DSN Makes Its Global 100 Celebration an Event to Remember

by DSN Staff


Click here to order the June 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


IN THIS ISSUE:

2017 DSN Global 100 List
2017 Profiles
DSN Makes its Global 100 Celebration an Event to Remember
Frequently Asked Questions about the Global 100 Ranking
By The Numbers

DSN BRAVO AWARDS:

Leadership: It Works! CEO Mark Pentecost: On the Road to Legendary
Leadership: Isagenix’s Jim & Kathy Coover: Agents of Change
Growth: Jeunesse: Forging an Uncharted Path to Billion-Dollar Growth


In appreciation of those companies that lead the way in offering an unparalleled opportunity for individuals to start their own businesses through shared connections, Direct Selling News honored the group during its eighth annual DSN Global 100 Celebration. The awards ceremony and dinner, held April 19 at the InterContinental in Dallas, served as the backdrop for the unveiling of our exclusive ranking of the top revenue-generating companies in direct selling.

DSN’s Lauren Lawley Head and John Fleming hosted nearly 400 executives from around the world. In fact, the Global 100 list represents companies based in 17 countries this year and is a collective effort to show the impact and potential of the $183.7 billion direct selling industry.

“Each year, the DSN Global 100 gives us an opportunity to recognize the leading companies in direct selling today,” said Lauren Lawley Head, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Direct Selling News. “The companies on the list represent a wide range of products and services, but they share a passion for developing a community of independent business owners who share those products and services with customers in their personal networks. It is a unique and powerful distribution channel.”

Fleming added, “The announcement and reveal of the top 100 Direct Selling Companies in the world is a most exciting moment in our year! Congratulations are always extended to those companies who are listed.”  He continued, “The DSN Global 100 is not a competition, it is a listing. The privately held companies who voluntarily submitted their certified revenue for the previous year contribute to the transparency needed to constantly inform a global audience of the impact direct selling companies are making on economies and individual lives around the world.”

For the fifth consecutive year, Ada, Michigan-based Amway claimed the top spot as the No. 1 direct seller in the world, with $8.8 billion in revenue in 2016. The company is truly a global giant, with a large portfolio of brands—including the best-selling nutritional brand in the world, Nutrilite, skincare brand Artistry, as well as the XL Energy Drink business. Amway does business in over 100 markets through more than 3 million independent Amway business owners.

In attendance and accepting the award on behalf of Amway was Jackie Nickel, Chief Marketing Officer of the Americas.

“We’re truly honored to be recognized as a leader in this great industry,” Nickel said. “We credit such a privilege to our millions of Amway Business Owners worldwide, who are at the heart of our business.”

Special Guests

DSN welcomed very special guests to the dinner, esteemed members of Direct Selling Association’s Hall of Fame and the Direct Selling Education Foundation’s Circle of Honor: Charlie Orr, CEO of Canada’s Immunotec; Brian Connolly, CEO of AdvoCare; Stan Fredrick, Chairman of the Board, Mannatech Inc.; and our own John Fleming.

Also in the audience was President of the Direct Sellers Association of Canada James Smith and Chairman of the Direct Selling Education Foundation Dave Wentz.

DSN Global 100

In all, the Global 100 companies achieved more than $82 billion in net sales in 2016, up a fraction from 2015.

The Top 10 companies achieved $40.53 billion in revenue, with the total number of salespeople at about 24 million. It is also a testimony to the power and strength of the direct selling channel that a number of companies reached milestones in 2016. Ten companies grew $100 million or more last year, and 22 companies each reported annual revenue of $1 billion or more.

TextJackie Nickel, Chief Marketing Officer of the Americas at Amway, accepts the night’s top prize for the company, which placed No. 1 on the Global 100.

By region, there were 46 companies from North America in the Global 100; five from South America; nine from Europe/Africa; and 40 from Asia/ Asia-Pacific. A total of 17 countries were represented on the list—Brazil, China, Colombia, Cyprus, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Companies appearing in the ranking for the first time included Quanjian from China (No. 8); Marketing Personal from Colombia (No. 81); Global Ventures Partners from the U.S. (No. 92); and Shinsei from China (No. 99). Companies returning to the list were JoyMain from China (No. 13); SUN HOPE from China (No. 23); LegalShield from the U.S. (No. 43); Faberlic from Russia (No. 48); Merro International from China (No. 56); KK Assuran from Japan (No. 64); New Image Group from New Zealand (No. 86); Vestige Marketing from India (No. 91); Immunotec Research from Canada (No. 96); Nefful from Singapore (No. 97); and Captain Tortue Group from France (No. 98).

The Bravo Awards

Each year, the DSN Global 100 celebration endeavors to recognize an industry executive who embodies exceptional leadership qualities that have propelled his or her company to extraordinary new heights. Whether it is inspirational vision that has built solid corporate cultures, innovation that has strengthened the company infrastructure, or creativity that has created new opportunities for independent business owners, our Bravo Leadership Award aims to acknowledge such achievements of a direct selling leader.

This year, one recipient for the Bravo Leadership Award was simply not enough, for there were two remarkable stories that unfolded. The first Bravo Leadership Award was presented to Jim and Kathy Coover, co-founders of Isagenix and a leadership team that has grown their business 247 percent over the past five years, propelling the company into the Top 30 of the DSN Global 100 with $924.3 million in annual revenue. The team recently celebrated their 15th year in business

“As leaders, I think we have an incredible opportunity to step up and demonstrate to the world what a powerful distribution channel we are, and more importantly, what a powerful agent of change we can be,” Jim said. “We have always tried to stay true to our motto of ‘if it isn’t right for our associates and customers, it isn’t right for the company.’ ”

The second recipient of this year’s Bravo Leadership Award was Mark Pentecost, Founder and CEO of It Works! His wellness company did not enter the Global 100 ranking until 2012, when it debuted at $200 million, but over the past four years, the team at this company has grown its revenue 274 percent, reaching No. 33 with $686 million.

TextDebbie Coffey, who accepted Avon Products’ award for its No. 2 ranking on the Global 100, reinforced the importance of companies helping people change their lives.

Leading It Works! to exponential growth during the past few years was reason enough to recognize Pentecost; however, the way in which this former math teacher and basketball coach has taught his team to “live on the offensive” is truly inspirational. As he shares with the audience his personal—and victorious—battle with cancer, he tells a very compelling story of the individual courage to face life’s toughest challenges head on, while doing so with an abundance of integrity and grace

“My team had big plans for 2016, having to deal with cancer wasn’t one of them,” he said. “We can’t plan for every obstacle that is thrown our way, but we can put the team in place and surround ourselves with the best people. When something is thrown your way, you have the support to handle it.”

Pentecost still has big plans for It Works! and for how he and his team can impact the world by being positive change makers. “Good is having a strong company. Great is increasing profits or opening new markets. But legendary is changing the lives of people who need it the most,” he said.

Youth enhancement brand Jeunesse received the Bravo Growth Award for its increase in annual sales by $1 billion over a two-year period—from approximately $400 million in 2014 to $1.4 billion in 2016. It debuted on the Global 100 in 2012 with $65 million in sales, breaking into the top 20 of the Direct Selling News Global 100 list in 2015 and advancing to the No. 14 spot this year with $1.41 billion in net sales. Based in Lake Mary, Florida, the company sells its anti-aging products and nutritional supplements in 140 global markets.

Chief Visionary Officer Scott Lewis accepted the award and commented, “We are pleased to have been chosen by Direct Selling News as their 2017 Bravo Growth Award recipient and appreciate this meaningful recognition. In addition, it is truly an honor to be listed among the top 15 companies in our industry, and we are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our Jeunesse family from across the globe, who we congratulate for making this accomplishment possible.”


Direct Selling News’ Lauren Lawley Head and John Fleming toast the Global 100 honorees.

Impacting Lives for Better World

Debbie Coffey, Vice President, Corporate Communications, New Avon LLC, who accepted Avon Products’ award for its No. 2 ranking on the Global 100 with sales of $5.70 billion in 2016, reinforced the importance of companies helping people change their lives. She is also an Avon Foundation board member.

“Thank you Direct Selling News for this recognition of Avon Products, Inc. performance in 2016. We owe our success to our 6 million Avon Representatives around the world who are changing their lives and the lives of those around them through the Avon opportunity. They are our greatest motivation and inspiration,” said Coffey.

TextMarily Penttinen accepts Mary Kay’s award for placing No. 5 on the Global 100.

“2016 was an exciting year for us at Avon, It was our 130th anniversary, and, as an Avon Foundation Board Member, I am very proud to share that it was the year we reached $1 billion raised globally for women’s causes,” added Coffey, who is also an Avon Foundation board member. “We are so proud to give women living with breast cancer and domestic violence help for today and hope for tomorrow.”

Jackie Nickel, who accepted Amway’s award for No. 1 direct seller in the world, spoke too about purpose and the efforts the company takes to have a positive impact on people’s lives.

“This award is a testament to the work we do each and every day to help people live better lives, discover their potential and achieve their goals,” she said.

The following companies sponsored tables at the DSN Global 100 Celebration:

Platinum Table Sponsors – ACN, Amway, Isagenix, It Works!, Jeunesse, New Avon, Total Life Changes and World Global Network; Gold Table Sponsors – AdvoCare, Ambit Energy, Mannatech, Mary Kay, MONAT, Oriflame, Plexus Worldwide, SeneGence, Stream, WorldVentures, Young Living and Zurvita.

This year, six special suppliers also chose to support Direct Selling News in sponsorship of the banquet: SUCCESS Partners, Avalara, Exigo, Hyperwallet, InfoTrax and Multi Image Group.

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It Works! Founders Donate $3 Million to Michigan State Athletics

Photo: An artist’s rendering of planned updates to MSU’s Alfred Berkowitz Basketball Complex.


It Works! may have relocated its corporate headquarters from Michigan to Florida, but Founders Mark and Cindy Pentecost are still Spartans fans. Michigan State University has announced that a $3 million gift from the couple will fund improvements to its men’s basketball program.

The donation contributes to MSU’s ongoing Empower Extraordinary campaign, which launched publicly in October 2014. Set to conclude in 2018, the campaign aims to raise $1.5 billion for the university. The Pentecosts support Empower Extraordinary alongside more than 30 other leaders and volunteers on the Athletic Director’s Campaign Leadership Council.

Mark Pentecost, It Works! President and CEO, grew up among Spartans fans in MSU’s hometown of East Lansing. As a former basketball coach, he has also witnessed firsthand how athletics can impact an individual’s life. The Pentecosts’ gift will help MSU extend that impact with updates to the men’s basketball offices and practice facilities at its Alfred Berkowitz Basketball Complex. The donation also establishes an endowment for further facility improvements in the future.

“Prior to entering the direct selling industry, I was a teacher and high school basketball coach trying to help kids accomplish their goals. I still feel like I get to be a coach every day, but now on a larger scale with thousands of It Works! team members around the world,” Mark Pentecost told DSN. “Giving back to the student athletes at MSU is something we’ve always wanted to do, and we hope it’ll help them continue to perform at the highest level and reach their dreams.”

It Works!: Taking It to a Whole ‘Notha Level

by Jeremy Gregg

Click here to order the November 2014 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Photo above: The official ribbon-cutting at the new It Works! headquarters in Palmetto, Florida.


Company Profile

Founded: 2001
Headquarters: Palmetto, Florida
Executives: Mark Pentecost, CEO; Pam Sowder, Chief Networking Officer; Mike Potillo, Chief Sales Officer; Doug Nooney, CFO; Chris Burns, CIO; Don Klein, COO; Janne Heimonen, President of International Operations; Don Hamilton, Senior Director of Operations.
Products: Skincare and Nutrition


Founded in 2001, It Works! is one of world’s fastest-growing skincare and nutrition direct sales companies. Ranked at No. 290 on the Inc. 500 list for 2014, the company has enjoyed an impressive 1,565 percent growth rate over the past three years.

Originally based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, It Works! recently invested over $10 million to build a new global headquarters in Palmetto, Florida. Reaching across the U.S. and into at least 17 other countries, the company has amassed 90,000 active independent distributors, supported by the 100 full-time employees of It Works!.

Of the company’s 32 different products, the largest seller remains its first offering: the Ultimate Body Applicator, a non-woven cloth wrap that is infused with a powerful, botanically based formula. The company’s distributors—called “Wrapreneurs”—primarily market this product through home parties that offer their friends and families a way to achieve a tightened, toned and firm body in as little as 45 minutes.

Origin

Before It Works!, Mark Pentecost was a high school teacher and basketball coach living in the small town of Allegan, Mich., with his wife, Cindy, and their three children. Around 1995, the Pentecosts had joined a home-based business in the telecommunications industry, through which Mark Pentecost had become a top-10 earner. While they did not know it at the time, the Pentecosts’ success in direct selling had given them a vision for the future of It Works!.

In 2001, It Works! was founded on Pentecost’s belief in the impact of operating “debt-free” as an individual, but also as a company. He embraced the opportunity to share this message with the company’s distributors. “Debt Free Is the New Sexy” then became the mantra to align the field with the corporate philosophy of debt freedom.


It Works! achieved a 1,565 percent three-year growth from 2010 to 2013, placing it at No. 290 on Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 500 fastest-growing privately held companies in America.


Growing through a Tough Economy

It Works! was entering a major growth period when the economy began to fall off the cliff in 2008 and 2009. Catastrophic economic events were leading many other businesses to retreat in their expansion plans, take on enormous debt to maintain existing operations, or both. Despite these trends, Pentecost and the leadership team at It Works! were inspired to go against the grain: Pursue rapid growth while becoming debt-free.

The move paid off. Unencumbered by debt, the company grabbed a new vision for its future. It Works! achieved a 1,565 percent three-year growth from 2010 to 2013, placing it at No. 290 on Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 500 fastest-growing privately held companies in America.

“I truly believe we have a great team in our field leaders and corporate,” Pentecost says. “I’m confident in our strategic plans to grow both our U.S. and international markets. It Works! will be a recognizable force around the globe.”

Mike Potillo, Mark Pentecost and Pam Sowder welcome guests to the new It Works! headquarters.


Offering a Different Kind of Incentive

In January 2012, It Works! formalized its debt-free concept with the launch of the G.O.O.D. Bonus, which stands for “Get Out of Debt.” Based on performance, the bonuses have ranged from $10,000 to $75,000 on top of commission. Qualifiers are encouraged to use the money to pay off student loans, mortgages, credit cards and other debts.

Pentecost states: “The world today needs to hear about fiscal responsibility. At It Works!, we …”. See the full story on at Direct Selling News!!

It Works! Brings ‘That Crazy Wrap Thing’ to New Zealand

It Works! has officially opened for business in New Zealand, the 19th market to offer the company’s skincare and nutrition products.

Fast-growing It Works! is recruiting New Zealand “wrapreneurs”—named after the brand’s signature tightening and toning wrap—to join its 90,000 active distributors around the world. The company has already expanded into neighboring Australia, Canada and select areas of Europe.

“We’re eager to welcome New Zealanders to our team and help spread black, green and bling across the world,” It Works! CEO Mark Pentecost said in a nod to the company’s signature colors.

The 13-year-old brand has generated three-year growth of 1,565 percent, earning it the No. 290 ranking on this year’s Inc. 500 list. Earlier this year, It Works! relocated to a new $10-million global headquarters in Palmetto, Florida. The waterfront property contains space for the company to increase its 100-member corporate team by half.

90 Days of Direct Selling – Day 36

DSN_90Days_Email_Signature

It Works!

ItWorks

2013 Net Sales: $456 million

Country: USA

It Works! is a consumer-lifestyle company known for its one-of-a-kind It Works! Wrap as well as its business opportunity to get out of debt. It Works! offers four lines of products: Body, Skin, Greens and Lifestyle.

 

2012 Rank: 56
2012 Net Sales: $200 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Cosmetics, personal care, wellness
Markets: 16
Salespeople: 333,000
Employees: 95
Headquarters: Bradenton, Florida
Executive: Mark Pentecost
Year Founded: 2001
Website: http://www.myitworks.com

The $100 Million Growth Club

by Teresa Day

Click here to download this issue to your mobile device. Watch here for the print version to become available.

DSN Cover, July 2014

Several years ago, the staff at Direct Selling News began the research necessary to create an industry list that demonstrated the impact and contribution of direct selling companies worldwide. The DSN Global 100 list has become a respected ranking, and each year the research team increases its ability to gather the necessary and relevant information. This annual list creates an opportunity to understand the significance of our industry as a whole, and showcase companies above a certain revenue threshold, which marks them as significant contributors to local and global economies.

We have been very pleased to hear that “making the list” has become a goal for many company executives as they work through their strategic planning for growth. Though the Global 100 list only presents 100 companies, we recognize that there are hundreds of smaller companies all working within our industry that offer excellent products and services, and serve both the needs and dreams of customers and representatives alike. We celebrate and salute them all!

While at work on the 2014 list (which is based on 2013 revenues), the DSN research team recognized a remarkable pattern emerging among a significant number of companies—18 companies, to be exact. These 18 companies achieved such a remarkable milestone during their course of business in 2013 that we knew we had to write about it and share this achievement with you, our readers.

In fact, the achievement appears to be so rare in the general business world that there is actually little written about it anywhere, furthering our decision to bring the information forward. The achievement is this: Eighteen companies on the Global 100 list grew by over $100 million in one year.

While we were, at first, definitely impressed as we saw this pattern and thought about these 18 companies, it was in doing further research on the growth of companies in general that turned our admiration into downright astonishment, and ultimately, extreme pride in their achievements.


Very few companies in any industry ever achieve a growth level of $100 million or more, much less in a single year!


Here’s why: Very few companies in any industry ever achieve a growth level of $100 million or more, much less in a single year! With that knowledge we, of course, felt compelled to call out and celebrate this achievement, and further, discover what we could about how and why these companies could reach such a milestone.

However, before we move onto the commonalities of these companies, let’s point out a few pertinent differences. These companies range in age from 2 years old to over 50 years old in operating age. These companies sell vastly differing products, from jewelry to health and wellness and from energy and essential services to cosmetics and skin care. These companies operate in one market to dozens of markets. They are headquartered all over the U.S. and even the globe—Noevir in Japan, Vorwerk in Germany and Telecom Plus in the U.K. Maybe the most apparent and extreme difference in these companies is their size—companies that grew over $100 million ranged from those producing $24 million (Origami Owl) and $37 million (Plexus) in 2012 to five companies already in the billion-dollar range.

We point out all of these differences to emphasize that remarkable growth is possible, regardless of product offered, number of markets served and even company size. In other words, remarkable growth is not only the purview of an already giant, established company.

As we considered this growth number—the $100 million threshold—we found some very interesting commentary on the validity of this number measuring something important. Paul Kedrosky, Ph.D., a senior fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, contributing editor with Bloomberg Television and founding partner at SK Ventures—an early-stage venture capitalist firm—has written about and studied this $100 million number in conjunction with business growth, and his thoughts on the subject are quite revealing.

In a report issued by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in May 2013, titled “The Constant: Companies that Matter,” Kedrosky writes, “There are few constants in entrepreneurship—perhaps none. That is why when something appears to be even semi-stable across meaningful periods, it is usually worth further investigation.” The “something” he is discussing in his paper is the question of how to measure a company “that matters.” In Kedrosky’s estimation, a company that can promptly go from founding to $100 million in revenue qualifies as a company that matters. Why? Because these companies impact the economy. Because these companies create jobs and wealth for stakeholders. But primarily because so few actually do it.

According to Kedrosky’s research, which is presented in this Kauffman Foundation short paper, there are roughly half a million (552,000) new “employer firms”—those that employ others as workers—opening in the U.S. each year, every year. Since 1980, the number of those firms that reach $100 million in revenue at some point has been pretty stable, and it’s a very small number—only between 125 and 250 firms out of the entire half a million.

Let’s break that number down into a percentage. If half a million employer firms are created every year, and at the high end, only 250 of them ever go on to achieve $100 million, that’s less than one-half of 1 percent. Supporting data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that even during a six-year window, only 175 companies out of the half a million new ones every year ever achieve the $100 million mark. No wonder Kedrosky uses this achievement to qualify a company as one “that matters.”

This data says that ever reaching $100 million in annual revenue marks you as a company that matters; a company that has significant staying power; a company that puts you in the top quartile of companies within your industry, no matter what it is. But we feel that this stunning statistic makes our $100 Million Growth Club even more of an outstanding achievement for these companies, because not only have they achieved and exceeded a mark that less than one-half of 1 percent ever reach, but they have duplicated that effort in a one-year time frame! We again salute and celebrate these 18 companies for a truly remarkable achievement.

Of course, the natural next question is how on earth did they do it? So we took a hard look at this group of remarkable companies, and though they are incredibly diverse, we found that they did, in fact, have some best practices substantially in common.

  • They have tremendous focus on their brand and product.
  • They utilize tools for their salesforce.
  • They invest in customer acquisition.
  • They emphasize personal development in their culture.
  • They focus on developing strong leaders.

Focus on Product/Brand

Staying focused has the natural result of bringing things into alignment, and since you can’t be focused on multiple things at once (focus just doesn’t work that way), staying focused automatically generates simplicity.

Peter Drucker, hailed as the father of modern management, very precisely puts it this way: “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” In addition to identifying what should be done, focus helps identify those things which should not be done.

Staying focused requires discipline and attention. It can be difficult; it can feel ”boring”; it can feel like putting a straitjacket on creativity; it can feel too simple; it can feel that opportunities are passing you by as you focus on one main thing; however, those companies that have been able to do this have reached this remarkable achievement. Their leaders would tell you that the benefits of the discipline far outweigh any opportunity that would have distracted you.

It Works! is one of the 18 companies in our $100 Million Growth Club, and CEO Mark Pentecost is one executive who set his sights on “making the Global 100 list” a couple of years ago. Prior to this decision, it’s important to note that It Works! had been a successful company for nine years, and had grown at a respectable rate each year to $45 million in 2011. Placed against the data presented in this article, It Works! had already achieved success. But Pentecost wanted more, and he knew that by creating a simple message and staying focused upon it, his team could achieve it.

Pentecost says, “I’ll never forget that day near the end of 2011 when I met with members of our team—both corporate and in the field—and we made one decision that will forever be a milestone in our company history. We set a goal to double the company in 2012. That was a big goal. That meant we would create over $100 million in sales in the next 12 months.”

With singular focus, the small, respectable company truly exploded into growth. In 2013, the company debuted on the Global 100 at No. 56 with 2012 revenue of $200 million. This year, it moved up to No. 26 with 2013 revenue of $456 million.

“Anyone can complicate things,” Pentecost says. “It takes genius to simplify it. We had one message from the top down, and we worked hard to stay focused. We said no to anything else that came up.”

Researcher and celebrated business author Jim Collins writes about the “Stop Doing” principle, something he learned from a grad school professor at Stanford and has applied ever since to his own thinking. He writes, “… the ‘stop doing’ list became an enduring cornerstone of my annual New Year’s resolutions—a mechanism for disciplined thought about how to allocate the most precious of all resources: time.” Collins also incorporated the Stop Doing List into his criteria of what makes a company great in his celebrated book Good to Great, giving examples of great leaders who were able to make big decisions about what to stop doing in order to achieve the greatness they were capable of.


“Anyone can complicate things. It takes genius to simplify it. We had one message from the top down, and we worked hard to stay focused. We said no to anything else that came up.”
—Mark Pentecost, CEO, It Works!


Nu Skin President and CEO Truman Hunt and his team utilized the “Stop Doing” principle when they scaled back their products and brands to one anti-aging line, AgeLoc. The focus has clearly paid off. It was however, a very big decision. Nu Skin had expanded its operations to include three distinct opportunities: Nu Skin products, Pharmanex and Big Planet. Different management teams ran each division, and they competed with one another. Hunt decided to focus the opportunity on one path.

Hunt says, “We took advantage of that moment in time to evaluate all business issues. There were no sacred cows, and it resulted in an overhaul of our organization and strategy. The process was not without pain, but it was also clearly a key point in the growth of our company.”

Two companies among the 18 are exceptional primarily because of their extreme focus on offering one product in one market. Interestingly, the two companies couldn’t be more different—one is skin care, and one is energy. Nerium achieved over $200 million in revenue in its second full year with only one product in one country. Ambit has been the fastest company to achieve the billion-dollar threshold—within seven years—in only 14 states in the U.S. with one product. Focus clearly has played a central role at both of these companies.

Tools for Salesforce Support

Applying disciplined focus to your product line and brand will only get you so far if you don’t also carry that focus into your field support and training. No matter what product or service is being sold, every sales field needs simplicity and clarity in order to achieve the kind of growth our 18 companies achieved. It’s important to remember that those entrepreneurial souls who are your brand ambassadors are also very creative. In the absence of simple, clear and duplicable tools and systems, creative salespeople tend to create their own processes and selling methods. While this may produce enormous success for one or two individuals, it does not translate across the field to everyone. In order to achieve uniform success across the entire salesforce—which is necessary to generate $100 million achievements—the field needs simple and duplicable systems.

In just two remarkable years, Nerium has developed an expert ability to provide its salesforce with simple and duplicable tools. By so doing, they have maintained incredible consistency for their independent representatives in the form of support tools, training materials and back-end support, enabling even brand-new IBOs with no experience the ability to set up shop quickly and dive right into their businesses.

Each new representative receives the same starter kit, which includes a DVD that trains the individual on company business practices, along with other standardized materials to get them and keep them on the right track. From their first day in business, each representative has access to online support tools that are personalized for them. Every representative has the same experience, and every customer has the same experience, enabling the company to present a uniform, and clearly successful, approach to the business.

With two decades’ worth of experience in creating back office systems for other direct selling companies, Randy Ray and Wendy Lewis were well-versed in tech support tools when they decided to launch Jeunesse, the anti-aging skincare company, which grew from $126 million to $267 million in 2013 (growth of $131 million) and was seated at No. 46 on the Global 100 list. Their prospecting system easily allows a distributor to share a video on any social media platform, and the viewer can immediately request a free sample (paying only shipping). The company’s extensive tools support allows a distributor to enter the business and share products from almost anywhere in the world.

Most, if not all of the 18 companies on our list use consistent and simple tools to support and train their sales field such as DVDs, magazines and brochures, mobile apps and websites. Herbalife’s President Dez Walsh told DSN that he believes the continued use of systemized training methods to support distributors is a primary reason for his company’s sustained growth.

Investment in Customer Acquisition

Though in our industry many distributors are also customers, a business can’t grow to the levels we are discussing without creating a strong customer base.

In looking at our 18 growth companies, we found they had various means of reaching new customers, including investing in technology and reaching out to Gen Y, expanding physically into new markets and territories, and reaching out to new customers through sports sponsorship programs.

In all customer acquisition strategies, it is imperative that the company follow the customer. A company can no longer insist that a customer follow them; the balance of power has shifted, and it is now necessary for the company to meet the customer where they want to be met, whether it’s on Facebook or literally in a new market.

For example, Vemma has developed a customer acquisition strategy targeted at the very tech-savvy 80 million Generation Y’ers, the oldest of whom are now in their mid-30s. According to a study produced by Oracle on Gen Y’ers’ banking habits, their annual spending next year is projected to be $2.45 trillion. They don’t read newspapers, they don’t pay attention to TV advertising and they pretty much disregard anything that isn’t digitally produced. Vemma has captured their hearts and minds by tailoring the message and the messenger to be exactly what they want. Once these young people got their own revolution going at Vemma (YPR—Young People Revolution), they propelled an already somewhat successful company onto the Global 100 list at No. 81 with $117 million in revenue; and then skyrocketed the company to No. 53 on this year’s list with over $100 million in growth.

When Herbalife came to understand in some of their markets that people don’t shop the way Americans do—by stocking a pantry and large refrigerator with days’ and days’ worth of food—they made an effort to understand what was happening, and why. As a result of understanding their customers’ habits, they created a daily consumption model that mirrored the way people actually behaved in those markets.

The daily consumption and nutrition club model has also revealed additional benefits for Herbalife that have aided in their sustained growth. A social aspect has developed around the clubs, producing more and more frequent customers; and customers go to the distributor—rather than the distributor going out to them—which creates great efficiencies for the distributor.

AdvoCare puts its brand in front of millions of fans of NASCAR racing, professional soccer, and both college and pro football through its sports sponsorship programs. AdvoCare is the first-ever jersey sponsor for the Major League Soccer team FC Dallas—prominently displaying the company logo at every match, including those broadcast on national television. Other sponsorships include the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2014, driven by the youngest-ever winner of the Daytona 500, Trevor Bayne. Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints and MVP of the Pro Football World Championship Game, is AdvoCare’s official National Spokesperson and helps lead the AdvoCare marketing efforts.

Expansion of the customer base is a foundational practice of each of the 18 companies on our list, regardless of their product, markets or even methods.

Emphasis on Personal Development

Today, personal development is an integral component of most direct selling companies, and its roots can be traced way back to the inspirational and motivational leanings of David McConnell, Mary Kay Ash, Mary Crowley and others who forged our industry.

Including a personal development program for representatives actually provides the company with great benefits. Mary Crowley, Founder of Home Interiors & Gifts in 1957, said, “If you grow your people, you will grow your business.” Many executives can testify to the truth of this statement. The 18 companies on our extraordinary growth list all pay attention to the personal development and growth of their salesforce.

Giving your salesforce access to personal development materials can take many forms, including utilizing tools, speakers, systems and opportunities to create a culture based around personal growth and awareness. It’s a cultural mindset and requires investment—just as product development and marketing efforts require attention and investment. Access to personal development material should be a critical part of the new representative’s first experiences. This can be accomplished by including CDs, DVDs, reading material such as magazines, or access to subscription services for personal growth.

Personal development and culture development can also be facilitated by your event strategy. Great events on consistent rhythms create great cultures. Great companies have powerful cultures. In fact, it’s that unique culture of your company that attracts the people you want in your organization and keeps them there.

ACN’s large-scale quarterly events represent an essential component to the company’s success system, which is why event after event, year after year, IBOs turn out in droves for its events. Almost 20,000 of them from around the world flocked to ACN’s hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, for the company’s International Training Event last September, and they continue to host sold-out events quarter after quarter.

“It’s not a coincidence that the top people in ACN never miss an event,” observes Greg Provenzano, President and Co-Founder. “We hold them quarterly and they truly provide the motivation and fuel our IBOs need to build their businesses. For a brand-new person, there is nothing quite as powerful as walking into an arena of 20,000 excited, supportive IBOs. It truly is the best way to be exposed to our opportunity and to see the big picture of ACN firsthand.”

Vemma and It Works! recently went from a one-event-a-year system to four events a year. Many of the other growth companies are having at least two events a year on a national basis, plus regional and leadership events. These companies are creating consistent local, regional and national rhythms with their events as they try to build their culture and build their companies. By staying in front of your people, you can keep them engaged, keep them motivated, keep them fired up, keep them going when they don’t feel like it. We all know great events and great rhythms build great cultures. They also create an emotional attachment between your salesforce and the company—and the salesforce among themselves.

Focus on Developing Strong Leaders

Great cultures also create great leaders. The 18 companies in the $100 Million Growth Club all adhere to one final best practice: They create positive environments where people, particularly women, have the ability to grow into strong leaders capable of successfully replicating their business opportunities through others.

That positivity derives from the shared belief that anyone has the potential to succeed in direct selling. Two of the Global 100’s top 10 companies—one a network marketing company and the other a party plan company—have proved over the last half-century that focusing on leadership skills strengthens not only the individual but the business itself.

The No. 1 direct seller in the world, Amway, was founded by Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel with the core belief that people, not products, were the greatest resource. The company, which recorded $11.80 billion in net sales in 2013, embraces “diversity of opportunity” which, according to current Amway President Doug DeVos, “enables stronger global expansion and [helps] manage change and opportunity.”

Amway IBOs are provided with leadership skills training upon joining the company and as they climb through the different levels of the organization: Platinum, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond and Double Diamond. They are also provided with the assurance that leaders in their upline maintain the highest levels of honesty, integrity, responsibility and accountability. “They can count on these values to be placed front and center when it comes to ensuring products are safe, individuals are reliable, compensation is fair, training is effective, and support and guidance are readily available,” Doug DeVos states.

Mary Kay, which broke into the Global 100’s top five this year with $3.60 billion, has since its inception been an organization that has grown exponentially because of its development of female leadership. Of course, such skill training was of the utmost importance to its founder, Mary Kay Ash, who in a 1985 Inc. interview stated, “I feel like I’m doing something far more important than just selling cosmetics. I think we’re building lives.”

Today the company’s beauty consultants can count on leadership training as they progress from consultants to sales directors and national sales directors. “You cannot keep a determined person from success,” Mary Kay once exclaimed. “If you place stumbling blocks in her way, she will take them for steppingstones and will use them to climb to new heights.”

The Clues of Success

The 18 companies that achieved over $100 million in growth in a single year did something so remarkable that very little is written about it. We hope this brief article showcasing these companies and sharing some of their common strategies will inspire many more to focus on a similar achievement for themselves. These companies have not been successful by accident; they have left clues for everyone else to see and follow.

We expect that next year even more companies will achieve the remarkable milestone of growing $100 million or more!


The $100 Million Growth Club

The BIG HISTORY of Direct Selling

by J.M. Emmert

Click here to order the June 2014 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

IN THIS ISSUE:

• The BIG HISTORY of Direct Selling • 10 Things to Know • The List 
• Topping the Charts • Profiles • Celebration

BRAVO AWARDS: 
• Leadership • Growth Based on Percentage • Growth Based on Revenue •Humanitarian


DSN Global 100

This past November the History Channel’s sister station H2 aired Big History, a 17-part narrative on the history of Earth. The program culminated with a look at the critical events that shaped life on this planet, from the Big Bang to the social transformations of the modern era. Like the history of the universe, the story of direct selling reveals paradigm-shifting events and thresholds that have fundamentally changed the industry and helped to shape today’s direct seller.

So we wondered: What were those moments? What would be the “Big History” of direct selling? The following are the five thresholds we identified.

Threshold No. 1—The First Direct Selling Companies

There was no Big Bang moment for direct selling, no moment when out of nothing everything began. The industry, the oldest distribution channel in history, began appearing alongside the development of civilizations. As hunter-gatherers settled down to farm and build towns, the first direct sellers began to sell their wares across Europe, Africa and Asia.

The bartering of commodities evolved into a vast network of trade, and by the 18th century the direct-to-consumer channel of distribution had reached the United States in the form of the Yankee peddler, solitary figures who roamed the countryside bringing goods to isolated areas of the population. But it would be another century before the first direct selling company was established. In 1855, Rev. James Robinson Graves developed a business model that had young men going door to door to sell products, forming the basis of the company known today as Southwestern.

Nearly 160 years later, direct selling engages more than 16 million people in the United States and nearly 100 million people around the world, with 22 billion-dollar global markets. Direct selling companies are committed to not only bringing quality products to the global audience, but also a quality of life that can, and does, change lives.

“More than 3 million Independent Beauty Consultants around the world share Mary Kay’s message of hope—‘If you can believe it, you can achieve it!’ ” says Sheryl Adkins-Green, Chief Marketing Officer of Mary Kay. “Through Pink Changing Lives®, Mary Kay has a commitment to changing the lives of women and children around the world, encouraging them to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams to transform, inspire and empower our future.”

The popularity of direct selling continues to grow. In a recent Harris Poll commissioned by Direct Selling News, nearly one-third of U.S. adults have purchased from a direct seller in the past six months, with 42 percent taking advantage of doing so online. That technology has allowed newer companies to reach more customers far quicker than the old days of walking the countryside.

“It Works! is a customer-generating machine,” says Mark Pentecost, CEO of It Works! Global. “We encourage our distributors to gather customers, and we provide a Loyal Customer Program with perks to retain customers. This opportunity forms the foundation for a business that gives everyday people hope that they can change their lives and leave a legacy for their families.”

Threshold No. 2—Women Are Welcomed

In the history of the universe, stars became the building blocks for life. And in the history of direct selling, the points of light that became the building blocks of the industry were women.

David McConnell’s decision to recruit women as sales representatives for his California Perfume Co. might have been a big, bold statement for the times. Yet it just made sense to McConnell when he saw the natural ability of women to network and market to others. Mrs. Persis Foster Eames Albee became the company’s first representative, and today more than 6 million Avon representatives are following in her footsteps, benefiting from McConnell’s belief that women could be the most important component of the direct selling channel.


“[Our Founder David H. McConnell] understood that women were natural salespeople who could easily relate to other women and passionately market beauty products.”
—Sheri McCoy, CEO, Avon Products Inc.


“In 1886, our Founder David H. McConnell recognized that women were rarely offered the opportunity to earn their own income,” says Avon CEO Sheri McCoy. “He also understood that women were natural salespeople who could easily relate to other women and passionately market beauty products. The notion that women deserve the opportunity to support themselves and their families is a cornerstone on which [Avon is] built.”

The role of women in the industry has greatly evolved from the days when the legendary Mrs. Albee traveled the Northeast by horse and buggy. Mary Kay Ash, Brownie Wise, Mary Crowley and Jan Day were strong role models whose business savvy and sincere desire to see their contemporaries succeed empowered 20th-century women and inspired a legion of today’s female leaders.

That group includes Thirty-One Gifts’ Founder and CEO Cindy Monroe, Scentsy’s Co-Founder and President Heidi Thompson, Rodan + Fields President Lori Bush, Isagenix’s Co-Founder Kathy Coover, and The Pampered Chef’s CEO Doris Christopher, who believe that being a woman is an advantage to running a direct selling company.

In fact, if you look at the Global 100 companies, you will find that nine of the 29 U.S. companies in the Top 50—31 percent—are led by women who were either co-founders or who serve as president or CEO. And it is these women who are bringing their opportunities to other women around the globe, especially in developing countries where women are expressing sentiments similar to what Mrs. Albee wrote to David McConnell 130 years ago: “I know of no line of work so lucrative, pleasant and satisfactory as this,” she said.


DSN Global 100 DSN Global 100

Threshold No. 3—The Formation of Direct Selling Associations

In 1910, McConnell’s California Perfume Co. joined with nine other companies from New York, Massachusetts and Michigan to form the Agents Credit Association, which today is known as the U.S. Direct Selling Association. It was the first such association to focus on the needs of direct sellers.

Back then, the Association was charged with collection and credit matters; today, the DSA represents 200 member companies and works to further promote the impact of direct sellers under the guidance of President Joseph Mariano.

“One of the most important accomplishments for DSA has been the mobilization of many different types of companies by recognizing and supporting their mutual interests,” Mariano says. “DSA can act on behalf of companies and individual sellers to ensure a fair and open marketplace. Because we determine our course of action based on the merits instead of special interests, we have a virtually unblemished record of defeating legislation that would be harmful to direct sellers, and have worked constructively with many states in passing anti-pyramid legislation that helps lawmakers identify and prosecute scams while protecting legitimate companies.”


“We will continue to help policymakers, prospective sellers and others gain a fuller understanding and appreciation of direct selling.”
—Joseph Mariano, President, U.S. DSA


According to Mariano, the DSA will continue to work collaboratively with companies to maintain unity of message and purpose in all its activities. “We will continue to enhance the high standards of marketplace behavior the public should expect from direct sellers, and we will continue to help policymakers, prospective sellers and others gain a fuller understanding and appreciation of direct selling,” he says.

Today more than 60 countries have direct selling associations. Seldia—the European Direct Selling Association—represents 27 DSAs, including those from the U.K., Germany, France, Belgium and Italy, which were the first European countries to establish national associations. Since 1968, Seldia has been an authoritative voice for direct selling in European government affairs.

“New laws and regulations are now made with input from Seldia, and a growing number of policymakers have a favorable and supportive view on direct selling,” says Maurits Bruggink, Executive Director of Seldia. “With the increasing appreciation of entrepreneurship in Europe, Seldia wants to grow the importance of direct selling in the coming years and ensure that our sector is known for the opportunities it creates for individuals of every walk of life, the wealth it generates to society, and the high level of ethics in trading.”

A decade after the formation of Seldia, which at the time was known as the Fédération de la Vente et du Service à Domicile (FEVSD), the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations was established. The WFDSA is a non-governmental entity that represents national direct selling associations around the globe and works to promote the highest global standards for responsible and ethical conduct. Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Brazil-based Natura, is the current Chairman of the WFDSA, and has diligently worked to build the reputation of the industry.

“The WFDSA was born to reinforce ethical standards and to disseminate the positive social impact of the direct selling model,” says Carlucci. “The Federation aims to promote an ethical debate in the sector considering the significant changes happening in an increasingly connected world. In other words, we seek to be every day more in sync with the aspirations of contemporary society—more connected, more active, more social. Since the energy of our people is what moves our business model, we pursue to deeply understand them and to focus on their needs. That is what makes our advocacy efforts relevant to governments and key influencers.”

Threshold No. 4—Compensation Structure

For decades, direct sellers had been compensated on a performance-based model where earnings were tied to personal sales. Then, in the mid-1900s, a revolutionary approach for compensation was developed that would allow representatives to benefit beyond their personal selling efforts. Amway was one of the first companies to adopt the new structure.

According to Amway, many people assume that the Amway business model was introduced in 1959, when Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos founded the company. However, the company’s roots go deeper than that. Nutrilite Founder Carl Rehnborg is often credited as the father of both plant-based food supplements and the sales plan that served as the model for Amway.

This new compensation plan was actually the invention of William Casselberry, whom Rehnborg had met in a Dale Carnegie course, and Casselberry’s friend Lee Mytinger. In 1949, Jay and Rich became two of the top Nutrilite distributors and were introduced to that compensation plan, which allowed them to earn based on their own efforts and those of others they trained as Nutrilite sales reps. Without Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry, Amway might not have been guided by the business plan that has served it well for 55 years.

Today, nearly 90 percent of the 2013 DSN Global 100 companies utilize this compensation structure.

DSN Global 100

Consumer Goods and Services Offered through Direct Selling

PRODUCTS

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Beauty
  • Fashion & Accessories
  • Cosmetics
  • Educational
  • Food & Beverage
  • Food Storage
  • Home Care
  • Home Décor & Fragrances
  • Jewelry
  • Kitchenware & Cookware
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Personal Care
  • Relationship Enhancements
  • Travel
  • Weight Management
  • Wellness

SERVICES

  • Energy
  • Financial Planning & Investing
  • Health Insurance
  • Home Security
  • Legal Representation
  • Life Insurance
  • Natural Gas
  • Telecommunications

 

Threshold No. 5—Evolution of the Sales Method

The direct selling model has evolved because the world has evolved. The industry has adapted to changes because it can, as life itself can, store information, reproduce itself, pass information along and multiply.

One of the greatest changes in the industry was the party plan model, believed to have been created by Brownie Wise when she was with Tupperware. But perhaps no event in the history of direct selling has caused more of a paradigm shift than the emergence of technology. And here’s why. As Big History explained, during the era of the steam engine, it took 150 years for man’s collective knowledge to double. Today, it takes two years. By 2020, it will take 72 hours.

“We not only embrace, but innovate with the tools and technology now so abundantly available,” says Rick Stambaugh, Chief Information Officer of USANA. “The world is shifting. Mobility will prove to be the game changer, especially when it comes to prospecting. Everyone has a smartphone, which gives us a much broader reach. Apps will become a preferred means of engagement, and we are actively updating and developing several to stay ahead of the curve. In fact, for over 20 years, our focus has been on personalization. Some may say technology is contradictory to that, but it’s not. Being able to profile yourself and get answers specific to you is not only cool, but is the wave of the future.”

Stambaugh adds that as for transaction technology, the method of spending is rapidly shifting from a storefront platform to a greater web-based structure, as e-commerce becomes widely accepted and trusted. “It has certainly moved the needle on our ROI,” he says. “Then there is social media, which is less than 10 years old, but look what it has done already in the realm of awareness. These days you can’t run a successful business without being social media savvy. Even social commerce is catching on, although still in its infancy. And though the direct sales industry is becoming more high-tech, it’s still important to remain ‘high-touch’ in keeping customers satisfied and the salesforce motivated. You have to stay connected to those you serve and develop an interpersonal presence in a high-tech world.”


“Though the direct sales industry is becoming more high-tech, it’s still important to remain ‘high-touch’ in keeping customers satisfied and the salesforce motivated.”
—Rick Stambaugh, Chief Information Officer, USANA


Avon’s McCoy agrees to a certain degree. “While the biggest game changer is technology and how we use it, the backbone of our business hasn’t changed,” she says. “Our representatives continue to build relationships and have a passion for products, and our business is still high-touch, even though it’s now high-tech too. Customers can connect with their representatives in person, over the phone, via email or through social media. While the world is a different place today than when Avon started, it is the personal touch that connects our customers to our representatives.”

Adds Douglas Franco, General Manager for Belcorp USA, “I believe technology just changes the way our relationships work, but does not change their nature. It’s a trust-based purchase, which only becomes more transparent and democratic with technology.”


“I believe technology just changes the way our relationships work, but does not change their nature. It’s a trust-based purchase, which only becomes more transparent and democratic with technology.”
—Douglas Franco, General Manager, Belcorp USA


The Future

History teaches us that we have the ability to seize our evolution, and that the triumph of our collective learning is the ability to adapt. We learn to survive in the most challenging conditions. We seize the opportunities to continually move forward.

What will be the next threshold for direct selling? That remains to be seen. In the next century this industry may not even be known as “direct selling.” As new technologies and forms of communication are developed, a new term may come to apply to what it is direct sellers do, just as the term “social selling” is gaining traction today.

This year, the DSN Global 100 list revealed that 18 companies increased their 2013 revenue by more than $100 million, clear evidence that the business model can thrive in a time of economic uncertainty.

Additionally, new companies such as Origami Owl, Nerium International, Plexus Worldwide and Solavei, along with a host of others, continue to bring fresh ideas and methodologies to the marketplace. These new ideas, combined with advanced technology, placed alongside a highly successful and long-standing business model, will open up possibilities that we can only guess at today. The future is promising!

SUCCESS Partners Hosts Industry Execs at ‘The Growth Conference’

Above photo: SUCCESS Partners Founder & CEO Stuart Johnson welcomes SPU attendees.

“Growth” was the focus of this year’s SUCCESS Partners University (SPU), an annual ideas conference that brings together top direct selling executives from across the globe. On April 23-24, 400-plus attendees gathered in Dallas for the opportunity to collect cutting-edge insights and solutions from their peers within the industry.

Dubbed “The Growth Conference,” the event highlighted companies that are accomplishing extraordinary things through a culture of focus, authenticity and simplicity. More than 25 speakers took the stage in quick succession to share the strategies that have taken their organizations, as CEO Mark Pentecost and the It Works! team say, “to a whole notha level.” Bestselling author and SUCCESS magazine Publisher Darren Hardy served as master of ceremonies for the event.

The speakers represented companies of all sizes, marketing a range of products and services. CEO Jeff Olson shared how Nerium has achieved record growth—reporting $219 million in total revenue in its second year—by focusing on customer acquisition and promoting purpose and meaning over compensation plan and product. Tarl Robinson, CEO of Plexus Worldwide, endorsed a deliberate focus on fundamentals that has helped his company manage quadrupled growth. Zurvita Founder Mark Jarvis emphasized the importance of having “a simple message everyone can understand.” Zurvita saw exponential growth after streamlining its conglomeration of products and services to a single wellness product line. The line-up also included John Parker, Chief Sales Officer of Amway; Meredith Berkich, President of Viridian Energy; John Addison, Co-CEO of Primerica; Jeff Olson, CEO of Nerium and many more.

Entrepreneur, author and social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk took the stage to talk about leveraging emerging technologies to execute a marketing strategy “for the world we live in today.” The amplification of word-of-mouth through social media presents a unique challenge to direct selling companies, which operate through millions of representatives worldwide. “Today, every single person in the world is a media company,” said Vaynerchuk, calling upon the leaders in the room to think of their brand as a media company first, and as a retailer second.

In conjunction with SPU, attendees had the opportunity to attend the DSN Global 100 Celebration. The event unveiled the results of research conducted to identify the top 100 companies in the industry globally. The DSN Global 100 list, which will appear in the June 2014 issue of Direct Selling News, profiles these companies and their impact on lives around the world.


Photo Gallery


Teacher Turned Entrepreneur Shows How It Works!

Photo above: Mark Pentecost (left), Founder and CEO of It Works! Global, accepts the Bravo Momentum Award from DSN Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming.

In the early 1990s, Mark Pentecost was teaching math and coaching varsity basketball in Grand Rapids, Mich. Today, he is putting his number-crunching and coaching skills to use as President and CEO of It Works! Global.

Pentecost, who co-owns It Works! with his wife, Cindy, began his sales career in the early 1990s with Excel Communications, reselling long-distance deals for landline phones. His natural skill as a salesman soon became apparent, and just two years later Pentecost quit teaching to work his business full time.

During his time at Excel, Pentecost developed an enthusiasm for entrepreneurship in general and direct sales in particular. That enthusiasm reignited in late 2000 when he became aware of the instant-result toning wraps that now anchor the It Works! product line. It Works! launched in 2001, but gained traction slowly. The pace changed when the company hit profitability in 2005 and growth began to come in leaps and bounds. It Works! paid all its debts by 2008 and rocketed from sales of $46 million in 2011 to $200 million in 2012.

At the DSN Global 100 Celebration in April, Pentecost accepted the Bravo Momentum Award in recognition of the company’s significant growth, as well as its achievement of the most significant first-time ranking on the DSNGlobal 100 (It Works! debuted on the list at No. 56). This year, Inc. magazine ranked It Works! No. 436 on its Inc. 500 ranking of America’s fastest-growing private companies.

Read the full feature from Forbes.

DSN Global 100 Profiles – 51 Through 60

Click here to order the June 2013 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


IN THIS ISSUE:

• Cover Story • 10 Things to Know • The List 
• Topping the Charts • Profiles • Celebration

BRAVO AWARDS: 
• Leadership • Growth • Momentum


51. Team Beachbody

2012 Net Sales: $218 million
Country: USA

Team Beachbody is the direct selling division of Beachbody LLC with approximately 100,000 independent Coaches in the United States and Canada helping customers reach their fitness and financial goals. Beachbody in-home fitness and weight-loss solutions include P90X®, P90X2®, Slim in 6®, INSANITY® and Turbo Jam®.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Wellness
Markets: 2
Salespeople: 98,000
Employees: 700
Headquarters: Santa Monica, California
Executive: Carl Daikeler
Year Founded: 1998
Website: www.beachbody.com


52. Take Shape for Life (Medifast)

2012 Net Sales: $216 million
Country: USA

Take Shape For Life is a unique program that combines the personalized support of a Health Coach, the Habits of Health, and the clinically proven Medifast Meals. Take Shape for Life is a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly traded Medifast Inc.

2011 Rank: 54
2011 Net Sales: $185 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Wellness
Markets: 1
Salespeople: 16,500
Employees: 650
Headquarters: Owings Mills, Maryland
Executive: Meg Sheetz
Year Founded: 2002
Stock Symbol: MED—NYSE
Website: www.tsfl.com


53. JapanLife Co. Ltd.

2012 Net Sales: $215 million
Country: Japan

JapanLife Co. is part of the Matrix World Division Group. Its products focus on the relief of stress, anxiety and aging concerns and include magnetic therapy devices in the home as well as beauty-care products and dietary supplements.

2011 Rank: 49
2011 Net Sales: $215 million
Sales Method: Not available
Compensation Structure: Not available
Products: Magnetic therapy devices, skin care, cosmetics, dietary supplements
Markets: Not available
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: 467
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Executive: Not available
Year Founded: 1975
Website: www.japanlife-net.co.jp


54. K par K

2012 Net Sales: $214 million
Country: France

Started in 1993, Paris-based K par K designs and distributes fittings for renovation and home improvement through sellers-advisers.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Not available
Compensation Structure: Not available
Products: Home care
Markets: 1
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: Not available
Headquarters: Paris, France
Executive: Not available
Year Founded: 1993
Website: www.kpark.com


55. Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America

2012 Net Sales: $202 million
Country: USA

Family Heritage Life, a Torchmark Company, is an industry-leading provider of life and supplemental health insurance products to American families. The company specializes in life insurance and cancer, heart disease and stroke, and accident insurance products that provide benefits beyond traditional health insurance.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Single-level
Products: Services
Markets: 1
Salespeople: 3,358
Employees: 103
Headquarters: Cleveland, Ohio
Executive: Howard Lewis
Year Founded: 1989
Stock Symbol: TMK—NYSE
Website: www.familyheritagelife.com


56. CUTCO (Vector Marketing Corp.)

2012 Net Sales: $200 million
Country: USA

CUTCO sells kitchen cutlery products, kitchen gadgets, utensils, flatware, cookware, garden tools, and sporting and pocket knives exclusively through Vector Marketing Corp. and in- house demonstrations.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Single-level
Products: Home care, kitchenware
Markets: 4
Salespeople: 60,000
Employees: 800
Headquarters: Olean, New York
Executive: James E. Stitt
Year Founded: 1949
Website: www.cutco.com



56. Huis Clos

2012 Net Sales: $200 million
Country: France

Huis Clos offers alternatives for custom installations for homes and apartments to correct and update outdated performance and aesthetics.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Not available
Compensation Structure: Not available
Products: Home care
Markets: 1
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: Not available
Headquarters: Mont-Saint-Aignan, France
Executive: Not available
Year Founded: 1990
Website: www.huisclos.fr


56. It Works! Global

2012 Net Sales: $200 million
Country: USA

It Works! Global’s mission is to share that “Debt Free is the New Sexy.” It Works! offers an everyday, instant-result product line starting with the one-of-a-kind It Works! Wrap, a contouring product that can tighten, tone and firm any area of your body in as little as 45 minutes.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Cosmetics, personal care
Markets: 8
Salespeople: 50,000
Employees: 58
Headquarters: Bradenton, Florida
Executive: Mark Pentecost
Year Founded: 2001
Website: www.myitworks.com


59. BearCere’Ju Co. Ltd.

2012 Net Sales: $192 million
Country: Japan

Also known as Berusere–ju, this company uses herbal and aroma therapy along with cellular technology to rejuvenate and beautify without artificial or engineered additives.

2011 Rank: 53
2011 Net Sales: $198 million
Sales Method: Not available
Compensation Structure: Not available
Products: Cosmetics, personal care, health and wellness
Markets: 3
Salespeople: 250,000
Employees: Not available
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Executive: Not available
Year Founded: 1992
Website: www.bearcereju.co.jp


60. Hillarys Blinds

2012 Net Sales: $189 million
Country: United Kingdom

Tony Hillary began making blinds in his garage in Nottingham, England. More than 40 years later, Hillarys now is a leading provider of window dressings, with made-to-measure blinds, curtains and shutters transforming homes up and down the country.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Not available
Compensation Structure: Not available
Products: Home care
Markets: 1
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: Not available
Headquarters: Nottinghamshire, England
Executive: James Nicholson
Year Founded: 1971
Website: www.hillarys.co.uk