Event planning is a popular form of small business because you can start it with relatively little money, and it is a great choice for extroverts who love being the life of the party. While a job as an event planner can be exciting, the hard part is getting the business started.
Here are a few tips on how to start a successful event planning business:
Learn How to Plan Events.
You may already have experience in planning events like banquets and awards ceremonies at work. Or you’ve planned events on a volunteer basis, such as organizing annual awards ceremonies for non-profits and local birthday parties. The key to success, though, is having experience planning events before you start your own business. Simply working for an entertainment venue that hosts birthday parties, corporate parties and bachelor parties gives you an idea of the different expectations each customer segment has and the types of problems you can encounter with each. You’ll also be taken more seriously by customers if you admit that your event planning business is new, but you have three years of experience in event planning personally.
Pick Your Niche.
Let’s be honest – it is a mistake to say you can and will manage every type of event. You could work in corporate events like meetings and award ceremonies, birthday parties or fundraising events for charities and local groups. However, the average event planner isn’t going to do well by trying to be a generalist.
The general specializations are corporate event planning, wedding planning and fundraising/non-profit events. For example, you could handle the fundraising galas for a number of charities as well as their awards to their best volunteers. If you’re a wedding planner, it isn’t unreasonable to say you can organize the bachelor and bachelorette parties, too.
Look for Customers.
Now you’ve decided where you’re going to focus your efforts, where are you going to find customers? If you’re planning birthday parties and other fun kids’ events, you should be networking with parents’ groups and volunteering for parties at the local school so that all those parents and teachers know who you are. If you’re going to plan events for non-profits or corporations, you could start by organizing baby showers and retirement parties for co-workers before saying you’re going into business for yourself as an event planner.
Set Up a List of Providers.
You want to know who you’re going to call to provide any and every service you need well before you have customers of your own who need them. If you’re planning outdoor events for instance, you should have the contact information for portable porta potties suppliers like onsiteco.com who can deliver such amenities to your site when required. You should also know well in advance which caterers offer vegan options and different meal options for people with special dietary rules before customers request such meals. And remember to have a list of venues perfect for the type of events you host.
Organizing events can be a great gig, as long as you know what you’re getting into and are ready to go the extra mile to make your name known by throwing the best events you can.