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Deciding if Network Marketing is Right for You

Want to work from home on your spare time? Then network marketing may be the business you're looking for.
March 27, 2006
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/84228

In 1979, I viewed my first network marketing presentation and fell in love with the concept. At that time, I was a corporate manager for a Fortune 100 company. I had graduated from college with a business degree and set out to climb the corporate ladder to success. However, those circles drawn on the white board to represent network marketing during that presentation opened my eyes to the future of business.

Nearly 27 years later, I'm convinced that network marketing is the wave of the future in business. It's a powerful marketing model that's sweeping the world and will have a greater impact than franchising. Bold statements? The balance of this article will provide the proof.

Fortune magazine called direct selling (of which network marketing is the largest segment) "the best kept secret in the business world." It has experienced 91-percent growth in the last 10 years with annual sales in excess of $30 billion in the United States, and $100 billion worldwide. Financial experts say it's a "recession proof" industry. Billionaire Warren Buffet, after purchasing a network marketing company, called it the best investment he'd ever made. Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence, calls it the first truly revolutionary shift in marketing in the last 50 years.

Why the Interest in Network Marketing?
The main reason so many people are entering network marketing is that it fits the current marketing trends. If you haven't figured it out by now, the baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are in control. Seventy-six million strong in the United States, and over a billion worldwide, the boomers have dictated what's hot, from baby food to fast food to minivans to SUVs. Now the boomers are looking for products that'll help them look and feel younger, and for ways to secure their financial future and enjoy more time freedom. Network marketing offers the answers.

Tired of the corporate rat race, many people are starting home businesses in record numbers. CNN reported that a new homebased business is started in the United States every 11 seconds. The home-business boom is the next big trend, and network marketing is one of the hottest home businesses available. It offers low start-up investment and monthly overhead, and entrepreneurs can start part-time, while still employed, and build the business to replace their current job income. Age, gender and race aren't barriers in network marketing; in fact, well over half of the success stories are women.

Is Network Marketing for You?
There are no perfect or right type of people for network marketing. There's a common myth that network marketing is all about selling, so many people who don't see themselves as "salespeople" shy away from it. The truth is, most of the people who are a huge success in network marketing aren't sales types, and tend to be more introverted. I'm a good example, since I built my business almost entirely through the internet. I've done only a handful of personal presentations, and I hate selling people things. In my travels and my interviews of top network marketing income earners, I find that most of them hate selling. They build their business by listening for people's needs and wants, and then providing an answer. I ask questions to uncover problems.

People aren't looking for products, services--or even business opportunities; they're looking for solutions to life's problems. Now, I can't solve them all with network marketing, but for many I can. So, I'm not in a sales business; rather, I'm in a problem-solving and dream-building business.

In fact, the biggest reasons why people are flocking to network marketing are time leverage, residual income, and tax benefits. Network marketing is one of the few businesses that doesn't require employees, yet enables the owner to leverage his or her time by building a network of independent businesspeople. This network, which purchases and sells products or services, generates a residual income for the owner. Unlike the income earned at a job, which stops when the work stops, residual income continues on long after the work is completed. As exciting as leverage and residual income are, boomers love the tax benefits of network marketing. Tax expert Sanford Botkin says that a network marketing home business can result in tax savings of $3,000 to $9,000 per year.

The final reason why so many people of all ages are interested in network marketing is the internet. Success requires a business owner to build a large network of people who buy and sell products/services and recruit others who'll do the same. The internet now enables network marketers to build national and international businesses from the comfort of their home. No more early-morning alarms and high-stress commutes; all the work can be done from a bedroom with a computer and telephone.

Thanks to the internet, people can now work from the comfort of their home, and within a few months to a few years, build a large international business. The income from this business will secure their financial future and provide more free time to truly enjoy life. The best part is that anyone can do it.

In the movie The Graduate, a young Dustin Hoffman was told that the future was in plastics. I'm here to tell you that the future is in network marketing, and that future is now.