I was ready to put this issue to rest, until I ran across a new post, talking about why Weekenders closed their doors.
The post was written by a wonderful Canadian trainer, motivator and former Weekender Rep., Sheila Wray Gregoire. I truly enjoyed her post, yet, found parts of it to be based on opinion and not on facts (which she does clarify by stating her conclusion came from the comments on her original blog post.)
In Sheila’s post she states there are three reasons Weekenders closed their doors.
1. Home Parties are obsolete
2. It was too expensive to be a consultant
3. In home party businesses, you make money by selling to other consultants, not to customers.
I want to look at #1 & #3 since #2 is completely subjective.
First it should be made clear that the Clothing, personal care and accessories side of our profession as grown in the last five years from 27% to making up 33.7% of the profession, while every other sector except services has fallen in size.
Second, and more importantly 66.9% of ALL sales are STILL made in the home. So to say home parties are obsolete and this is why Weekenders closed their door is based completely on opinion and not on the factial statistics of our profession.
Third, Party Plan/Group Selling makes up the second highest form of selling (28.9%) next to One-On-One selling (which makes up 67.1%.)
These three statistics are a clear indicator that Weekenders did not go bankrupt because they used a Party Plan business model.
Now let’s take a look at #3 “You make money by selling to other consultants.” Although this can be true of direct selling companies in the health and nutrition sector of our profession, with the home business plan model the distributors make their most money selling to the end user.
I can verify this statement by reviewing such public companies as Tupperware and Avon. Or by reviewing the number submitted by such great privately held companies like Mary Kay, Discovery Toys and Pampered Chef. When you review their attrition of distributors verse their retention of customers we see the majority of income is made selling to the end user.
One statistic that did come into play is the fact Weekenders waited years to change their focus from Professional Baby Boomer ladies and increase their focus to include Generation X & Y.
Shaklee made this change back in 2002 and has enjoyed continual growth all through the new century. We can also see other great companies who started targeting these two demagraphic groups such as Avon, AmWay, Mary Kay, Jockey Person To Person and many others.
Generation Y alone is 75 million strong. Had Weekenders increased their focus sooner there is a real possibility they would still be doing business as a network marketing company.