I kept six honest serving men,
They taught me all I knew.
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
These well know lines by Rudyard Kipling offer sound advice for many situations in life. They can be usefully applied if you're thinking of geting involved in network marketing or any other type of work at home business.
WHAT can I do to make a profit?
Simply put, you provide a product or service in return for money. Don't worry if you don't "have" a product - just get one from somebody else and then sell it on, or get involved in an affiliate marketing scheme. Successful merchants have been doing this for thousands of years.
You don't have to make the product yourself. You don't even have to own it. You can simply sell it on someone else's behalf and then take a percentage of the profit.
If possible, try to market a product or service that is provided on a monthly subscription basis. That way you will get your percentage every month - residual income.
Do not get involved with any business that doesn't have a genuine product and which pays you for recruiting others into the business. This type of arrangement is characteristic of a pyramid scheme.
WHY choose network marketing?
Network marketing, coupled with the power of the internet, is ideal for a start-up business. No premises are required and there are no employees, so both start-up and running costs are very low compared to a traditional business.
The internet can be used for both selling and recruiting and many of the tasks associated with these activities can be automated using websites, autoresponders, email etc. You also have the ability to reach a world wide market - the possibilities are endless.
Unlike many traditional small businesses, you can work your network marketing opportunity part-time to begin with. You don't need to give up your day job until you're good and ready, so the risk is very low for you.
WHEN is the best time to start?
The sooner the better. Start-up costs are low and much of your initial outlay will be covered by money back guarantees. Your risk exposure is minimal.
However, even if you already have some business experience, you should expect to be on a learning curve to begin with. So do your research, pick a company with good training and support, find a good mentor and get going. The sooner you learn the tricks of the trade, the sooner you can start to build your business and make a profit. One thing's for sure - you won't make any money "thinking about it".
HOW do I identify the right opportunity for me?
Don't sign up for an opportunity because it has a nice website or a good sales letter/email. Do investigate the six key criteria: Product, Cost, Company, Commission, Administration and Sales.
Make sure that you're completely happy with each of these areas and you'll avoid any nasty surprises.
WHERE should I set up shop?
Keep costs down by working from home. The power of the internet means that you can tap into the world market working from your spae room in your pyjamas. You can work offline if you want using leaflets, brochures, direct mail etc. - but don't limit yourself geographically.
WHO should I be working with?
Obviously you're the star of the show. It's your business and you will enjoy a much higher degree of autonomy than would be available in almost any job. You're not entirely isolated though, and finding the right people to work with is very important.
Pick a good company to work with. Ideally one that's been around for a while and which provides good training and support. Selecting the right company to partner with will significantly increase your chances of success and minimise the probability of being scammed.
Most scammers and con artists tend not to stick around too long. They make their money and then move on before they get caught - so choosing to work with an established company is always a good idea if you want to reduce risk.
Another key player is the person who recruited you or introduced you to the opportunity. They may be referred to as your "upline", "team leader", "sponsor", "mentor" etc. depending upon the company that you're working with.
This person doesn't need to be at the very top of the business. If they were then they might find it difficult to find time to help you. However, they should be experienced and willing to help. Exchange emails with them, talk on the phone and see how responsive they are. If they're not right for you then you can always get involved in the same opportunity but with a different mentor.
Finally, you will build your own team or "downline". Try to be a good sponsor to your team members and help them out as much as you can. Remember - just because you introduced them to the business you're not their boss. Offer them advice and encouragement but don't forget that they came into your opportunity to have their own business - just as you did.