Work hard, and party even harder! – that`s my credo. Everything in our life has to be well balanced. Because we can’t enjoy it fully and completely without having fun! But I’ve always wondered, would it be fun to organize fun? Is it that difficult to start your own event business? Do they – (party planners) – party 24/7?! I did my research and I have to say… Damn! (Darn, Yikes! omg!) there are many things to take into consideration. The proof is below. 🙂
Caution! The naked truth about home based party planning business!
Indeed, while starting your party planning company you`ll definitely face some obstacles. It`s true, but there’s nothing to cry about. 🙂 Let`s go through the stages step by step.
Planning / Writing a business plan:
Planning is a mandatory stage in any event planning business. Everything starts from writing a business plan. I`d like to let you know, that if you want to skip this phase you`d be building a house without a foundation. So, first of all, identify your target audience. Here’s how:
What kind of client do you want to focus on?
That`s the first question you have to ask yourself. There are two main client markets for a party planner: corporate and social.
- Major meetings
- Retirement parties
- Trade shows
Social events cover a wide range of occasions (e.g. birthdays, weddings…).
Define the types of parties you want to plan
There are many types of parties. But I believe it’s misguided to represent yourself as an all inclusive business when you’re just starting a party planning business at home. So choose those that best match your interests.
It could be:
- Birthday party
- Surprise party
- Dinner party
- Garden party
- Cocktail party
- Tea party
- Dances and balls
- Costume or fancy dress party
- Christmas caroling party
- Parties for teenagers and young adults
- Fundraising party
- Graduation party
- Marriage-related parties
- Welcome party
- Farewell party
- Cast party
- Pre-party, after-party
Do you want to work with kids?
Kids. That’s quite a specific audience. So, the answer is “yes” or “no”. Almost everything is different from adults` events here. Decorations, program, food…
Talk to an attorney
Typically, home-based event planning businesses don’t need a license. But it’s always better to double check legal related issues. Moreover, it`s always prudent to invest in liability insurance for your business.
Learn more about the local party planning industry
First of all, define is it a red or a blue ocean. The red one? Great! Therefore, do some research. Try to grasp as much information as possible. Understand your competitors` strategies, positioning, occupations, targeted audiences, special propositions, etc. Look carefully at caterers, suppliers, entertainers, and other professionals they are collaborating with. Later on, you`ll definitely need reliable and highly professional ones.
Doing Analysis of your competitors
Alright. We already have some data to analyze. Define your major competitors in YOUR NICHE (e.d. wedding parties planners). Do the SWOT analysis. Try to define the aspect that will set yourself apart as a unique brand. Create your own blue ocean.
Gather all your ideas together and write a business plan.
Choose a name for your business
- Be creative but within reason. A name has to tell your potential clients exactly what your company does. That’s why you should pick an unambiguous one.
- Think ahead. Use who.is to check a domain’s availability for a potential trademark.
Register your new business if necessary
Check laws to determine if your event planning business at home requires any type of licensing or permits or registration.
Set up your office at home
You’re home based office must be comfortable.
Devices. You’ll definitely need a computer/laptop, a printer, phone, a missile launch base (just kidding). You’ll figure out what you need as you’re doing your business. So, relax. Cross that bridge when it comes.
Make a list of your party planning services.
- Booking of the venue
- Sending invitations
- Selecting caterers
- Selecting music and DJ
- Booking cameramen and videographers
Well, this is an interesting part. Price setting is a challenge. A strategic approach is a must.
There are three main things you have to take into consideration:
- Typical rates for your location
- Your experience/level of expertise
- Type of charges (strict per hour basis or adding markup fees)
Growing Your Business:
You have to promote your business and activities. Even the players that are the best in your niche actively promote themselves. Therefore, for newcomers, it`s essential and crucial.
Marketing is a game. A psychological game. It`s a fight for the customers` loyalty, getting inside their mindset. You have to reassure them that you’re unique and working together will give them many benefits. Be customer centered!
Create your own brand and actively use it on your website, printing materials, mass media, etc. Find out more here.
Have a strong social media presence
Event`s online marketing is crucial! You have to be on the same wavelength as your customers. Use Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. to let your audience know about you. Make friends, create useful content, remember hashtags, talk to your potential customers, engage and entertain them. And may the likes and shares will be with you! 🙂
Solicit reviews from your clients
Review-aggregators rule! This might be the first place where your potential customers will hear about you. Create an account in relevant groups. Ask your satisfied clients to drop a line. Word of mouth is a pretty useful channel.
You have to be active. Advertise your activities and special promotions. Promotion is quite a challenge in the beginning. Either online or offline. Start advertising!
Use Google Adwords for an online advertising presence. Do it carefully! Read manuals before you begin and start with a small budget in the beginning.
Create banners, flyers and other branded materials for offline advertising.
My friends, as you see, a home based party planning business is quite an exquisite field. There are many things to do. But all these difficulties are nothing in comparison with the happiness that you’ll bring to your customers and yourself. Do a great job and PARTY HARD!
I`d love to hear from you. Drop a line, guys! Your feedback is an inspiration, that motivates and inspires me to create more helpful and informative blog posts.