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On the Level

The Internet makes MLM easier--but it won't do the work for you. Before you commit, make sure you're prepared.

This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Three years ago, Cynthia Marshall of San Antonio, Texas, was looking for a business opportunity. She'd recently signed up for pre-paid Internet access with FlashNet Communications, based in Fort Worth, Texas, and was happy with the price and service. "I was thinking, 'I wish a real company like FlashNet would try network marketing,' " Marshall says.

Marshall had tried her hand at selling diet pills and Tupperware but hadn't managed to build what's needed for success: a "downline" of people she'd recruited into the business. Then she received an e-mail: FlashNet was launching a new division, FlashNet Marketing Inc., to sell its services directly to consumers through a network of independent sales representatives. Marshall attended the first opportunity meeting in San Antonio in July 1997 and signed up immediately.

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