Interested in starting a home-based business? Why not? They can be lucrative, offer you the luxury of working from your house and provide you with great flexibility. All of these reasons make home-based businesses quite appealing. However, there are a few things you need to look out for as you venture forward in selecting which company is right for you.
TRAINING – Many of the home-based business companies out there sign you up, send you a manual, offer a couple of conference calls and then you are on your own. There are many challenges that arise from this independent “self starter” training approach, the least of which is not being armed with enough basic knowledge or the foundation to really get behind your product or service. In an effort to avoid this, it is recommended to interview the potential companies you are exploring. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and get a sense of everything they offer in terms of training. Do they offer frequent webinars, are they available at every rank/level? Are their training programs free or do they charge for them? Do they provide one-on-one training calls? Is the company’s corporate office available if you have questions to ask? Are there training videos available online?
Without a comprehensive hands-on training method that begins the day you start your venture and continues throughout your career, your chances for will be slim. Look for companies who don’t charge and offer an array of training options from day one, including live seminars in your area, weekly webinars, unlimited direct access to corporate office and progressive training throughout your career without costs or limitations. Ask the prospective company all these questions…they will either have the answers you are looking for or you will know to move on.
SPONSORSHIP – When signing on to a home-based, direct sales company such as a party plan, new recruits are paired with sponsors. Those sponsors are supposed to guide you in your first few parties , offer you their ‘tricks of the trade’ and be an ongoing resource of information. However, the majority of companies’ compensation plans only pay sponsors on average, a commission equal to 1-3% of the Retail Sales achieved by their team members. So why would a sponsor want to take the time to go to your first party and subsequent parties to train you, when if you achieve $1000 in Retail Sales, she would only gets $10 to $30? Instead, her time is better served doing her own parties whereby she can earn $200, $300 or more.
When exploring a home-based business, look for the company that, in addition to the traditional downline commission programs which pay you overrides, also provides robust incentives to the sponsor for helping their new recruit. Miami-based company Ultimate Nights, for example, offers sponsors 40% of the first $1000 their new recruit earns. That’s more than 10 times what the other companies offer. Therefore, it behooves them to train you and guide you. Although you may think, “Well, I’m just getting started, this doesn’t apply to me,” it will pretty quickly when you get your first recruit. You can also count on your sponsor to give you unparalleled support in the startup phase of your business, because she is being properly compensated for it.
DIVERSITY – Home-based businesses typically offer a product or service. Your job becomes that of getting people interested in that product or service. Most of your prospective customers are the people around you – friends, family, neighbors, parents at the school, etc. That is your core center of influence.
The more products you have to offer these people, the more opportunity that can arise and the more repeat business you can get. If, for example, you only sell cookware, then you are limited in the amount of times you can go back to your core group of potential “hostesses.” If you carry only cosmetics, then you are limited to selling your products to women who are looking for new cosmetics to try. Diversity of products allows you to entice your customers and hostesses over and over. This month, they may want facial products, but next month they are looking for a birthday present and decide to buy a candle.
Look for companies that highlight LIFESTYLE product lines. These are in high demand and never get old. People are spending money on cost-conscious products that elevate or enhance their lifestyle, so when searching for the right company, DIVERSITY & LIFESTYLE is the key.
NO INVESTMENT REQUIRED – Many companies have an array of startup costs from signup fees, starter kits, ongoing monthly costs for websites, fees for credit card processing and more. When starting any new business, we all look to lower our startup costs and keep our overhead low. Party plan companies usually offer a sample kit that can range from $100 to as high as $1,000. Although you will probably benefit from the purchase of a mid-level business/sample kit, look for companies who offer you a low-entry or zero product investment option for women who simply can’t afford to spend several hundred dollars to start their business. These options should include a viable program for “earning” that business kit and moving up the ladder as they build sales and build confidence. Ultimate Nights was the first company to offer an EARN YOUR KIT option, whereby the new consultant earns 30% business credit on their first $1000 in sales, which can then be used to purchase the business consultant kit.
COMPENSATION – The key to making money in a home-based business is based on the structure of your compensation plan. Many companies promote heavy recruitment and base your compensation on getting and maintaining a large number of recruits. However, according to studies done on direct sales, the national average (based on all MLMs and Network Marketing companies) over the past 40 years, shows that the average number of team members recruited is 2.5. Therefore, expecting and dictating any number over that would be not only unfair but unrealistic. Although many people can recruit new people every month, it shouldn’t be a requirement. Seek a company that knows your value and bases your pay on that value, not on recruiting numbers.
Additionally, beware of compensation plans that offer downline commissions to entice you, but that make the requirements to reach and maintain those so difficult that the commission is never paid to you.
Use this information as a guide to seek out the best company and at the end, find something that fits with your personality and belief system.