Work from home mums: party plan tips

A party plan is a good way of earning some extra money and you can get some products at a discounted rate, too.

It’s cheap to get started and you can run a party as soon as your kit arrives, so you can start earning straight away. The company you work for will provide catalogues, posters and invitations for you. Plus you can work hours that fit around your family.

Here are five tips to help you get started as a party plan representative

1. Love the product

It’s an uphill struggle selling something if you don’t totally believe in it. There are many party plan companies out there, some well-known and others less so. Take some time to explore the different products to find one you really love. The Direct Selling Association is a good place to start.

2. Know what you want from the party plan

If you’re looking for £30 here and there to top up your family’s income, then running a party from time to time will usually do the trick. But if you’re looking to get a regular income (say, to replace a job), then you’ll need to be more organised and put in much more effort

3. Check the contract

Party plan companies work in different ways, so make sure you read their terms and conditions carefully.  Things to look out for include:

  • Are you committed to meeting any targets?
  • Do you have to buy your own catalogues and pay for postage? Are there any other costs?
  • What percentage commission will you earn? Will this increase if you hit a target? How easy will it be to hit that target?
  • Work out how much you’re likely to take home from each party – is that what you expected?
  • How much help and advice will your team leader give you? How experienced is he/she?

Most party plans are from reputable companies but be careful as there are a few scams out there. Check out the Direct Selling Association (http://www.dsa.org.uk/) and Business Opportunity Watch (http://www.businessopportunitywatch.com/) for more information.

4. How many other people are selling this product in your area?

It’s easier to get party bookings if people haven’t already been approached by reps working for the same company as you.

Your party plan company may be able to tell you how many reps they already have in your area, but that won’t tell you how active those reps are. For example, if a local rep only does parties on the run up to Christmas, then that’s not going to be a problem for you. If there are already three reps doing several parties a month, then you’d be better off selling for a different company.

Have a look at the places you might find a rep – check school notice boards and fetes, ask around your friends to see if anyone has heard of parties by that company in your area.

Some reps looking for new recruits are quite persuasive, but a little research will give you the facts you need before you sign up.