Launching a new Direct Selling Company (home party or MLM) and getting it off the ground can be a very complex and difficult process. Especially if you’re doing it on your own. Unlike many things, the world of Direct Sales is not something that you can just YouTube and find easy-to-follow tutorials on how to effectively build and grow a Direct Selling Company. There are many areas that must be considered, such as building your compensation plan (and keeping it legal), training your field, compliance, legal, your sales pitch, how to motivate your sales force, recruiting, retention, logistics, what software are you going to use, how do you keep a balanced budget, communication with your field, customer service, social marketing, and the list goes on and on. The best practices for each of these disciplines is truly unique for the world of direct selling. Much of what drives the peculiarities is the fact that your products will be demonstrated and sold by an army of independent field sales reps – who will make a decision each day whether or not to work their business and stay with your company.
Because of these complexities, only 20% of all direct selling startups are in business after one year. The other 80% have failed in their attempt to launch. However, what we have found is that if the entrepreneurs will take the time early to learn and follow proven best practices and processes for starting and running a direct selling company – that success rate is as high as 80% still in business and growing after one year.
We want more successes and less failures! We’re sure you do to! Failures are bad for the industry and leave thousands of independent sales reps’ dreams laying in the wake. Successes breed confidence and good will in the direct selling industry and help independent sales reps reach their dreams and aspirations. To increase success rates – YOUR success, we have brought together in one place, at one event, the industry’s leading experts in these different fields to educate you on Best Practices of Starting, Building, and Growing your Direct Selling Business.
The Direct Selling Symposium is a place of education, learning, and mentoring – and includes front-of-the-room instruction as well as individual coaching sessions. It is NOT a time when services are sold – in fact it is prohibited. Whether you’re an entrepreneur starting from scratch or leveraging your existing business by diversifying into the direct selling space – attending the Direct Selling Symposium will shave years off your learning curve, and dramatically increase the likelihood of success. We look forward to seeing you there!
By Terrel Transtrum, Founder of LaunchSmart™
International markets are tricky. The global frontiers afford fertile opportunities for companies that are forward-thinking and who will pay the price of preparation. A strong, well-formed international network marketing growth plan will dramatically increase your success rate; the long-range risks and opportunities are far too great to not properly plan. “A step at a time” is the appropriate mantra, and for most companies it is important to first develop a working model in the United States or country of origin.
Mastering the marketing plan, establishing the operations and service infrastructure, refining product formulations and service delivery systems, and refining support technology are best accomplished in a central location, followed by duplication and adaptation in foreign markets as the core operation gains strength and stability. Importantly, distributors who first focus their efforts in one market are categorically more effective and successful than those jet-setters who need a reason to travel the globe but who never settle down long enough to build anything lasting.
Conventional wisdom is to progress from the United States to Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, Mexico and South America, Pacific Rim, China. Many believe that the Internet has made international expansion an instantaneous business. Be careful since the legal and business requirements of going international have not kept up with the Internet and technology.
In this article we will cover the following international planning elements, combining the considerations that are common at both the basic and the advanced levels.
International Planning Checklist & Key Considerations
- Corporate and foreign lawyers with expertise in direct selling
- Seek to create continuity throughout the world-wide system that you put in place
- Trademarks and servicemarks
- Consumer legislation and variations from country to country
- Earnings claims and presenting the offering
- FDA issues varying widely from country to country
- Product compliance, manufacturing, and ingredient standards
- Intellectual property (patents, software licenses, etc.)
- Immigration when sending key employees
- Language restrictions for labeling and literature
- Banking and movement of monies into and out of countries
- International sponsoring, qualifications, seamless
- Customs and tariffs, transfer pricing
- Taxation, subsidies, value-added taxes
- Corporate form, local residence, independent contractors vs employees
- Manufacturing and supply agreements; local production; trade secrets & formulations
- Marketing literature, distributor agreements, buy-back policies
- Advertising, claim testing, market reception, brand development
- Antitrust and trade regulations, restrictions on pricing, relationships with suppliers
International Plan: Basics
The world is getting smaller all the time. This international plan presents the checklist of marketing, legal, tax, and unique considerations for entering foreign markets. Whether your company chooses international licensing and exclusive supply arrangements, joint venturing with local in-country partners, or establishing your own presence in foreign countries, this tool will help you gain a much faster advantage than learning it the hard way.
International Plan: Advanced
A substantial, advanced planning tool for the serious executive, this 1,000 – point checklist combines essential details with key international contacts developed and nurtured since 1988.
Terrel Transtrum is the founder of ServiceQuest® and co-founder of LaunchSmart™. As a network marketing consultant he also specializes in startup consulting for party plan companies, multilevel marketing, MLM and network marketing. He is an experienced advisor in MLM software, network marketing legal, party plan business, distributor recruiting and retention, operations and fulfillment and MLM legal.
(The content of this article is extracted from ServiceQuest® RetentionSmarts™ Modules. For more information on RetentionSmarts™ training and mentoring systems, contact a member of the LaunchSmart Team.)