The Not So Big Picture
I would say there is great potential in MLM, but let me be the first to emphasize POTENTIAL. You only need to do a simple search on the internet on MLM or Network Marketing to find that 99% of the websites listed are dedicated to bashing the industry.
By and large most of the people who have taken the time to disclose their disgruntlement do have some grounds to be bitter. As great as an opportunity it is in MLM, it is also a highly unprofessional industry. If there were as many doctors as dubious as some 'MLM professionals' there would be a lot more sick people in the world today.
As an entrepreneur and MLM professional such a responsibility must now be shouldered by you. And by and large the individual, who has kept it simple, worked the business properly and diligently has tasted long term success. I am living proof of that.
The Big Picture
I believe there is tremendous growth for MLM. For the third straight year, from 2000 - 2003, retailing giant Wal-Mart has been named No. 1 on the Fortune 500 list of America's largest companies with sales of USD 256 Billion for 2003. The entire MLM industry accounts for about USD 25 Billion per year or about Wal-Mart's one month's sales.
It used to be that the price of a product comprised 70% for production and 30% for distribution. Today, it is closer to the flip side of this; 30% for production and 70% for distribution. Apart from their in-house brands, Wal-Mart distributes goods, not manufacture them. Amazon.com distributes books and other items, they don't make anything. Today with the price of a product largely comprised of distribution costs; more and more products are increasingly feasible to sell thru MLM. The money to be made in today's world is in distribution, not production.
Granted, when you measure an entire industry to just one company, the success of MLM has been rather humdrum. For over 60 years, MLM has provided an extra source of income or a living for millions of people and I believe this industry is just getting started.
MLM has begun to enter into the two biggest markets; India and China . How does one begin to calculate the growth of 'Network' Marketing in these two countries that account for 35% of the global population?