A few years ago, I would never have considered starting a home-based network marketing business. I had a successful corporate career and always had the impression that network marketing was something that “other people” did when they didn’t have any other good options to pursue. I’m ashamed to admit that I thought most network marketers were shady characters and somehow involved in a pyramid scheme.

It wasn’t until an acquaintance of mine (a very successful, intelligent and ethical person) introduced me to a network marketing company that she had been involved in for several years. I knew that she had been very successful in her business, and I started to explore network marketing with a more open mind. I decided to do the research and find out for myself exactly what was involved in network marketing…the good, the bad, and everything in between.

During my research period I read everything I could get my hands on pertaining to network marketing, determined to find out all the bad things about this business so I could tell myself that this was not something to pursue. Now, I certainly did find my share of negative reviews and reasons not go get involved; however, I also found a lot of positive information about network marketing companies, and started learning about the benefits of running a successful home-based network marketing business.

Like any other business opportunity, I learned that it is critical to take the time to research and evaluate the company you are looking to get involved with. Read reviews, talk to people that are currently involved, talk to people who have been involved and then left, and ultimately decide for yourself if it is something you want to invest the time and effort into. For those interested in network marketing, I learned a couple of key questions to ask when investigating a network marketing company that I hope will be of help to anyone considering getting starting with network marketing:

1) How long has the company been around? If they have been around for less than 5 years, this may be a red flag. You want to make sure the company has a strong history, good reputation and solid infrastructure so they can afford to pay you the commissions you earn. Read about the company’s history and track record with the Better Business Bureau if possible.

2) How much inventory do you have to carry on hand to be successful? Ideally the answer to this is NONE. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in storing inventory at my house to re-sell to others. Not all companies who require inventory are bad, but do your homework and decide if this is something you are willing to get into.

3) Can I be just as successful as the first people who joined the company? Some companies have a “first in wins, last in loses” structure where you can never be as successful as the person who recruited you into the company. Personally, I want to have just as much chance to succeed as the first guy did. Investigate the company’s structure and compensation plan to get a full understanding of how they work and the maximum level of opportunity.

4) What kind of training and resources are offered by your sponsor? You don’t want to join a network marketing company and then get abandoned…your sponsor should have tools and resource in place to develop, motivate and encourage you.

5) How much will it cost to join and get your business started? Ideally the startup costs should be low and the financial risk minimal. Beware if a company requires large inventory purchases up front or high fees to join. Explore the business model and understand how and when you will get paid, bonus opportunities, and everything in between.

These are just a few of many questions that are important to ask when considering network marketing, and hopefully these will be helpful to anyone looking to get involved in network marketing. The bottom line is to do your homework and fully understand all the aspects of the company you are interested in. Then you will be prepared to make an informed decision and hopefully on your way to network marketing success!

Author's Bio: 

Kara Rosner is an internet marketing entrepreneur with two home-based businesses. Her main focus is helping struggling network marketers achieve success through online marketing, regardless of their experience level. Kara provides coaching and mentoring to motivated entrepreneurs who are serious about creating wealth from home. She invites you to discover the strategies to supercharge your network marketing business in the next 90 days!