The 2001 film the Wedding Planner, starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, captured many hearts and shed light on the fun and glamorous lifestyle of event planning. From planning weddings to birthday parties to retirement celebrations, event planners can be hired to organize various events. As summer approaches and with wedding season just around the corner, you may be wondering how you can start your own event planning business, so here is a quick guide on establishing yourself in the event planning industry.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Starting an event planning business is no different than starting any other type of business in the fact that it is necessary to know your market. By doing your research into the industry in your area, you can not only gain insight on how to run your business, but you can also more accurately gauge your competition and manage your expectations. Here are a few things you should consider looking into:
- What are others charging for services?
- What marketing techniques work?
- How many event venues are in your area?
- What vendors are popular?
Step 2: Create a Business Plan
Once you have researched and decided to start an event planning business, the next step would be to create a business plan. Starting any business can be daunting and having a reliable business plan can help alleviate some of the stress. Developing a business plan involves deciding on essential aspects such as how to structure, manage, and grow your business. Here are some factors you may wish to consider including in your business plan:
This element explains how your business will operate and the advantages your business brings to the table.
This element allows you to note if your business will have any partners, whether it be suppliers or any other partner necessary to run your business successfully.
Organization and Management
The element provides information about how your business will be structured. This includes what legal structure you intend to utilize, who will run the business and what their duties will be.
For more information on creating a business plan, please visit our blog on the subject.
Step 3: Develop a Network
As an event planner, you will likely be in constant contact with caterers, venues, chair, and table rental businesses, etc. So, once you have your business set up, the next step is to develop a strong and trusted network of potential partners you can rely on for support. Finding companies you plan to work with will take some research as you should ensure they are reliable. You can find these businesses by doing things like searching the internet, asking for recommendations from friends, or attending local events or expos. It is important to find trustworthy companies to associate with because the reputation of your new event planning business will be on the line.
Step 4: Market your Business
Once you have done your research, created a business plan, and established a network of potential partners, then you can market your event planning business. By knowing your audience, you can specifically target your advertising to increase your business. Creating a solid marketing strategy is vital to ensuring the success of your business. With event planning, many people will find your new business online, so you should consider having a strong internet presence. You could achieve this by creating a visually pleasing website and including inspirational event photos so potential customers can get a sense of your event planning style, receiving endorsements from established companies, and having relevant details about how your business works. In addition, you could advertise your business on service and social media platforms, use website strategies to make your website more SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly, or even hire an advertising agency.
Step 5: Legal Safeguards
Once you have secured your first client, it is crucial to protect you and your business by utilizing legal safeguards. There are two safegaruds to utilize: 1) an LLC (buy here) and 2) Contracts (buy here).
By entering a written contract with your client, you both have the opportunity to establish the expectations for the business relationship so that you are both on the same page. You can also include disclaimers to protect you in case things go awry. Also, by having an attorney-drafted contract template, you can easily modify each contract to fit the needs of each client.