Network marketing is one of the hottest retail industries out there. It functions on the idea that you sell products to people who in turn sell to other people who sell to other people . . . and so on. Network marketing programs feature a minimal upfront investment--usually a few hundred dollars or less for the purchase of a product sample kit--which gives you the opportunity to sell the product line directly to family, friends and other contacts. Most network programs also ask that you recruit other sales reps--those same family members, friends and acquaintances. These sales rep recruits constitute your 'downline,' and their sales generate income for you. Then whoever they recruit becomes part of their downline as well as yours, generating income for them as well as for you. So the more people you bring on board, the better your income potential. If you're a sales-savvy type who can convince others of the beauty of this plan and keep them selling sales memberships (as well as products), you can earn a substantial amount of money. And you've got lots of network marketing plans to choose from. The most popular sell health supplements and beauty aids, but you can go with everything from long-distance phone services to fine art prints. The advantages to this business are that start-up costs are minimal, hours are flexible, you can start part-time, and you can work from home. About the only thing you need in this business is a sense of salesmanship. If you've got a background in sales, you're ahead of the game, but if not, you can still succeed. Just make sure you believe in the products and the company you're working with. Honest enthusiasm goes a long way toward convincing others to buy.