Event planning business is a profitable and lucrative business venture. The beauty of the event planning business is that it can be done right at home. Sometimes it appears as if the owners of these business require nothing more than a mobile phone. In reality it is a much more complex business model. The advantage of working at home is that you retain complete control over your overheads. You can also pull back a bit if you feel that you are going over budget. It is also a safe place to start where you can maximize productivity without compromising on the quality of the service that you are offering to the public. This article explains how to start a profitable event planning business.
The key ingredient in event planning is networking. This is a lot more than knowing people. It also includes the ability to develop mutually beneficial business relationships. The diversity of materials and services that you need in order to execute an event successfully means that you cannot do without exceptional social networking skills in this business. Some people prefer to start off with family and friends before moving on to fully fledged commercial services that are based on the solid reputation built within the industry.
Understanding the event planning business costs
There are two separate but related cost centers that you must budget for in the event planning business. The first is your administrative costs. These are the ones that are associated with running around, finding customers and troubleshooting. They can be incorporated in the budget for the client. Alternatively you may set up another account which treats them as overheads. The second cost center that you will have to budget for is the actual organization of the event. This is a significantly larger budget that can include food, venues, entertainment and decorations. The second budget must be agreed with the client taking into consideration their needs, preferences and the possibilities. Do not promise what you can clearly not deliver because it sets everyone up for disappointment.
It is for the reasons above that it becomes very difficult to provide a definitive sliding scale of the type of capital that you will require. Instead it is up to you to do research on what is needed. After that you then reach a compromise with your clients. What is clear is that you are able to start an event planning business with as little as $5,000. In fact, you may end up not using a single dollar of the money that you have set out for your administration. This is because some clients are more than willing to pay for your personal cost. This happens as long as you can guarantee them an exceptionally good event.
Make sure you have a comprehensive event planning business plan
The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The event planning business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the nuances of the business that you propose. At the very minimum you need to have the following included:
- The mission, vision and operational strategy.
- Market Analysis And Customer Segmentation.
- A business case showing that the business is financial viable and sustainable.
- A marketing and customer care plan.
- An organizational chart and human resource policy.
- A three-year expansion outlook.
- A risk and rewards Analysis.
You will need to make an informed decision about the business type that you will adopt for your company. The business type you select will determine who owns, runs and supervises the operations of the company. It’s also better to have a website for your event planning business.
Validation and certification
It is advisable to get certification as soon as possible. This can be attained from a vocational college or academic institution within your locality. The MPI (Meeting Professionals International) group will provide all the necessary details of where and how you can get accreditation. Research has shown that a Certified Special Events Professional or Certified Meeting Planner listing is likely to attract high end customers who will feel that they are in safe hands.
Diplomatic, negotiation and project management skills
The biggest occupational hazard for an event planner are the nightmare clients. These clients give contradictory instructions, refuse to pay for commissioned work and are generally a hindrance. Some clients assume that they own you forever once you have agreed to work for them. That is why you must set out the terms of engagement from the beginning. Explain what you can and cannot do. Give them options and alternatives if they want to change things. At the same time ensure that you remind them of the cost implications of whatever choices they make. Of course you will find clients for whom money is no object. If they are willing to give you an unlimited budget, then you should focus on quality and meeting the client’s requirements.
The event planning business operates on a multi-professional basis. That means that you constantly have to interact with people from all walks of life whose work is critical to ensuring that the event is a success. The event planner is something of a coordinator. They are the ones that are responsible for bringing all these different groups together. After that they need to smooth pathways and massage the respective big egos before they can deliver the final product to the client. It is a potentially very stressful job. It will test your organizational skills to the maximum.
Scheduling and contact
A large part of your event planning business will be scheduling and client contacts. That means ensuring that you have some professional venues as well as an eye for time keeping. The first impressions that you create when you are introduced to a client matter. They will determine whether they entrust you with their precious dream wedding or never call back. Your business card and personality are the passports to this world. However; you can enhance your reputation by always being on time and sticking to the issues. You should also deaal with clients professionally no matter how much it costs you.
Clients prefer someone that is flexible enough to respond to their needs. Do not fall into the trap of setting an agenda and then expecting everyone in the industry will fall in line. The clients will not. In fact, they are not particularly interested in your agenda. All they want is their events to be the best organized. You are an instrument in achieving that objective. A personal assistant and liaison team would not go amiss in these circumstances. You cannot humanly accomplish all the tasks alone.
Why you need to have a go at event planning business
Industry reports indicate an upsurge in the special events industry particularly over the last ten years. Annual spend in this sector has reached $500 billion per annum. Moreover; the event planning industry is evergreen in as far as customers request services at any given point in the year. Thus the business avoids the cash flow problems that are associated with seasonality. This industry supports a myriad of subsidiary businesses. They include catering, decoration, entertainment and hall rentals. This means that the event planning entrepreneur is able to reach a wider network of professional relationships. Best of all; you can start your event planning business working from home, with very little capital outlay.
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