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How to Start an Event Planning Business

Starting your own event planning business is an exciting time. A whole new world is opening up where you can become the master of your own destiny and deliver the events you always dreamed of instead of delivering someone else’s ideas. There is a lot to launching any business and it is all too easy to miss something important.

That’s why we put this guide together. It is part of our series of articles on starting your own events business. If you would like to learn more about setting up on your own, try our ‘Setting up an event business masterclass’. The complete guide to running your own show!

Is running your own event management business for you?

Before you quit your job and set up on your own, you should have a long hard think about whether being your own boss is right for you. It is exciting and challenging but comes with a lot of responsibility.

Questions you should ask yourself honestly include:

  1. Are you organised and disciplined enough to work on your own?
  2. Do you have the skills necessary to run a business as well as organize events?
  3. Do you have savings or income to help you survive while you’re getting started?
  4. Can you multitask and wear many hats at once?
  5. Do you have the ideas and experience to deliver top class events?

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If you answered yes to all of these questions, you could make it as your own boss.

Setting up an event management business

Setting up a party planning business is a lot like planning an event. You will need to come up with a business plan, give your business a name, consider its USP, provide a budget, consider marketing and provide a means to measure success. All things you will likely have experience with already.

A typical business launch would include the following:

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting a party planning business or a multinational event management business, you will start with a very similar process.

Business research

The same as you would research the viability of a particular event, you have to research the viability of your event management business. You will need to research demand, supply, competition, your local and target market, gaps in those markets, your USP and how it will fit into those markets and local licensing, legal and insurance requirements.

The fuller the picture you have before you begin, the more targeted all of the following steps will be.

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Business plan

The detail and scope of your business plan depends on how you are going to finance your business. If you are self-funding, your business plan can be simplified. If you need startup capital, you will need a lot more detail on every aspect of your event planning business.

Business plans work a lot like event business plans. You will need to outline your goals, your target market, your USP, income and expenses and justify exactly why a stakeholder should invest in your business. It’s detailed work but essential if you need money to get off the ground.

Business plans are very detailed documents. This guide over at Start Donut goes into a lot more detail than we can here.

Learn what it's like to run your own events company with our FREE Event Management Guide
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Business administration

Business admin includes the nuts and bolts of setting up a business. That will include coming up with a business name, securing the domain (.com and .co.uk), acquiring a logo and branding, having a website designed, setting up social media accounts, getting an accountant, registering the business and getting the correct insurance.

We cover naming in detail in ‘Event Company Names’. Logos and branding are equally important and are vital to the success of your venture. Website design is something that requires planning, especially if you’re outsourcing it as it can take days or weeks to build depending on its complexity.

Getting an accountant should be straightforward enough, as should registering the business. Insurance may be more complex but a good quality insurance broker should be able to assist.

Business setup

Business setup is all about paving the way for you to begin marketing your wares. That can include acquiring licences to put on events, live music and so on. It can also include premises if you are planning to open an office, staff to help you run the business, office equipment and software.

You can run an event planning business from home to begin with if you have the space. Equipment can initially be minimal, a laptop and printer along with high speed internet should be enough at first. Software can be cloud software to avoid up front expenditure. This guide has an outline of your software options as an event planner.

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Marketing and promotion

If you have set up your company, covered the administrative needs, hired the staff, got the insurance and installed the software, you are now ready to promote your business. Again, you can use your existing marketing and PR skills here. Rather than promoting the event, you are promoting an entire event planning business.

You should use every medium possible, concentrate on your USP, identify your target market, assign audience personas and devise a strategy for reaching them. If you’re not a marketing expert, hire one or hire an agency. Advertising and promotion is an essential skill in setting up any business and the same is true here. If you don’t have that expertise, hire someone who does. Freelancer or permanent, as long as they can get the job done.

Business delivery

The delivery stage of your event planning business is going to be your daily routine. As an experienced planner, you shouldn’t need us to tell you what goes on here. Just remember, where you were able to dedicate all of your time and attention to the event at hand, now you will have to reserve time and attention for the bigger picture too. Your business.

As if you didn’t have enough to contend with, you will have to answer client queries, social media requests, answer comments and perform the myriad of tasks all business owners have to contend with alongside actually trying to deliver an event.

Good luck with it!

Want to find out more? Download our FREE Event Management Guide
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