Questions, Questions, Questions

As an MLM Consultant, on a daily basis I talk to more than 10 new people doing research on MLM Software, MLM Legal issues, MLM Comp Plans, or a ton of other topics related to MLM. The one thing most of these individuals want to know is: “How do I build a successful MLM?” What do I tell them? Well, I tell them exactly what you are about to read right now.

To start it is a good idea to look at the industry as whole. There is no real way to know exactly how many “MLM” type businesses exist. Some try to quantify it in terms of “Legit” or “Legal”… But that kind of classification is so vague from one country to the next or even one state to the next. Some MLM Consultants or MLM experts claim there are approximately 2000 MLM’s. This figure is at least lacking one 0.

Since Cognigen and the birth of replicated websites (independent distributor websites that are duplicates of the main corporate site) in the mid to late 90’s MLM software has become more and more competitive. New categories within MLM called Affiliate programs or Referral programs have emerged allowing many thousands of “Brick and Mortar” companies to develop an independent sales force via the internet. Many hundreds of these companies have a multi-tiered commission structures (pays commission to more than one person based on a single sale). In essence, these companies are MLM (Multi-Level Marketing).

At the same time that Affiliate programs started going nuts in the early 2000’s, MLM companies of all types and configurations started popping up. As it became more and more inexpensive to buy MLM Software, individuals who would have otherwise been unable to afford to take their idea and turn it into a company now started popping up all over the place. A new generation of MLM companies was born, the virtual product. Anyone with an idea, content, information to sell could now do it easily over the internet.

Today there are easily over 20,000 “MLM” type companies around the world. All of these, looking for independent sales people to do 2 things:

A- Market their product/service
B- Market their MLM program.

So, you ask, “Okay, how do I start one of these “IF” it’s so easy.” Well, while it might be ‘easy’ to start an “MLM” type business… it’s a lot different topic to talk about creating an ongoing “successful” corporate structure.

Distributors often ask, “How can I choose the RIGHT MLM?” (my take on this question) That question is just as difficult to answer as “How do I build a successful MLM?” However, over the decades different successful (and not so successful) MLM distributors have created lists of things they typically look for. That list typically goes something like this:

A- Unique quality product
B- Financially stable & well managed company (the founders & corporate management)
C- Lucrative compensation plan
D- Solid upline support and/or good marketing/duplicable system

It varies from person to person on how they word this list, or weigh the value of each. However, typically there are 4 key elements. Some times referred to as the 4 legs of MLM, as in a stool requires 4 legs to be stable. Some will however say that the Product is more important or the compensation plan is more important. You can read some of my thoughts on this topic here (CLICK HERE)

This is a good list for anyone to look at as a high level guide for developing a corporate MLM concept around. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that a product or a compensation plan or the stability of a company or the upline support or system or any combination or all 4 together of these are the “be all” and “end all” formula for a successful MLM business… because frankly… THEY’RE NOT!

The real deep, bottom of the pit, rock bottom line is that there is no formula. No MLM Consultant no matter how good can tell you exactly what you have to do step by step to be successful with your particular resources and ideas.

Again… Frankly… some ideas are just… well… stupid !?!?

It takes more than just 4 legs to make a solid stool. In fact most stools have cross members, elements that hold the legs together. Of all the pieces I personally feel… these cross members are the most critical to the success of a company and yet, most companies forget about them or don’t recognize them at all.

Most serious companies that have their “ducks in a row” will put together a fairly solid stool. That template has been laid out for a few decades and is easy to use as a guide.

However, I have seen companies with a great product, super comp plan, well funded and properly managed, with a solid marketing support team and system and they just drag for years, never really generating solid growth. I’ve seen such companies just lug and plod along until finally they start changing the 4 legs of their stool around. They play with the comp plan, introduce new products, throw money at the infrastructure and hire new people, and even revamp their distributor advisory boards and marketing systems. All that in an effort to “Spice” things up… most end up making things worse, making distributors upset, and slowing growth even more.

The real keys to unlock growth lies within the passion of the human being. Those non-tangible qualities of the human spirit: hope, aspiration, desire, and dreams.

If you truly want to know the secret to opening the box… You’ll have to wait until I write my next blog.

More to come…


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