Preventing Attrition in Network Marketing

“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.”
-Sir Winston Churchill

Such is bound to be the mantra of many of those that have jumped into the realm of home-business entrepreneurs, only to find that success was much harder to realize than originally imagined. How would our society change if we could prevent attrition in network marketing?

Over seventy thousand people a day find and start a home based business. The vast majority of these businesses fall under the classification of network marketing. This daily number is increasing by several percentage points monthly, and apparently will for years to come.

Why are more and more families starting home based businesses. The benefits of working at home, spending more time with the family, less stress, time freedom and significant tax savings are driving this trend. The proliferation of personal computers and the internet are also facilitators, essentially ‘leveling the playing field’, enabling corporate Americans to be just as productive, or even more so, at home. Therefore the benefits of starting a business from home far out weigh the perceived risks.

Unfortunately, there is a huge attrition rate of those venturing into this arena for the first time. They soon become disillusioned and find that building a sustainable income from home, much less the fortune they had once hoped for, is simply not as easy as they were perhaps led to believe.

If the attrition rate of your recruits is greater than 50% there is a problem either with your training of those recruits, the system that is in place for them to follow, the business itself or all of the above. Perhaps that sounds like a bold statement, especially when every recruiter in network marketing has known for years that only ‘one out of ten’ recruits will ever actively pursue the business. These numbers are simply not acceptable anymore, in fact they have given the industry the bad name that it must overcome, and is overcoming daily.

The following guidelines should be used by any prospective entrepreneur as he investigates a prospective business to pursue. As a recruiter, you should ask yourself these same questions about the business you are offering. The key factors in considering a successful career as a home business owner:

1. Find a Mentor. Someone who is trustworthy, who has a system in place and who is having the results himself using that same system. The duplication of the system should be verifiable, such that you can speak with others who are new to the system and that are already having success. Be certain that there is financial incentive for your sponsor to see to your success; they should get paid every time you make a sale. Moreover, they should listen to your needs and be interested in helping you accomplish your specific goals.

2. Evaluate the Products. The products should be legitimate stand-alone products that you would buy if they were on the shelf of your favorite store. Does anyone buy the products without doing the business? Were the products simply designed to enable a compensation plan? The products must be of high-value and high demand such that people are seeking them out. The products must be something you indeed buy yourself and become proud and passionate about. There are lots of great products out there, so find one that feels right to you.

3. Evaluate the Marketing System. Is it a real and definable system providing verifiable results for everyone plugging into it? It must be a real substantiated system that does not involve family & friends, newspaper ads, post cards, home meetings, or cold calling (after all, we are marketers, and we must have a simple system of enabling others to become successful twenty-first century marketers). Does the system take ‘selling’ out of the equation? Most people are not sales people, so the system should do all of the ‘selling’ such that the marketer simply needs to concentrate on driving prospects through the system.

4. Evaluate the Company. Does the management team have a long term vision? Does the management team have a track record? Is there bad publicity? While bad publicity in the internet-age certainly does not mean as much as it once did, look for a pattern of complaints. Where is the company located? Is it hiding offshore, out of reach of the US legal system? The company should only make money off of you when you make a sale. Beware of any company charging monthly fees for things such as websites, marketing systems or access to training. Again, the company should only make money when you make a sale.

5. Evaluate the Business Model. Companies with a direct sales model have the only compensation models that enable the possibility of a six-figure income from home within six months or less. You should be in a money making position from day one (stay away from companies that require that you give your sponsor your first couple sales). You should not have to invest more than about $3,000 to start your own ‘home enterprise’, including your first months marketing expenses that should get you to cash flow.

The positive effect that home businesses can have on our society is enormous, enabling both parents to have an active role in raising their children. As leaders in this industry, we should lead these new entrepreneurs in the direction that will best serve them, in the direction where they stand the very best chance of success.

Direct Car Insurance Made Easy

Direct Car Insurance is the option of buying your car insurance directly from an authorized insurance company instead of going through insurance middlemen and independent agents.

To explain let us take this example. If you are sick with pain in your joints, there are two options you can choose from. You either go to a general practitioner and he would recommend certain medicines that would ease your pain. Or, you proceed directly to an orthopedic specialist, one who specializes in illnesses related to the bones of the human body. Chances are that the bone specialist would be able to diagnose the exact nature of your ailment and prescribe maybe some medicines or exercises that will at once have better effect on your condition. The general practitioner would probably have an idea about your actual condition but may not be in a position to accurately treat it.

Something similar happens when you choose a direct car insurance policy over an indirect car insurance policy.
One may argue that it is far easier to get quotes and information on car insurance policies from multiple indirect sources, as there are plenty in the car insurance market. It may also be a better idea as these indirect car insurers offer a wide variety of services in order to keep their car insurance policies better than the rest.

This is however not without its associated costs. Remember middlemen and independent agents and such indirect car insurers are in a business and not providing you the service out of charity. They obviously are looking for their profits. While on the look of it you may be offered multiple services at some good prices, you must never forget that you are paying a higher rate for the same. The independent car insurance agents are putting in their profits into the quote. The larger these independent car insurance companies are, the higher the hidden costs.

The direct car insurance agencies, on the other hand have their benefits. If you go at first to a direct car insurance company, you will directly be in touch with the car insurance provider itself. These direct car insurance providers are usually large companies which have in house services like emergency pick up vehicles, tie ups with official car service centers, legal advisors and such important services. What happens here is that these direct car insurance providers may not have to outsource their services to other car insurance agencies? Even if they do, they have clear and set procedures that are outlined. This removes the reasons for inordinate delays in providing emergency car services, settling claims and providing interim relief through rent a car services etc.

When you buy a policy from a direct car insurance agency you also save on costs. You can get cheaper car insurance with some very good facilities. Remember it is not the amount of services that you can get but whether those services can be used when you need them.

You may even be able to work out cheaper premiums for flexible periodic payments as well when you go to direct car insurance agencies. And to top it off you may even get some free extra covers along with your standard cover as well. These come in handy and end up saving you some money at a later stage. For example you may get free extended territorial cover or the direct car insurance agency may offer extended legal liability to family members. These would be specific to the district of residence of course.

There are some direct car insurance agencies that also offer you a better premium if you insure more than one car with them. This really gets you a good reduction in your associated costs and it always helps if there is just one direct car insurance agency that has to be co-coordinated with at all times.

There are quite a few car insurance companies which provide direct car insurance and you may need to shop around a little before you actually make your decision. This will also give you adequate knowledge about what the direct car insurance agencies are offering in the car insurance market. So remember, going in for direct car insurance is in the larger picture more beneficial to your pocket!

How to Design an Effective Marketing and Communications Budget for Your Nonprofit Organization

You definitely need to have a comprehensive, realistic budget. It’s a critical component of your nonprofit’s annual marketing and communications plan and, like the work plan, serves as a map to ensure you reach your goals. The budgeting process helps you to determine whether your plan is realistic. If not, you know you have to cut the plan to focus on ultimate priorities and retool the budget.

But, it’s always a challenge to determine your nonprofit marketing and communications budget, and to justify it to the powers that be. On popular approach is to allocate a certain percentage of the organization’s budget to marketing.

In the for-profit world, it’s fairly standard to determine a marketing budget by allocating 10-20% of projected gross revenues to marketing and communications. However, things aren’t so black and white in the nonprofit world with our dual bottom line of people and dollars. You can take the percentage approach OR the flat dollar approach.

What’s most important is that you establish a detailed marketing and communications budget prior to the start of each fiscal year, and track costs (by strategy and program or project) and results AS YOU GO so that you can analyze cost vs. benefit. The budget should be integrated into your annual marketing and communications plan, with a dollar cost allotted to each strategy (direct mail, email, paid advertising, media relations, etc.) and program or project, each of which should be broken out by its various components (consulting, evaluation, printing, postage, etc.).

Each organization’s plan (and budget) will cover a unique set of components. Don’t forget to budget for the tasks – such as researching your audiences and evaluating outcomes – that give you the information to make your selected strategies as successful as possible.

The Percentage Approach

This approach is favored by those who believe that marketing and communications expenditures should directly reflect a nonprofit’s evolution and the size of its budget. Personally, this is the approach I prefer. The advantage of developing a budget based on your organizational finances is that it’s organic. Communications spending grows as does your organization. Of course exceptions are made for special needs such as the launch of a new program, introducing new leadership, or tackling an urgent advocacy campaign.

The average allocation is from 9-12% of your annual organizational budget (start with 10%). Advocacy organizations tend to allocate a higher percentage (12% or higher) of their organizational budgets to communications, since much of their advocacy work is communications based.

Here’s a highly-simplified example of a budget shaped by the percentage approach:

2% Purchasing all advertising and promotion media, including newspaper, radio, TV, and direct mail (postage).


4% Producing (design, artwork) and printing all communications. This includes newsletters, brochures, web sites, press kits, etc.


1.5% Producing special events.


3.5% Salaries, consultants and freelancers.

= 11% Total percentage of the organizational budget going to marketing and communications.

The Dollar Approach

Others in the field consider a flat dollar approach to be more relevant (and safer) than the percentage approach since your total budget has to cover utilities, rent, taxes, health insurance, etc.

Defining the dollar figure is challenging the first time round but becomes much easier once you have records of several years’ marketing expenditures to work from. Start out with a quick-and-dirty calculation based on last year’s costs and revise it to reflect special campaigns, inflation, etc. Or, if this is your first year out, estimate the costs of what you think you’ll be doing based on what you know today. Contact colleagues in the field and prospective vendors to get your projections as accurate as possible. Either way, you’ll end up with a baseline budget.

Frankly, I’ve heard a lot about this method as a viable alternative to the percentage approach, but have never seen it put into practice.

What Budgeting Does for You

Whichever approach you take, you’ll find that a formal budget is a great aid in decision making. To begin with, your marketing communications budget (and plan) will help you distinguish between needs and wants. You’ll see clearly how much you have to spend to reach your goals and, via tracking results, will gain a sense of what strategies work best to achieve which goals. For example, based on your budget framework, you may decide to promote your advocacy campaigns via direct mail and email, media relations, and paid advertising in order to match legislative timeframes. However, you may decide to hold off on enhancing your already strong membership campaign with the launch of a members-only web site.

So start your budget process today, even if you’re in the middle of your fiscal year. Make sure that you track costs by category and maintain a spreadsheet of actual vs. projected expenses. By next year, you’ll have an accurate map of expenditures that will serve as a great foundation for next year’s planning process and a sure means of ensuring you make the most of your marketing and communications budget.

Do keep in mind that your budget will have to be adjusted each year to reflect increasing costs and changes in your organization. For example, launching a new program requires an increased marketing budget for the first year or two so you’ll need more dollars or do less on other fronts.

Direct Mail for Pizza Places

Pizza Companies must advertise and market their products and services just like any other business. But they are not like any other business, not even close. Pizza is an excellent low cost product to make, but the building, employees and oven equipment are not cheap and someone has to pay all the bills.

This means that sales must be robust to insure that the business makes lots of money. Yet to make money you need people in the door who buy pizzas and they need to be referred, see a sign, be invited and or read some sort of advertising.

What is the best type of advertising or marketing for Pizza Places? I recommend direct-mail marketing and direct-mail marketing coupon packages to be sent out every other month to all the potential customers within a 10-mile radius of the pizza place.

There are a variety of types of coupons that can be put into the coupon packages and it makes sense that the pizza place pick hours and times when they are not very busy in which the special offers are good. This means they can fill up those hours in which they are usually not very busy.

Direct-mail marketing and direct-mail marketing coupon packages have done very well for pizza places and it is one of the best types of businesses for such advertising and it has the most return for pizza place from such advertising campaigns.