What is Going to Happen in 2018

    Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

    As you’re reading, keep in mind, these are best guesses and, in some cases, wishful thinking.

    #1: The FTC will still be at a crawl. Currently, they’re on ice. Under the old chairperson, the FTC was unafraid of doing surgery via sledgehammer. Under current leadership, the FTC is much more methodical and careful.

    #2: The SEC will begin popping the MLM crypto bubbles. If I had to guess, I would predict at least 7 lawsuits and several confidential subpoenas / investigations. The SEC chairman, Harvey Pitt, said “activity is on the horizon” for 2018. The cases will range from the most egregious ponzi schemes to the milder (albeit still illegal) cloud mining operations.

    #3: HR 3409, the proposed anti-pyramid scheme bill, will pass.

    #4: DSA numbers will continue to decline. Currently, the main drawback for companies being associated with the DSA is it automatically puts them in the crosshairs of Truth in Advertising. If a fraternity or sorority had decent parties, but being a member meant you occasionally got punched in the face by complete strangers, you’d probably join a different group.

    #5: DSA numbers will decline on the supplier side. Our firm, along with others, did not renew membership for 2018. When new leadership is chosen at the DSA, we might reconsider.

    #6: Business Development Agreements will make a comeback. I’ve written about the problems with BDAs in the past here. Since the article, BDAs have fallen out of fashion. They were less popular due to companies’ concerns with the unpredictable FTC. BDAs also provided fuel for RICO claims in class action lawsuits. Now, with the cops off the streets, networkers are coming back out and cutting deals. This will accelerate, to the detriment of the industry, throughout 2018.

    #7: Class action lawsuits will continue to be filed. Very few, if any, will proceed to a meaningful level.

    #8: Herbalife, under the settlement terms imposed by FTC in late 2016, will demonstrate significant retail activity, sending the stock price higher. Disclosure: I own no $HLF shares

    #9: Customer acquisition programs will continue to climb as companies and field leaders get better with technology and leading with product. Companies are experimenting in ways to generate more retail activities, which will lead to more retention and revenues for the companies offering good product.

    #10: Cryptocurrency markets will crowd out activity in *some* companies. The companies that rely on aggressive recruiters / opportunity-seekers, the get-rich-quick ethos in crypto markets will be a distraction for those distributors.

    #11: Expect more signaling, not less. As social media gets further entrenched into our everyday lives, expect more people to project prosperity and expertise, even if they’re living in their mother’s basement.

    #12: Domestic sales, after being in decline for two years, will increase.

    #13: The trend of companies starting up OUTSIDE of Utah will continue.

    #14: Participation rates in network marketing will increase. Under the new tax plan, operating a network marketing business just got significantly more profitable, making it easier for people to join and participate.

    So there you have it. Few predictions, lots of unknowns. Cheers to a great 2018!

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      Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

      • Bess McCarty

        Thank you so much Kevin for your ever vigilant help and guidance!

      • What are your thoughts on what just happened to USI-Tech in USA and Canada?

      • I agree with Bess. Thank you Kevin for your vigilance. The network marketing industry is better for having you involved in it.