Family IQ: Expensive family counselling + MLM?
Every family has its problems and often we’ve got no idea how to deal with the problems our families face or even how to approach them.
Counselling can work but often there’s several obstacles that get in the way. Individual schedules, an unwillingness to participate as a family unit, general un-coperativeness and frustration…
…the list could go on forever.
So what if there was a way to at least recognise areas for improvement within your family?
What if there was a way to do it right from your home… and what if it was packaged as a MLM business opportunity?
Today we’re going to take a look at the ‘Family IQ’ MLM opportunity, which claims to have products that do exactly just that.
Family IQ’s mission statement
is to empower individuals and parents to boost their personal, partnering, and parenting abilities as a way to build stronger and more efficient families and relationships.
Founded in 2001 by Mark Hobbins, Family IQ have been apparently retailing their family, personal and parenting solutions for around ten years now.
Back in November last year, Hobbins then decided to team up with Rod Stinson and combine Family IQ’s products with a MLM compensation plan.
Stinson appears to be a MLM marketer who’s been at it for a while now, focusing his efforts on lead generation for various opportunities.
The Family IQ Product Line
Family IQ offer a range of online based products designed to counsel, aid and train people to fix problems they perceive to be in their own lives and that of their loved ones and/or families.
Specifics on the product line tend to be a bit vague however I have found that Family IQ’s products include
- Family IQ assessment test ($1200 retail)
- activity sheets (free to Family IQ members)
- general assessments ($4 retail)
- articles (free to Family IQ members)
- audio mp3s ($10 retail)
- help with creating a family ‘brand’ and ‘logo’ (must hand over your email details to access it, ie. become a lead)
- learning style analysis (no price given)
- online courses ($40 retail)
- parent coaching (no price given)
- seminars ($50 retail)
- workshops ($100 retail)
The Family IQ Compensation Plan
The Family IQ compensation plan combines direct commissions on product sales, a Fast Start Bonuses and a unilevel organisation structure.
Fast Start Bonuses
Within the Family IQ compensation plan are two Fast Start Bonuses made available to all members.
Family IQ’s Daily Fast Start Bonus pays out an immediate $1000 on all sales of the ‘Family Builder Package’ (see ‘Joining Family IQ’ section below).
The Weekly Fast Start Bonus is a direct commission on the sale of the ‘Family Builder Package’ ($1495 retail). With the Family Builder Package basically being an entry way to joining Family IQ as an Independent Business Owner, essentially the weekly fast start bonus pays you for recruiting Family IQ members.
The payouts are $50 on levels 1-3 and $24 on levels 4-9 for a total of $295 on any given leg of your unilevel organisation.
To qualify for the Weekly Fast Start Bonus, members must sell 1 Family Builder Package (or effectively recruit one new member to Family IQ) every 90 days.
Direct Retail Commissions
Family IQ pay out a direct commission on all of their products sold at a retail level (to customers who are not members of Family IQ).
The direct commissions are paid out monthly and vary from product to product up to 50% of the retail price paid (members are paid out the difference between the wholesale price and retail price of a product).
The Unilevel Organisation
In order to pay residual commissions, Family IQ use a ‘unilevel organisation’ structure. What this means is that for each member you recruit to Family IQ, a new arm is started in your unilevel organisation.
Then, as these members recruit their own downlines, your unilevel organisation grows vertically. For each new member you personally recruit to Family IQ, your organisation will also grow one arm vertically.
Unilevel residual commissions are paid out up to nine levels deep within your organisation. The amount of levels deep you are paid out on depends on how many people you’ve recruited to Family IQ, the amount of people they’ve recruited as well as a minimum business volume quota in product sales.
Requiring a maximum of three ‘qualified enrolment legs*‘, unilevel residual commissions are paid out on either three, six or nine generations deep.
- 3 Levels – To qualify you need just one qualified enrolment leg. Payout is a 6% commission on levels 1-3 of your unilevel organisation.
- 6 Levels – To qualify you need 2 qualified enrolment legs. Payout is a 6% commission on levels 1-4 and 5% on levels 5-6 of your unilevel organisation.
- 9 Levels – To qualify you need 3 qualified enrolment legs. Payout is a 6% commission on levels 1-4 and 5% on levels 5-9.
*A ‘qualified enrolment leg’ is any arm in your unilevel organisation that is at least 3 generations deep and generating a monthly minimum of $632 group volume.
Joining Family IQ
Those wishing to join Family IQ in a nutshell have two options, they can join as either a ‘preferred customer’ or ‘Independent Business Operator’.
Whereas usually being a preferred customer means an autoship component + entitlement to retail discounts, being a preferred customer in Family IQ means you essentially join the business.
The Preferred Customer joining option will set you back $179 and comes with no minimum monthly autoship requirement ($79) and entitles you to everything in the compensation plan except the weekly Fast Start Bonus.
Note that with the monthly autoship requirement there is a catch. If you want your residual income (in the form of unilevel monthly commissions), after accumulating $1316 in personal sales volume, preferred customers must maintain a monthly minimum personal sales volume of $79.
This requirement essentially operates as a defacto monthly autoship for preferred customers.
Independent Business Operators
The other option to join Family IQ is to join the company as an Independent Business Operator (IBO).
As an IBO you must purchase either the Family Builder Package for $1495 or the Family Builder Plus Package for $3995.
Now there’s a whopping $2500 price difference between these two options and you’re probably wondering what you additionally get in the Family Builder Plus Package.
The answer? Life Coaching.
Life coaches provide a safe and supportive environment to help their clients achieve unparalleled success and improved effectiveness.
FamilyIQ Life Coaches have expertise in assisting individuals uncover the underlying obstacles and impasses in accomplishing their goals. Maintaining focus and motivation are also a large part of the coaching experience.
Each session will identify roadblocks to success and build skills to overcome those roadblocks. The FamilyIQ Life Coaching Package consists of seven one-on-one coaching sessions with seven subsequent follow up sessions with the chosen life coach.
I’m not sure whether these are online sessions or actual face to face sessions, but given everything else in Family IQ seems to be online based, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if these were just skype like sessions or some such.
Beyond that, both IBO options grant you full access to the Family IQ compensation plan as well as a bunch of Family IQ products.
With an entry point range spanning $179 to a massive $3995, Family IQ appear to be casting their net as far and wide as possible to cater to anyone looking to join the business, regardless of their financial situation.
That said, let’s have a closer look at these options.
As a Preferred Customer, sure you qualify for retail and commissions but with the comparatively low-priced entry point, you get no Family IQ products.
So what’s the problem with that? Well, it means you’re out there trying to sell products you yourself haven’t even tried yet. Products which, unlike consumables, are claiming to have some pretty serious impacts on people’s lives.
With some products topping a $1000 price tag, would you buy a potentially life changing product on the recommendation of someone who they themselves haven’t tried it (but will no doubt tell you how great the product is)?
This essentially means that you’re setting yourself for a pretty steep uphill battle entering Family IQ as a preferred customer. Your next option of course is a huge jump up to $1495.
This I believe is a more accurate representation of what it costs to get started with Family IQ.
Moving up, then you’ve got the Family Builder Plus Package for $3995. As I mentioned earlier, the only difference between the Family Builder and the Plus package is life coaching.
Now my only problem with this is that Family IQ claim these life coaching sessions are done by qualified life coaches.
Qualified by who, the company itself?
Naturally this isn’t an accredited program or course so who knows what training these life coaches undertake.
What I do know is that they most likely paid a hell of a lot of money to gain this ‘qualification’ (which is pretty much useless outside of the Family IQ business) and most definitely earn some sort of payment for each session they complete.
Now I’ve got nothing against these life coaches earning money, I only question their training and the validity of their claimed certification.
As far as the compensation plan goes, no real red flags there so that’s good. The Weekly Fast Start Bonus does directly reward you for recruiting but it’s an entirely optional component of the compensation plan and is directly linked into a product sale.
The generation bonus also does require three levels of recruitment but again it’s entirely optional.
Additionally with self development products like this and the high entry points to join Family IQ, members will really have to push the value of Family IQ’s products.
$3995 and $1495 are simply too high priced entry points to play a recruitment game in my opinion. At those prices you’ve really got to believe in the value of the product or as a marketer you’re simply not going to get anywhere.
And this brings me to my final point of analysis, the value of Family IQ’s products.
Looking at the commissions paid out, it’s easy to see that these entry levels and the products they come with are grossly overpriced.
The Family Builder Package pays out $1000 of $1495 instantly to the member who sells the package, leaving $495 to cover residual commissions and the actual price of producing the products themselves.
As a customer, I want value for my money and knowing that 67% of the money I am paying for a product is being handed over directly in commissions doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in what I’m buying into.
I’d much rather the money I’m paying more accurately reflect the value of what it is I’m purchasing. Unfortunately of course that doesn’t pay out big upfront commissions to Family IQ members and thus we have the problem of evaluating an accurate appraisal of the true value of Family IQ’s product line.
Having been around for 10 years now, there most likely is some benefit to be had in using Family IQ’s product line. That said from a MLM business opportunity prospective, serious consideration will need to be taken in how you’re going to effectively market their apparently overpriced product line.
Doing it on the cheap and joining as a preferred customer won’t work as nobody is going to buy lifestyle products from someone who hasn’t used the product themselves.
If you’ve got a spare few thousand lying around, have a family that needs some help (or you need some help yourself) and think you can market the value in Family IQ’s products then by all means this might be a perfect fit for you.
If even one of those criteria doesn’t describe you however, then you might want to give Family IQ a pass and keep looking elsewhere.