Plagued by crippling food and fuel price increases and below-inflation rises in salary, struggling consumers are clamouring for a second income in the form of network marketing.
The move is so dramatic that PE-based network marketing company Multisure (offering legal and funeral cover) has had to open up offices Cape Town and Jo’burg, and soon will open in Durban, George, East London and Bloemfontein also.
According to CEO of Port Elizabeth-based network marketing company Multisure Corporation, Advocate-turned-entrepreneur Denton Goodford, the increased demand from people wanting to become “independent consultants” (ICs) – marketers of the company’s products – has meant it has had to open up offices nationally.
After opening its headquarters in Port Elizabeth in 2005, Multisure opened an office in Johannesburg in 2010, and Cape Town late last year. Plans to open in Durban, Bloemfontein, East London and George were at an advanced stage, said Goodford.
The company, which offers legal and funeral cover, has received a thumbs-up from the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber for its job creation.
“Initially people who were unemployed or earning less than R10,000 a month were contacting us, but in recent months we have noticed another trend: People earning more than R20,000 a month are calling us to get involved so they can earn more. A salary that was sufficient in the past is suddenly just not enough anymore,” Goodford said.
The concept is becoming increasingly popular, with Salam’s Channel Life and Clientèle also in the network marketing industry.
“Where network marketing in the past was seen as something part-time, we are finding people are signing up for it fulltime,” Goodford said.
Chamber chief executive Kevin Hustler described Multisure as “a home-grown success story of a local entrepreneur who has been able to grow his business outside of NelsonMandelaBay nationally”.
“Company growth during a recessionary period demonstrates the value of tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit. Mr Goodford’s choice to base his company’s head office in NelsonMandelaBay is a positive indicator for the region, as it grows in competitiveness and sustainability.”
Vuyo Sityebi, Multisure’s Eastern Cape business coach, started out as an IC before being recruited fulltime by the company.
“For me, this was a company which gave people a proper chance at earning extra income,” said Sityebi. “These are must-have products, and people are able to use them as an income opportunity.
“In South Africa today, if we are realistic, people need more than just one source of income.”
The company’s business coaches offer free advice and training to all the ICs who sign up.
“We help them identify their various target markets and show them how to approach the potential customers,” Sityebi said. “I found that what hard work you put in, you took out in income. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a chance for people to make a good, honest living.”
Goodford came up with the plan to start up Multisure in 2000, after he had started up his own practice following years as a successful State prosecutor. Time and again he witnessed instances where people were simply side-lined by the legal system because they couldn’t afford the legal costs, he said.
“I once read a quote which said: ‘The more people you can help, the more successful you will be’,” said Goodford, explaining his philosophy to work.
“During a trip to the US, I saw a business model which combined legal cover with network marketing,” he said. “I returned to South Africa wanting to join up with a company which offered that, because I felt passionate about the need for legal cover and about creating opportunities for people to earn a decent living in South Africa. But there was no company which offered both [legal cover and network marketing].”
What started off as an experiment and managing the company part-time in 2000 became fulltime for Goodford in 2005, when he opened up offices in Port Elizabeth.
For any additional information, please contact Brian Hayward of Brian Anthony Communications on 084-250-2932