MLM Companies - Schemes, Scams or Legitimate Businesses?
There are thousands of MLM companies. Many people believe they are all evil pyramid schemes trying to rip you off. Many others see them as legitimate, moral and significant business opportunities.
What’s the whole truth?
As with most stories, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
In case the acronym is new to you, MLM stands for multilevel marketing, variously spelled multi-level marketing and multi level marketing. The newer, and more descriptive name is network marketing.
Some of the companies are no more than thinly disguised pyramid schemes. Some are simply “me too” companies offering the same kind of ho-hum products or services as hundreds of other companies or that can be purchased through non-MLM channels more conveniently or less expensively. As such, they rarely offer much of an income “opportunity” to most of their participants.
So, the industry, distribution channel, profession, whatever you may wish to call it, has deservedly attracted its share of critics.
But don’t be too quick to throw out the baby with the bath water! There is a percentage of MLM companies, perhaps about the same percentage of truly great companies as in any industry, that offer truly and uniquely great products products that you would really want, products that you couldn’t find elsewhere.
And, . . . some subset of that group of companies not only offers great value to end users of their product, but also has all of the other business fundamentals in place to provide real opportunity for its distributors, associates, or representatives, whatever they may be labeled in that company.
With the unemployment rate skyrocketing, home equities tanking, and other asset prices deflating, there are more people in need of “real opportunity” than ever.
If that may be you, then the big question becomes, “How can I separate the wheat from the chaff?” How can I tell the difference between a good MLM company and a cheap imitation?
Simply put, you need criteria, a standard by which you can measure. There are various criteria offered, and you have to be careful about the biases of those offering them, but any criteria have to address at least address these 6 areas:
1. The strength of the company
2. The quality, efficacy and uniqueness of the product line
3. The legality, sustainability, and fairness of the compensation
4. The marketing
5. The training and support
6. The timing and trends
Is it worth the effort to find a really good MLM?
Well, this author personally knows many people with six figure annual incomes from their multilevel marketing businesses some even with seven figure incomes but that’s not where the good opportunities lie for most.
For those willing to do the work (and don’t fall for any pitch that says you can make the money without the work), and IF you carefully do your homework and find one of the truly good MLM companies, there is a very real opportunity to earn an extra few hundred dollars per month, even a few thousand extra dollars per month, part time, with very little in the way of expenses, from your home, on your schedule, with a myriad of tax benefits and …the opportunity to … just possibly … make it very big someday.