If you have been following certain health topics, you have probably come across the brand called Heart and Body Naturals. They have lined up some very interesting products, but in this HB Naturals review, I’ll be focusing on the business side of things. In case you are thinking of becoming their consultant, hold that thought for a moment.
What’s HB Naturals
Established in 2017, HB Naturals is a family-owned business and a sub-company of Green Organics. Both founders Paula and Ben Scarcella team up with renowned herbalist Alexandria Brighton to create a wide range of wellness products for humans and pet consumption.
Targeting mostly the US and Canadian markets, the main purpose of these products is to counter and reduce the negative side effects inflammation has towards our body. They range from hemp oil, coffee, pet products, superfood, biominerals, weight loss, personal care, and essential oils.
All products are made in the USA and have gone through rigorous testing (not on animals) to meet various quality standards and certifications. The information found inside their product page and labels also reflects their transparency in disclosing what’s included (and what’s not) inside their ingredients.
So far, so good.
What Is The Business Opportunity All About
HB Naturals market their stuff online and here’s where it gets interesting. The company is offering you an opportunity to make money either by becoming a part-time or full-time consultant. That means consumers will purchase products through you while you earn from sales commissions.
If anything rings a bell, yes, it’s direct-selling and it’s targeted at individuals who are passionate about health and wellness. It’s also an MLM business because you’ll be compensated through an incentive plan.
The recommended way of selling is one-to-one and this is typically done through launch parties, social media postings and mailing (yes, you read that right). With these methods, you are expected to do product demonstrations, offer samples/gift cards and take orders on a regular basis. Therefore, some kind of inventory is needed to keep the business running.
An Overview of The Earning Potential
There are 7 ways to make money as a consultant with the company and each has its own earning potential.
- Retail Customer Bonus (paid daily) – Earn 50% of Commissionable Value (CV) on retail orders.
- Fast Start Bonus (paid instantly) – Earn between 20% to 30% on wholesale orders from your downline during their first 90 days.
- STAR Bonus (paid daily) – Earn monthly bonuses when members buy at wholesale.
- Matrix Bonus (paid weekly) – Earn between 25 cents to $1 on every qualified order by customers under you.
- Binary (paid daily) – Earn bonuses for building a team.
- Binary Match Commissions (paid daily) – Earn more commissions up to 7 generations deep as you build your team.
- Rank Advancement Bonus (paid every 10 months) – Earn bonuses when you advance through all rankings in the compensation plan.
Alright, let’s stop right there for a moment. Are you overwhelmed by the whole incentive plan already? So am I. In fact, this is just a simplified version – the full-scale version is even more complex.
When it comes to income calculation, the MLM model isn’t always the easiest to understand and whenever a business program involves recruitment, there are many shady areas to watch out for.
5 Challenges You Need To Overcome
That’s why I think it’s crucial for you to be aware of these marketing challenges when it comes to selling any MLM products. If you are planning to do this for the long term (hopefully that’s what you have in mind), it’s worth knowing to what extent you need to commit in order to make a profitable income.
#1 – Marketing to Consumers (The Cold Way)
To this day, even the most successful MLM companies will encourage you to approach family and friends first. I’ve been in the back scene before and the reality is they will coach you on how to approach and promote to these people. Before you know it, you’d be uttering words never used before in front of your best friends or cousins.
Inside the HB Naturals training for consultant, you are taught to make cold calls and eventually leading the person on the other end to the point of purchase. I’ve read through the whole thing and it feels pushy. If someone talks to me that way on the phone, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be speaking to him/her for a very long time.
Apart from that, the training also teaches you to send out post mails with gift cards to people you know. That’s so yesteryears and I honestly think the strategy is both time and resource wasting. The marketing idea that I partially agree with is to use Facebook, but that is also limiting because you don’t have full control of the social platform and you need to be constantly active in order to be seen.
Another thing that annoys me is that you can’t just buy something off the online store rack without having a sponsor ID. In other words, you need to know someone in order to get hold of the products. I know tracking sales commission is important, but that extra step can be a huge setback compared to other eCommerce that is more user-friendly and fast-moving.
#2 – Keeping Inventory Is Necessary
It’s stated that a new HB Naturals consultant doesn’t need to purchase anything to qualify. Yet, in order to move and market the business one-to-one, you will need stuff like samples, gift cards, brochures and items for demonstration.
Therefore, keeping an inventory is inevitable. Similar to running a retail shop, the more stuff you carry, the more sales you are likely to make. And since these products are consumable, they need to be replenished the moment things run out of stock.
Fair enough, but do you want to ‘work like a shop’? Do you have a marketing plan in place before acquiring the inventory? Have you ever considered the risk of overloading your products? Running a one-man show and carrying a bunch of expensive stuff is a risky business and that’s the number one reason many people quit MLMs.
Although HB Naturals doesn’t make you invest thousands of dollars in inventory like Agnes & Dora and Lularoe, you are still looking at the range of hundreds so make sure the figure is something you are comfortable spending.
#3 – Not Many Reviews Online
One thing that’s lacking in terms of trust and authenticity is customer reviews. If you look at each product page in the online store, there is no section for review writing. This is a far cry from what one would see with other modern eCommerce sites that are often jam-packed with reviews.
The only time you would hear something positive about HB Naturals is when the person also sells as a consultant. This is often seen inside Facebook postings and for me, that doesn’t truly reflect the efficacy of the products when financial gains are involved.
#4 – Not Listed Under the DSA
I read somewhere that HB Naturals isn’t part of the Direct Selling Association so I decided to check out. True enough, they have yet to be listed as a DSA member since operating in 2017 and that is worrying.
It means, they may not entirely adhere to the marketing guidelines that are designed to protect consumers and representatives participating in the business opportunity. Without proper compliance, your rights can be exploited under any circumstances and potentially lead to unexpected financial losses.
Will the company be DSA compliant in the future? We don’t know but if I were you, I would be guarded to join at this point in time.
#5 – Recruiting For Money
With any type of MLMs, recruiting is considered the foundation of the business whether you like it or not.
It’s the only way to move up the ranking ladder (HB Naturals has 12 of them), expand your network and achieve recognition within the company and your peers. If acquiring new members doesn’t serve any customer values, that’s considered a pyramid scheme.
However, this company does carry some solid products that benefit people so I wouldn’t classify it as a bad scheme. The same goes for the CTFO business as well.
Still, it doesn’t take away the complexity of recruiting. In most cases, you are likely to venture out of your comfort zone to convert families, friends or even a total stranger into a buying customer.
If you are happy doing that in a conscious manner, time and again, by all means, go for it. But if it doesn’t suit your personality or contradicts with your intention, then this may not be the right opportunity for you.
Can You Really Make Money With HB Naturals?
If you look closely at the income disclosure released by the company, here’s what it says.
That’s the equivalent of $41 to $166 per month and when you factor in on-going expenses, it could be a lot lesser, if not negative. I don’t mean to throw the cold water, but that doesn’t sound very profitable for a full-time or even a part-time income.
The company has a lot to offer for a growing health-conscious audience, but in this competitive niche, they are up against other brands who are better at engaging with the hot market. One of their strategies is to partner with affiliates to promote products at a more personal level without all the hard-selling tactics.
For example, in the cannabinoid niche, there are plenty of CBD affiliate programs that offer lucrative commissions for anyone who joins. All you need is a custom blog and you can start promoting right away. Affiliate marketing is generally more effective because it reaches out to people who are already searching and wanting to buy something online.
Doesn’t that sound less risky and more doable on your end? If you like to become an affiliate, please check out this comprehensive training platform which taught me how to earn my first dollar online.
Overall, HB Naturals looks legit, they have a low entry threshold and they offer some really good products in the health and wellness niche. But there are obvious barriers to buying their stuff online and even more so if you want to run it as an independent business.
I look forward to hearing your comments or questions if you have any.