Who's laughing all the way to the bank?
Everyday Aussie Mums who have survived the recession through party plan!
Party plan is a term synonymous with fluffy slippers, a host with a lounge room of giggling women, and sadly pyramid schemes. For years this vehicle for making money has been pushed aside, defamed, ridiculed and the butt of jokes. But who's really having the last laugh? In a tough economic climate, this time tested means for making money has become the salvation for many. Australia party planners are laughing all the way to the bank, these everyday women have put aside their prejudices and joined Australian based, world wide recognised brands like Intimo Lingerie, ENJO and Chefs Tool Box and now are making money, flying in the face of a potential recessionary tornado.
Why are party planners so successful? Simple, they sell everyday products consumed by everyday individuals, in everyday homes, all with the convenience of home shopping. In a time poor society, home shopping has becoming increasingly popular, akin to shopping online but with the added benefit of personal customer service.
In an Australian first author Sonia Williams launches the first Australian book to unreservedly reveal the secrets to success in the world of party plan- warts and all. Sonia author of bestseller, Show Mummy the Money, conducted a year-long independent investigation into the industry, interviewing more than a hundred distributors. Sonia a nominee for the Telstra Business Women's awards, 2008 and 2009 says she was motivated to write her third book because ' The evidence speaks for itself', says Sonia. According to the worldwide federation of direct selling this billion dollar industry, boosts annual sales of US$114 billion generated through the activities of more than 62 million independent sales representatives members world wide. Even former US president Bill Clinton, recognises the merits of the industry, officially endorsing the direct selling industry, saying 'Direct selling strengthens the US and it's economic, providing an opportunity for a better future.' In fact so popular is party plan, it is estimated, a Tupperwear party starts in Australia and New Zealand every 3 minutes, and somewhere in the world every 2.3 seconds.
Closer to home, the magnitude of the contribution made by the direct selling industry to the Australian economy is significant. The Direct Selling Association of Australia (DSAA) has 75 members representing more than 620,000 independent distributors in Australia. If each of the 620,000 recognised distributors made a conservative $100 in sales per month, this industry collectively generates $62 million dollars in sales each month. According to the DSAA the total contribution to Australian economy is a whopping $9 billion, or 1% of Gross Domestic Product. Now who's laughing?
Party plan also offers a lifestyle choice. A New Zealand study titled, 'The Hidden Industry', found that 80% of distributors surveyed felt their lifestyle had improved as a result of their involvement in the direct selling industry, and 83.5% concluded they were more financially independent.
'Putting aside the statistics, Sonia says 'There are too many success stories, to deny the industry its due merits.' Sonia recalls 'I interviewed a mum of four, left destitute when her husband walked out. She found re-entry to the work force to financially support her family impossible and turned to party plan. Now she successfully supports her family, and is in line to attend the companies, fully paid conference in Thailand'. Well known author Robert Kiyosaki, author of the bestseller, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, recognises the benefits offered by direct selling. He has been quoted singing the industries praises 'A business in direct selling is the ticket to what I call freedom money'. Where the average person can enjoy the benefits of financial success without the hassles associated with a traditional business.'
Sonia says she finds a complete misunderstanding of party plan, the main reason why it is not readily promoted as an alternative and safer option to start a business from home. Each and every day, across world small business owners hit the wall, sinking considerable amounts of capital, chasing their entrepreneurial drams. Whereas a distributor has the opportunity to make money with the support and stability from multi billion dollar icons like Tupperwear who have successfully weathered several recessions.
'For less than the cost of a designer pram, anyone and everyone can Give it a Go' says Sonia, 'Party plan is unequivocally the only equal opportunity where, few barriers to entry means no one is discriminated against, from the less educated to the Rhodes scholar, the defining point between success and failure is attitude.'
With increased regulatory bodies like Direct Selling Association of Australia (DSAA), Australian Consumer Competition Commission (ACCC), and state based Consumer Fair Trading Offices, over seeing the industry, party planners are laughing all the way to the bank in any given recession.
Here are estimates of DSAA Member contributions to Australia's direct selling industry :