MLM--The Ideal RV-Friendly Business Opportunity?

Multi-level marketing (MLM) has been around for over 50 years. One company does more than 10 billion in sales per year and is operating in more than 80 countries. And yet, most folks, and that includes RV Beachbums, have no idea what multi-level marketing is all about.

Many people believe that MLM means “pyramid scheme”. It is not a pyramid scheme. MLM is a completely legal form of business that allows anyone to start a small business and immediately have access to products and services. For the RV Beachbum , MLM may be the ideal way to get started in a small business.

Differences Between MLM
And Pyramid Scheme

Multi-Level Marketing 

Legal and respected form of business around the world.

Money is made from the movement of goods and services.

Folks can buy products and services without having to join the MLM company.

Tax benefits of owning a small business.

Long term income possibility you can grow and leave to your family.

Pyramid Scheme

Illegal scam.

Money is made from recruiting others into the pyramid.

Everyone has to join to participate.

Legal trouble associated with being part of an illegal activity.

Short term and most folks lose money when the pyramid collapses.

Characteristics Of The Ideal RV-Based Small Business

With a little help from the DOW Theory Letters, here are 15 important characteristics of the ideal RV based business.

1) PORTABLE…Everything you need to work & build your business will fit in your RV.

2) AFFORDABLE, LOW INVESTMENT…Does not require huge cash expenditures or cash investments in equipment.

3) NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL MARKET…You can build the business anywhere. You are not limited to a small geographical area.

4) LOW OVERHEADS…It does not require expensive legal advice, advertising, big inventory, etc..

5) SIMPLE…The ideal business should not require a lot of special skills or training.

6) LOW LABOUR REQUIREMENTS…The fewer people needed the better.

7) FLEXIBLE…Work it as much or as little as you wish. The ideal business conforms to you, not you to it.

8) INELASTIC DEMAND…People will continue to purchase your products in good times and in bad times.

9) UNIQUE PRODUCTS…Something that is difficult for a competitor to copy or reproduce.

10) CASH BILLINGS…That means you get your money when the sale is made. Money “on the books” does you no good when the bills are due.

11) REGULATION FREE…The ideal business is relatively free from all kinds of government and industry regulations.

12) CONTINUING NEED…The ideal business sells a product which fits a continuing human (or animal) need. It’s not a fad product.

13) YOU LOVE IT…You enjoy the process of building your business. You’re excited about getting up in the morning and going to “work”. You’re emotionally and intellectually engaged.

14) A PROVEN SYSTEM…Someone has already successfully done what you are trying to do. You don’t have to learn by trial and error.

15) IT’S ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY…Your products do not adversely affect the environment.

There are many good MLM companies that have all of these characteristics. Multi-level marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Like any small business, you'll get out of it what you put into it. It will take consistant and persistant effort to make it grow and become profitable.

A Few Advantages...

There are some major advantages to starting a MLM business when compared to a traditional small business. In a nutshell, you can have virtually all the benefits of owning a traditional small business without any of the hassles. Here are a few examples:

  • Low start-up cost. Usually less than $100.00
  • You don't need employees. By sponsering others into the program you can leverage your time. Since those folks are independent business owners like you and not your employees, you save yourself all the trouble of having employees but you get all the benefits. As they build their small businesses you earn money. Your only real obligation is to help train and support those that are in your business. Likewise, when you need help it's there for you.
  • You don't need to rent office or warehouse space. Most MLM companies will drop ship for you. Which means you don't have to store boxes and boxes of products.
  • You don't need to have expensive promotional materials produced. Most MLM companies have a variety of professionally produced brochures, sample products, and other promotional items available.
  • You don't have to worry about complicated tax issues. Yes, you still have to pay taxes on your profits but a lot of the complicated stuff is handled by the MLM company before it ever gets to you.

All of these advantages and benefits and more "Come with the kit". It is completely possible to build a large and very profitable MLM business from an RV. In many cases your whole business could fit into a backpack.

There are hundreds of multi-level marketing companies operating in the U.S. Here is a list of a few.

So How Does MLM Work?

It's pretty simple. Start by doing a little research. You want to find a multi-level marketing company with a solid history and good reputation. Most important, you want to be excited about their products and services. Think about it, if you see a really good movie or eat at a really good restaurant, you can't wait to tell you friends about it. Right? You just want to share this good thing with them.

The idea is to find a MLM company that has a product or service that you like so much you just have to tell folks about it. Of course, you're going to be your own best customer. You're going to buy it from yourself at wholesale. You'll sell it to others at retail. How you sell it, website, catalog, or face to face, is up to you.

Some folks will want to join the program for the same reasons you did. You'll sponser them into the program and when they purchase the products for themselves or sell to others, you make money. When they sponsor someone who sponsors someone who sponsors someone, etc., you make money from all of that as those folks use and sell the products. Hence multi-level. The more people in your organization that are buying for themselves and selling to others, the more money you make.

Here is one example of how an RV Beachbum might use MLM to generate income:

Jenny is a hairstylist. She rents a station at a hair salon. Jenny likes her job but her income varies from week to week. When she is busy she makes pretty good money. Often times she isn't busy enough and has a hard time making ends meet. Jenny spends all day on her feet and is concerned about the chemicals she is exposed to every day. She has been a stylist for several years but has "nothing to show for it".

Jenny is looking for a way she can create a second income on her spare time. Something she can build and own that will not only increase her income short term, but will allow her to eventually retire comfortably. She dreams of being able to buy a motorhome, travel, and live the RV Beachbum lifestyle.

One day a client introduces Jenny to MLM. The company Jenny joins has been around for decades. It does billions in annual sales and is operating all over the world. It produces a wide variety of high quality consumer goods.

After checking out the company and trying a few of the products, Jenny comes up with a plan. The plan is to focus on four product groups. Hair care, cosmetics, gift albums, and weight management products.

She would run her hairstyling business as she had always done but with one important difference. Now when a client sitting in Jenny's chair would say how happy she was with the results, Jenny would be able to say, "I used these products in your hair. You can order them from me on my website. Or, I can give you one of my catalogs to take home...".

If a client expressed how much he hated having to do X-mas shopping, Jenny would say, "why don't you use gift albums? Let me show you how easy they make gift shopping.". Jenny, would then pull out a catalog for him to look through while she continued to cut his hair.

She would do the same with her weight management products and cosmetics. When people expressed a need, Jenny would provide the solution. She would simply put a catalog in their hands and let them decide if they wanted to make a purchase. If they liked the products they would continue buying them from home.

Jenny's next step was to start talking to other hairstylists she knew. As they joined her in the MLM business, Jenny received income from their sales and from the stylists they sponsored into the program.

"What if," Jenny thought, "I buy a motorhome and travel around the country showing this small business opportunity to other stylists? I could go where ever I want to work my business. Many of my expenses would be tax deductible. I could finally live like a professional RV Beachbum".

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