FHTM – “Fortune Hi Tech Marketing Update ”
Federal, state regulators shut down Fortune Hi-Tech
The Federal Trade Commission and three state attorneys general announced Monday that they shut down a national multilevel marketing company they called a “global pyramid scheme”…..
Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing of Lexington, Ky., and its top two executives were sued by the FTC and the attorneys general of Kentucky, North Carolina and Illinois for “unfair and deceptive actions” that violated state and federal laws…..
For More Information On Fortune Hi Tech See my Original Blog Post Review Below Republished From 2011
FHTM, FHTM, FHTM, enough already! I was already tired of hearing about them before I even sat down to actually take a close look at the deal and do a company review.
Now I am not being negative on the company, it’s just that they have some pretty nice growth going on right now and as a result there are a lot of excited people running around with the fervor of the newly converted, chanting the mantra FHTM, FHTM.
Well let me back up here and do a proper intro, FHTM stands for, Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, a Network Marketing company out of Lexington KY, that markets??
Well quite a lot of things actually.
Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing has developed some very interesting company positioning.
Rather than try to brand themselves with a particular product, they have stepped back and actually branded themselves as a marketing middleman?
Now the idea of having a middleman in the middle of anything seems to conjure up visions of having someone insert themselves into the middle of a transaction and it feels like it going to cost you money right?
I mean so many vendors over the last 20 years have built empires off of the totally opposite branding i.e. “buy direct”, “wholesale”, in short “cut out the middleman”
Now with all the perceived negative press about this poor middleman I would actually hate to be one of them.
So why brand yourself with a perceived negative?
Well in the world of marketing once a buzzword has been overused it tends to no longer have the same effect of jumping into the mind of the consumer.
It can no longer achieve, what is called in the marketing world, “positioning” in the mind of the consumer.
So Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing just went the other way, and it was so different I think it actually worked.
Kudos to you FHTM on a great marketing move!
That still does not mean I like you through.
So here is the actual scoop. Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing was brought into existence in 2001 as the brainchild of Paul Orberson, Mr. million-dollar a month man himself.
So I guess I need to explain that.
Whenever I hear the name of Paul Orberson I think of Excel Telecommunications, the Mega-Viral MLM telecom company that started in 1988 and had perfect market timing with discount long distance phone service.
They became one of those non-stop rocket ships to the bank that we all wish we were at the top of, because when this MLM company hit a billion in sales in about 8 years, well positioned distributors made a killing!
That rapid run-up took a newbe distributor, Paul Orberson and launched him to stardom in the world of MLM success, where he supposedly was making upwards of $500,000 to over a million dollars a month.
Wow, I love this industry!
But wait, how did he do that on phone service?
Well a lot of the heady income was generated by what is called a “coded bonus” MLM compensation plan where huge volumes of dollars in pretty big chunks were moved from the bottom of the organization to the top.
Coded bonus comp plans are a way of maximizing the money paid for a distributor sign up package in a standard MLM, and is generally used where there is where there is not a lot of residual income being generated on actual monthly usage of whatever product a MLM company is actually selling.
Excel used this because their product was long distance service and when you split out the tiny profit on that, and then pump it through multiple levels of compensation, there is just not much there.
When Excel was paying Paul Orberson the big bucks he is rumored to have said the residual part of his check was only a few thousand a month.
So the big issue with this type of comp plan is that once the actual sponsoring frenzy dies down and the distributor kits stop flying off the shelves, are there going to be any more big checks?
Well Excel never lasted long enough to find out. When telecom deregulation hit full stride, the competition totally gutted the profitability of Excels market and they went down like a ton of bricks. The company declared bankruptcy so they did not have to pay their MLM distributors and then reorganized as a straight retail company (bad karma there boys).
Now you may be wondering why all this dialogue about Excel when I am doing a review on FHTM?
Well obviously once you have made the big bucks in network marketing in a particular market niche using a particular business plan you kind of get hooked.
FHTM uses many telecom products just as Excel did and also uses a coded bonus program to pay distributors.
So the big issue here is not whether you can make money in Fortune Hi-Tech today, because many people are, but how long is the money tree going to last?
Well I guess only time will tell.
Now a few other tidbits here on FHTM.
Distributors who join, quickly find out that to achieve many of the bonus levels they have to actually generate some customers ( personally I really hate having to find customers to get paid) but they do allow you to sign up for your own product services through FHTM to qualify at least for the first round of commissions.
Now the FHTM products cover a really broad range
FHTM Health & Beauty Products
Now in case you don’t know this, cosmetics and skin care are of course products with a huge markup and its good they included this product category since it will help to keep the company profitable and there are great margins in this area.
Home security, Identity theft, water filters (Shades of NSA) and others
FHTM Entertainment Products
The big dog in this is of course Dish Network Service but Fortune Hi-Tech also has some filler products such as entertainment discounts etc.
FHTM Communications Products
Long distance, wireless, high speed internet, etc
Now generally when a company has a broad product range in network marketing it can kind of stall out new distributors because there are too many products to focus on, and they don’t know what to promote, but Fortune Hi-Tech has positioned this all under their middleman concept so it seems to work.
So what’s in the future for this company?
Thumbs up? Thumbs down?
Well obviously Fortune Hi-Tech appears to be a legitimate MLM company with an aggressive comp plan, but personally I would not join them but that’s just because of my personal preferences in the MLM industry.
The Coded Bonus structure used by FHTM is in my opinion, an attempt to create more income on the front end of a standard MLM business model (As opposed to a Top Tier MLM business model) to accelerate growth and provide an environment were people can earn money quickly.
The longevity of an MLM distributor is largely determined by how quickly they can make money. Personally I feel that a better solution to this problem is not to slice and dice the small fees paid by new distributors when they sign up but rather to use an entirely different business model that was actually designed to provide much bigger bonuses on the front end like Top Tier MLM’s such as Wealthmasters International or use a Hybrid Top Tier business model such as Empower Network does.
One of the biggest flaws of the Standard MLM business model is time. It can take you years to generate a nice $10,000/ month income stream but it can be gone in a heartbeat if the company makes mistakes. With the Top Tier MLM business models you can earn the big money today and bank it today so your business risk is lower.
Also in my opinion, I think there can be some basic flaws in using this product type (core products are all pretty much technology products) long term to achieve MLM success.
Also I am not sure of the long term success of the comp plan as I mentioned earlier in the article, and as far as growth dynamics, FHTM is a little mature for a standard MLM company (10 years).
However personal opinion aside, you can’t argue with success, Fortune Hi-Tech has some great growth going on and there are a lot of people making money.
So I guess your question would be, should you join them and go for it?
Well of course nothing if for certain in business, however based on their current track record FHTM could be a long team winner if they manage the process properly.
However some general warnings here. If you are going to jump in, you need to use a build fast strategy using an online marketing approach.
Now be aware, FHTM is one of a handful of MLM companies out there today that really do not like online MLM marketing very much. Their marketing philosophy is stuck in the last century and they really push new reps to promote only person to person marketing.
However since online marketing systems such as My Lead System Pro are generic and you do not ever mention the company name they really have no say in how you generate leads as long as you do it the right way.
One final note here is to remember the advice I gave at the very end of the company review I did on MonaVie, (MonaVie Review Update – Up the Superjuice Creek Without a Paddle?) and if you hit the mark and start raking in money, “bank it”.
There are too many success stories in the world of MLM that hit it big and figured the “Money Tree” was going to last forever, only to have something derail the success train and leave them clutching their plasma TV’s and other toys muttering in the corner about finding the next big deal.