Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How Do You Know When You've Found the Perfect Business Opportunity?

I've been in and out of the multi-level/network marketing business since 1990. That is a long enough history to determine quite a few things about the industry - what works and what doesn't - especially for me. Unfortunately, many of the lessons were learned the hard way.

Why is the industry so alluring?

Because, it allows ordinary people to gain access to residual income and business ownership. They can add a nice part-time income, of if they have what it takes, they can become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

That chasing your big dreams bit is one of the things I don't like about the industry. At practically every business opportunity meeting they parade around people that have made enough money in the business to have fancy houses and cars, travel to exotic locations, and of course they have giant smiles on their faces. That wild dream thing is unrealistic. Very very few people attain it. It doesn't mean you can't. It means they are implying that everyone will succeed that largely and that is flat out false advertising. A select few will. Most won't.

As an aside, ...
I've had the pleasure of having friends that are top producers in MLM. They live in a fabulous house. They have a new Lexus. They travel and enjoy the finer pleasures in life. And they eat, sleep, and breathe the business. All night and all day the phone rings. Two people on two separate phone lines talking to prospects and business builders all day every day. Countless meetings, often every night of the week, with prospects. They hold big meetings several nights a week in hotel conference rooms - that cost alot of money. They are selling the products and the dream. They do well. But what I'm trying to enlighten you about is it is alot of work. If you really want to shift your finances, you have to be willing to work at it. You have to talk to lots of people. And when you get a no, you just go on to the next person, because it is a numbers game.

I've watched the big players in various companies - the one's who earn over a million - and they have things in common. They are very charismatic. They have a charm and a polish about ther look. They are exceedingly good sales people - whether they were originally in sales or just have great passion for their product. They have absolute commitment to the product, the company, and the dream. They refuse to give up and they refuse to stop. They are like warriors on a mission to accomplish their goals. They are highly driven and motivated. They have no self esteem or worthiness issues.

There is one big exception to the above profile of a winner. If a person was severaly ill, especially if they had something the doctors said could not be cured, and through using a particular product were able to "miraculously" heal, they will have a giant business. They tell their story and products get sold. Their family will tell the story and products get sold. People who they introduce into the business tell the story and products get sold. It happens alot in this industry.

I didn't mean to dash your dreams. I was just trying to help you be more realistic. Plan on a nice part-time income. That is fairly easy to do if you follow my advice below. Once you have attained that, then go after the rest once you see what it will take.

The best way to earn a nice income in the business is to stack the odds in your favor.

There are fundamentals that must be considered before you even look at a particular company or business. Here are the things that I've learned are absolutely essential for you to succeed.

1. A truly great product that everyone repeatedly needs and is easily understood.

That is primary. Without that, you are doomed to failure.

Most products are good, few are exceptional. You need an exceptional product. One that can't be purchased at the supermarket. Something that is far and above everything else your customers, and especially business builders, will find in the marketplace.

If you are selling something that is a one time purchase, then you have to continuously seek out new customers. Now you want to continue to market your product and grow your business. But the whole beauty of the industry, and how it is designed, is that you can really build your business in the beginning and then reap the rewards of residual income for years to come. That requires that people continue to purchase the product or products month after month after month. So it has to be something that they use every day - nutritional supplements; energy beverages; skin, hair, or bath products.

One of the most important things that I've learned the hard way is how vitally important it is that the product be easily understood. How a person will benefit needs to be readily understood with very minimal explanation required. I've been in more than one of these businesses where you had to practically earn a PhD in order to do well. The product was foreign to the mainstream American consumer and they had to be educated. The fundamental problem is that it takes too long to explain it to each new person. You have all this time and energy invested in this prospect and when you get a no, it is very frustrating. People give up quickly when that happens again and again.

This also happens if there are too many choices. You have to learn about all of them and recommend the right one to your prospect. If they become a business builder, then they too have to learn about each one in order to recommend the right one to their prospects. The fewer the products the better. And starting everyone with the same flagship product is key.

You want to be able to talk less than 5 minutes and hand someone a brochure and/or CD. Or you want to be able to simply give them a link to a website that explains everything for you. A person needs to "get" the benefit to them and how the product will do that in 15 minutes or less.

2. Solid company - great leadership, great customer service, great marketing materials.

I've made the mistake more than once of getting so excited about the product that I forgot to look at the viability of the company. And more than once the company has folded, or gotten into legal trouble, had a falling out between co-founders, or whatever. You can build a huge organization and that organization can be moving tons of product, but if the company folds, or changes their marketing plan "again" or whatever, you are the one who loses. A solid company is vital.

HINT: Inventors typically don't make good company presidents. If the person who invented or developed the product is trying to handle the business, make sure they have the skills. Especially as the company grows, it can cause big problems. Salesmen also aren't necessarily the best leaders. They are enthusiastic and great at convincing, but that doesn't mean they have leadership or management skills. Running a rapidly growing company requires a unique set of skills. The people at the top need to be highly competent and committed to the company.

Are fabulous, easily understood, inexpensive marketing tools already in place and easily available to you? If they don't already have slick brochures, walk away. No. Run.

Use the tools the company has had professionally created. They have already been reviewed, tested, and tweaked for the best response. Don't reinvent the wheel. You'll be wasting your time. You need to spend your time talking to new people. If you need to express your creative side, then use it to discover new creative ways to meet more people.

What support structures are in place? Can you call, email, visit a website, talk to your upline, go to a meeting and get the answers you need right now?

3. A solid, well thought out marketing plan.

They are all a bit different and warrant a good look. How many income streams can you have with the company? How often do they pay commissions? How big does your organization have to be, or how much volume has to be moving throughout your organization, to qualify for bonuses, or additional income streams?

And one of the most important considerations is:

4. How much will it cost you personally to get into it as a business and what will it cost you per month to earn your commission?

If it costs alot to start in the business, you will have fewer people who will agree to try it as a business. Growing the business and growing your downline will be harder.

I know way to many people who have ended up maxing out their credit cards to keep qualifying to earn their monthly check. Think about that. You are going into debt on the one hand to receive a little bit on the other. Make sure you can easily afford the monthly requirement or it will quickly eat you up financially. Also, the higher the monthly requirement is, the fewer business builders you will get because many people won't be able to pay that each month. The higher the monthly requirement, the harder it will be to build your business and the more people who will drop out.

5. Affordability of the product.

How much does it cost? We will assume it is a great product. But how much does it cost to try or to get started? Even if the prospect can see the benefits, it the price is set too high, you will have a harder time selling it. You have to meet more people, tell the story more times, than you would if it was something less expensive.

O.K., so based on the above criteria, what are the companies I work with?

By far my favorite:

Sunrider International. Their foods literally changed my life. They are #28 worldwide for sales. Every product and program they offer is truly extraordinary and revolutionary. I drink their teas and use their products every single day.

The company and compensation plan are excellent. Outstanding marketing tools and support are in place. Regular commissions are paid monthly. Your own free website is in the works.

Also very good:

Xooma. The product is Xtreme X20, a water enhancement product. Every day you pop a little sachet (tea bag) into a bottle of water and drink it. The organic mineral supplement in the sachet changes the water structure so you will hydrate better. It contains over 70 trace minerals that you body uses to perform all its functions. It makes the body more alkaline.

Hydration, trace minerals, and alkalinization are fundamental to good health.

It is a highly consumable product. People drink water every day. It is easy to explain, and have them understand, the benefits.

The cost. You can try it and get into the business for $9.99 which includes shipping. And that gives you 12 days worth of product. (international is slightly higher)

The company and compensation plan fit the bill. Outstanding marketing tools and support are in place. Regular commissions are paid monthly. Fast start bonuses for new business builders you bring into the company are paid weekly.

Your monthly requirement: $25.00 and that includes shipping. (International is slightly higher) For that price you get a 30-day supply of the product which you will be more than happy to consume yourself. If you purchase more, you earn more from what your organization is selling.

Visit here for more details and to try it yourself: http://www.XoomaWorldwide.com/Takara

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