Planning Your Home Party Business
So you've decided to start a home party business? That's great! I hope you'll find lots of information here to help you make it a success.
The idea of this section is not to lecture you on how to start a small business, get your taxes and insurance sorted out and keep good accounts - there are plenty of books and websites out there that will give you this information.
If you're new to the craft business, I can recommend The Complete Guide to Starting and Running Your Home Craft Business as a good starting point. It's written clearly and simply, and includes samples of forms for you to use in your record keeping.
I know it's an effort to wade through the relevant information (when you'd rather be crafting!) but please do make sure you are familiar with your tax and legal obligations, as it's not worth getting in trouble over. Please check out
Craft Business Resources
for useful links.
What I'm here for is to help you specifically with starting a home party business to sell your crafts – because if you do want to do more than hold a few parties to raise some cash, then it's worth thinking about it a bit before you jump in head first! Once you’re getting lots of bookings and crafting like mad to fulfil the orders, it's harder to make big changes to the way you're doing things.
The main areas you should think about are:
Is your craft suitable for home parties?
Generally smaller, more portable crafts are most suitable for home parties, as heavy and bulky items are difficult to transport and display in other people's homes. There are also other factors to consider when deciding whether or not your craft is suitable for a home party business.
Here is a guide on what sells well at craft home parties.
What style of home party are you most comfortable with?
If a guest at your open house party decides to book a party and you then arrive and start doing mini workshops with her guests, she's not going to be happy! Ok, so this is a bit of an extreme example, but it's a good idea to be reasonably consistent in the way you structure your home parties, so future hostesses know what to expect (and what’s expected of them).
Also consider whether the party will be more formal (with printed
) or more of a casual affair.
It's not a problem if you want to do both workshops and open houses, as long as you let your hostesses know that they have the choice.
If you haven't done so already,
read here for information on the different styles of home party you can do.
Pricing your crafts
I love and highly recommend James Dillehay's book,
The Basic Guide to Pricing Your Craftwork
Apart from easy to understand pricing formulas, it's full of other useful advice for e.g. record keeping and getting higher prices for your crafts. I've referred to it again and again. It's available as a hardcopy, but if you're not in the US you can also download it as an ebook.
This is another area you don't want to have to change too drastically after you’ve got some bookings for your home party business.
Hostesses will feel ripped off if the bracelet they saw at another party (and perhaps wanted to spend their commission on) is suddenly twice the price it was before. So try to get it more or less right from the beginning.
The good news is that you can generally get much better prices for your crafts at home parties than at craft fairs and other outlets, so don't under price yourself.
Take a look here for some tips on pricing your crafts for home parties.
Finding your first hostess
Once you've decided more or less how you plan to do your home parties, how do you get started? How do you get bookings for your home party business?
Read here to find out how to get your first home party hostess
or, if you'd rather have your own home party to start with, take a look at these
8 Great Excuses to Have a Home Party!
Right, you've booked that first party, priced up your crafts and decided what type of home party you want to do – time to get the nitty gritty of
Doing a Craft Home Party.