5 Key Research Points before joining a Network Marketing Company

If you are investigating joining a Network Marketing company, check out these 5 points of research to do and questions to ask BEFORE you say yes.

Knowing these answers will help you have clarity about the industry and the company you are looking at, it will give you a realistic idea on what you will need to do to make money, and if this is a good business decision for you to make.

1.)   Do you LOVE the products or service you will represent? 

Are these products or services something you would use even if you do not become involved in the business end?

Your enthusiasm and product review will add relevance to how you communicate about your product or service. Are already crazy for skin care, a work out maniac, drink green smoothies everyday, or take supplements? Then adding a NM company that mirrors those products will naturally make sense, to who you already are. The company’s products become an extension your authentic self. People already know you as a person, who values the product the NM company represents.

2.)    List of questions to answer before you say Yes.

When you are looking to join a Network Marketing company put on your skeptical hat. I suggest that you use Google to do your research.

How long has the company been in business?

What experience does the executive team have? What type of business have they run before? What type of success have they had in those businesses? How long were they involved in their other ventures? You are checking to see if they are one hit wonders, easily distracted by shiny objects, or have built sound businesses in the past. Check if there have been bankruptcies of other NM companies or if they have ever had an NM shut down.

Be aware that almost every NM company will have a blog pop up at the top of a google search saying negative reviews. Use your judgement and do research about the company, the products, and the executive team. Don’t let one bad apple spoil a bunch. Be thorough in your investigation. I typically go through 2-3 pages and see what comes up.

Is the product line exclusive? In NM they call this Barrier-of-Entry.  Is this a product that is sold in Costco, Target, the mall or by other NM company’s? Will your customers be able to get this product through other sources, at better prices? You want an exclusive product or service that will compete well in the market.

Make sure the NM company represents a product or service and that the company values customers and customer acquisition. The company needs to have customers and to reward activities that bring more customers. NM companies are shut down because they do not have customers, this is where the “pyramid scheme” issue arises. Legal and ethical companies sell a product or service that people want and would buy even if it was in Costco, Target or the mall.

What type of training and resources are available for you to use to build your business? Does the company have a replicate website for you to use? Does the website cost money each month to upkeep? Are their resources available for you? What are their flyers, videos, power points, and do they have a cost?

Is it an International company? How do they support business owners and customers in those countries? Do they have international marketing materials or videos for use?

Is the person who wants to enroll you had success in NM? Do they have the time to support you in starting your business? Are they available to you when you will be working on your business? Have they helped others be successful in their NM company?

How do you get paid? Typically, NM companies’ compensation plans take a PhD to understand, but get information on how you will earn your investment back. How many customers do you need to get? How much are you paid per customer? If I do ___, I earn ___.

3.)  Are you willing to fail? 

I am going to use some broad strokes here. Typically, when people are asked to join a NM they are told success stories. You may be put on the phone with someone who is similar to you and has been very successful. These are called 3-way calls in NM. Yes, there are people who are successful in NM, yes you can make a very solid part-time or full-time income in this industry. But it will take work. Do not be disillusioned by fast money. It is a learning curve to become a professional in this industry. But honestly, isn’t that the truth about all jobs and careers? Doesn’t it take time to become proficient. NM is the same.

People will tell you no; people will not like your product or service, and you will try things that will  be unsuccessful. I can guarantee this 100%. Are you willing to keep trying?

You will need to set up realistic time frame to earn your investment back and begin building a customer base for your business. All entrepreneurship is peppered with peaks and valleys. Every small or large business owner, in every industry, will tell you they failed on their way to success. It is just a fact. NM is not any different.  Are you willing to fail?

4.)  Are you willing to stay the course for 1-5 years in your business? 

NM will take time to build. The financial benefit of this type of business is residual income.

It will take you 1-5 years to build residual income and learn how to become successful in this industry and those numbers are contingent on the time investment and consistency you apply to your business. This piece is intrinsically tied into your ability to manage any failures you will have along the way and your discipline to run your own business. For some folks, it will go faster, and for others it will go slower.

Is this something that you could love to do, as you learn to do it? You do not have a boss here, no one is watching if you are working. Self-discipline and a positive mind-set are the fundamentals to success in NM. Being patient in the learning curve and being willing to stay the course is valuable. You can shorten or lengthen this time frame and how much you will earn by how much time you invest in your business.

Is this the right business decision for you?

5.)  Are you willing to work this like a job?

Have you ever owned your own business, been commission only sales or been in NM before? Do you know how to run your own business? Joining an NM company is becoming an entrepreneur. Do you know how to run your own business? And if you don’t, are you interesting in being coached or to learning  the skills you will need?

NM is your own business. Because you own it, you will set the hours and time you want to invest into its growth. If you love the product or service you are representing, then it will be a natural extension of what already interests you. But, just like any work, there will be parts you will not enjoy doing. As an entrepreneur you can either outsource these or be disciplined to get them done. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns.

When you first join NM you will invest your time into your new business. Most people exchange their time directly for money, as hourly or salaried workers. Being an entrepreneur is different it is not a direct time for money equation. Especially at the beginning, you will invest time, and not receive big financial reward. It’s not a “get rich quick” type of business. It’s a learn how to do it, try, fail, try, fail, win, get paid business.

Do your research, and take into consideration if this industry is a good fit for you and if I can be useful to answer any questions or direct you to resources, I look forward to the connection. Sign up for my newsletter to continue to get weekly tips from me.



  1. Hello Krista
    How are you?
    MLM is something that is very tough for us.
    It is unlikely that we will join MLM.
    The points that you have shared are definitely very good, for anyone wanting to join MLM.
    Are you into MLM?
    Have a good day.
    Vee N Ric

  2. Hi Vee N Ric,

    I am grateful you thought the research points have value. I am involved in a NM, (Nerium) currently and its been a good fit for me. I have been an entrepreneur for many years, outside of the NM industry, so my expectations were realistic when I joined. There are tabs on my blog about the company and if you ever want resources to investigate the industry before joining into something I can help.

    Krista Kelly

  3. This is the 5th blog I’ve read on MLM this week. Im in a partnership online business of our handcrafted jewelry. I’m sure I would have found an MLM that appealed to me had I not started my own business. Over the years I saw too many people grab onto the ‘hot’ drink & tried selling it, or some other product & they gave up in a few months. You are evidence it can work if done properly.

  4. Christy

    Very true; nearly all sales jobs are MLM to some extent. Be prepared to work at anything if you want to be successful. People need to read that part over and over and over again. Maybe they should read it every single day. Thanks for sharing.

  5. You nailed it.. and one that many won’t consider is working it like their FT job.. it becomes a hobby or something that many may feel it will sell itself or do the work for them, and well, it just doesn’t.

    Other thing, while I may not be the target market, I have to love the product and be willing to buy into it.. otherwise, nope!

  6. Great points about what it really takes to run a business. I had to laugh when I read the part about checking into companies success records. . .one hit wonders or distracted by shiny objects. Good thing to know! :)

  7. Really great points. Having done some network marketing in the past, I find that when people are passionate about what they are selling it makes it so much more. But the relationship building that takes place when growing a team is almost more important than the actual selling.
    Great post!

  8. You are right, NM is hard work, as I mentioned in my blog this week. It’s certainly not for everyone, but for those for whom it is a good fit, it can be very rewarding.

  9. I’ve been reading a lot about MLM tonight. You make really great point. All the ones that I joined since 18, I never used the products before joining and kind of did it to please someone. People can be so passionate about something that they forget that they are dealing with real people. I just wish they would tell you the truth from the beginning instead of talking about bonus $$$ and free vacations.

  10. Indira Pierrot

    I am involved in a NM company purely for the makeup for my personal use. It is nice to know that there is an option to do more if I change my mind one day. You bring up great points!

  11. I cannot imagine myself going into network marketing, but I know people have great success with it. I love your list, including the due diligence on the company. Always be prepared. And your point about making quick money…hahaha! Anyone who goes into business — network marketing or any other type — expecting to get rich quick needs to have their head examined. As you point out, you’ve got to do the work and stay the course. Great post.

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