If you ask most small business owners how they market their products or services, they will most likely mention strategies and media like display advertising, trade fairs, local magazines and newspapers, social media, online forums and communities, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, and so on.
But there’s one great marketing strategy that only few people—or no one—will mention. And that’s home parties. Home parties are becoming more and more popular because they provide a great platform for small business owners to market their products at very low costs. Now, let’s go into more detail.
What Exactly is a Home Party?
Well, as the name implies, it’s a party held in someone’s home. But this is one special kind of party because the motive of the host and organizer goes beyond bringing people together to have fun. While catching fun and hanging out with others is part of the picture, the main motive is to market products and services to guests at the party. Still feeling at sea? Let’s bring an example.
If a small business sells jewelries, for instance, and is looking to market its products through home parties, the business makes this known publicly. Volunteer hosts—people who want to host a home party for that business—will get in touch with the business. And both parties agree on a time and date for the party.
Most of the time, the business bears the expenses for the party, such as invitation costs, food and drink, entertainment, and so on. But the host will be responsible for inviting guests to the party. On the date chosen for the party, the stage is set and the party starts when invited guests start showing up.
The theme of the party could be anything. It could be a reunion party between the host and old friends or any other theme. Once the party gets going and people start catching real fun, then the sponsoring business’s products—earrings, necklaces, wristwatches, bracelets, rings, etc., in this case—are announced to the people present. And the direct sales pitch begins.
Guests are enlightened on the various benefits of buying and using the products and are even given the chance to try out the products on themselves to see how beautiful the products look on them. Most of the time, guest are pre-informed about the products, so they are not caught by surprise when the pitching session starts.
Guests who are interested in the jewelry products can purchase them on the spot. And even though not everyone will buy the product right at the party, everyone would have learned about the jewelries and their qualities. This means they can make their purchases later or tell their friends and relatives, too, about the products. And that’s free marketing for the small business sponsoring the home party.
Why are Home Parties Good for Marketing?
Since the home party is set in someone’s home, it promotes a comfortable at homely feel. And usually, all of the attendees are friends or relatives of the host, so everyone feels at ease. This creates a fun and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone present. And the people are more receptive to the sponsor’s marketing message.
In addition, asides the direct sales that will occur at the party, there are also sales leads. Since the sponsor is marketing its products to the attendees, they are able to learn the benefits of the products. They are also able to see, feel, smell, and hear why the sponsor’s products are superior to other similar offers available.
Moreover, home parties end in a win-win for both the host and the sponsoring business. The sponsoring business is able to market its products to potential customers—and even make a good number of sales—while the host is rewarded with a substantial gift for hosting the party.
In addition, some businesses will give the host 10 percent of the total sales from the party either in cash or free merchandise. So, the business markets its products at low cost, and the host catches fun and gets valuable gifts without spending a dime.
How Effective are Home Parties?
According to Entrepreneur.com, home parties now account for over 30 percent of the over $30 billion generated through direct sales in the United States. In 2004, 13.6 million Americans bought goods sold at home parties, and the number keeps increasing each year. And the story is about the same in many other countries.
10 Small Business Opportunities Created by the Home Party Trend
Since home parties started becoming popular, both individuals and businesses are making more money from them. While businesses sell more products by sponsoring home parties, some individuals have made a business out of home parties by charging businesses a fee for hosting home parties in their homes. Other individuals make money by linking businesses looking for home party hosts to individuals looking to host home parties for such businesses.
Home party business opportunities abound. But here are the top 10 business opportunities that have generated the most sales and profits through home parties:
- Candle making
- Skin care/ make-up products
- Pet care products
- Kitchen aids and appliances
- Adult products (sex toys, etc.)
- Arts and crafts