The Funky Five: Alternative Business Ideas to MLMs

Have you been approached by an overly enthusiastic friend waving a “life-changing business opportunity” known as MLM in front of you like a shiny new toy? If you’re even vaguely considering it, hold on to your checkbook, pal!

Before you get swept up in the MLM frenzy, let’s hit the pause button and set you up with some much cooler, faster, and ultimately more productive business ideas.

What is an MLM?

MLMs or Multi-Level Marketing – sounds like a great opportunity, right?

Well that is often how its presented, with people saying you could make a great income by promoting products such as Juice Plus, Herbalife or whatever the new fad is.

Well, that is until you realize it’s like being stuck in a never-ending orchestra where everyone’s playing a different tune. Sure, some people make money, but often the scene ends like a poorly scripted sitcom: the set clears out, and there’s you, holding an enormous stockpile of diet shakes. Sad trombone.

The question isn’t whether unicorns exist (the answer’s still out on that one). It’s whether you can do something equally exciting without the MLM carousel. And the answer is hells yes – there’s a whole world of fantastic business ideas out there, and we’re about to go for a whirlwind tour.

Can you make money from MLMs?

Yes, you can make money from MLMs, and there are people who do very well. But they’re in the tiny minority. And I do mean tiny.. Like 1% of people really succeed with MLMs.

And with all the effort and skills that going into building your ‘business’ (which it barely is really), you can be making much better money without embarrassing yourself selling a shoddy juice shake.

OK. So we’ve got your sold right? What are the better options for alternatives to MLMs?

1. Affiliate Marketing

This one is kiiiiinda like MLMs, but less shady and you get to choose the products. And/or you can promote multiple products that you ACTUALLY LIKE.

Here’s how it works: You’re lurking on the web, sharing unique links to products you’d vouch for. Someone clicks your link and makes a purchase. BOOM! You earn a commission, all mysterious and stealthy-like.

Yes, you will need a blog or online platform where you can drive traffic. This can be social media, or a website. Obviously you’ll need to hire a great SEO agency to get you ranking for your main search terms fast, but this is one of the best ways to build a residual and sustainable online income. And one of the best MLM alternatives.

2. Sell Professional Services on Fiverr

Ever thought you could be a great illustrator, writer for hire, video editor or voice over artist?

Selling services on Fiverr could just be your ticket! Create captivating ads for your services, whether you’re a virtuoso voice-over artist, a wizard writer, or a digital design dynamo. Place them on the great auction block that is Fiverr and wait for the bidding frenzy to begin.

Stand back and bask in the glory of your entrepreneurial genius, all without the hassle of recruiting an army of influenceables.

This is an option that can take time, but once it hits…. Oh yes! The money does flow.

The trick is to create a well optimised gig, promote it and deliver great work!

3. Sell on Etsy/Gumtree, etc

Remember the joy of opening your lemonade stand on a hot summer day? Channel that energy into setting up your virtual boutique on platforms like Etsy or Gumtree.

Pull out your woodworking tools, whip up your grandma’s knitting needles, or tap onto your creative design. Your small-scale crafting can soon turn into big-scale profits if you play your cards right.

4. Dropshipping

So you reckon you could create a great business clothes brand or maybe just sell trinkets on Amazon? Well, that is dropshipping – and it’s an online business craze that has been huge over recent years.

If you’ve dreamt of being the ultimate middleman while sipping tropical drinks from your home office, dropshipping may just be your cup of tea. Essentially, you’re the high-octane go-between for the customer and the supplier, and your e-commerce store is your slick black sports car.

Go find products you like on Ali Express, negotiate a deal to ship them to an Amazon warehouse near wherever you want, promote your shop and sit back and watch the money flow.

5. Learn a New Professional Skill

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Just curl up with your laptop and an online course or two. Equip yourself with some French pastry making skills, become a Python coding ninja, or master the art of landscape photography. There’s a demand for almost any skill you can think of. Why, you ask? Because this is the internet! The world’s craziest marketplace!

So, there you have it. Five fantastic, and frankly funnier, options to make MLMs seem as dull as watching paint dry. Hopefully, you’re now fully equipped to go out into the world and make a name for yourself in your trendy, self-picked venture.

Remember: you’re free to be as quirky, unique, and successful as you want when you call all your own shots. Now go get ’em, tiger!