These words were spoken at a conference for new network marketing companies. What was the speaker thinking?
The speaker at the conference appeared to be speaking from the perspective of an independent representative.
While the rights of independent representatives are included in the policies and procedures, the policies and procedures exist primarily to protect the company. These are the terms by which agreements with independent representatives are governed.
Policies are rules while procedures are the steps that the company will take to support or enforce its rules.
As consultants to direct selling companies, we know that the policies and procedures needed won’t fit on five pages (unless, of course, the type requires a magnifying glass for reading!).
Policies and procedures most often are spelled out in 15-45 pages of information. Why so much? Through the years, companies learned from firsthand experience the areas of the business that require specific rules and procedures.
For example, many companies that sell cosmetics and skincare have a “no touching of customers” policy that applies to their independent representatives. This policy is intended to help protect the company from legal action that could be taken by a customer who was inappropriately touched by a representative.
All companies should include in their policies and procedures the ability for the company to amend the rules upon notice to its sales force, with a provision that explains how representatives agree to such changes.
Did you know that there are 50-60 different topics that should be included in your policies and procedures? Each one is important and each one should be set based on your business model, your products, your ethics, and business judgment.
Just like you wouldn’t adopt the lifestyle of a stranger, it is not recommended to adopt the policies and procedures of another company as your own. It’s best when each one of your policies and procedures reflects your preferences.
Ideally, a full set of policies and procedures exists when the company launches, but sometimes this doesn’t happen. Policies and procedures can be reviewed and amended at any time, provided that you have included the ability to amend them in your current policies and procedures.
At Sylvina Consulting, we work with companies (and their MLM attorney, if present) to set or amend their policies and procedures. In making recommendations, we consider your business model and your products or services.
To help you, we explain the approaches others have taken in each area and why these approaches may have been used. With this information, the company is empowered with unbiased information so that it can make the necessary business decisions to create a custom set of policies and procedures that fit its business.
For help with your policies and procedures, contact Sylvina Consulting at 503.244.8787.