Considering going into business for yourself? We have all the tips you need to start a successful event planning company of your own!
What do Apple, Hershey Chocolate, and the Ford Motor Company have in common? They all started out as home-based businesses!
Home-based businesses are an important sector of the Australian business community, with over a million people operating a business at or from home.
It is estimated that over two thirds of all small businesses are home based.
These businesses can vary hugely from care services to calligraphy, desktop publishing to doggy fashion, and personal shopping to party plan plus a host of online businesses.
The fact is that today’s technology and telecommunications mean that there are very few businesses that can’t be home-based, so the world is the entrepreneur’s oyster!
Have no idea where to start? Award-winning home-based business owner and author of “The Ideas Book: 175+ Great Home Based Business Ideas”, Sophie Andrews, is here to help!
“Over the years what I’ve found is that while many people want to get out of the rat race and be self-employed, insufficient knowledge, ideas, information or just confidence in your own ability to run a business means that most of the time, the leap just looks too great to make”, says Sophie.
“The Ideas Book aims to provide people with a basic understanding of each type of listed business, to help them find one that is the perfect fit for their personality, interests, circumstance, and budget. The books also give people enough basic information about the realities of running a business that they’ll feel more prepared and confident to make the transition”.
One such idea you may like to think about is Party Plan. Australian and international companies like PASH Parties, Tupperware and Avon have created a direct selling market in Australia alone of over $1.3billion, made up of companies comprising thousands of home based, self employed party planners, also known as “agents” or “consultants”.
A party plan business is a marketing system involving agents who host parties in order to sell products. You can either become a party plan agent and sell a wide range of goods to your family, friends and associates or you can set up your own party business and have agents working for you.
This first is a great way to make money part-time while you are still employed, or to make extra money if you are a stay-at-home mum. However, if you want to make more money and start a full-time home based business, then establish¬ing your own party plan business is the way to go. There are many dif¬ferent kinds of products that can be sold this way including jewellery, kitchenware, perfumes, designer clothing, accessories, books, DVDs, CDs, underwear, cosmetics, giftware and kids educational products.
Before you get started, decide whether you want to become an agent or set up your own business. If you want to become an agent, choose a product or products that you think you would enjoy selling and enrol with the business that sells them. You will be given basic training and a starter pack of demonstration products which you will have to pay for. You will be encouraged to make a list of people you know and shown how to plan a party, demonstrate your products and take orders. You will probably earn a straight commission on your sales and may be given free products if you reach a specific target.
If you want to set up your own party plan business, it might be a good idea to start off as an agent to gain experience and an understanding of how this type of business works. It will also give you good insight into the challenges faced by agents.
Before you begin, do some research to find a reason¬ably priced supplier of goods you think will sell well and that your agents will enjoy selling. Try to find new, talented young fashion or jewellery designers and amazing new products being made by stay at home mums or small businesses. Go to craft markets and trade fairs. Scout for potential suppliers who would benefit greatly from market¬ing their products in this way.
Put together a pricing structure for each product, with mark ups to cover your costs (delivery charges, printing and advertising costs), agents commission, plus your profit margin. Create a catalogue and price list and get it printed. Place adverts in local newspapers or business opportunity magazines, calling for agents to sell your products. Interview each applicant and select those who have excellent references, are well groomed, friendly, confident and seem reliable, honest and enthusiastic.
Make sure you only select one agent in a given geographical area. Provide them with basic train¬ing on how to sell your products and organise their parties and dem¬onstrations. Have order forms printed and think of creative incentive schemes to boost sales and keep your agents happy.
As your business grows, host regular get-togethers, training seminars and prize givings to make your agents feel valued and a part of your business. Your agents are after all the backbone of your business.
“The Ideas Book” eGuides are available online at www.theideasbook.com.au for $19.95 per volume. “The Ideas Book: Build A Brilliant Bookkeeping Business”, $26.95.