Ceres Magazine Issue 4 - Fall 2016 | Page 64

join your team and you are usually paid a percentage of your team's sales as a thank you for training them on how to do the job.

3. Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) - with this type of compensation plan, as your team members also begin to recruit their own team members, the company pays you a small bonus on everybody's sales as a thank you for your work in developing the team. Each company has a different way of doing this with some limiting the number of levels that a team bonus can be paid out on. This is because as your team grows even a small bonus of 3% can result in some really large checks being written.

It is worth pointing out here that not all Direct Sales companies are network marketing companies, and not all network marketing or party plan companies operate true multi-level compensation plans. With all legitimate companies, the focus of the business' activities should be on getting a physical or digital product into the hands of consumers, and this retailing activity should receive the highest commission percentage. Team building should be optional, and the rewards structure should be carefully constructed to reward activities that help new team members succeed in the main business activity of selling product, not for rewarding the actual signing up of new team members. Having said that, it is legal for a commission to be paid on the product content of any starter kit that a new team member may purchase, but the emphasis should always be on encouraging day-to-day retail activity whether through a 'party plan' model or one-on-one product demos rather than meeting one's sales quota through the sale of starter kits alone. Finding a company with a desirable, consumable product will certainly help those sales figures if you can develop a group of customers who will buy from you, month after month, and buy new products each time a new catalogue is released.

The very best compensation plan structure has all three of the elements I described above leaving the new representative to decide if they just want to do a little bit of retail, or if they want to build a team and reach for the dizzy heights of the top positions on the company's promotion structure. Either way, it is important to have a conversation with your sponsor so that he or she can make sure that your goals are in alignment with what you're willing to do. If you expect to earn a million pounds/dollars a year doing one demo a month

with no team building, then you're probably delusional and setting yourself up for disappointment. There's an old saying in Network Marketing circles that "if you treat it like a business, it will pay you like a business; if you treat it like a hobby, it will cost you like a hobby".

So, there you have it, those are your main options for developing that work from home lifestyle. There are, of course, a few others like book writing and consulting that I didn't go into, but the main thing, I hope I've managed to put across, is the importance of doing your research and knowing exactly what you want out of your business, as well as why you're starting it in the first place. In the next article we're going to be looking at how you can avoid getting knocked off course the first time you get the "You're going to do what?!?" reaction from your friends, and we'll be looking a little at why this reaction occurs in the first place.

with a niche product, then there is money to be made using this business model, and it does have the advantage of saving you from spending many hours in the Post Office queue.

Another option for selling other people's products is to be an affiliate. This method has the advantage of being largely an internet based occupation, meaning that you can work from anywhere on any device with an Internet connection, and your reach is global. Lots of internet companies, including big names like Amazon, have affiliate programs. Usually there is no charge for registering, you just fill in a form and then start advertising the product(s) that you've chosen to represent. This can work well if you already have a blog or YouTube channel for a specific topic, as you can include your affiliate link with your article or video, and then you'll be paid a commission if someone buys from your link.

The downside of these programs is that the links the company provides you are usually long, ugly, and prone to being tampered with. If someone recognizes it as an affiliate link and is of a certain mindset, they can simply remove your affiliate ID from the URL and there goes your commission. Or they can just visit the company's home page without clicking your link, and buy from there. Fortunately, there is a way to stop this type of mean spirited behavior by using a URL ‘cloaker’ which will disguise your affiliate link, thereby protecting your hard earned commission.

The final way of selling someone else's product that we are going to look at in this article is through the social selling model. There are many companies who have adopted this model including big names such as Amway, Norwex, Avon, The Body Shop, and many more. The social selling model is a form of direct sales meaning that products are delivered directly to the consumer rather than

If you treat it like a business, it will pay you like a business...

Gold and chocolate bracelet. https://www.facebook.com/stitchedbead/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf. Photo: Heather Barlow

64 | Ceres Magazine | Fall 2016