June 28, 2017
Make no mistake about it, there’s a lot of appeal to custom software. You feel special; your business gets software that’s specially crafted to fit the particular set of circumstances surrounding your business and its operations. In fact, your program might appeal to certain types of people, and a lot of their needs are reflected in how the MLM software is coded and the features it contains.
This all makes a lot of sense on an emotional level, but in practical terms, you might want to think twice about custom MLM software for three big reasons.
First of all, custom solutions can get quite expensive. Even if you were to outsource this type of labor to other developing countries, if you factor in the amount of time involved, as well as the back and forth and small changes that need to be done as the software is developed, it might well turn out that you could have just hired locally to get the job done faster. This is especially true if there are communication gaps due to time zone differences between your office in the United States and your offshore coding service provider.
Another drawback to custom MLM software solution is that debugging can be a nightmare. Make no mistake about it, debugging custom software can be like pulling teeth. Because for the most part, software is like a balloon; when you push on one end of the balloon, another part expands.
It would be nice if you can predict with a reasonable amount of certainty, which part of the software would be affected when you make changes elsewhere in the code. Unfortunately, nobody has that certainty. Debugging custom software can feel like a game of Whack A Mole. When one problem pops up, and you take care of it, another problem pops up. And every time you jump from putting out one fire after another, your expenses go up.
Finally, custom solutions can harm your brand if they malfunction. Make no mistake about it, Murphy’s Law applies to multi-level marketing, just like it applies to life in general. Murphy’s Law, of course, says that the worst thing happens when you least expect it.
Let’s face it, multi-level marketing systems succeed when there are a lot of people. The more you recruit, the more likely people would make money. Everybody would be happy, and the word goes out again, and more and more people join. More money enters the network, and more products are sold. That’s how things are ideally supposed to work.
Unfortunately, if you automate your multi-level marketing empire, using custom code that’s not tried and proven, it might malfunction at the very worst time possible. What can possibly go wrong? Well, first of all, people may not get paid on time. Your program might develop the wrong reputation; people might call it a rip-off. People might think that you’re not prepared for prime time. All sorts of things can happen and all that hard work you’ve put in to build a solid multi-level marketing brand goes down the tubes. You don’t want that to happen.
Still, there are 5 key reasons why going for custom coded MLM software makes sense. Here they are.
Reason #1 Huge program with custom needs
If you have a huge program covering hundreds of thousands of people generating dozens of millions of dollars every single year, you can easily afford a custom MLM program to handle your custom needs. Now, it’s really important to make sure that paying to take care of your custom needs will help ensure the future growth of your program. Future growth has to be part of the equation somewhere. Otherwise, as far as costs and benefits go, it probably would be a better use of your time, effort and money to go with off-the-shelf solutions that are tweaked in minor ways.
Reason #2 You need to stand out from your competitors’ systems
As you probably already know, the MLM industry is a dog-eat-dog industry. It’s extremely competitive. In fact, people are often desensitized to the benefits multi-level marketing brings to the table. If you are running a new program, and you want to really appeal to the imaginations and visions of your target market, you may have your work cut out for you, because the back end of your MLM operations looks suspiciously similar to dozens of other programs out there.
It’s not uncommon for people to develop an attitude of “if they’ve seen one MLM program, they’ve seen it all.” It’s very hard to convert those people with that mindset. So if you want to stand out from your competitors’ systems, as far as look and feel, and basic operations are concerned. In this particular context, custom solutions might make sense.
Reason #3 Special payout on multiple payout needs
When it comes to payouts, it’s very easy to automate this if your operations are fairly straightforward and small. Now, if your multi-level networks are growing virally, there might be occasions for special payouts. In fact, if you add sub-programs to your larger overall programs, there might even be multiple payouts . This is especially true if you’re offering rewards.
For example, if people refer more and more people, then you might be rewarding them with vacations, points and other non-monetary payouts. This can be a headache to track. In that particular context, it may make sense to go with a custom solution.
Reason #4 Built-in program participant retention features
Built-in programs retain as many members as possible and are natural outgrowths of the evolution of your multi-level marketing system; it really is. Why? It’s one thing to look at MLM as a simple matter of recruiting a ton of people. Well, you just need to get on Facebook and you will be able to do that very quickly. That’s not the issue.
The issue is getting people to stay and, unfortunately, programs vary tremendously. Some programs don’t have a problem with any people. Others are losing people as quickly as they gain them. Accordingly, the particular customized solutions that you come up with to retain people vary on an almost case by case basis. This is where custom solutions make a lot of sense. You would have to have built-in retention features that log into your software operations to make retentions as smooth as possible.
Reason #5 Deep dive data features
There’s no telling who you would attract to your multi-level marketing program. By and large, the people who join the program don’t really need much data. They just need to see how much money they make and how big their network has become. Some people insist in seeing the total amount of sales being generated. Others are very very particular; they require really detailed transactional information, so they can plan out their next move.
Now you may be thinking that these people are just obsessive compulsive but make no mistake about it, the more powerful and effective the multi-level marketer is, the more data that person requires. If your program tends to cater primarily to such power-players, it may make a lot of sense for your MLM system to be powered by MLM software that is custom-designed and coded.
Keep the five reasons above in mind when deciding between custom and off-the-shelf solutions. The answer is never black and white. You have to weigh several considerations. You also have to pay close attention to the actual reality on the ground as far as your MLM operations are concerned. If you ignore these reasons and considerations behind them, it’s very easy to generate a loss with your operations.