MLM International markets and Party Plan international strategies are tricky. Global frontiers afford fertile opportunities for companies that are forward-thinking and who will pay the price of preparation. A strong, well-formed international growth plan will dramatically increase your success rate; 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 fine-tuning 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. But be careful since the legal and business requirements of going international have not kept up with the Internet and technology.
To help provide a starting point for your personal research, the following summary from the LaunchSmart™ System covers the most common MLM international planning elements that are common to both the basic and advanced levels of planning.
MLM International Planning Checklist & Key Considerations for Party Plan Companies
- Corporate and foreign lawyers with expertise in direct selling
- Continuity throughout your world-wide system
- Trademarks and service marks
- Consumer legislation and variations from country to country
- Earnings claims and presenting the MLM offering or party plan business
- FDA issues varying widely from country to country
- Product compliance, manufacturing, and ingredient standards
- Intellectual property (patents, formulations, software licenses, etc.)
- Immigration when sending key employees
- Language restrictions for labeling and literature
- Banking and movement of monies into and out of countries
- Currency exchange rates and strategies
- International sponsoring, qualifications, seamlessness
- Customs and tariffs, transfer pricing
- Taxation, subsidies, value-added taxes
- Corporate form, local residence, independent contractors, 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
- Political considerations and opportunities