on both sides of the Atlantic, is about to double (at least from the producers' perspective). This should have the eventual effect of broadening selection and lowering costs (and, we may hope, prices). Good news for growers, distributors and consumers.

Coming Soon to Your Grocery Aisle: Organic Food from Europe

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Energy Drink Contents Are Often a Mystery

How much does "proprietary energy blend" on an ingredient label really tell us about what it is we are consuming? With emergency room visits for the effects of caffeine over-consumption up by a factor of 10 between 2005 and 2010, and about half of American college students using "energy drinks" on a regular basis, maybe it would be a good idea to find out?

Listen to this report from yesterday's NPR Morning Edition and decide for yourself.