Do you want to start a profitable party planning business? Find in this article, a detailed step by step guide about how to start and run a successful party planning venture with less money.
Party planning can be a perfect and lucrative chance to work for somebody who is social, organized, detail oriented and has a flair for entertaining and coordinating events. According to Salary.com, the median annual Meeting/Event Planner salary is $60,985, as of January 30, 2018, with a range usually between $52,500 – $71,783.
However, deciding how to start a party planning business needs some simple measures that are identical to a home-based business. But some measures are uncommon in this department of work.
15 Steps to Start a Profitable Party Planning Business with Less Money
1. Decide The Type of Party Planner You Want To Be
While many party organizers switch between different clients and different kinds of events, many find their niche and concentrate on it. If you want you can later change your niche. You have to consider the following aspects if you want to start a party planning business.
You should first decide the type of clients you want to concentrate on. There are two main types of clientele for a party planner. Either they are Corporate or Social.
Meetings, retirement parties, receptions, and conferences are arranged by corporate party organizers. However social party organizers cover different kinds of social events which includes birthdays, wedding receptions, family reunions, anniversaries and baby showers.
Secondly, you have to decide the type of parties you want to organize. Many party planners plan only those kind of parties which they enjoy organizing. They may concentrate on a particular type of events like birthday parties or a certain kind of theme they specialize in.
You can also organize parties for children. Birthday parties with kids are not similar to parties with adults, and family gatherings. You have to keep the age group of the children in mind while customizing the decorations, entertainment, and refreshments. Some party organizers, for this reason, choose to organize kids parties. On the other hand, others prefer not to plan children’s parties.
2. Get Certified
You don’t necessarily require a college degree to start a party planning business. However, for better understanding, you can consider obtaining a bachelors degree or certificate in event planning from a college or university.
A masters in business management, marketing, and hospitality management would teach the required skills to be a party organizer. Event organization certificates are specially offered by some of the colleges and professional institutions.
3. Get a Lawyer Or Someone Well Equipped With Small Business Law
Even though party planning does not usually need a license it is required by some local and state government. It is wise for you to spend money on getting a liability license since you may have to deal with the large unmanageable crowd at some of the parties you plan.
If a guest is hurt or causes a loss at a party location it will to protect you. You should understand the right kind of coverage required for your business. For this, you need to talk to your lawyer.
4. Know More About Party Planning Business
You have to find out which other party planners and event companies organize parties in your locality. You can call or visit them and question them about how to start a party planning business.
You should try to know more about your local rivals and understand their focal point and their approach. You have to remember this while determining your unique selling point. By providing a unique type of service or experience you can try to be different or extraordinary.
You should find out more about local venues for events and find more business contacts. You will need to be familiar with different kinds of dependable local caterers, vendors, artists, and other professionals. You will be responsible for organizing and coordinating these different components so that the event is noteworthy.
5. Devise a Plan For Your Business
You need to jot down what your unique selling point will be and the steps you will take to achieve this. Build a market analysis for your business. Well-Planned market research will help you a lot in this regard.
To decide the volume of your probable market. You can use the information that you collected earlier. Then you can decide the rates that you will impose your business and the income group you will target.
Next, you need to evaluate the initial cost that you may need, the basic advertising fees and the rent for office space. You have to plan if you can incur the cost of business yourself or you will need to take a loan to meet your expenses in the beginning.
6. Choose a Name For Your Company
Choose an uncomplicated name that will inform your clients about the exact services given by your company. You can choose your city name or you can try looking for a name with a simple web address which is applicable. Check this article to know more about naming a business.
You will have to choose another business name if it is identical to the name of any other business. Your company has to be registered with the state or country government.
7. Register Your Business
Research and find out the laws of your local and state business and decide whether your company requires any kind of registration, license or permit.
Party planners in the U.S are not accountable for any kind of business registration apart from the tax collection. You have to, however, check again with your local and state government policies before you start a party planning business. However, most entrepreneurs prefer forming an LLC as it provides certain benefits.
8. Setup your Office
To do your work systematically you will need some office space although the space required will be lesser than other businesses. Few party planners use their home office for this purpose.
You will also require a computer and printer which can help you to print advertisements in big quantities. Your office should be spacious enough to safely store materials like party supplies which can be kept away from dirt.
Renting out a permanent office space is a good option. If you are a professional who works from home you can choose to meet clients in public places like coffee shops and restaurants.
10. Choose Your Unique Selling Point
Select the type of party you will concentrate on and analyze your unique selling point with other party planners in your locality. When you are meeting your clients or advertising your business ensure to stress on your unique selling point.
In your initial days when you start as a party planning business, you can begin with planning various kinds of parties. As people start trusting you and the business you can concentrate on a particular type of party.
11. Set a Price For Your Business
There are different factors which has been taken into consideration while setting your price for your services.
You have to check the rates in your locality. You should also check the rates of your competitors to get a fair insight into what to charge. In areas which has a high cost of living will have a higher hourly rate.
The price of your services also depends on the experience that you possess. If you have a previous party planning experience then you can charge a higher price than someone who is going to start a party planning business.
You will also have to decide whether your price is per hourly basis or if you are going to take a markup fee. You can choose to charge a markup fee of 15 percent for all the items that you take from suppliers and supply at the event.
12. Be Adaptable And Get Ready For Surprises
The one thing that is known to everybody who plans events is that plans can change. If you want to be a successful party planner then you must be prepared so that the party you have planned is successful under all circumstances.
Don’t get alarmed. Instead, you should have an alternative for every party you are planning. You should have a list of dependable caterers, entertainers, and venues.
13. Advertise Your Business Efficiently
When you start a party planning business marketing becomes an integral part of building a customer relation and reputation. You should create a website which is pleasing to the eyes and simple to operate. You should make sure to have the name of your website and your contact information clearly mentioned.
You can create flyers and do a door to door distribution. You can tell your family and friends about your party planning business and request them to suggest your name to anybody who wants an event organized.
14. Strong Social Media Presence is a Must
Social Media is a highly powerful form of advertising your company. You can create a social media account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for your company.
If an existing client questions you on these social media platforms and if they are relevant then you should reply to them so that everybody can see. It will show that you are interested in their queries if you participate personally with your existing clients.
Display your expertise by uploading photos of parties which you have successfully planned. Ascertain that you receive permission from your clients if they are present in the photos.
15. Hone your Networking Skills
When you start your business as a party planner you have to sharpen your networking skills since it is important to operate your business effortlessly. You should keep your eyes open for new entertainers and catering services.
It may happen that a client may ask for the type of catering service or performer with whom you should be in contact with. In addition, you have to keep your contact list updated because a business may change address or close down.
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You should meet other party planners and service providers by visiting trade shows for party planners. You can pursue your education and keep yourself updated on what is in vogue.