I get this question - and dozens of variations of it - almost every day. "How do I know your company is the best?" "How do I know it's not a scam?" "How can I convince people to join when I'm so new, I don't know anything about it myself?"
There are dozens of opportunities out there - some legit and some not. Many of them promise to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams - overnight, while you sleep, with no effort on your part. That's usually a dead giveaway that it's not a good choice. Those companies will lead you to the first stumbling block in network marketing disaster - failure to build a downline. People that get involved with these types of "opportunities" have the "get-rich-quick" mentality that makes them highly unlikely to commit to your team long-term. They will bail after the first few months of minimal income (my first check from one of these was a whopping 84 cents and I never made more than $20 dollars a month the entire time I was involved - which was before I learned the facts about network marketing). Or once they discover that in order to actually make "real" money you have to either invest some money of your own or actually put in some "real" work, they will be gone to the next flashy promise.
So the first sign of a good network marketing business is one that lets you know up front that money can be made - if you are willing to do the work. By the way, don't confuse a bad associate with a bad company. Unfortunately, there are perfectly great companies misrepresented by associates who will promise you anything to get you on their team. Don't take the word of the person recruiting you unless you know and trust them. Check out the company for yourself and see what they actually promise.
Second, look at the compensation plan. Can you actually build a team and customer base big enough to make some money? How many levels down will you be paid commission on? Are there breakaways (a team member promotes to the same level as you or higher and leaves to start his own downline, taking everyone he has recruited so far with him). Do you have to buy products yourself or hit a certain quota to get paid? The first company I joined had great products and a stellar reputation. But you had to have a huge downline or tons of customers to make any money. Still not a problem except for one thing. You were not allowed to mention the company name in any promotional material until the prospect asked for more information. And you were not allowed to use any type of capture or squeeze pages to build a contact list. So how were you supposed to build your business? Door-to-door, in-home parties, and hounding everyone you knew. Plus you had to purchase a certain amount of product yourself each month to get a check. No thanks. I'd rather have a job. Lots less hassle!
Third, check out the support and training. Is there actual training? Do you have the phone numbers of your upline sponsor and perhaps his sponsor and maybe even two or three more people above him? Is there promotional material available - either free or at an affordable cost? Is your upline willing to assist you while you begin to build your customer base and downline?
Last, but most important, look at the product. All of the above is meaningless if you're selling a product that you don't believe in. That's what you want to focus on. Selling the product. If you focus on just building a downline, once you run out of friends and family to recruit, how are you going to continue to grow? Selling the product provides you with a ready-made list of prospects for your business. That's how I got involved many years ago with a company called Melaleuca. I loved the products and used them regularly. I STILL use them. So when my salesperson asked if I'd like to know more about the business opportunity, it was an easy decision. The product sales are where the money comes from. So unless you're planning to buy a whole bunch of whatever it is yourself, you'd better have some customers. The biggest downline in the world is useless if the company isn't making enough sales to pay you.
Now you know what to look for. The choice is yours. Simply look at the companies that interest you and run them through this checklist. Then choose the one that best meets your needs.