There are myriad home-based businesses you can start without a major investment of time or money. If you’re interested in parties or special events, opening a home-based party store might be the right home business for you. You can sell party supplies, decorations and favors for a specific type of occasion, such as weddings, or for a variety of parties, such as birthday and theme events.
Register with a drop ship or affiliate company. You can register as an affiliate or a drop shipper with companies that provide party supplies, so you don’t have to inventory supplies. Two Web sites where you can register as a party store affiliate are CommissionJunction.com and LinkShare.com. There also are companies such as MakesParties.com, through which affiliates receive their own party Web site and 20 percent sales commissions for orders placed on the site. When you’re an affiliate or drop ship company, you are responsible for marketing and selling the supplies; the company you’re representing ships the orders on your behalf. In return, you receive a commission payment based on a percentage of the sale. Commissions can range from 10 percent to 50 percent.
Build a Web site. Create a free or low-cost Web site. Display photos, product descriptions, prices and a shopping cart system that allows customers to place orders for party supplies online. After you receive the orders, you’ll then submit them to the party supply company that prepares and ships the orders on your behalf. You can build a free party supply store on sites such as Freewebs.com and eCrater.com.
Market to consumers. There are several ways you can drive targeted traffic to your Web site. Join online networking groups, where you can target audiences such as brides, moms and event planners. When you join these forums, become involved in discussions by posting comments and questions with a link back to your party Web site. You also can write party and event related articles and post them on article directories. These directories also allow you to include a link to drive traffic to your Web site.
Kristie Lorette started writing professionally in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and multinational business from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her work has appeared online at Bill Savings, Money Smart Life and Mortgage Loan.