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Working From Home by Joanne Dewberry

March 28, 2011

Working From Home

If you are coming to the end of your maternity leave or possibly you children are at school full time now you might be thinking about how to earn some money without having to commit to a full time job. Don’t wait for that light bulb moment as it may never happen, great for PR purposes but not really how many mums achieve their flexible family working.
Start off by making a list of your skills, either from previous employment/training or what you have learnt from being a mum. Remember as a mum you are now the master of budgeting … well you can feed a family of four for £5 per night. You are queen of time management …. well you can get 3 children up and dressed off to school by 9am. Your a multi-tasking octopus, don’t underestimate your new found mum skills.

There are plenty of family flexible working opportunities out there which enable you to be a full time mum and earn some cash.

** Party Plan or Direct Sales –
Companies such as Linen at Home ( ) , Virgin Vie ( ) and Usborne Books ( ) are popular amongst mums. So what is it?? Party plan is a method of marketing products via hosting a social event, using the event to display and demonstrate the product or products to those gathered. Then taking orders for the products before the gathering ends. Commission is earned on sales figures.


  • Low cost start up, most companies offer a range of start up packages to suit your budget
  • You don’t have to have hoards of stock as products are ordered after each party
  • Flexible – you will be able to fully develop a business around your family
  • Most companies allow you to build up a team and hence you start to earn commission on your team sales.
  • Some companies will offer training and support.
  • There is a huge variety in party plan companies from books, make-up, cooking, jewellery, crafts and even shoes!


  • Some companies have strict guidelines / terms and conditions
  • You may not have access to your own personal website meaning you risk the possibility of your generated leads going through the main site and thus you missing out on commission. When doing research on party plan think hard about your personal circumstances. If a) you have a young family and can’t do parties during the day or b) your husband works late/commutes and your unable to do night parties. Therefore being able to direct potential customers either by advertising, social media or business cards to a website is going to be vital to you.
  • Market research reps in your area. Find out how many reps there are about you don’t want to buy into an already saturated market and then struggle to sell.
  • You don’t always have full control over your own PR and marketing especially with a business like Jamie at Home … all marketing has to be checked by HQ. Well it is a celebrities name!

Do lots of research visit Recruitment Fairs ( ) where you can meet a wealth of party planners. If you have had loads of information and are still interested don’t rush in ask a rep if you can go to a party with them or host a party yourself, this also means you can ask your friends opinions. You need to think about the steps you will take once you have ‘partied’ out your friends and family. How easy is your product going to be to sell to Joe Public?? Look at places such as pre-schools, toddler groups if you have a child orientated product are there many in your area? Make-up and jewellery look at wedding fairs and ladies evenings. It could be possible to do make up training either in-house (part of the party plan) or at a local adult learning centre. Look at ways in which you can make yourself stand out from the crowd – your USP (unique selling point).

There are plenty of mums out there who have made careers and successful businesses from party plan / direct sales. If you do your research and are dedicated the world is your oyster.

Joanne Dewberry – Dorset Business Mum of the Year 2010

  • Highly Commended PR Comp 2009
  • Winner of Future 100 Young Entrepreneurs 2009
  • TGF Best Rated Award Winner 2009
  • Langtry Manor Best Green Business Finalist 2010
  • Nominated MADS Blog Award 2010
  • Short listed Make Your Mark in the Market 2010
  • Recognised for Very Good Service 2010
  • Short listed in the World Skill Competition 2010 (Networking Mummies)
  • Short listed Business Parent of the Year – Mums and Working Awards
  • Enterprise Nation Ideas 101 Winner June 2010
  • Short listed Best Business Mum Mumsclub Awards 2010
  • Finalist Best Use of Media Mumsclub Awards 2010 / /

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2011 2:37 pm

    Hi Joanne, will be adding your blog to my reader, meeting lots of party plan Mums over the last 3 years marketing my chocolate business gave me the idea of creating my directory so we can all be under 1 roof so to speak… hope to catch up with you one day! Emma

  2. April 8, 2011 3:12 pm

    Thank you for the feedback Emma.

    You should get in touch with Paula and maybe there is a chance for you two do some kind of cross promotion or guest blogs for each other.


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