Choosing a Network Marketing Business

Network Marketing, Direct Selling or Multi-Level Marketing is a great way to earn additional income, have time freedom, enjoy family time and freedom, and earn residual income. The benefits go on and on but how do you choose a company?

Making a selection among the more than 3000 network marketing/MLM companies can be difficult. After all there are many variables to consider. One factor can make the decision simpler–the Direct Selling Association. The DSA is a watchdog organization over network marketing companies. Companies are invited to join when they meet certain criteria. The Association’s mission is “To protect, serve and promote the effectiveness of member companies and the independent business people they represent. To ensure that the marketing by member companies of products and/or the direct sales opportunity is conducted with the highest level of business ethics and service to consumers.”

“Compliance with the DSA Code of Ethics is a requirement for membership in the Direct Selling Association. All applicants for membership must complete a one-year pending period during which time the company’s business plan is reviewed to ensure compliance with all provisions of the Code. After becoming an active member of the association, companies are required to maintain compliance with the Code as a condition of continuing membership.

Company compliance with the Code of Ethics makes a bold statement about that company’s commitment to practicing the highest ethics in business. By doing business with a DSA member company, the field sales force and the ultimate consumer can be sure they are dealing with a company serious about providing quality and service at the highest levels. In other words you can rest easy that the company you are joining is concerned about quality at all levels including protecting you the distributor. Only 200-300 companies are invited to be members of the DSA which reduces the pool of contenders.”

Beyond the DSA you can do Due Diligence in checking out the companies you are considering. Years in business can be a good indicator that this company will still be in business many years in the future. Some companies have gone public and their stock is traded on one of the exchanges. Companies that are public must have their books available to the public. Nothing is hidden. Expenses and debt obligations are listed. A company that is debt-free can certainly allow you to feel confident that the company can meet its obligations and make necessary investments.

Is the CEO of the company and other Principal members accessible to distributors? Has the CEO been with the company for years, months or since last week? A CEO that stays with the company provides additional assurance that the company is stable.

Are the products effective and unique? Can you be passionate about the products? Some companies have patents on their products. Patents are issued for products that are unique, do what they say they do and can be reproduced time and time again. This provides additional assurance that the company is high quality and supports their distributors.

How is the company marketed? Is it online? Online business opportunities are growing rapidly. Some people are looking for an opportunity that is only online. Others would like to avoid the computer entirely. It depends on your personal preference.

Is the company part of a growing industry in addition to the Direct Selling/Network Marketing/MLM industry? An example is the Wellness industry which is predicted to grow to a Trillion dollar industry in the next 3-5 years.

Does the company have any media coverage? Are they on Forbes Magazine’s list of “Top 200 Best Small Companies” or Business Week’s “Top 100 Hot Growth Companies”. 3rd party validation can be very important.

Does the company provide training and support? Are distributors handed books and tapes and sent on their way? Or, are there regular training meetings? Some Network Marketing businesses can be competitive and distributors are discouraged from working together. While others operate in a spirit of cooperation and teamwork. Additional training is provided by other members of the team through mentorship.

Does the company have a System of support? A System is a schedule of conferences, special events, and conference calls. Training and presentations are standardized–they are the same from location to location.

Finally, how do you make money at the business? How is the compensation plan? Do you make money several different ways or just one way? Residual income is an important part of Network Marketing businesses. It allows you to earn money on work done previously. It allows you to retire someday. Does the company provide bonuses and trips? Are the trips completely covered by the company?

Rare American Coins and Accurately Grading Their Mint State

Once you’ve determined the coin is definitely uncirculated, you can start to break down grading into 4 factors:

Surface Preservation – bag marks, hairlines or planchet flaws; whether from the mint of afterwards. Any analysis of surface preservation weighs the visual impact of surface imperfections depending on severity and location on the coin. 40% of grade score.
Strike – Sharpness and completeness of detail, taking into account knowledge of how the coin was minted and the expectations for strike. 20% of grade score.
Luster – brilliance, cartwheel effect, sheen and contrast, taking into account what is considered normal for that coin. Minor cleaning, re-toning, friction wear are evaluated under this category. 20% of grade score.
Eye Appeal – The subjective portion of toning, and the total affect of the combination of coins other qualities. Do the coin’s qualities make a “pretty” coin, a “plain” coin or an “ugly” coin? 20% of grade score.
Surface preservation is the single most important factor in the grading of mint state coins. The other three factors are about equal to each other, with each being half as important as surface preservation. There are other grade modifiers such as proof-like, full strike, rim nick, weakly struck, cleaned etcetera, to factor into an overall grade.

Surface Preservation:

Bag marks are the most common surface problem on most business strike coins. Hairlines are the most common problem on proof coins. Proof-like business strike coins tend to have both of these problems; most mint caused imperfections such as die scratches and clashed dies aren’t considered to be serious defects and hardly affect the grade at all. Mint caused defect will affect grade half as much or less, than a bag mark or hairline.

Once you determine severity of surface imperfections, you must combine it with the location of imperfection to score the surface preservation. The device is worst, field next, with rim coming in last.


The distance between dies, striking pressure and die condition are just three factors which affect the sharpness of a coin.

As with surface preservation, a poorer strike detail near the rim of the coin is less important than that same amount of detail loss in the center.


Coin striking occurs under extreme pressure of the dies. This pressure is responsible for mint luster. It is the way the surface reflects light. Luster is the combination of cartwheel effect, sheen, contrast and brilliance.

When you grade for luster you are observing the intensity and beauty of that coin’s ability to reflect light, within the expectations for that issue.

First, look at the highest points on the coin. Is the luster equal to that at the fields? If not, the coin has some friction points (disturbance of luster), but not wear – which would make it AU.

Next, examine the fields, are they full luster, pretty good, so-so, or just dull? Improper cleaning, re-toning, and excessive dipping all will reduce luster to same degree.

Eye Appeal:

Luster is somewhat subjective, but eye appeal is really subjective. Eye appeal can be divided into three distinct areas. They are toning, balance and attractiveness.

When looking at toning, determine how attractive the toning is. Does it add or detract from the overall quality of the coin? Golden toning or rainbow toning will add to the overall look of the coin. Dark brown or black will detract.

Balance comes into consideration with toning, by noting if both sides of the coin are toned equally, or is one side toned, while the other not? Is the toning balanced or lopsided? Is it a pleasing look?

Finally, adjust eye appeal for attractiveness. Does the combination of toning, surface of quality, and strike make the coin enjoyable to look at?

A coin’s final grade is determined by its worst side, with the weight of that being placed 60/40 observe to reverse. That is, the obverse is about 1.5 times more important in the final grade than the reverse.

Since this is only a summary of the grading process for uncirculated coins, the inexperienced grader must use other references to learn about the expectations of each date, mint mark and sometimes die variations to accurately assess the coin’s mint state.

Until you’ve looked at several thousand coins close enough to determine their state of preservation, you would fall into the category of inexperienced and still need to hone you grading skills. Mint state grades are the most difficult to call coins accurately, with more at stake for a wrong call.

Free Ads for Small Businesses During COVID-19

Amidst this pandemic many people got the opportunity to help out and do what they need for their community. A lot of us got to connect with our communities in new ways. In Boston small businesses have lost a significant amount of foot traffic.

“There’s people DoorDashing and post-mating half the stuff they usually buy” – owner of Symphony Mart on Boylston St. in Fenway.

Convenience stores are losing foot traffic at the rates they’ve never seen.

“Who’s buying diamonds during the pandemic? Not a lot of people” – owner of Boston jewels, Maury and his wife (have been operating over 20 years).
This is another brick and mortar store that was advertised by this small marketing agency in Downtown Boston.

When I was reaching out to the founder of Oakland Trust Marketing Company, I told him I was an aspiring journalist interested in their methods. He responded to me with a phrase that I may not be allowed to re write on here. I explained to him that I’m not here to complain about anything, just to learn. Finally he agreed to give a statement although he asked not to be named, he wanted the world to take away one thing;
“Connecting customers with quality products is all I know how to do, I was doing it before the pandemic and We’re doing it even more now. This is the time when people need you to shop, we spent our money like crazy before the pandemic and now all of a sudden we know how to budget. Buy your candy bar you deserve it! Have been looking for a sign from god to pull the trigger on a Beautiful argument solving necklace for your significant other, now you have it.” – Founder of Oakland Trust Marketing Company.

I get the sense that maybe he was trying a bit too hard on the sell there in our conversation, but at the same time I sort of appreciate the effort just because I know that’s what this young kid is doing while running around Boston promoting these stores. He’s always on the sell and always making sure you know where to go. I wouldn’t want to have a long nice relaxing dinner with the guy but I’d definitely want him pushing whatever I think of in the future. If I was going to make a start up I’d definitely consider their designs and slogans. After looking into them I was fascinated by the way they incorporated actual features unique to these stores within the ad. The ads didn’t look tacky, they were tacky don’t get me wrong, because they are ads and almost all ads are tacky when you know they are trying to sell. This was a different style of tacky, I hadn’t seen it before. I didn’t know how to rate it, how to judge it, I didn’t even know what to say about it, but here I am 73 hours later writing about it.

How to Manage Your Business While Traveling

Whether it’s following up on work, assigning tasks, checking on your business mail, or just replying to customers, it can all be done from your phone. As a matter of fact, almost anything can get done online, through your phone today.

Yes, it’s that simple. But don’t go running home or rushing off to your next vacation destination just yet! We need to establish how you can get all this done and more without being at the office. Keep reading to find out the key factors you need to consider when managing your business while traveling or being away.

Key Factors to remotely managing your business:

Conduct Regular Meetings:

Everyone doesn’t need to be huddled up in the conference room to conduct a good meeting; you can get remote employees, freelancers, and employees at the office all in the same meeting with just an internet connection.

Now meeting on a daily or even weekly basis can be difficult while you’re traveling because you’re mostly busy and have other things to address. However, meeting with the managers weekly or bi-weekly will reassure your presence in the office and confirm your supervision on all business matters.

You can easily conduct meetings through Skype or Google Hangouts where everyone can see each other and even share files if needed. You can also use Google Slides for presentations or Team Viewer to share your computer screen with everyone for demonstration.

Be sure to regularly interact with your employees no matter where you are and build close relations with them that can evolve into trust. If this is accomplished, you’ll never need to worry about business when you’re away.

Follow-up on Work Progress & Hours:

You being away from the office should never mean work doesn’t get done or is on pause. Technology created a solution for slacking or lazy employees, time tracking software. This type of software allows you to track employees working hours so you will always be updated with who came late or who worked overtime.

Employees will be able to track their shifts, breaks, and leave notes on their work progress.

There are many types of time tracking software, some are essentially focused on tracking working hours like ClockIn Portal that generate timesheets and can be integrated with payroll systems.

Others include a project management feature like Zoho Projects where you can share projects, assign tasks, and follow-up on tasks.

You can also use essential project management software like Basecamp or Asana that mainly focus on getting work done efficiently. Project management software allows you to assign tasks, update them with comments, set deadlines, add attachments, and eventually mark them as complete. With a straightforward tracking method of working hours and work progress, employees will feel obligated to stay focused and get things done faster.

Handle Business Mail Instantly:

While traveling, your mail is something you mustn’t forget about. Neglecting your mail for even a few days can lead to problems. Unattended mail can be important contracts from clients, documents from partners or investors, or feedback from your customers.

With a virtual mailbox, you can take your mail with you wherever you go.

A virtual mailbox is a mailbox that you can access online and handle your mail. The options vary from shredding any document or forwarding packages to opening, archiving, or downloading mail in just a few minutes. Your mail is delivered to secure mail facilities where the envelope is scanned and uploaded to your cloud-based mailbox for you to control.

So not only is it remote access to your important mail, but it eliminates the need for a mailroom! This means lesser paper storage, no mail operators, and faster mail operations, a win-win for you and your pocket.

Coworking Spaces for Business Travelers

Travelling is a very basic component of every business institution. Meeting with the partners and remote coworkers every now and then is crucial to intensify the growth of the business. Generally, the business executives prefer meetings in person. For countless reasons you may have to travel to different cities or countries and host business meetings.

However, the work ethics has changed significantly in the world, making things more digitalized but there are not enough ideas in the world that can put an end to business travelling. While hotel conference rooms are always a pick for the business travellers, the meetings can also be held in the coworking spaces.

Hotel conference rooms charge immensely to arrange meetings. And since these meetings are quite frequent, you always look for an outlet that can save you some money. So today, we will be discussing some of the choices that you have to hold meetings or presentation for your business-

Business Centers- To begin with, we would like to introduce Business Centers as your initial choice of holding business meetings. This alternative does not require any former investment. The presentation rooms and business meeting rooms are rented on hourly basis or for days. You can rent the room as per your needs. Most of these places are equipped with internet, printers, workstations, meeting tables in different sitting capacities, projectors, etc. The Business Centers are designed to give you real-life office experience on a remote location.

Business Hotels- As we were discussing earlier, Business Hotels is the common-most choice of every business traveller to host business meetings. These hotels usually have meeting rooms, classrooms, private office, individual desks etc. The ambience is amazing and you can also quickly arrange lunch for the clients. The Business Hotels are usually equipped with all the major amenities that you may need to hold meetings. The rent however is a troublesome element. You will find business hotels to charge massively for the services delivered. You can rent it for hours or days, as per your needs. Of course, you can also stay at the same hotel and make arrangements for the meeting.

Coworking Spaces- One of the most pragmatic option that is available on an affordable rate are the coworking spaces. Coworking spaces are still creating their market as not many business people know about it. These offices are available at low prices and can be rented for hours or days. They have fine suitable for different kinds of professionals. The amenities that you get at coworking spaces are internet, projectors, meeting rooms, etc. You can also conduct meetings in the dedicated coworking places and meet new people. This will also help you to connect with professionals that may help you with your business as well. It is a perfect choice for the professionals with budget constraint.

How To Show Your Business Authenticity In Your Content

To get started creating authentic content, you’ll want to define your ideal customer and know what is important to share with them to lead them through your funnels – in a way that matches their intent based on where they are in their buying cycle.

Share Your Stories

But you need to know what stories to share. When you really understand who your audience is, and what they need to know based on where they are in their buying cycle, it’s easy to choose which stories to share. And the more you can share with your audience, the better. When you share and relate with them, they’re going to see your authenticity shining through as it relates to them.

Be Transparent

Okay, you want to be transparent. But first you need to decide how transparent, then stick to that. Makes sure the transparency you’re using matches the need of the customer. For example, if you are claiming to make $100K a year, why don’t you show them? If you’re just saying you can make money, that’s different. But if you state a number, it’s important to also be willing to show the proof.

Engage More

A great way to create content is through engagement. For example, if you have Facebook groups that you like to go to, are you using them in a manner that is authentic with what you want to achieve? Do you answer questions openly or do you ask them to PM you? It’s probably better to talk about some things openly even if they are a problem or complaint. This is going to make you even more transparent and authentic to your followers.

Tell Customer Stories

One way to use content to show authenticity is to collect and share your customers’ success stories. This is a great way to show what is working to the rest of your audience. They love to read stories and connect with people who are already your customers. You can do this in a blog post, on social media, or via live interviews using Facebook Live or

Be Consistent on All Channels

Today, marketing in a multichannel environment is expected. You’re going to need to market online and offline and in various channels in both environments. Then you need to be consistent. Consistency is much easier if you’re already being authentic to your brand and yourself.

Use Different Formats

Content marketing requires that you use a lot of different formats of content, much of which you can repurpose. For example, if you interview a satisfied customer via Facebook Live or Zoom, you can turn that interview into a blog post as well. Then you can even use that interview in a book as an example. Plus, you can pull quotes from the interview to make memes.

When you learn to match the content to your customer’s buying cycle, using authentic forms of content from yourself, users, and others who contribute content to your industry or niche, you’re going to find that it’s easier to create content for your audience. This is because you know that you’re being true to your brand and yourself.

Defining Marketing Objectives and How They Relate to the Business

Various types of products and services have various marketing objectives due to the nature of their trade. Objectives are best defined in a marketing plan which details exactly how the company can benefit if it takes on projected sales and marketing activities. The plan highlights the marketing mix, its budget, and how the business will expand in a specific period.

Marketing communication has channels that deliver your business message to the large masses. These days, companies use both print media and electronic media in their marketing mix. They like to take part in events and put up kiosks in various busy spots of the city for product testing as well. If the objective is to reach large masses you can create TV ads. To engage users online companies create websites and use questionnaires for new product development, learn more about consumer behavior, their likes and dislikes.

Reinforcement is the main element of integrated marketing communication as it ensures all elements of a result-driven campaign work cohesively to achieve objectives. For brand awareness five elements are most important as follows:

Personal Selling
Sales Promotion
Direct Marketing

A promotional mix works like a combination of options and the options that suit the trade best are always part of a marketing mix. If you are a local restaurant there is no need to advertise on TV. All you need is sales promotions, websites, and direct marketing through food delivery companies. For an FMCG TV ads are essential when you have a lot of competitors. FMCGs try to make sales using all types of channels. So objectives of the marketing communications (MC) depend on the type of business you are in.

The importance of integration

Integration is important for consistency. For example, if the brand logo appears different on the packaging than what is displayed on the website it gives off a very bad impression. Uniformity gives you a clean brand image that is more trustworthy. The corporate identity has to be maintained at all times. The look and style of your brand need not change across the various channels. Your brand message has to be consistent for corporate reasons. The target audience will take actions you want them to if you have a consistent message across many platforms. For this reason, the brand, the agencies, media, channel members, and the MC support services all need to work together to ensure they are on the same page. This prevents clutter which is damaging for the company image.

Role of marketing communications in promoting and developing brands

Promoting and developing brands requires work on graphics. When you have attractive graphics the brand name will be well recalled as the mind likes to retain eye-catchy graphics. When you have the effectual graphics for your advertising and publicity you are ready to promote a brand. The logo is a vital element of the brand as it distinguishes you from others. It can be revamped when the market trends change. Brands are best developed using the right IMC strategy so they can find consumers in the large target market and this requires research. After that, we can build a brand using a marketing mix for IMC. It helps with customer retention and getting new customers. By building brand equity brands can survive n the market. Product information that consumers get leads to making informed decisions about making purchases.

A business message gives the target market awareness about who you are and the benefits you have to offer. By using events at expositions or interacting with consumers online at websites or social media sites we can build associations with the consumers. When we have a large following the perception of the brand in the market will be positive. More prospects will trust us and try it. From the experience they get online and from the product use, they will be loyal.