No one can control all of the challenges that face the direct selling industry, but education and transparency is the best approach to discuss issues.

No one can control all of the challenges that face the direct selling industry, but education and transparency is the best approach to discuss issues.

We have a long-term perspective as a law office that has had three decades of experience in the MLM industry. In the last three years or so, developing trends have posed both opportunities and challenges for network marketing companies. Mr. Babener discusses a few of these opportunities and challenges (paraphrased from the DSWA interview with Nikki Keohohou) in this post.

As far as industry-wide opportunities are concerned, there has been an explosion in party plan companies. The party plan companies that we know and represent are doing quite well. There has been growth in the public recognition of these companies. This is due to large-scale events such as the 2009 Super Bowl where Avon was a primary sponsor. At the 2009 Super Bowl, Avon advertised their opportunity, not just their products, which was really a message to the country that our industry has something special to offer to everyone.

The internet has also helped push the industry in a positive direction in recent years. Social media and growing internet technology has enabled many companies to expand internationally.

However, this also means that the industry has a new challenge: coping with internet technology. Companies have to recognize the creative power of Facebook, Twitter and all of the other social media platforms. Companies have to find a balance between enabling their consultants the ability to be creative and protecting the brand. Protecting the brand presence in search engines, protecting against inappropriate medial/earnings claims and allowing consultants to work with social media, providing basic tools for distributors, are industry-wide challenges that require delicate balance.

In addition, we’ve seen some tension between new companies and distributors in recent years. There are some consultants who are too willing to jump ship and bounce from one company to another. Distributor raiding is undermining to the company and the opportunity, as well as to all of the consultants left behind.

On the other hand, we’ve seen some overreaching companies who’ve been bullying distributors, telling them what they can and cannot do. There will have to be a dialogue to figure out the common ground for what are reasonable expectations for distributors and what control companies can have over distributor actions.

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Some of the larger companies will provide you with tools and charts in which you can use to make an educated guess on your potential earnings.

Some of the larger companies will provide you with tools and charts in which you can use to make an educated guess on your potential earnings.

Will the stock market rise tomorrow? Who will win the Kentucky Derby? If one knew the answers to these questions then he or she would be rich. How much one might earn in a direct selling compensation plan is the result of many moving parts and to make any sort of prediction: the compensation plan itself, percentages paid on product, profit margins of product, personal sales, down line sales, etc. are all contributing factors that are endless. Two important resources are available to consultants: (1) leading companies post average earnings disclosure charts which indicate average earnings for distributors at various levels and stages of their direct selling program; (2) many companies provide online earnings calculators which allow a consultant to plug in their own assumptions on their personal and group sales and activity, which are then used to calculate the payout based on their expected sales performance.

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“Legal Hotspots for Direct Selling Companies.”

“Legal Hotspots for Direct Selling Companies.”

Nikki Keohohou with the Direct Selling Women’s Alliance (DSWA) hosts the Executive Interview Forum titled “Legal Hotspots for Direct Selling Companies.” The interviewee for this hour is Network Marketing Attorney, Jeff Babener, Editor of www.mlmlegal.com.

View the video on our website: mlmattorney.com or mlmlegal.com; or view it on Youtube.

In this hour-long video, Jeff Babener addresses network marketing industry topics such as:

–          Distributor raiding

–          Pyramid scheme

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Some colleges have noticed that network marketing is underrepresented in business schools and have been offering classes and certificates in network marketing

Some colleges have noticed that network marketing is underrepresented in business schools and have been offering classes and certificates in network marketing

If network marketing is such a powerful business model, why don’t business schools teach it in their curricula?

Some colleges have noticed that network marketing is underrepresented in business schools and have been offering classes and certificates in network marketing. Bethany College, for example offers a network marketing certificate, as well as a marketing major with a network marketing emphasis. The college reports that it seeks to promote integrity, trust and transparency in network marketing.

Even earlier, Utah Valley State offered a course on network marketing using the book, Network Marketing: What You Should Know by Jeffrey Babener as course material. Seminars in network marketing have been presented at University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Texas at El Paso and University of Houston. Cases studies of direct selling companies have been utilized at the college and graduate level and numerous academic studies have been published pursuant to grants from the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF).

Network marketing courses focus on developing leadership skills that aid in becoming successful in a MLM company. General topics include selling, distribution, advertising, referral marketing, personal sales organizations, the legal environment, and compensation plans.

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