What is network marketing? A personal view

When someone talks about network marketing what springs to mind? Pyramid scheme? Scam? Maybe you consider people who opt for that profession as part of a ‘brainwashed cult’, writes Jodie Mancuso.

Anyone who works in or has worked in the industry will probably tell you that they’ve heard these pre-conceptions more times than they could possibly count. But in the ever-changing and fast-growing business world, is this highly misunderstood line of work forming an important part of our business future?

The answer is yes, and this article will explain why. But before we get into that, let’s look at the traditional business set-up. You learn your trade and foot the cost of any qualifications that you may need to be considered a ‘professional’, then you may need a work space, staff, equipment, stock, insurance and a lot of time.

The list is endless. This could all be before you’ve even started bringing in money and who is responsible for this overhead? You are. The risk with setting up a traditional business is that you have no guarantee that it will be successful.

Many business owners find that if their hands aren't doing the work, they are probably not getting paid. Traditional business owners quickly realise that they don't actually own the business, the business owns them.

Now this isn’t to say that there aren't thousands of successful traditional businesses out there, because there are, but in a world where technology is evolving at a phenomenal rate and you can get anything you want, from anywhere in the world at the click of a button, how sure can you be that a new business will take off and bring you the wealth and lifestyle that you desire?

Many people who want their own business, but aren't prepared to take the risks associated with doing so, will look into other options, like franchising. Franchising is an arrangement where one party (the franchiser) grants another party (the franchisee) the right to use its trademark or trade-name.

The franchisee is usually expected to pay a one-time franchise fee PLUS a percentage of sales revenue as royalty. In return, the franchisee will gain immediate name recognition, tried and tested products, standard building design and décor, detailed techniques in running and promoting the business, training of employees and ongoing help in promoting and upgrading of the products. This seems like a much safer option right?

The worrying downside is that the business could absolutely soar and you could be paying a large chunk of those profits back to the franchiser. Whilst it seems life a safer option compared to the traditional business set-up, wouldn’t this completely take away from the feeling of working for yourself? 

So what direction is the business world headed for? Many fingers point straight towards network marketing.. There are so many positive and wonderful things about starting a new business within this industry.

With most companies there is very little or no start up fees and if you find that  there is a fee, you generally get a starter kit, which gives you a chance to try out the products and start exploring the avenues of how you will expand your business. You don’t need a workspace, staff, insurance, training, stock and so on. All you really need to do is fully recruit yourself and drive for success.

Most of us have come into contact with direct sales at some point, whether you have bought a product from an independent distributor or maybe you’ve been asked to join the business, the sad fact is that not all direct sales companies give their independent distributors the right training and this combined with the explosive growth of social media, has resulted in some rather desperate methods of trying to expand.

Now how does this reflect on the rest of the people in the business?Well it simply gives us a bad name. But we are not all bad and there are now thousands of people in the UK and millions across the world who have found great wealth and fortune in their network marketing careers.

What you may not know is that network marketing has been around for a lot longer than social media. So if you find the right company, you can be pretty confident that you will be going into partnership with a company that is stable, cash rich and already has tried and tested methods of running a business as an independent distributor, meaning all the hard work has been done and you can get started knowing exactly what you need to do and what works and what doesn't work.