What Are the Most Important Things to Look For in a Direct Sales or Network Marketing Company?

My oldest son was born in 2000, and ever since then I have been looking for a career that allowed me to be available for him. My criteria are pretty specific. My husband is in the military and does not have the option to just call in sick if the kids are home from school and I have a business meeting to attend. And these days there is the distinct possibility of him being deployed for any length of time. So, I’m the parent who has to be available at the drop of hat (or the beep of a ear thermometer). Flexibility is a key ingredient to my ideal career. I do not want to have to rely on daycare providers being available for me to go to work. Secondly, because of my husband’s career, mine has to be portable. We pick up and move every three years, so I don’t want to worry about having to find something new at our next location. Lastly, I wanted an actual career, not a job. For me, this means money and recognition. I was looking for something that provided unlimited income potential (after all, if you’re talking about an ideal career you might as well shoot for the moon). I also wanted recognition for a job well done from the company. This could be in the form of promotions, bonuses, awards. (I’m not that picky)It’s a tall order, but I’m nothing if not optimistic. My searching led me to the network marketing/direct sales industry. Direct Sales is a huge business, and there is always room for one more. After working with a couple different companies, reading a few books, talking to some experts in the field, earning a few awards, and making some money, I have learned there are some key things a direct sales business needs to offer to help you be successful in your business.1. A Strong Product LineAnd this needs to something you can be passionate about. The more passionate you are, the less you have to “sell” it. It is also important that there is a line of products. Once you have a customer, you want to be able to sell other products to them. And lastly, it is ideal that the products be consumable. Repeat customers are a wonderful thing.2. A Lead Generation SystemMany, many, many companies out there give you the same advice when you get started. Talk to your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers to get started. Unfortunately, if you’re comfortable talking about your business with them in the first place, you will still eventually run out of these people. Where do you go from there? Does the company have a lead system in place, or are you on your own for marketing?3. TrainingThis one can actually piggyback off number 2. Does the company provide ongoing training? It is important to become a product knowledge expert when you are in sales. It is also necessary to learn how to build your business, so you don’t end up hitting that proverbial wall. But even more important is management training. One of the best ways to build your business is through bringing other people into the business. And once they are there, you want to have a strong team. If this doesn’t come naturally for you, does the company offering management or team training?4. Multiple lines of IncomeThis is especially important to keep from burning out. It is also helpful if you find that you excel in one area over another. For instance, you are really good at selling the product but not at recruiting. Or you just gather people to you by breathing, and you’d rather concentrate on that than on selling the product. Can you still make a good income if you specialize?In all my searching, I have found that these are key ingredients to help ensure my success. I have found that I am far more successful in my business when I have all the tools available to me in just one place, rather than having to go find them on my own. It has taken me some time to find exactly what I needed in a company, but persistence and planning definitely pay off.