Click here to order the June 2013 issue in which this article appeared.
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. Direct Selling News Magazine
The DSN Global 100 is an annual ranking produced by Direct Selling News magazine. DSN’s reputation for positive reporting has made it a trusted journalistic resource for the direct selling industry. Since 2004, the magazine has been dedicated to relating positive stories of direct selling companies, including the opportunities provided to millions of independent business owners, the products and services that have helped to change the lives of consumers, and the enormous heart of industry members who consistently reach out to those in need. DSN’s monthly print version and website (directsellingnews.com) provide comprehensive coverage of the global direct selling industry.
2. Why the Global 100?
DSN created the Global 100 list to acknowledge the achievements of direct selling companies and to provide a clear picture of the magnitude of the industry. Just as every credible industry ranks its players—through Inc. 500, FORTUNE 500, and Forbes’ lists—DSN wanted to show the public what a viable and credible industry direct selling is. The positive outcome of the ranking is not found in the revenue numbers alone. What the ranking truly reveals about the direct selling channel of distribution is that it is an industry built on the strength of established companies, the promise of newer companies and the depth of products and services offered by millions of people worldwide—making it a truly global experience.
3. About the Ranking
The DSN Global 100 list offers a unique perspective on the global impact the industry has on economic and social levels. It provides a scope of mutual learning not only for industry members, but also for researchers, investors and most importantly, those seeking opportunities within the industry. When DSN began the ranking in 2010, it was committed to creating a fair ranking that would showcase a much more transparent industry, thus providing credibility and consumer confidence as well as research support for those desiring information on direct selling companies, both collectively and individually. The ranking is announced in April at the DSN Global 100 Celebration, with the list finalized in the following weeks for publication in the magazine.
4. The Research Process
The identification of the companies to include in the DSN Global 100 list is the culmination of countless hours of research and the cooperation of many individuals across all continents. The DSN team seeks out public records and documents on the public companies. Additionally, the team reaches out to the private companies that may qualify for the ranking. Research begins in December and continues through to the publication of the Global 100 list. DSN extends its appreciation to all constituents from around the globe who participate in this endeavor. Each year, DSN has been able to extend the boundaries of the research to uncover and include more and more direct selling companies.
5. Publicly/Privately Held Companies
Publicly held companies form the backbone of the DSN Global 100 ranking. They are inspiring examples of the strength of the business model, showing what can be accomplished through the direct selling channel of distribution in even the most challenging of times. Nearly four-fifths of the DSN Global 100 data is derived from privately held companies. When these companies submit their information, they enhance the value of the industry’s strategic objective to showcase a much more transparent business model. These companies could have chosen not to participate; however, their cooperative spirit, which so exemplifies this unique industry, made the Global 100 ranking possible.
6. Revenue Number
To participate in the DSN Global 100, a company need only submit a revenue number validated by the CEO and certified by a qualifed agent (see No. 7). DSN does not request confidential financial documents. DSN respects the financial privacy of all direct selling companies, asking that a company only reveal the annual revenue number that will allow it to be placed in the ranking.
7. The RCF
In an effort to further ensure the integrity of the Global 100 list, DSN instituted the Revenue Certification Form, or RCF. The RCF requires all companies to have the revenue number validated by the CEO and certified by a qualified agent (either at the applicant company or an outside independent source). Having all companies adhere to a single standard allows for a fully accurate view of the entire industry. DSN believes any company performing in a manner warranting identification and recognition as one of the Global 100 companies would proudly share its revenue number in a manner deemed fair to all.
The information requested on the RCF is for net sales revenue before commissions and without value-added tax (VAT). The VAT, from DSN’s perspective, is certainly an integral part of the salesperson’s life. However, it is not a part of the corporate revenue. Since VAT varies from company to company, it seemed quite unfair to use it. For instance, VAT can be as high as 25 percent, and to add such a number would distort the company’s actual sales performance. To produce a fair ranking, the VAT is deducted, thereby focusing all numbers on the revenue associated directly with products and services sold. Revenue reported from U.S.-based companies does not include sales tax or VAT from global operations.
9. Number of Salespeople
Each DSN Global 100 profile includes an entry for the number of salespeople within the organization. DSN does not verify this number. Each company is given the opportunity to state its salesforce in the way that best reflects its operations. While the collective number of salespeople within our Global 100 is over 37 million, we recognize that it may not reflect only active salespeople; in fact, it may reflect a combination of active, non-active and seasonal representatives.
There are both nationally and internationally based companies worthy of recognition in the DSN Global 100 ranking that do not appear on the list. If you do not see a specific company it could be that (1) the company was contacted but declined to participate, (2) the company did not respond to requests, or (3) the company did not submit information in time. DSN strives to develop contacts in order to obtain and verify information for the Global 100 list. Each year, new companies come onto the radar screen and every attempt is made to connect with them. DSN looks forward to welcoming new companies to the Global 100 family, including many overseas companies that have recently become aware of the ranking and have contacted the magazine about participating next year.