Steps to a Succesful Launch

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The Sheffield Group is the go-to source for establishing a successful MLM start up company. With over three decades of experience and a reputation as the premier consultancy in the direct selling industry, Sheffield has helped launch or guide more than 1,000 companies. When it comes to establishing a start up MLM, there are five crucial components that must be considered:

  1. Product
  2. Marketing
  3. Distributor Network
  4. Business Operations
  5. Financial Planning

While these areas are common to all businesses, MLMs have the added challenge of building a sales force of independent distributors who operate voluntarily and cannot be managed in the same way as employees. However, with guidance, MLM companies can effectively influence and support their distributors.


A top-notch MLM product shares similarities with any marketable product in that it addresses a crucial demand from a vast target audience at an affordable cost. However, it’s essential to consider the particular challenges of direct sales. A new MLM company should evaluate its product range with these factors in mind:

  1. Does our product have a compelling narrative to share?
  2. Is our product consumable, leading to recurring revenue opportunities for distributors?
  3. How distinctive is our product? Do we have ownership of the intellectual property? Is there a patent in place?
  4. Are we aiming to compete based on price (a weak approach in direct sales) or do we have a superior quality advantage?
  5. Do our profits allow sufficient funding for a generous and efficient compensation plan?

These considerations are more critical than the specific category of the product. Almost any product or service can be successful in direct sales if it satisfies most, if not all, of these criteria.

The Sheffield Group offers support to start up MLM firms in selecting, producing, pricing, and positioning their product range. If you’re unsure if your product or service is suitable for the industry, or haven’t yet decided what to sell, Sheffield provides invaluable advice in these areas.


The fundamentals of marketing for a new MLM company are similar to those for any other business, but with a few differences. Here are some key areas to focus on:

  1. A well-established brand identity that is communicated effectively.
  2. Targeted messaging that resonates with the desired audience.
  3. Product presentation that includes appealing positioning, packaging, pricing, and bundling.
  4. Marketing materials, such as a website, videos, and mobile app, that are well written and designed.

In direct selling, the marketing approach is different in that it focuses more on supporting the distributors rather than direct-to-consumer marketing. Distributors in direct selling are not professional salespeople. They are best seen as lead generators, and it’s the company’s responsibility to close the sale with the help of effective marketing tools.

The Sheffield Group can provide expert support in this area. We’ve worked with many new MLM startups over the years, helping them achieve success in their marketing efforts.


For a start up MLM company, the success of the business depends largely on the independent distributors. It’s crucial to have a deep understanding of their mindset, motivations, and behaviors.

An attractive compensation plan is key to attracting and retaining distributors. However, it’s important to note that compensation in direct selling is not the same as traditional business wages. The purpose of compensation is to motivate the behaviors that drive growth. As the distributor organization progresses, the compensation strategy should be flexible enough to incentivize different activities at different levels.

Keep in mind that not all distributors will have the same level of commitment. 80% may make one or two sales, while only 18% will remain active in both sales and recruitment, and only 2% will reach a high level of leadership. Understanding this diversity of engagement allows you to tailor your business and compensation strategy to match each distributor’s needs.

Creating a simple and repeatable sales process is essential for all distributors to learn and follow. The Director of Sales should lead the implementation of this process and focus on attracting experienced distributors.

Money is not the only motivator for distributors. The company’s mission, purpose, story, and culture also play important roles in attracting and retaining them.

The Sheffield Group has extensive knowledge of distributor dynamics and can assist in this crucial aspect of your business. They can also guide you in finding and recruiting a qualified Director of Sales.


Operations in a start up MLM company have similarities to other businesses, but also have unique factors to consider. To ensure success in direct selling, one must prepare for potential exponential growth in product supply, finance, and organization. The compensation plan will be executed through specialized software, making it crucial to choose a provider that operates smoothly and reliably. Additionally, there are specific laws and regulations in the direct selling industry that require the assistance of an experienced MLM law firm. The Sheffield Group can provide guidance and connect you with the necessary specialized resources to address these operational challenges.


The budget for starting a new MLM company varies depending on several factors such as the type of product being sold, the stage of product development and manufacturing, the experience of the executive team, and more. However, you can expect to incur costs for:

  • Consulting services from direct selling experts
  • A lawyer specializing in MLM law
  • MLM software
  • The hiring of a director of sales and other early employees
  • Inventory of products
  • Branding, marketing materials, and graphic design

Accurate financial modeling helps predict cash flow and control expenses as the company grows. But financial modeling for an MLM start up presents its own set of challenges, including considerations for exponential growth, seasonal fluctuations, and the unique behavior of distributors. The Sheffield Group offers expertise in this field and provides a world-class financial modeling tool to support your executive decision-making process.

How Sheffield Can Help

The Sheffield Group is equipped to assist you in establishing a thriving start up MLM. Our experienced team has a wealth of knowledge, having been involved in the launch or guidance of over 1,000 direct selling companies in the past three decades. There is hardly any challenge faced by new direct selling companies that Sheffield has not encountered and successfully resolved. Sheffield will offer the necessary support and connect you with the most suitable resources to cover all aspects of your launch, including product development, marketing, distributor management, operations, and finance.

CALL US: 480-968-6199

How Sheffield Can Help You Start Your MLM Company

Founder Mike Sheffield is respected worldwide as an industry leader. He and his team have decades of experience helping start up direct selling companies reach their growth goals in the shortest possible time, and at the lowest realistic cost. 

Importantly, the Sheffield Group is equipped to address every aspect of your future success — either with our in-house consulting team, or with the support of our world-class network of specialist experts.


  • Concept and Product Review
  • Compensation Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Sales Pathways
  • Product Positioning
  • Distributor Recruitment Strategies
  • Financial Modeling
  • Culture Development


  • MLM Software
  • Branding and Design
  • Website and App Development
  • Online Positioning and Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Executive Recruitment
  • MLM Law

Start UP MLM: Your Next Step

Looking for the best possible guidance and advice as a start up MLM?  Contact the Sheffield Group for a free initial consultation. To make an appointment, simply call us, or click the Message link below.

Let’s Talk About Your Business