The Future of MLM: What Will Happen to the MLM Industry?

Today, I want to talk about the future of MLM, as I see it. I should start out by stating that I am a big advocate for the network marketing industry. I love the industry. It is my chosen profession, my calling in life. The industry is still growing every year and millions of people around the globe participate in our business model.

The Future of MLM

The Future of MLM: My Perspective

I think the future of MLM is very good, especially in this tough economy. More and more people are realizing that finding and keeping a good job is hard to do. People realize that there are fewer GOOD jobs to go around and even more people to compete with for those jobs.

In addition, more and more of the high paying jobs are going away and many people are under-employed, only making a fraction of what they should be making. As a result, more and more people are open-minded to non-conventional ways of making a living (other than a job). They’re looking at different business models to find out what their options are.

Some of those business models include traditional businesses, online businesses such as eBay, affiliate marketing, freelancing, blogging, and network marketing,

Because of our low-cost barrier to entry, many people who want to start a traditional business, but can’t afford it, are turning to the network marketing industry to pursue their dreams. In addition, many people don’t want the headaches of a traditional business (employees, large inventory, large monthly overhead, large start-up costs), so they see network marketing as a good alternative.

Unfortunately, we’re also attracting a lot of unemployed folks and financially destitute folks who are looking for magic dust to get them out of their bad financial situation. These are the folks who will try out our industry for 30 to 90-days and then say they were scammed because they didn’t make millions of dollars in a few months.

I think that MLM will continue to grow in 2020 and beyond. Even with the high failure rates, negative stuff on the internet, and the large number of new companies entering the network marketing world, we will continue to grow.

For most people there aren’t a lot of good alternatives. Even if you have a good education and lots of work experience, it’s still hard to find work that pays you a decent wage and offers good benefits. In addition, many people are tired of hopping from job to job, having long commutes and working in jobs that do not fulfill them.

Many people value the cottage industry; the ability to work from home. I can’t speak for you, but I wouldn’t trade my lifestyle for any 9 to 5 job, regardless of how much they paid me. As a home-based entrepreneur, my quality of life is 10x better than it was when I was an employee. No commute, no boss, work in my pajamas, wake up when I want to, etc.

While franchises and traditional businesses sound sexy on paper, most people do not have the working capital to get started. Nor, do they want to slave away at a business for 80 to 100 hours per week for several years before they recoup their initial investment and turn a profit. This leaves them with very few choices, other than network marketing and several other home-based businesses.

Here’s the question you need to ask yourself.

What other business model offers leverage without employees or money, residual income, low start-up costs, no need for employees, have a free mentor, work from home, start out part-time, and have no financial risk?

If you can name even one other business model that offers all of these things, please tell me more about it in the comments section. I’d love to know about it.

Everyone Needs a Side Hustle

How MLM Will Change & Evolve in the Future

Nothing stays the same forever. Things are constantly changing and evolving. MLM is no different.

While technology is constantly changing and improving, MLM will continue to be a people business. Success will boil down to the number of quality relationships you can build and maintain.

In the years to come, the biggest struggle in our industry will be people thinking they can replace relationships and connections with technology. While you can leverage technology to build your business and work smart, the personal touch is the glue that will keep it together.

Why? Because consumers have more choices than ever. They can order anything they want on their Smart Phone in just a few minutes and have it at their doorstep within 48 to 72-hours.

What consumers are missing and want is a sense of belonging and purpose. People want to be appreciated, recognized and be part of something bigger and greater than themselves. People want to be connected to other people they like, know and trust.

The successful network marketers of the future will be the people who can leverage technology AND the personal touch effectively.

What Others Are Saying

The future with network marketing business is strong and should be considered as serious career and earning opportunity. Network Marketing is a business in which we don’t invest money but we invest time. The industry that has created maximum millionaires in world. ~ Your


The recent downfall in the economy has more and more people opting in for MLM businesses.

Especially in developing countries, a lot of people are very interested in MLM and want to be a part of it.

Considering the fact that it allows you to be independent, a lot of people are attracted to this prospect.

As long as you make sure that you know about the goods and services the company offers and are sure that it is not a scam, MLM business will grow huge in the near future, especially since the demand for good quality products are increasing and people are craving more independence in their careers more than ever before. ~

Final Thoughts

In summary, the future of MLM is very good. I think so anyway.

MLM will continue to grow in the years to come. Some people will earn huge fortunes in our industry, many others will supplement or replace their income, and most will earn little to nothing. Don’t let that scare you off though. The opportunity to succeed is there if you embrace it and get to work!

This industry is a gift. Treat it accordingly.

What are your thoughts? Tell me what you think about the future of MLM! Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

Suggested Reading
  1. The Status of the Network Marketing Industry
  2. The Best Free MLM Company to Join
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  4. 34 Ways to Get MLM Leads
  5. Passive Lead Generation Strategies
chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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49 thoughts on “The Future of MLM: What Will Happen to the MLM Industry?”

  1. I agree with some of the posters here that traditional companies need to adapt. Unfortunately, people are always under the impression that what worked yesterday will work forever and ever. I read an article that stated there were more distributors coming into the network marketing arena, but the number of customers was staying stagnant. That is a definite sign that things need to change. But I don’t think MLM is going anywhere it still represents the possibility of dreams being achieved.

  2. Since our economy is so bad, I don’t see the industry taking a big hit. Many folks are hungry for an opportunity since it’s so hard to find a good job and keep one. I do admit that the internet has really tainted the industry, but many folks are still receptive if you paint the picture for them.

  3. Hopefully, this industry will get shut down by the FTC in the future. Any industry that requires 90% or more of the people to fail for a few to make it big is a PONZI scheme.

    1. I’m sorry to feel you hear that way, Lenny. It sounds like you had a bad experience in the industry. I agree that many distributors do lose money, but it’s a proven fact that 9 out of 10 businesses fail in EVERY industry, so the numbers are no different.

  4. You make some excellent points, Chuck. I don’t think MLM itself is going away any time soon, but it sure has changed in recent years. Companies need to learn how to adapt with all the changes in the internet. Otherwise, they will get left behind.

  5. I think the future of MLM in America is still dying a slow death, but it is growing in popularity in many other countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. So even if you struggle building a team in the USA, it’s possible to do it overseas.

    1. Very good point, Francine. Many distributors from some of the biggest companies (Amway, Nu Skin, Herbalife) focus most of their efforts on building their business overseas.

  6. I’ve been in the industry for more than 30 years now and it has had its ups and downs. That is normal for any industry. Cycles go up and down. I don’t see the industry going away any time soon. I do believe that the internet has made it harder to get customers and sponsor distributors because anyone can purchase the products they want on Amazon or eBay for a cheaper price than you can sell it to them for.

  7. Great post. I can definitely see a shift to the big ticket programs. Making a few bucks per person on your team simply doesn’t cut it. When you have to have a team of several hundred people to make a couple grand per month, it’s just too much work. You could make more money in part-time job for the number of hours you invest. The big ticket programs let you make $500 or more per sale, and sometimes several thousand dollars per sale.

  8. The future of network marketing will be a lot like the past. Some companies will come and go. Others will thrive. New companies will launch. Successful companies need a good, unique product line that people want, and at a fair price. I can see the weight loss and beauty industries thriving for many years to come.

  9. I can see the industry growing and becoming popular in every country in the world. Wouldn’t that be great if people in third world countries had the opportunity to start their own business at a very low cost, and take control of their own financial future.

  10. I think this is really a great post. When times change you have to adapt. For anyone with a traditional MLM Company with a consumable product or service, I feel your pain. Amazon and eBay have crushed you. Selling your product to others will be very tough to do when they can buy it cheaper online and not be on auto-ship. The sooner you jump to a big ticket item the better off you will be.

      1. From the way the current economy is, I’d say the MLM Industry is in good shape for the future. Most folks realize there is no such thing as job security. Heck, it’s even hard just to get a job. More people are looking to be their own boss, to work from home, and to start a business with a low cost of entry. That makes MLM very appealing.

  11. All I can say is hold on tight. The future of MLM is going to be a roller coaster ride filled with ups and downs. If you love the industry, stick with it and you will make it.

  12. I believe the industry will continue to grow. Let’s face it, there isn’t a lot of opportunities out there in the job market. Many folks are forced into entrepreneurship. And of all the business models out there that I can think of, MLM is hands down the cheapest and easiest one to get involved with.

    1. Good point, Ben. Whenever the economy is down our industry grows leaps and bounds. Many folks are looking for a better way, and for some folks, this is the best thing for them.

  13. MLM will continue for many years to come. Low cost of entry, little overhead, work from home, residual income and many other factors make it very appealing.

  14. I think the future of MLM is as good as ever. The economy sucks. Job security is gone. People are tired of long commutes and bad bosses. The days of working until you are 65 and retiring comfortably are pretty much over. As I see it, MLM is the only real option for a lot of folks.

  15. I don’t think the future of MLM is going downhill. Yes, the internet has changed things, but the best companies will find ways to adapt and stand above the crowd. I think that distributors need to develop an online presence but still focus on building relationships.

  16. The internet has definitely hurt the industry. I think few people will disagree with that. There is so much information and misinformation online that most prospects will end up not joining your team because of something they read online.

    1. I agree with you Derek that there is a lot of bad stuff about our industry online. Even worse, you can buy products on Amazon and eBay for a cheaper price than the distributor price. This makes acquiring customers next to impossible.

  17. With the economy in shambles, I don’t think the future of MLM is bad. More and more people are looking for extra ways to earn money. And they always will be. I do believe the internet has really HURT the industry, but I don’t think it is going away any time soon.

  18. I think the future is very bright. People need a business that is affordable to start, provides residual income, and helps save people money on taxes. Does everyone succeed? Of course not. But it is possible for people who are willing to do whatever it takes.

  19. I’m not sure what the future of the MLM Industry is, but I believe that it won’t be as popular or big as it was in the 1980s and 1990s, before the internet came around and ruined things.

  20. You hit the nail on the head, Chuck! I like your idea about promoting top tier programs. I’ve finally decided to do that myself and for the first time in my five year network marketing career I am actually making money.

  21. I think the future of MLM will shift and more people will start joining top tier companies, just like you talked about Chuck. The days of working hard to build a large team and only earn $1 to $2 per month per person is really just a complete waste of time.

    1. I’m pretty sure this industry will be shut down by the FTC within a few years. To many folks lose money. I think it’s a scam and I can’t wait for the industry to go away.

  22. I agree with you that the MLM Industry is definitely in trouble. The Internet has practically ruined the industry. Distributors will have to get with the times and come up with a new game-plan to grow their business.

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