While reading this article: College District Seeks to Help Young Entrepreneurs, it got me thinking about the direct selling industry and the home based business model that might appeal to some teens. There’s nothing like a teen entrepreneur success story that gets everyone excited. In fact, a few direct sales/party plan companies were started by teens and one of them is Origami Owl Living Lockets.
That said, starting a business in direct sales and doing parties to sell products isn’t as easy as some sponsors make it out to be and here’s why: it takes gumption to network especially with strangers, it takes time and commitment to attend networking events so you can meet new people, it costs money to attend networking events, you’ll need to ask people to host parties … these are just a few things you’ll need to do as a party plan consultant.
Initially it’s easy to follow your company model: invite everyone you know to your first launch party and from that party you’ll get at least a few parties booked to get you going. It’s a good start but what happens after everyone you know have hosted for you? There’s only so much jewelry a friend will buy from you until the next season.
Party plan companies are typically non-consumable products i.e. jewelry with a few exceptions that are consumable but you still need to have a marketing plan to market your business once you’ve saturated your friends and family.
As much as I love the idea of teens starting a business with a direct sales/party plan company, I’m not sure how successful they’ll be after 3 months when most people seem to quit the business. I’m not sure how self motivated they’ll be given that, well, when I was 14 I was busy with other priorities as you can imagine with most teens.
Of course, there are always exceptions like Bella who started Origami Owl but keep in mind, the company is managed and run along with her parents and a staff of grown-ups!
But if you’re a teen and want to become an entrepreneur with a direct selling company, here are some tips that could work for you:
Partner with your mom like some moms and their teen daughters are doing. What a fun and great learning experience to work alongside your mom.
There are amazing personal growth and business skills that anyone can learn and greatly benefit from when you partner with a direct sales company. Take advantage of the free learning and tools because these will benefit you no matter what happens with your direct sales business.
Get a great discount on products you love.
Most teens need to earn money right away and it’s not easy to understand the concept of “investing” in their business. If you sign up with a direct sales company, there is a cost to get your starter kit for starters. A typical party plan company kit can range anywhere from $99 to $199, some might be higher or lower.
You’ll need to buy marketing brochures, catalogs, office supplies, and the basics of running a business.
If you’re hosting parties you’ll need to drive which will cost you in gas money. When I was a teen, every dollar counts :). You’ll need to be there for a few hours to showcase the products, take orders, and hopefully have the right training to ASK for additional parties. No parties booked means no income.
Bottom line is, if you have some money to get started, enough to cover the basics and you really want to start your own business and have the mental attitude such as self-motivation, any direct selling company that allows teens to join will be blessed to have you!
My hope is that you go into this business with a solid understanding on what it takes instead of being lured into this business without having the right facts.
If you’re a teen and having success with a direct selling company, leave me a comment, I’d love to interview you on this blog!
Direct to company Team Leader