How to Start an Event Planning Business
One of the best business ideas you’d find around is event planning. And if you have been considering this business all along but unable to actually start, we have helped you pull together everything you need to actually start an event planning business in this time and age.
Starting this business would be much easier for you if you are able to gather sufficient knowledge from working with an event planning company for a period of time. You’d learn about organizing multiple kinds of events – weddings, meetings, conferences, birthdays, anniversaries, and many more.
So, let’s say you already have some experience from working with a firm that deals in the planning of events, your long-term success will still be dependent on the quality of experience you bring to the table with your clients. Your skills must include organization, time management, verbal communication skills, written communications, budgeting and negotiation management, marketing, creativity, public relations, and much more. Add a feather to your cap by obtaining a professional certification in the field. Include involvement in MPI or CMP designation.
To begin with starting an event planning business, here are some of the most important steps you should take:
1. Get Proper Knowledge
In order for you to kick off well and go far in this business, it is very important for you to have gathered some very vital information about this industry. You must keep up with the latest trends and be aware of what most clients request to have from your services. Your skill in the business is the most commanding thing your clients long to have. Someone who is not skilled in event planning is quickly out of demand or never in demand.
So, if you are gathering good knowledge of what the business entails, also be sure you have sufficient skills to succeed in it. The foremost skills you should have are your communication skills, negotiation skills, and management skills. Your marketing strategies, creativity, social media reach, among others are also important.
2. Create A Perfect Business Plan
You must have heard this a million times before now, but then, it is a very important part of your event planning business. See our steps to creating a perfectly written business plan.
There are also several resources you can find on the internet that could be of help to getting you to create a well documented business plan. The U.S Small Business Administration is one useful resource that proffers materials on creating a good business plan.
3. Get Insurance
Even if you would be considering another business aside event planning, getting insured or business insurance is very important to the growth of your business. And as a prospective event planner, it is very important that you secure all liabilities to kick start your business having all the necessary security. You should also keep a close eye on your own interests. Work with a legal adviser who will provide all the information around business insurance and the formalities around it.
So, whether your business would be located at your home, or at a distance office; with a very few workers or very many, your business insurance is of necessity to your business. Some common forms of insurance include criminal insurance, worker’s compensation, general liability, Home-based insurance, product liability, and more.
4. Build An Industry Network
As an event planner, you’ll be needing to work with other players – photographers, decorators, caterers, inflatable castles, et.c – in your industry. This is where you need to sit down and do the real work. No matter how skilled you think you are to manage all the activities that would be in demand for your business, you still need to build a network to help broaden and establish your reach in the scope of your market. This will make your work easier, organized, and successful.
The activities required would also involve recruiting resources of different kinds; marketing, sales, legal advisory, communications, and so on. The quality of your network will make a huge impact on the success of your business.
5. Define The Event Services You’d Be Offering
What types of event planning services are you going to be offering your prospective clients and customers? It is necessary that you stay focused on what core services your company will be offering. Who will be your target audience? What product and service will you be providing them?
Are you going to be providing a total service plan and carrying it out for your clients? Will you be providing the catering services, event venue, gifts, production, sound system, lodging, transportation and others? Or will you rather settle for just an aspect of the planning? You’d have to make a difference in focusing on corporate events, weddings, birthdays, or others.
You’d have to decide if you’ll be focusing on all the kinds of events or just some preferred ones. So, you need to determine what kind of event is of interest to your company. Once you are able to figure out your business focus, it is necessary to keep your focus on your objectives.
6. Secure How Your Business Would Be Funded
How every business owner chooses to source and secure funds for their business varies. A lot of businesses including your event planning business would require an operating budget. And having steady access to a stream of cash while setting up your company is necessary to avoid getting stranded in the way. It is generally not advised that you opt for a loan while setting out for your new business.
Consider saving up or having another stream of income that helps to finance your new business. Having access to this steady and comfortable stream of income is very important to stabilizing your event planning business. And even though it is realistic to kick off with some limited funds, it is safer for you and your business to have sufficient funds to cover all expenses (like setting up an LLC/Corporation through an online service or creating a professional website) that would be incurred while your business sets to become profitable.
7. Set Up A Fee Structure For Your Company
Now, that you know what and where your business would be focused, it is very important to have a fee structure. Plan how to cover your expenses and still make a reasonable profit. Doing a proper fee structure for your business will make your business grow and relevant a few years from now. Several event planners make their charges based on the following factors; percentage of expenses, flat fee, hourly rates, commissionable rate, percentage of expenses plus hourly rate, and more.
8. Plan Your Business Development, Marketing Strategy, And Publicity
Choose the preferred name for your new event business and work out your development plan. You’ll be required to create a website, business cards, logo, stationery, proposals, sales collateral, client agreements, slogan, and so much more.
Do not overlook social media platforms to build presence for your business. Run campaigns on major social media platforms, while also attracting and engaging new clients for your business.
In conclusion, starting an event planning business can be really fulfilling to you, but it requires accurate knowledge of how it works. You’d also need to do market research, create a perfect business plan, business insurance, and much more. Follow the guides revealed in this article for success.