What would your immediate response be if I were to ask you to look at the other side of today’s global economic uncertainty – and have you look there for opportunity?  This opportunity becomes a reality through taking advantage of today’s business trends – not fearing them.  One such opportunity to build long-term residual income and personal freedom comes with Network Marketing.

Is it all about labels?

Network Marketing has taken its hits over time – especially when it wore the label “Multi-Level Marketing.”  It obviously is not a new concept, but it is obviously still misunderstood, and it is actually expanding rapidly.  The most simple definition is that Network Marketing is but one of a number of ways to move products from manufacturers to consumers; an alternative that is used by most major corporations today.

An alternative to traditional retail advertising and distribution…

In the retail channel, corporations spend $10 to $20 million dollars per advertising campaign – the whole focus being to convince a buying public to … well, buy.  Those dollars are above and beyond what is paid to distributors, truckers, warehouse staff, clerical and administrative support, etc.

Other alternatives are also available to the consumer, in the form of discount warehouse stores, shopping online, and mail order companies; alternatives that don’t come under the same degree of scrutiny that Network Marketing does.  Amazon and Overstock, L.L. Bean and Buy.com… none of them  have difficulty impressing their loyal customers in their attempt to provide quality, selection, delivery and customer service at a higher level.  The question begs to be asked… why does Network Marketing have to pay such a high price to prove its credibility?  Why does the “taint” follow some markets and not others?

Combining many distribution options…

Network Marketing, as a proven business model seeks to do nothing more than combine the best aspects of all distribution options, the highest quality merchandise, the convenience of home delivery, and the time-saving value of allowing – – yes, allowing, the customer the privilege of participating in the sales and distribution process!

Success Magazine even supports Network Marketing as an actual complement to the world’s developing business models and business trends as manufacturers continue to see a way to keep their advertising dollars as close to the actual point of sale as possible.  The one critical point that is often overlooked in this method of distribution is that the passion of an enthusiastic and committed network marketer is huge compared to that of someone in charge of a marketing campaign designed only for dollars in their pocket.  The proof of the power of this method of distribution is seen in the fact that Colgate -Palmolive, Gillette, Jockey International and the Body Shop all have complete Network Marketing departments in their companies.  Not to mention that MCI requested the assistance of Amway in marketing their long distance services through their network – a joint venture that worked so well that after three million subscribers took advantage of the opportunity for lower priced and better distribution – AT&T was forced to invest huge sums of money in a “traditional” marketing campaign that we all know as “We want you back.”

Baby Boomers participate in distribution success…

Where did the idea of MLM go south; where did the negative feedback begin?  It is known that this alternative distribution process – regardless the name it was given – has been responsible for the success of some of the highest quality, innovative products throughout American history:  sewing machines, vacuum cleaners and smoke detectors are but a few well known items.  It doesn’t matter what the product is – the baby boomers are willing to spend money on anti-aging, skin care, natural food supplements, communication technology, and a plethora of other products… and in the process, they too have seen the empowerment – the freedom of lifestyle choices – that come with participating in the distribution process themselves, building a future without sacrificing themselves or their values in the process.

In the quest to work smarter, not harder; to make better choices in creating something of value and integrity – more and more people are seeking their freedom as the search for opportunity, leadership and balance.  More and more are finding all they seek through Network Marketing.

Jan Vitale… supporting Network Marketing – the business model for a troubled economy.

Vital Enterprises, LLC – – where you can always find great tips, tools and resources about nutrition, vital document storage, disaster preparedness, identity theft, network marketing, networking, and travel…

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Does Network Marketing Have a New Face?

If you have been involved in Network Marketing for any length of time, you probably realize that what worked in the past, when multi-level-marketing was embraced by those who experienced phenomenal success and scorned by those who were just never able to make it does not carry the same impact today.  The mindset used to be that it was all about numbers – that endless stream of prospects and sign-ups, followed by more of the same from month to month because of an extremely high attrition rate.

Building RelationshipsToday, this business model calls for understanding the importance of building relationships and putting yourself in a leadership, or at the very least, a mentoring position where you realize that your wealth and success comes from your selective choice in supporting the success of others.  Notice I used the phrase, “selective choice.”  This means that not everyone is the perfect fit for Network Marketing, nor is everyone a perfect fit for any and every home-based business available today.  You will never succeed through soliciting or high pressure tactics.

If you are to succeed in Network Marketing today, you have to give up the old school MLM tactics.  It is more important that you run your business like one – a viable, thriving business, and along with that mentality, you have to be savvy to where the industry is heading.  You must also be willing to embrace the cutting edge technologies and strategies or you will get left behind in the dust of your competitors.

The beginning principle of Network Marketing was about building relationships and “soft sell” connections.  It was a comfortable, natural thing to share your new opportunity with friends and family and you could become an entrepreneur on a zero budget.  All good intentions aside, these principles could not, and did not stand up under the pressures of greed, high-pressure sales tactics and poor training. Most recruits became frustrated and disillusioned and MLM became one of those words that left most people wanting to run in the opposite direction.

Just like any other industry – Network Marketing has grown up.  There will always be greed and there will always be high-pressure sales tactics; that will occur in virtually any industry.  The negative aspects of MLM however,  have not remained the norm.  The fact is that Network Marketing remains one of the most lucrative businesses available for the average person today.  In a struggling economy – it is a business model that can still thrive –if managed appropriately.  The best news is that technology has opened the door for building a business that comes complete with setting realistic goals, and breaking away from the get rich quick mentality that previously undermined MLM ventures.

If you were to decide to purchase a franchise – you would do due diligence before you would part with any of your hard earned money; you must do the same with any home-based business.  It has to be a solid proposition to begin with or you increase your chances of finding yourself up-side-down instead of in a healthy cash flow in a short period of time. The following best business practices apply to any business, but especially so to Network Marketing.  If you can “pass the litmus test” with these business guides, you will experience a higher level of success.

  1. Network Marketing as a valid business. You must decide whether you want to build your own business, and if so whether your “vehicle” of choice is an Entrepreneurial start-up, a franchise, or Network Marketing.  Regardless your choice, you must embrace all that comes with owning a business – the privileges you hope to gain and the responsibilities that come with it.  If you are making the transition from corporate life to being self-employed, you will need to do a lot of soul-searching to determine if you are really “cut out for the job.”  You will have to decide if you are willing and able to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to achieve success in your efforts.  It is all in your mindset – are you going to make that business work or are you hoping for a get rich opportunity?
  2. Investing in your future. No matter how small the start-up cost is, you still have to plan to operate your business as a viable entity and that calls for creating and managing a budget.  There are a number of creative ways to market your business on a shoestring budget, but that can only work for so long.  Trust me… your competitors are going to be running their Network Marketing ventures as though they were a standard retail establishment, and if you don’t watch your pennies – you will not see your dollars grow.
  3. Adding Marketing Dollars to the Budget. It is a sad, sad belief of many business owners that marketing dollars is one area to cut the budget.  That is the very last thing any business should consider, regardless the business model.  Not only do you have to be willing to  “get your message to the masses”  – you have to be able to understand (a) who you want to market to, (b) what you have to provide them that will either increase their joy, or decrease their pain, (c) where you can most efficiently and cost effectively get your message to them, and (d) why they should purchase from you rather than a competitor.  If you absolutely have to cut costs – make sure that marketing is not your first choice.
  4. Accept this one fact:  “If it is to be, it is up to me.” Nothing will happen if you do not actively engage in the process of making something happen!” This comes back to the reality of running a business and not selling yourself short by looking for the fastest, easiest way to hopefully strike it rich.  Any CEO will tell you they work consistent business hours and focus on the task at hand; they stay on top of their game and make sales their number one focus; and they manage their time and resources to achieve the highest possible ROI.
  5. Be prepared to improve upon your skills. Be brutally honest with yourself and if there is any area that will become a roadblock to your success – work on it!  The more personal and professional improvement in which you engage, the more you are stacking the cards in your favor.
  6. Embrace change – it is, after all the one constant in life! Keep your eyes and your mind open to industry changes… both those which come as threats and those which could actually become opportunities.  Be open to personal change, keeping in mind that your journey to success is not as much about your destination as it is about who you become along the way.

Look for a futurer post about using today’s technology to your advantage…

Jan Vitale,
Vital Enterprises, LLC