If you’re stuck at some boring office job yet dream about starting your own fabulous business, now is the best time to do so! Being an event planner is one of the most interesting, creative and dynamic careers you can choose and it’s perfect for all people with great organizational and people skills. However, gaining clients and actually lifting your business off the ground isn’t such an easy task. So, here’s a little guide that will get you started with your event planning job.
Identify your market
Before you start your business, make sure to find your focus or your niche and decide on the type of events you want to tackle. Some businesses have a very broad scope of operation while others choose a smaller niche market like wedding planning or corporate events. There are four types of events you can plan: Celebrational (festive and fun—fairs, parades, reunions, weddings and birthdays), educational (formal and information-based— conferences, meetings and graduations), promotional (a mix of celebrational and educational—product launches, political rallies and fashion shows) and commemorative (formal—memorial services and civic events). It’s always best to start from a smaller niche and build your business outward, especially if you’re working with a thin budget.
Obtain licenses and knowledge
Having some prior experience in the industry is a great starting point for your successful event planning business. Why? Well, would you trust someone who’s uncertified and sloppy to plan your wedding? The answer is probably no, so why should someone else trust you? Luckily, there are many courses that will provide you with a certification that will show clients that you know all the ins and outs of the event management gig. Even if you previously worked for an event organization company or group, it’s always best to have a formal proof of your expertise that will make your clients feel safer. Also, there’s always something new to learn about event planning, no matter how well-educated you are. So, don’t hesitate to seek information from different sources like websites, blogs and videos.
Figure out your strengths
It can be very tempting to offer a full specter of event planning services, it can actually reduce the amount of business instead of increasing it. You know, “jack of all trades, master of none” type of situation. So, if you can, it’s best to identify your strengths and aim all your efforts to attract the clientele that fits your niche. Let’s say you want to specialize in conferences. Form your brand around that, develop the right language to discuss planning with business people and you’ll definitely find work. However, don’t pick a niche that’s too small since you won’t be able to generate enough business.
Create a business plan
Now that you have your niche, it’s time to start laying real foundations to your business and create a good business plan—no more strategizing. Every business needs a plan that will guide investors’ decision-making processes, show them the ropes of the work, educate them on your intentions and keep your business on the right track at all times. Creating such a plan isn’t easy for beginners, but there are great tutorials that can make the process a bit easier.
Develop your network
No matter how good you are at event planning, you can’t do everything yourself. You need a network of experts to make your plans a reality. Think caterers, tech experts, tech suppliers, entertainers and marketing experts. These vendors will provide you with the necessary tools that will make your events stand out. If you don’t have anyone in your network of partners, try reaching out to people you know from the industry or check out reviews on websites to find the right people to work with.
Start marketing your business
Now that everything is ready for the first client, it’s time to start your marketing plan to reach potential clients. Social media makes marketing easier and cheaper than ever, especially with more formal and business-oriented networks like LinkedIn. There are also various Facebook groups that will allow you to connect with clients as well as other planners and vendors.
If you do all of these steps, you’ll have your first client and your first positive review in no time. With some dedication and effort, starting your own event planning service will be the best decision you’ve ever made!