You have been thinking about becoming an event planner for quite some time but keep asking the question, How Do You Start an Event Planning Business. In this post, I will share 10 ways for you to get started in creating an event business that you love.
1. Decide on the type of event planning business that you want.
You have the freedom to decide the direction you want to take your business. Just to say that you want to plan weddings and events is not enough to begin crafting a business that will be sustainable. It is important to know if you want your business to be a side hustle only, a full service- full time six- figure business or something else to your choosing. Take a moment to think where you want your business to be in the next 2-3 years. The destination is very important when creating steps and strategies to grow your business.
2. Create a strategy for success aka “The Business Plan”.
First and foremost, don’t let the word business plan scare you. This is not your grandparent’s type of business plan from back in the day. However, a plan (strategy) is always, always necessary. Creating a business and not knowing who you will work with, what you will offer, and how you will offer it, is a sure way to fail.
With a strategy in place, you will present the problem that you want to uniquely solve for your clients and explain just how you will be the best company to solve the problem well.
3. Identify your ideal client.
Who will you be solving the “problem” for? It is best to identify a specific type of client that you will serve. Let me tell you, it is not wise to think that you are available to work with anyone that is getting married or planning a party. You set yourself up for big challenges and let-downs if this is the approach that you are planning to take in your business.
Take time to research who YOUR client is. When you get to know the person that you will work with best and you know what makes them happy, what they ideally desire, and their values, you can tailor your message to attract them. It is necessary for you to get crystal clear on knowing who your client really is.
You want your client to look at your business and say “This is Just for Me”. When you get clear on who your client truly is, you will attract the business that will be best for you.
4. Strive to Stand Out.
It is no secret that the event industry is heavily saturated. It is. But, don’t let that stop you from pursuing your business. Remember, you are not going to strive to work with everyone because you are going to craft your message to attract your ideal client.
When you are planning your branding, you want your visual aesthetics to resonate with your ideal client. If you will mainly plan corporate events, soft colors, lush florals and a calligraphy font may not be the best branding message. Get clear on your image.
When working on your website and logo, always keep your ideal client in mind. When they come across your company’s visuals, you have just a few seconds to peak their interest before they move on to someone who will speak directly to their needs. So, please, be intentional when creating your branding.
5. Learn & Grow.
One of the best ways to start your business right is to be educated regularly. Successful business owners are always open to learning more about business strategies and processes to sustain and elevate their businesses. Learning goes far beyond the occasional Youtube video or social media post. When you invest in business and trade education, you are taking a step forward in leveling up your mindset and business practices. Take an online course to stretch your knowledge, go to the book store and select books that will enhance your skills, attend masterminds and retreats that will allow you to grow with other like-minded event pros. Always include education in your business strategies (aka business plan).
6. Build relationships.
Connections are a big deal in the event industry. An event is a multi-faceted occasion that cannot and will not ever be successful with just one person. Well, it can but the results are going to be disastrous.
Getting your business in front of the right people is important. You will want to network with as many people and businesses that are already in front of your ideal client. Where these people are, you want to be also. Attend the networking events and actually introduce yourself. Connect with them after the events via social media or with an invitation for coffee. As you want them to refer you to potential clients, you will need to do the same. But remember, they need to know and trust you before referring you.
When I first started my business, I networked and networked tirelessly. I attended some of the same bridal shows and cocktail hours that my “ideal vendors” attended. I referred them often and in return, they did the same for me. This is how my business took off. It was almost like a team of vendors that enjoyed working with each that all wanted the event to be the best yet in order to market to more “ideal clients”. Networking with the right people can get your business in front of the customers.
7. Market Your Message.
Consider the message that you want to convey to your ideal client. Sure, you can google what other event planners are saying on their websites, but does their message convey why you are in the business to service your client’s needs? Your message is unique to you and your ideal client. So, it’s not as simple as cut and paste. Get a clear understanding of what you truly want your ideal client to know about you and your services. And, your messaging should be included in all of your marketing materials (eg. your website, social media, emails and even packaging). Be clear in sharing your mission and vision so your client can know that they found the right planner for them.
8. Believe in YOU.
Yes, it is clear, that the event industry is oversaturated with event planners. But that does not mean that YOU are not needed. There are people waiting on you to share your passion and purpose with them. If you have the vision to plan and manage events, then there is someone for you to serve.
When you take the steps to strategize your business plan, get clear on your message (your why), connect with the right people, and get educated, your confidence will reach new heights.
9. Be Patient.
It will take time for you to nail down your systems and reach towards the million dollar status (or a couple of thousand dollars). Once you get your website up and running and your social media account created, be consistent in your messaging and posting. If you don’t get bombarded by calls, DMs, emails and re-posts right away, it’s okay. DO NOT QUIT.
Did you hear me? Do. NOT. Quit!
Again, it will take time for you to get in a rhythm of consistent flow and potential customer response. When a gardener plants a seed, he/she knows that the plant will not appear the next day or even the next week in some cases. With proper care and nurturing, the process will take root and a plant will come up above the surface to bloom. Trust the process. Do your part and take proper care of the strategies and continue to nurture your business. Blooming will occur. It’s a natural process of life.
10. Be willing to adjust.
As you take steps to grow your blooming event planning business, be flexible. If you are led to take different directions that suit your lifestyle and needs, do what you have to do. For example, if you start off wanting to plan weddings and find out that you are more interested in coordinating bar mitzvahs, you don’t have to be held hostage to a business model that will not bring you joy. Be willing to adjust. You can adjust your services, office hours, and other things as long as you are consistent and persistent in seeing it through.
Here’s to starting an amazing event planning business!
Plan Well and Conquer,