Starting up an event planning business is not a decision to take lightly. It is a major decision which impacts not only on your life but also on your family and others around you. At the same time, if you are passionate and determined that this is the right direction to take you shouldn’t take no for an answer – go for it!
Here are the details and the process you will need to follow before officially launching your event planning company.
Have a roof over your head and food to eat
Firstly, this is business. There are no hard and fast rules and you’re going to have to do what it takes to get established and then to keep your business afloat. There is no shame in continuing to work for someone else, while you develop your own business, regardless of the field that you choose to operate in. Maintaining a ‘day job’ while you get your own thing running could be one of the soundest decisions you will ever make. Having said that, if you’re going to quit your job, make sure you have some back up. This doesn’t necessarily have to be cash, it could be family or sa partner who is willing to maintain a roof over your head and food on your table. If you don’t have that, then you will need to ensure you have some cash back-up to keep yourself going through your start up phase.
This back up, in whatever form it comes is essential! It’s essential because you will need all the energy and focus to get clients and start earning an income.
For an events company, you should be earning a small income within your first year to at least cover some costs.
Choose a niche
The next step is to figure out what your niche is. Ask yourself – what sets you apart from all the other event coordinators? Then you can work from there. There are many different types of events you can work. While some event planners are generalists and work on a wide-variety of functions, it is easier and more lucrative to choose a specialty. Figuring out what niche you want to focus on can be a challenge, but if you mind-map your passions, interests, experience, and knowledge you can narrow it down relatively easy.
Be realistic and original. People can tell when you are trying too hard or being fake. Initially, you may need to take a few jobs that you do not make much money from but is worth value in terms of marketing, building your portfolio and experience for yourself. Keep note of this, however: there will become a point where you no longer need exposure, and exposure won’t pay your bills. Be aware of your business and your value and continue to reflect. Once you reach that point, own it and do not be ashamed.
Listening is key
Until you reach that point, continue to work, listen and learn from your jobs and experiences. Make sure the experience of working with you is memorable from when the person first takes your card to the end product. This is everything! Especially when something goes wrong or you have a difficult customer, remember your response is key and will last forever.
Get to bookkeeping
Slowly you will start to increase the number of customers you have, do your best to keep them. As you start to grow, make sure you have a good financial system, this does not have to be fancy. Keep track of what you are receiving and what you are spending.
The event planning industry is one that is not heavily reliant on start up equipment – your brain and a piece of paper are all you need to be organised, efficient, and reliable… the main characteristics an organiser should have. Take advantage of this fact, it means your start up capital required is much less and you can pace the growth of your company.
Share with like-minds
Collaborate. Collaboration is powerful IF you are strategic. Don’t just collaborate because someone asks you to. Collaboration usually means you will foot the bill for whatever you are willing to contribute to the project, or provide your time for free.
Once you’ve gone through these steps and your business is starting to take shape, if you haven’t done it already… quit your job! It will be the scariest but most liberating thing you’ve ever done, but a word of caution, you will now work 24/7.
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At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to contact us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org We are only a message away.