We researched Women’s business groups & events to see how many allow MLM reps to join. Here’s what we found.

Some time ago we promised we’d look into the many women’s business networking groups and events out there and figure out which ones are MLM-free (and which aren’t).  Many women had complained to us of going to networking events to make contact with other business women, only to discover they were full of MLM reps from Juice Plus or Arbonne etc trying to recruit.

 

In some cases, the speakers at these ‘women in business’ events would also be MLM reps.   For women trying to launch genuine & original businesses, and for professional women,  this is a frustrating state of affairs.  That’s why we decided to step in and at least try and clarify which groups do and which groups don’t allow MLM.

 

We do not claim this is an exhaustive list of all groups out there.  If there are groups or events we’ve missed, please let us know.  If we’ve incorrectly labeled your group as a group that allows MLM, please also let us know.

 

How did we determine which groups allow MLM and which don’t?

We checked each group’s member directory.  If there were network marketing reps in the directory, that was a sign the group was pro-MLM.   For those groups without a public directory, we emailed and asked directly.   For events, we checked to see which exhibitors were allowed and which weren’t.

Here it is!


Firstly, here are the groups we found that don’t allow MLM.  If you are looking for an MLM-free group or event, these are the ones to join.

MLM-FREE

 

Women at Work

Talented Ladies Club

Molopreneur Collective

365 Badass

Ebony Inspired UK

from 2018

Mums Enterprise Roadshow – From 2018 they will be MLM free

 


Allow MLM

 

Women in Business Network

Company of Women

Business Babble

Networking Women

Stroud Business Women

1230

Wire UK

Women in Business Hull

Women Mean Biz

Forward Ladies

Metis Women UK

Savor the Success  – named as one of FORBES 100 best sites for women, crawling with mlm

Handbags and Briefcases sent email – does accept MLM

Women in Business NI sent email – does accept MLM

Every Woman sent email – does accept MLM

W X Network– email sent, they said they were interested in talking more about my MLM experience

Ellevate Network   sent an email – yes they welcome MLM network marketers

CMI Women sent email – yes they accept MLM

Mums Enterprise Roadshow – 2017 only. From 2018 they will be MLM free

Parentpreneur networking

 


UNKNOWN

 

High Flying Divas sent email

Norwich Business Women’s Network no contact info

Rural Women UK sent email – email failed

Business Women in Surrey  sent email

Women in Business Sussex sent email

Women in Business  sent email

Women into the Network sent email – email address failed

Crave Company  sent email

Business Womens Link

Association of Scottish Business Women – EMAILED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This guest post is by the owner of Sussex Zest.  You can find her on Facebook here.

 

This blog is possibly going to upset some people,  some people close to me even.  But you know what? I am upset!  I am upset because once I again I have received a Facebook message that begins:

 
I’ve just started my own business in the last few months working with a multi billion pound Health & Wellbeing Company promoting products for all the family.
I’m working on getting the products ‘out there’ and as your business is also in this sector….”

 

Yes almost two years ago (with daughters aged 3 and 5) I opened a business, a fitness and Personal Training studio.  I did it because I genuinely believe there is a need for such a product in my area.  I achieved it by writing a comprehensive business plan which I took to the bank and borrowed a large sum (secured against our house).  And that was just the beginning of working my butt off.  I’ve built, I’ve cleaned, and I’ve spent many an early hour staring at my bedrooms ceiling with my brain refusing to stop asking itself circular questions.  Do you see where I am going here?  To compare our ‘businesses’ is incorrect and borderline insulting.

 

Owning and managing a business means there might be times your husband finds you in tears on the kitchen floor when lease negotiations fall apart the week before signing.  It’s about the hours spent sweating trying to nail that one bit of choreography, it’s about some days starting at 06.00 finishing at 22.00, it is about a constant juggle of paperwork – planning, accounts, marketing but somehow walking onto that studio floor shining, and making your client feel like the most important person in the world – BECAUSE THEY ARE!

 

BUT BUT BUT owning and managing a business is also about the look on your client’s face when they realise that 4 weeks ago they couldn’t do what they are doing now.  It’s when you get a text on a Saturday afternoon saying ‘I’m wearing that dress at my friends wedding and I feel great,’ it’s when a toddler peers though the windows and sees people exercising but more importantly having fun doing it and it’s about those 5 minutes at the end of a busy day looking around at what you’ve created and thinking ‘yes, I made this’.

 

To me it’s never about approaching often vulnerable acquaintances (the mother who doesn’t feel ready to return to work, the friend who is unhappy with their weight) and presenting them with a non-descript ‘business opportunity’ or quick fix solution.  It is not about cryptic messages on social media (dm me), faux aspirational memes or ‘faking it till you make it’. 

 

It’s so very prevelant in fitness (and with parents of young children – yay I get double the fun) and I understand this – really I do – that fitness can be a tough industry to earn a living in.  There are many hidden costs – licenses, insurance, music, licesnes to play your music (yes) and of course the ‘on the floor’ hours are only the tip of the iceberg of your working day.  For each hour you train there are many more spent marketing, learning choreography, reading….which is why the idea of a residual income could be tempting.

 

But FITNESS colleagues I ask you this – do you hand on heart believe in the products you are selling, endorsing or recruiting others to sell?  You made the time and invested in yourself, often as an adult – as a career change, studying hard to gain qualifications in sports nutrition, to memorise the anatomy of the human body, and much more ongoing further education.  You are a professional. Never stop believing that and that you have so so much to offer.

 

We have a nationwide health crisis with increasing ever increasing rates of obesity and associated illnesses.  What individuals need right now is not quick fixes.  It is not diet shakes,  vegetables made into capsules, coffee with added mushrooms, 9 day detoxes and so on.

 

They need fitness professionals who are passionate about what they do, but are empathetic and meet them where they are now.  It is about the fitness industry using evidence based information and research to create individualised, appropriate and enoyajable fitness and nutrition strategies.  And they need their friends and colleagues support them through any lifestyle changes with no business agenda.

 


 

Many thanks to Samantha for writing this post and for being an ethical and honest fitness trainer.  If you’re looking for someone who will not spam you with overpriced multi-level marketing products, Samantha’s your go-to.

Three ways MLMs are piggybacking on legitimate business tactics and why it doesn’t work.

by Kathryn Minchew, Pyromaniac Chef

Check out Kathryn’s business here. Her website makes us hungry.

 

  • Posting on Facebook groups

 

When you are a genuine business owner, Facebook groups embrace you. I have shared stories about my restaurant in a Kota hut in Kota hut owner groups and have received wonderful feedback. Then, when I have had something to sell (such as my cook book inspired by my Kota hut) I have received an enthusiastic response (since I have built up a relationship and of course, my product is new and interesting). I belong to a group that shares PR ideas and I was so impressed with one woman’s approach that I immediately supported her crowdfunding campaign for a children’s novel. People get excited about passionate people sharing their story when it is within a subject area which interests them.

 

But in an MLM it is not your story.  No matter how passionate the individual, it is still a script. A story being regurgitated from marketing packs and conferences.

 

  • My wonderful life as seen on Instagram

 

Of course my Instagram shows a highly edited version of my life but it is still true. The cute wooden building in a garden is my restaurant in my garden. The smoker and the pistachio Kitchenaid are how I cook. Do my kids get frozen pizza now and then? Sure they do but I don’t show it because it’s not what my business is about. An edited business profile is about communicating what I want to discuss (food, fire and hygge) in order that people gain an impression of my business that is ultimately realistic. I sell food, fire and hygge products and services; I don’t sell frozen pizza.

 

But in an MLM the editing is about creating a version of a life which misleads. Far from seeking to zone in on a core message based on business reality, they are portraying a fake version of events. I get tagged in images of people in my restaurant or my candles in their home; MLMs have to tag themselves.

 

  • Be my friend

 

I add loads of people on my social media accounts. How else do you build up your online network? I talk to them and some become customers and some become suppliers. I have a lovely story about how this works. I posted a picture of a cup of coffee which attracted a like and a follow from a coffee supplier, I looked at them and liked what they did so started buying my coffee from them. Then they liked everything I posted about coffee. Another of their customers saw this and wondered who I was so looked at my profile. They then booked into my restaurant. I only know this story because I was giving my little talk during the coffee part of the meal and the man in question said the reason they’d come was because if I was smart enough to get my coffee from that supplier, I must be pretty good. That is how networking works. We build trust.

 

But an MLM has closed off 50% of what makes business flow. You can’t do something for another person (no, selling me an “opportunity” is not something for me), you can only sell. If you cannot offer someone something, how can you expect to develop a relationship with them?

Thanks, Kathryn, for sharing your insights with us.  If you are a business owner,  and would like to be featured on the blog, drop us a line. 

25k beauty-lovin’ women can’t be wrong: a Q&A with Julia Langton, the founder of Mrs Gloss & the Goss

Thank you so much for agreeing to talk to us.  We at TV are all big fans of your Facebook community ‘Mrs Gloss & The Goss’, home to over 20k makeup, fashion and beauty-loving women (and men) and its friendly, supportive, informative and entertaining content.

 

Mrs Gloss has a very strict no MLM policy.  Can you tell us how you became aware of MLMs and why you put the policy in place?

 

I first became aware of MLMs a couple of years ago. I could no longer shoehorn myself into my size 12s and I lamented this fact on FB. Next thing I know, I’m being inundated with kind offers of detoxes from Juice Plus and Forever Living reps. On a quick read through, I could see straightaway that the claims were a nonsense but I’m very aware that there are those who are less cynical by nature than me who’d be blown away by the talk of support and the promised results. 

 

When I set up Gloss, one of the very first guidelines was ‘ No MLM promotion’ and this was something I wanted in place to protect our members from spurious claims. 

 

 

The Mrs Gloss Facebook group has over 20k members who love hair, fashion, health and make up.  That must make it a magnet for MLM recruiters.  Do you find that they are employing devious tactics to get past your rules?

 

Gloss has approximately 25,000 members and I understand that this is a great temptation to MLM reps! There’s a huge audience there and they all have one thing in common – a love of beauty, so yes, it’s a bit of a Mecca for reps. We are all very switched in the admin team and our first ‘line of defence’ is to check potential new members profiles, and yes, we really DO check each one. This is despite receiving up to 200 requests to join Gloss a day.  This is a relatively recent thing though, and some will and do slip through the net. The check itself is cursory, but we have a scan through and if we see any hint of MLM, we block the request. Some may argue that how do we know that this potential new member, who just so happens to sell Arbonne for example, will attempt to sell in the group? We don’t of course, but our experience shows us otherwise. The reps themselves can be very devious, we have some who will not mention their products but post a photo captioned ‘do you like my make up today?’ and of course, members will say they love it and ask what products were used. Some of the more wily reps won’t say but they’ll be storing away all of the members names who have complimented them and yes, they’ll then friend request them or send them an unsolicited message, both of which are against our guidelines. This is why we regularly ask members to drop the admin team a line if they receive anything unsolicited. It really does take us just a moment to check. We also ask our members to hit the report button if they see a MLM product being recommended in Gloss. If the person mentioning it is a seller, they are immediately removed and blocked. If they’re not, we politely point them in the direction of our guidelines and keep an eye out for future. 

 

 

Whenever we have seen posts on Mrs Gloss complaining about MLMs, they always seem to have a lot of supportive comments! Do your members welcome the fact that your community is an MLM-free space online?

 

Yes, our members LOVE the fact that we are a MLM free zone. They know that they are free to ask for recommendations without fear of being hounded by people trying to sell them tat products with an agenda or recruit them. 

 

 

One thing that always strikes us about Mrs Gloss is that the women (and men) are very respectful and supportive of one another.  MLMs use the word ‘empowering’ a lot but our research has shown that they really do the opposite! How do you maintain a kind, constructive atmosphere in your online community?

 

Gloss proves that you can have an empowering, uplifting and supportive environment without having to actually ever mention those words. We also do not share ‘motivational’ memes or pointless quotes. We achieve this by ensuring our members stay on topic at all times. This goes a long way in keeping the environment and tone relevant, accessible to all and fun. You won’t find people sharing deeply personal stories or wildly off topic subjects. You really can dip into Gloss at any time and find chat, advice and recommendations centred around beauty, Skincare, haircare and make up. We achieve this by removing anything that falls foul of our guidelines. If it’s something upsetting or personal that a members has shared, we always drop them a line explaining why we’ve removed it. Gloss really does work better when we stay true to what we do best. 

 

You personally must be a make-up and skin care lover.  We think we can guess the answer to this, but would you ever consider buying/using Forever/Arbonne/Younique/Maelle etc etc etc…  and if not, why not?

 

The reason I set up Gloss was to share my deep passion for all things beauty! I’m a HUGE fan of all things make up and skin care and this has been a life long passion of mine. I wouldn’t use a MLM product if I was paid to do so or given it for free – and this has happened many times! I obviously have some brave reps contacting me trying to change my mind. This hasn’t happened yet though ; ) 

 

As for why I wouldn’t use any of these products. I don’t care how good they may or may not be..when you have to rely on harassment, recruitment and exploiting women to sell your product, then I’m absolutely not interested 

 

Finally, if you knew someone who loved cosmetics/beauty and was considering joining one of the beauty MLMs, what advice would you give them?

 

My advice to someone who was considering joining a MLM company would be the following .. Do your research.  Make this research independent, not just listening to the ‘upline’ or those already flogging it, these people will have an agenda. Join Timeless Vie and ask questions. Ask yourself this… ‘do I REALLY believe that I can get rich by selling mascara/ face cream / capsules/ etc etc.’ Try and see through the faux positivity and hype..you really cannot make a living in your pyjamas, nursing a glass of wine and fondly gazing at your two year old*. Oh and join Gloss! That’s a given right? 

 

 

Julia, thank you so much for your time and your support of Timeless Vie. We’ll see you over on Mrs Gloss on FB, Twitter & Instagram!

 

*Just a reminder that independent research has repeatedly demonstrated that more than 90% of participants in MLM schemes lose money.  Do not believe reps claims about incomes and average earnings: these figures are exaggerated and do not include personal purchases, expenses, samples, catalogues and publicity materials or training (for which you will be charged).

Looking for a unique gift?Check out these gorgeous custom boxes

It’s Real Small Business Friday!

Today we introduce Ty Hapus , a small, family-owned company that produces beautiful boxes from reclaimed wood.

Screenshot_20160729-115641

 

Ty-Hapus can be found on Etsy at the link above.

Helen and her partner Chris started the business by accident.  One day, Chris saw a vid on the ‘net about making items from pallet wood and decided to try it out with some old pallets they had left over.  He made 3 boxes and a table.  All the items sold quickly at a local car boot sale.

A local shop was so impressed by the quality that Chris and Helen were asked to supply it with more items, and they did that for a while.  Then, they discovered Etsy and opened their own on-line shop there.  They feel very lucky that their products have been so well received.  (In our opinion luck has little to do with it.  You provide a good product, people will buy it 🙂  ).

Says Helen, “it’s really helped our family out through some tough financial times and we are now in our 4th year of business.”

As with all Timeless Vie featured businesses, no vulnerable people were targeted or exploited in the creation of this business and Ty-Hapus is 100% MLM-free.

 

We introduce The Cwtch at Ffwrwm and Wool in the Woods, our second Real Independent business

 

And here it is – our second showcase of a real, independent, woman-owned business (or rather, cooperative).    We’re proud to introduce the woman behind these  2 businesses: “The Cwtch at Ffwrwm”  and “Wool in the Woods” – Sian.

The Cwtch at Ffwrwm is in the Roman village of Caerleon, South Wales.  It’s a gift shop selling Welsh, ethical, Fairtrade and local items.  If you are nearby or visiting, maybe pop in and say hi!

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Sian says: “I have been self-employed for around 8 years.  First as a bookkeeper so I could work from home when my children were young, and then I opened the shop.  I ran it for 2 years on my own but found working 7 days a week too much, so, I got together with 3 friends and we now run it between us”

Sian has a new venture with 2 other friends, Wool in the Woods.  They had their first stall at Wonderwool Wales in April selling crochet kits and haberdashery (my daughter would love this – Timeless vie).  As well as sales, these women also teach all aspects of crochet.  We love the beautiful wools they sell – they’re 100% Welsh in a gorgeous range of colours.  We can just imagine cosying up by a fire with a book and one of their scarves wrapped around us.

 

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an example of the products made by Wool in the Woods

usethis

 

Please do share this post and let’s help these truly local small businesses get some love!

 

 

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GORGEOUS BOWS!! check out this truly independent small business run by a Mum

Today  we are going to add something new to Timeless Vie –  we are going to start showcasing small, woman-owned businesses across all our social media(s).

We don’t just want to campaign  against MLMs, we also want support women starting their own real businesses as a better alternative to exploitative MLM.  We are hoping that by doing this we can encourage other women to start their own businesses as well.

We also want to give back to our community and our supporters.  We could not have done this without you, so this is part of our thankyou.

Today we showcase our first shop ever, Martha’s Bows

Martha’s Bows can also be found Etsy, FolksyFacebook and Instagram.  They are made by Emily, who is Martha’s Mum.  We think they’re awesome.   Feel free to share her stuff to your friends (she promises she won’t steal your friend list, add them to a brazillion FB groups or stalk them).

 

xo Luv ya huns.