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Party planning business is the new must-have in the modern age social life. And with social media on the rise, celebrating in style doesn’t look like it will be stopping anytime soon. This means that there are even more opportunities for entrepreneurs to launch small businesses into this high-demand market.
For many people who are interested in getting into the business and contributing to their households, party planning business is a smart idea. With flexible hours, a party planning business provides an opportunity to flex your creative side and business acumen all at once. A Party planning business can gross between $85,000 to $250,000 per year depending on the structure of the business.
You don’t need any special training or education. Although if you have a degree in hospitality, event planning or tourism, it can add weight to your credentials. You can also get certified as special events or meeting planner, as well as read books to get a handle on party planning basics.
If you are better suited working behind a desk with little customer engagement, then a Party planning business is not right for you. If you prefer working alone in a non-collaborative, yet organized environment, then you may want to reconsider this career move.
Finally, if on-the-spot creative thinking is not your strong suit, then your ambitions might be a better fit elsewhere.
However, if client-facing work excites you if teamwork contributes to your happiness, and if a fast-paced work environment fits your pace, managing a Party management company might be the perfect business for you.
It will help if you enjoy thinking creatively to create a desired ambiance or impression, liaise and negotiate with suppliers, solve problems and work with a budget. If you have the time management, marketing, and organizational skills for a party planning business, you can start up the business with relatively little capital and equipment.
12 Steps To Start Your Party Planning Business
1. Think About Your Style
One of the biggest things that are going to set you apart from your competition as a party planner will be your individual style. Now obviously, your clients may come into your business relationship with a very good idea of what they want for their party.
Or they might come to you because they love what they’ve seen of your work, and they think it matches their party.
In either case, it is important to have a good idea of your personal style, so you can showcase it and stay true to it.
2. Identify Your Target Market
Before you begin building your party planning business, it is also important to decide on its focus. Decide what types of parties you want to plan. Some businesses do industry-agnostic event planning, whereas others capture a niche market, such as corporate party or wedding party.
For example, if white collar party are more suited to your style, then network with industries and companies to organize their parties.
You should build your business, your clients, your resources, and your staff around the needs of white-collar party planning.
Once you find yourself on solid ground within your niche with room to expand, then that is the time to do so.
3. Lay The Foundations
If your party planning business takes off, you might end up being very busy. That is why it is important to get organized right from the beginning.
As a party planner, you’ll need to have water-tight contracts, financial practices and organization to help you keep on top, and safe from issues. Having these things in place from the beginning is a lifesaver, and starting good habits is essential for a strong business.
4. Legal Side Of Your Business
Once you set up your business plan, focus on the legalities of running a business.
Register your party planning business in whatever state you reside in, obtain all necessary business licenses, cover workers compensation insurance for your staff, and general liability insurance is also a must.
Don’t let legal tedium prevent you from being thorough. Preventing a lawsuit or a government investigation is far cheaper than the fees (often costing more than $50,000) associated with breaking the law, even if you’re missing something as benign as a zoning permit.
5. Party Planning Costs
If you’re coming from a large corporate events company, things will be a lot easier in terms of establishing good relationships with venues and suppliers and making a list of contacts to get good rates in printing etc.
Your supplier costs will dictate your pricing for the most part. Just how low you can swing your venue rentals and printing costs will, alas, depend on your contacts. Your overheads, if you are working on your own, could be as little as the cost of a phone line and a website.
Marketing and promotions are considerations too. The biggest costs in big companies are on staff and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about that during the early days.
6. Network With Suppliers
Once you have a good idea of your style and your market, it’s time to get out there and network with suppliers. A party is made up of a number of different puzzle pieces, and many of these are supplied by the different business.
Depending on your style, you might want to get in touch with a florist, a caterer, a decorator, a printing company, a paper specialist (for decorations), a photographer and more.
7. Build a Website For More Exposure
A website not only gives you a platform to showcase your work, but also attracts more clients with the help of testimonials. It is also easier to share with potential clients and on social media.
Simply connect the website to your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages and post shareable content regularly. Also, websites are inexpensive and relatively easy to set up.
We have written on how to create your website of your own which helps you through this process in more detail.
8. Market Your Business
There are numerous ways to promote your business. However, before you think about marketing, keep in mind that party planning is a service, and word of mouth is key. Therefore, you’ll want to maintain quality standards in all parties that bear your name. With that said, also maintain consistency. This is long-term marketing strategy as many former clients will recommend you to friends.
In the short-term, you can use social media advertising like Facebook and Twitter Ads, brochures and posters, blogging, email marketing and business cards. The list is long. Choose marketing strategies that meet your needs and that are effective. You may end up trying a few before finding the magic bullet.
Once you get a job, remember to collect lots of photographic evidence for your portfolio, as well as testimonials from your clients. Bring it all together to create a presence for yourself, either online, in print, or both.
9. Take Advantage Of Online Markets
In an online market, business owners can reach large numbers of people for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. But, you’ll need to know how to use the tools available to you in order to take the most advantage of them.
Do yourself a favor and get acquainted with both Facebook and Instagram as a minimum. All of these things create a persona for you and your business, almost like an online first impression for your clients.
10. Use Reputable Vendors
It goes without saying that your reputation precedes your business. For every party you plan, you will need a steady supply of materials you can’t provide yourself. It’s, therefore, a good idea to find reputable vendors who can provide you with the right materials in a timely manner. Also, develop a relationship with these vendors to make the next party you plan run smoothly.
Also, consider that with vendors that you have built a relationship with, it is possible to get high deals for lower. The more relationships you build, the more you save. Becoming a party planner will seem even more rewarding because of all the saving you will be doing.
11. Develop Your Resource Network
You will need a network of resources to make your parties a reality, such as caterers, entertainers, technical experts, technology suppliers, and marketing experts.
While you organize all of these resources for the party, the vendors will provide the tools necessary. Reach out to friends in the party management industry and check reviews on websites like Yelp to find the right vendors to work with.
12. Let Your Creative Side Out
The important thing to remember throughout the entire process of starting a business, particularly a party planning one, is that creativity is key. You have a head full of great ideas, all of which are just waiting to come out and shine at someone’s party.
Don’t censor your creative side too much as you go along, or let it become too heavily influenced by other people. Remember that not everyone, including your clients, is going to agree with you, but that doesn’t mean they need to change how you think, or how you act.
Party planning can be a rewarding career path to choose, and starting has never been easier than it is now. Thanks to social media marketing, you can now reach as many people as possible. Take the initiative, because being a party planner will not only keep you occupied but also bring big bucks to the table.
Party Management is a multi-million dollar industry: if you are an organizational hot shot who throws a great party, you could take a bash at it and earn yourself a cut of the winnings. But if you want to be part of this rapidly growing and rabidly competitive sector, just be sure you’re prepared to fight it out with the big boys!