There are a couple of things I wish I knew before starting a network marketing business — let’s just say I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way — but I’ve come out a stronger businesswoman in the process.
If you’re thinking of starting your own network marketing business you need to do as much research as possible before you get going and this is the perfect start!
We’ll be exploring what you need to think about when it comes to starting your business, the ins and outs of how to start a business in the UK, what I personally struggled with, managing time and expectations with results and the challenges of being your own badass boss.
Settle in and let’s dive right into it!
What To Consider When Starting Your Own Network Marketing Business In The UK
Working for yourself can be very fulfilling:
- You can do something that you’re more passionate about or interested in.
- Choose your own hours and have more flexibility in your day.
- Work around other commitments like your children.
- Work from home.
- Have more power over your income.
- Answer to no one but yourself – uh yes please!
However, there can be a few downsides:
- Working long hours and weekends.
- Never really being able to switch off from work.
- Dealing with an irregular income.
- Having to do your own bookkeeping and tax returns.
- Limited or no access to employment benefits like paid leave.
For me, when I started my network marketing business with Forever, the downsides were and still are a lot less than if you were to start a business from scratch because:
- You choose how many hours you are comfortable working when getting started, so you don’t have to sacrifice time with the family if you don’t want to.
- You can keep your full-time job while building the business until you start earning enough to replace it completely.
- You can earn a part-time or full-time income.
- You will have mentors who will support you along the journey so you don’t have to figure it all out yourself.
- You develop a community that you work with so you don’t feel alone even though it’s your own business.
- It’s low risk.
- There’s already an established business plan and model in place that you can work off so you don’t have to create your own.
The Different Kinds Of Business Entities
That You Can Register
A sole trader is often the best way to go for starting a business in the UK as it’s simpler and has a lower cost to set up, it also has flexibility with expenses, but you’re personally responsible for your business’s debts and you’ll also have some accounting responsibilities to tend to.
In an MLM business, I suggest registering within 3 months of starting trade with selling products, but if you’re only a customer then it’s not necessary.
Find out more about being a sole trader and how to register.
Private Limited Company (Ltd)
You would look at becoming a LTD company in the UK when your profit turnover is £50,000 or more. With a limited company your finances are separate from your personal finances, but there are more reporting and management responsibilities.
It’s always best to seek advice from an accountant, but the company set up is easy enough for you to do yourself.
A partnership is a pretty straightforward way for two or more people to run a business together.
You could consider registering as a partnership before a LTD and then bring a family member into the network marketing company — this is often less expensive and has less paperwork than going the LTD route.
You share responsibility for your business’s debts with your partner and you’ll also have accounting responsibilities like the other structures mentioned.
Find out more about being in a partnership and how to register.
Often new network marketing businesses do not start out as a LTD, most of the time you’ll likely need to register as a sole trader.
I’ve outlined three of the most common legal business structures above, but I suggest that you read up further on these and consult a professional so you can decide on the best option for you.
The Network Marketing Industry:
Business Setup & Strategy
When you’ve just signed up to build your very own business through network marketing, there are a couple of things to think about to set yourself up for network marketing success.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it does cover some key areas I suggest you give a proper think over.
Draw Up a Budget
Firstly and most importantly draw up a budget and get clear on what your monthly costs will be.
A network marketing business is great because there’s usually only a small initial investment fee when you sign up and monthly costs are low.
With Forever, we encourage people to start with the ‘Start Your Journey Kit’ which is only £199.75 and then they can invest as big or small as they like from there.
Ideally you’d need a laptop or a smartphone — many just use their smartphone — and WIFI to get going so overheads are minimal when getting your business off the ground and operational.
As your business grows this list will expand and costs may include:
- Setting up and hosting a website.
- Advertising and marketing.
In Forever (and in many other similar successful companies) they already have a proven business model and plan that you plug into — that’s the beauty of this business, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
What is pertinent is creating a business plan that outlines your business goals over the short term and long term and your plan of action for reaching them.
This is something that you don’t have to do alone — you could have a mentor like me who would be able to support you with this.
Having your own business means having to sort out your own tax.
This can make you feel pretty barmy at first if you haven’t done it before, but there are plenty of accountants and bookkeepers who won’t charge an arm and a leg to help you with this.
A few tips I have when it comes to taxes are:
- Mitigate any tax liability by speaking to your accountant about what you can expense through the company.
- Work smart with your money/profit by investing in tax free savings accounts or retirement annuities.
- Keep receipts of your spending.
Is a Business Bank Account Necessary?
Whether or not to open a business bank account will depend on which business entity you register when starting up a business in the UK.
Usually if you’re starting out as a sole trader, using your personal bank account in the beginning is easy enough and then as your business grows you can look at opening a business bank account if you decide to register an LTD.
What is great is that you can get free business banking for three banks in the UK — so it won’t cost you a penny.
Should I Hire An Accountant?
It’s always wise to seek advice from a professional accountant.
What works for someone else may not be right for you because of your personal circumstances so it’s best to double check with someone qualified to know.
Often an initial 30 minute consultation can be free or low cost and it can help you in the long term.
Any Legalities/Compliance Regulations to Be Aware Of?
Make sure to keep all business expenses as mentioned already and follow the company policy for your network marketing company — and all should be dandy!
Protecting Your Business From a Legal and Disaster Perspective?
Forever has product liability so this isn’t really something you have to worry about. The only time this will be necessary is if you run any events in public spaces and then you will require public liability.
Make this a habit for your business dealings whether it be for expenses, important emails or documents etc.
Building Your Network Marketing Business:
Choose The Right Business Mentor
The person you join and sign up to the business with, is the same person you will be working with directly — so it’s important that you get on, have similar values, feel inspired and motivated by them, they’re empathetic, they’ve got systems in place that you can follow and that they’ve achieved what the company has to offer.
No marketing know-how is required to get started on your journey — just the drive and passion to learn and succeed!
This person doesn’t necessarily need to be direct to you if you are introduced by someone newer as long as you have the opportunity to be mentored and coached by them.
Many have achieved success without mentors, but if i was looking to start with a new company now, I would look at how many successful leaders are in their network.
Develop a Powerful Message
Think about what problem you are solving that potential customers are willing to pay for?
This is often called the value proposition and think about why your business will be operationally and financially successful — then develop a powerful message with this in mind.
Whilst this step is important for the future growth of your business, it is only something that you will be able to hone in on over time so don’t sweat it too much in the beginning.
As with everything enough time and experience will show you what messaging resonates with you personally and that of your market!
Create a Brand and Identity
Get your business image in order by creating a personal brand like I have — again, this will only begin to take shape in your mind over time and you don’t need to fuss over it too much in the beginning while you’re learning the ropes.
Starting something is always half the battle won!
Many network marketing companies like Forever allow you to create your own “personal brand”, but check first what is allowed in the guidelines.
Develop an identity that reflects your values and the way you want to be perceived by your target market.
Do this by getting a logo designed and use a consistent colour scheme and fonts across all your marketing materials.
When you’re ready set-up a website and get any other necessary pieces of marketing together like business cards etc.
There are easy-to-use design platforms like Canva that make it quick, easy and even free to design your own attractive materials and social media images.
That being said, most companies will already have an amazing resource library that will equip you with everything you’ll need to get moving!
Focus on The Customer and Fully Understand The Market
There are many examples of companies out there that don’t always have the best product/service or are not first to market, yet are very successful because they have mastered online marketing and sales — get good at this and you can sell anything, especially something you truly believe in!
Research the demographics of your potential customer base and get to know and understand their buying habits.
My market is mums because I’m a mum and I can relate to them and understand what they might want or need.
Look at competitors, browse their websites and understand how they market themselves and gain prospects.
Are There Pitfalls of Recruiting The Wrong People/Growing The Business Incorrectly?
You can never really recruit the wrong person, some people build a business, others don’t and just stay shoppers, and some can lead you to someone else.
The most important thing is having a duplicatable system that everyone can follow — you can not teach what you don’t do yourself or are not prepared to do yourself.
Start Whilst Being Employed – If You Can
Before starting a business in the UK try not to quit your job initially just to work on your business.
I suggest you start building your business part-time in the beginning if you’re working, that way you keep your steady income while you build your business.
As soon as you feel comfortable with what you’re earning you can let your job go and build full-time.
Many network marketers run their business as a secondary income — it just depends what kind of flexibility and income you’re looking for!
If you’re a stay-at-home mum then you may have more time to put in, in which case you can go full in guns blazing.
Who To Consult For Support?
If you are not getting support from your direct upline, I suggest working up towards someone you can follow or find your own mentor in network marketing and see how you can use their advice/systems for your own business.
What I Personally Struggled With In Building a Network Marketing Business
I really struggled with having the confidence to start, fear of speaking in front of groups and fear of rejection as I was a pretty shy person.
Many people often feel this way when starting, but if you’re committed and want something enough, you’ll do what it takes to overcome those fears.
How to Manage Time When Starting Your Own Business and Working a Full-Time Job/Being a Stay-at-Home Mum
It is important to plan time in your diary for your daily activities — so blocking out family time, business time, you time and sticking to it. This helps me immensely.
Make sure you do something in your business in a small way every day. Consistency is key!
Each evening write down a list of the 7 things you want to achieve the next day and then work down that list from number one first.
This way you will get to the bottom rather than cherry picking. If you only get to 4 then 5, 6, 7 become 1, 2, 3 the next day.
What Are The Challenges of Being Your Own Boss as Well as Managing Emotions and Expectations in Business?
It’s a rollercoaster ride and like anything in life it’s the hard days that make you appreciate the great days even more.
Start each day by drawing a line in the sand as a new day. Be prepared to do what other people are not prepared to do and you will achieve even your biggest dreams!
When it comes to being your own boss, knowing when to switch off is tough and you can often feel guilty when you’re not working and spending time with the family and vice versa.
Learning not to procrastinate is a big one, realising that your time is precious and that you should respect the tasks you’ve committed to.
Ultimately when the going gets tough the buck stops with you.
You can end up being too hard on yourself but equally you can be too easy on yourself, so it’s about finding that balance.
Key Takeaways That Helped Me Get Where I Am Today
- Nothing is ever a mistake or a waste of time as there is always a lesson in it. Every failure is a lesson you will be able to share with your downline and help them from making the same mistakes.
- Making a plan is the best way forward!
- Always work outside of your comfort zone as that’s where you will truly grow.
- By working on your mindset daily half the battle is already won.
- Believe in yourself and be the person that inspires you when you come across challenges or fears — just step into their shoes and be them!
Ready to Start a Network Marketing Business
in the UK?
Don’t let the idea of starting a business in the UK overwhelm you before you even get started.
Do your research, speak to the professionals, consult a mentor and learn!
Nothing worth having comes easy in life, so commit and “just do it” as Nike says!
I hope that by sharing the things I wish I had known before starting a business will help you along your journey and inspire you to go for it!
Please leave your comments below and I’d be more than happy to answer any other questions you may have.
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