What is an SSL Certificate and Why Do You Need One?

What is an SSL Certificate and Why Do You Need One?

What is an SSL? Why Do I Need an SSL for My Website? What is a Secure Socket Layer? Do most websites use an SSL? Should my MLM Software offer or provide an SSL?

What is an SSL? Why Do I Need an SSL for My Website?

In today’s technology age, I think we need to have a class or course on all the acronyms out there. What is SSL? SSL is short for secure socket layer. Without getting too technical, it’s a 1024 bit encryption key that you purchase from a third party company that you put on your website so that when someone visits your site, the data that’s transmitted back and forth is encrypted and private.

HTTP vs HTTPS

You’ll notice that on sites with an SSL in the URL field of your browser, the address will begin with “https” rather than “http”. On Google’s Chrome, and some other browsers, there will even be a warning for pages that don’t have an SSL saying “Not Secure”.

Where Do You Get It and How Much?

Who sells an SSL certificate? The MLM Software company that you’re working with should be able to help you acquire one. Most hosting providers can also provide an SSL. Our company used GoDaddy to obtain our own SSL Certificates. They’re sold on an annual basis, in the $2-300 a year range.

What Does This Do, What’s the Benefit?

This is going to give your customers and distributors peace of mind that when they go to your site and submit their information or purchase products, it’s going to be done securely and that the information is protected and safe. It going to help prevent malicious hackers from accessing that information.

More than just the obvious benefits and protections, an SSL is required to secure your payment pages in order to maintain your PCI compliance and not jeopardize your merchant account.

And most recently, the big search engines like google have moved to rank websites using an SSL higher in search rankings.

If you’re running an MLM Website without an SSL you need to get on the phone with your Software Provider because you need to have that to protect your customers and distributors. If I can help answer your questions about your website or an SSL, please give me a call or send me an email!

What Should Your Staffing Requirements Be?

What Should Your Staffing Requirements Be?

What Should Your Staffing Requirements Look Like?

What should the initial staff requirements of your new multilevel marketing company look like?

I consult with a lot of different companies that are usually start up companies, every week. One of the things that companies are always asking me is, “What should our staffing requirement look like?” Well, if you’re launching a network marketing company, you’re going to wear a lot of different hats. In fact, of the things I’m going to talk about here, most of them you’ll be doing yourself at some point unless you’re well funded.

1. You need to have a National Sales Director

If you’re launching a network marketing company it’s probably either because you were successful in another network marketing company, or you saw the model and thought ‘this is a really good method of distribution for our products and services’. Basically, you want to be the salesperson. While I run through these other things you’re going to realize, you can’t be the salesperson you need to find someone who understands your vision, your vision plan and vision statement, where your company is going, and empower them to be your National Sales Director.

Your National Sales Director is responsible for your marketing. recruiting, meetings, events, conference calls and getting your vision about the opportunity and products out to the public.

2. Customer Service Manager

You need a Customer Service Manager, NOT an answering machine. Your customer service should not consist of customers calling you and going straight to an answering machine. These days with technology, you can outsource your phones. In fact, we have a company in Colorado that we outsource to when all of our representatives are on the phone and for about $150 a month, they answer the phones 24 hours a day if we’re not available. Spend a few dollars and give a good impression.

Your customer service manager and representatives need to be well spoken and friendly. When they answer the phone, make sure they do it with a smile on their face. You can literally hear the difference in someone’s voice when they smile as they speak.

They need to be able to properly manage schedules and have really good time management methodology. They also need to be really familiar with your MLM software and your back office because they’re going to be getting calls from distributors and customers asking a multitude of different questions about it. They need to understand how to set up your products, your enrollment options, work on your menu, pages, content, etc.

3. Compensation Plan Manager

Most company owners think that because they designed or decided upon the Compensation Plan, that they’re going to be the Compensation Plan Manager. Here’s the thing, your distributors are never going to call if/when they’re overpaid, but when you start getting distributors calling asking why they didn’t rank up, or receive their commissions, are you going to be the one wearing that hat? Along with all the other hats and tasks that you’re responsible for?

You’re the President or the CEO, or Both. You’re not going to have time to do everything. You need a good compensation plan manager that understand the ranks, the requirements, and the rewards for those ranks. That understands how to look at the products and set up the commission value, the bonuses associated with those products, understands how people achieve ranks, be able to look at and determine why someone received a rank or didn’t receive that rank. Most importantly, they need to understand how to run commissions and how to close those commissions and get them paid.

4. Warehouse Products and Service Manager

If you’re doing digital products, you’ve probably integrated with a third party for delivery and less concerned about warehousing, but you can’t be the president and answering the phones, and working on the website, and doing the compensation plan, and shipping out the products.

Your warehouse manager needs to be able to work with product fulfillment, they need to be able to pull your product sales and data reports, they need to be able to work with the chosen shipper; whether that’s FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc. If you’re working with a 3rd party shipping company, they need to understand that shipping software. The need to be able to confirm most importantly when orders have been picked up or shipped and delivered to your customers and distributors and work with orders and returns.

Your warehouse manager needs to be able to work with product fulfillment, they need to be able to pull your product sales and data reports, they need to be able to work with the chosen shipper; whether that’s FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc. If you’re working with a 3rd party shipping company, they need to understand that shipping software. The need to be able to confirm most importantly when orders have been picked up or shipped and delivered to your customers and distributors and work with orders and returns.

When you reach that point of maturity for a Multi Level Marketing Company you’re going to have a lot more than just these 4 key people. But as a startup company, you should really be looking for these 4 key roles first.

They could be friends, family, investors, they don’t even need to be full-time initially. They can be part time roles until the job grows and requires someone full time.

I’ve been helping launch MLM and Network Marketing companies for over 20 years and I know a lot about this as well as a lot of other things that can lead to the success or failure of your company. If you think I can give you some value, give me a call or shoot me an email.

What Should A Compensation Plan Look Like?

What Should A Compensation Plan Look Like?

What Should A Compensation Plan Look Like? What is a Properly Documented Compensation Plan? What Should You Have in a Properly Documented Compensation Plan?

What’s in a Compensation Plan?

Any compensation plan is made of 3 basic things; Ranks, the requirements to reach those ranks, and the rewards for reaching those ranks. You need a properly documented compensation plan that explains every rank, every requirement to get to that rank, and every reward that’s paid for when they reach that rank. Most importantly, you need to have examples in your compensation plan. So often, we receive a simply an excel spreadsheet with with columns and rows showing a rank and an associated percentage, but they don’t document any rules or requirements for reaching that rank, how they can join the company and get to that rank, how they can earn that rank over time, or what the requirements are to earn that rank. Now you can have simple requirements or complex requirements to get to those ranks.

We also want to see from any MLM company or consultant that you’re working with, we want to see examples with a full breakdown of the ranks, the bonus, and the steps to get it; literally showing a genealogical structure whether it’s a binary, unilevel, or matrix. We want to see how someone earns that rank – and sometimes there are two or three different ways.

Now why is this so important?

You’re going to entrust your compensation plan to a company like mine that will custom program that compensation plan. In another one of my videos I say, “You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression” and that’s the case when it comes to paying your distributors more than anything. You want to make sure that your compensation plan is properly documented and understood by the programmers, support team, and compensation team that is setting that up.

Now most importantly…

Both you and the company that is going to program that compensation plan needs to sign it. So often I see compensation plans designed that there’s no signature from the client, there’s no signature from the designer, no signature from the developer, so in 3 months or 6 months, as expectations change, you want to go back to that compensation plan and if it’s not signed, and something was said over the phone or by email, it may not have gone into the compensation plan. Everybody needs to sign that comp plan, you can even use tools like Docusign these days to digitally sign it.

 

So. Ranks, Requirements, Rewards, Examples, and Most Importantly make sure that compensation plan is signed by everybody. I’ve been involved in the industry for over 20 years, I’ve seen well over 3 thousand compensation plans, if you think I can help you with your compensation plan give me a call or send me an email!

What is a Realistic Timeframe to Start an MLM

What is a Realistic Timeframe to Start an MLM

What is a realistic timeframe to start an MLM Company?

You know, we get calls every week from potential MLM companies, people that want to launch a company, that have unrealistic expectations or time frames. They think that they’ll be able to get up and running in a day, or started recruiting distributors yesterday and need software and a compensation plan and a merchant account and everything today.

What I want to do is help you manage some realistic expectations.

How Long Will it Take To Launch?!

First thing. How long is it going to take to get your software launched? Realistically, working with a good MLM software provider, they should be able to get the software up and running in 1 day. If you already have a domain, they should be able to attach that domain to your software so you can at least start working on your products, your enrollment options, and everything else in your back office of the software.

The Look and Feel

It should take 5 days to get the “look and feel”. You want to give the provider you’re working with the logo for your company. If you need a logo designed, there are many good logo designers that can create a logo for you for $100-$300 and will be able to provide you a logo in just a day or two. Then you should be able to get your logo up on your website and your colors matched on your website in a day or two.

You should be able to get your SSL certificate installed on your site within 1 day.

It should take about 10 days for your customer service team or warehouse manager to setup your product and enrollment options. That means go in and put in the pretty pictures, put in the description, put in the pricing… You actually don’t need to put in the commission value. Here’s a misnomer about the industry; a lot of mlm software companies and consultants say that you need your compensation plan completely finished before your start working on your software. That’s completely untrue. You should be able to start setting up your software while you’re still working with your compensation plan designer to get that done. You should be able to start running your business without a compensation plan.

It should take you about 15 days to get your enrollment options setup. Once you’ve setup your products in the system, setting up your enrollment options is just an extension of those products that are already setup.

It should take a 15 days to configure and setup your shipping and sales tax, whether you’re work with FedEx or UPS or USPS it doesn’t take more than a day or two to sign up for their API’s and get their credentials. It doesn’t take more than 3-5 days to actually signup with a shipping provider that you’re going to be able to configure within the system. The same thing with sales tax; You want to be collecting sales tax on your products for various states and that’s something you need to talk to a good sales tax company about.

The Compensation Plan

You compensation is the crux to your company. If you watch another one of my videos about realistic expectations and compensation plans, it should take 30-45 days at most to properly document your compensation plan and get it setup in the software.

Also, 30 days to obtain a merchant account. A lot of people come to us and say, “well, I can’t start with the software or the website until I’ve got a merchant account”. Here’s the problem, a merchant account provider is not going to give you the ability to take credit cards until you’ve got a website, your domain, your logo, your terms and conditions, policies and procedures. All these things that a merchant account provider is going to be looking for. You cannot setup your merchant account without first having your website in place.

And it’s going to take you about 10 days after that’s done to test everything. That’s 30 days to get setup, then spending another 10 days spent testing your system. Test everything. Test enrollment options, your back office, your commissions engine, put in some test distributors and customers, run some test orders and commissions and make sure everything is working as expected.

So that’s 40 days. Why do I say 30-45 days? The last 5 days should be sitting back going “we’ve got everything in place, we’re ready to do our national sales call, everything’s been tested”.

So yea, we can launch your software in 1 day, but everything else is going to take you 30-45 days to do. I’ve launched over a thousand companies and if you think I can help you launch your company, please give me a call or send me an email.

5 Reasons to Switch Your MLM Software Provider

5 Reasons to Switch Your MLM Software Provider

Should I get new MLM Software? Why would I want new MLM Software?

The average Multi-Level Marketing Company will go through 2-3 different MLM Software companies and even though when you Google “MLM Software” you see 1.1 million results, MLM Software is very much a niche industry. There aren’t a lot of us and only a handful of companies here in the US.

Most MLM companies will go to 3 different companies before they make a decision. I’d like to give you some information that may help you pick the right MLM Software company on your first try so you don’t have to go through the headache and expense of switching software provider later on.

Relationship

The first thing you should look at is the relationship. We are in, if anything, a Relationship business. The days of the “Hard Sell” and the “Fear of Selling” have gone by, we are in a relationship industry and you need to feel a comfortable relationship with the software provider you’re working with. You need to feel like they’ve got your back. They need to understand what it is you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and not just in business to get money. That they’re in business to empower you, to empower distributors, and empower customers to purchase your products and services and most importantly for those distributors; to make sure they’re paid their commissions on time.

Make sure that it’s a good relationship, that there’s a “warm a fuzzy”, that you’re going to be able to work with them. If you watch some of my other videos, I mention it’s not a matter of “if” there’s a problem, it’s “when”. You’re going to have a problem with every vendor you work with. Just like a relationship with your spouse or your kids, there’s going to be challenges. Did you build that relationship on a good solid foundation that when you do have that problem you’re going to be able to resolve it and learn from it.

Communications

When looking at most companies, the point where they fail is in communications and managing expectations. Even within our own company, we are constantly finding that communications and mutually managed expectations are the key to how well we do, or how well our day goes.

You’ve got to have a good method of communicating with your software company. You’ve got to be able to call them on the phone, or text them; you’ve got to be able to get ahold of somebody. They’ve got to communicate with you when things are done. Most importantly they need to communicate with you when something is not done. So many companies I’ve worked with or heard about over the years, they don’t want to tell you when something went bad. But you need that software company that’s going to communicate with you, when something went bad or when something isn’t done.

Mutually Managed Expectations

There’s a mutual trust between the vendor and the software provider. Most companies think “well, I’m paying you good money, you should just do everything I ask you to do.” But that’s really not the relationship that anyones wants to be in these days. It’s got to be a win-win. There’s a saying that r’eally good relationships go 0 – 100; you expect 0 and you give 100 percent.’ And you’ve to be willing to do that even with the vendors you work with.

The expectations are; What are they going to do for you? How are they going to do it? When are they going to do it? And is it going to be done? What are the expectations that you have of the software company and what are their expectations of you? One of my other videos I discuss what should be in a compensation plan, that’s an example of a mutually managed expectation. What is the software going to deliver? Is it going to work with 10 thousand, 100 thousand, or a million people? There are lots of questions you need to ask, but you need to have good mutually managed expectations.

You should have a point to point contact, one person on their team and one person on yours that can be reached for communication, with that person disseminating the information. That’s a good working relationship.

Something interesting to share with you, I was talking to one of the key MLM industry attorneys the other day and he said “You know Robert, the vision that is in an MLM company’s head of what the software should do and actually what the software does never comes into alignment.” For some reason, MLM Companies tend to think that the software is going to do everything and that when there’s a problem it’s going to be resolved instantly because it’s on the internet and it’s technology and ‘the latest and greatest’. The truth is, what you have in your head is never going to match what the software is actually going to do. Whether its the shopping cart, the back office, the genealogy, the reporting system, how you manage the website, it’s never going to meet your expectations 100%. Try to make sure that you understand that and that software is not going to be the end all be all to everything that you do.

Technology is constantly growing and if it wasn’t constantly growing then we wouldn’t have Microsoft Windows 10, or Chrome 11, or an iPhone X. Technology changes, understand that it’s going to continue changing.

Commissions Calculation

The number 1 reason why MLM companies leave their software company is when their commissions didn’t calculate correctly. In one of my prior videos I talk about how a properly documented compensation plan should be done and that’s going to be the #1 reason. The software can go down, the server can go down, support may not be answered, but if you don’t pay your commissions on time, every time, all the time, and accurately you’re going to have angry distributors on your hands and you’re going to leave your software company. That’s why it’s so important that you spend a few days fully testing your commissions engine before launching your company.

 

 

I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years and I’ve seen a lot of the issues that cause many new MLM Companies to fail. If I can help you, if I can answer your questions about the MLM industry or MLM Software, please call me, email me, or comment down below