Network marketing leaders often train their downlines on the importance of engaging in IPAs—income-producing activities. IPAs, which focus on generating product sales, are crucial to the success of any network marketing business.
As the in-house general counsel of a leading networking marketing company, I’m responsible for helping our distributors appreciate and engage in a different set of equally important IPAs: income-protecting activities.
From the seasoned leader to the brand new person, each distributor should want not only to earn an income from their business, but also to fiercely protect that business and the income opportunity it provides.
Income-protecting activities are tasks that many people may be tempted to ignore or skip. It’s easy to dismiss them as unnecessary. However, with just a little extra effort and intention, you can add some simple IPAs to your training efforts, which will go a long way to ensuring the longevity of your business and company.
Here are some examples of IPAs to include in your business practices:
Hopefully most of those IPAs appear basic to you, or are already a fundamental part of your business. These IPAs are largely based on common policies found in the distributor agreements of most reputable network marketing companies, which in turn reflect consumer protection or anti-pyramid scheme regulations. Such policies and laws are not meant to squash your entrepreneurial spirit, but to provide a framework within which you and your company must operate to protect consumers. After all, happy consumers are the most loyal purchasers of your products or services.
Take a moment to look at your business through the lens of consumer protection. IPAs allow you to confidently answer yes to the following questions:
Distributors often view in-house legal and compliance departments as fun-killers; we’ve even been called the “sales prevention department.” However, there cannot be any sales at all if a company gets into trouble with regulatory authorities. Distributors who act improperly may even bear personal liability.
I challenge you not to think of compliance as a big, dark, scary word. Instead, learn to love and listen to your lawyers and compliance teams. We truly want nothing more than to help you build a sustainable and thriving business.
We work hand in hand with the sales, marketing, product development, and regulatory teams to ensure that all the materials created for you to help you grow your business have been thoroughly vetted and are compliant with the law, so you can use them with confidence to grow your business ethically.
At my company, that means being part of our BEST—the Business Ethics Standards Team. When you operate at your best, you can proudly represent an amazing profession that helps millions of individuals earn incomes for themselves and their families by selling beneficial products and services; that gives them the flexibility to build their work around their lives, and not the other way around; and that develops everyday people into extraordinary leaders.
Picture your photograph next to a headline on the front page of a national newspaper. What do you want the headline to say? Would you rather be remembered for the sustainable, ethical business you built brick by brick, or for actions that may damage reputations—yours, your company’s, your profession’s? If you choose the former, income-protecting activities will help you create that headline.
ASHLEY J. GOOD is an attorney who currently serves as senior vice president
and general counsel of a thriving international network marketing company.
She is responsible for the company’s legal department
and business ethics standards team (BEST).