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How Do I Start an Event Planning Business?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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If you have the drive and social skills necessary to plan events and coordinate vendors, you may be able to start an event planning business in your area. Before you get started, however, you will need to do some research and think about what kind of event planning business you want to start. Some businesses, for example, are focused on one type of event, usually weddings, and will plan such events only. Other businesses are broader and can handle a wider variety of events, such as celebrations, memorials, educational fairs, job fairs, and so on.

Once you have a clear set of goals, it helps to write a business plan that will outline all aspects of your event planning business. This plan should include an analysis of the target market, competition, potential pitfalls to starting the event planning business, and ways in which your business will be better than others. Advertising strategies should also be included, and a detailed budget should be drawn up. It may also help to make profit and loss projections that will give you an idea of how much money you can expect your business to make in the first few years of operation.

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You will need to secure startup funding for your event planning business, which often means securing a business loan. Writing a business plan will help you secure such loans, as you will be able to show lenders your plan and give them a sense that you will be able to pay back the loans on time. Once you secure funding, you will need to set up vendor accounts, establish a storefront or base, and advertise your new business. Networking will be important; visiting bridal boutiques, schools, funeral homes, and other venues that you are likely to coordinate with is a good first step toward establishing your business name and drumming up new business.

Before you do any networking, however, be sure to design promotional materials and price lists so vendors and customers will get a sense of what they can expect from your business. The more information you can give your customers, the more quickly your business will become established. Keep track of expenses and profits; if you are not good with budgeting or accounting, consider hiring a professional accountant to take care of this aspect of the business. This will save you a lot of frustration and possible loss of money when you start up your event planning business.

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Discuss this Article

B707
Post 7

I think that there are some people who are just naturally good planners and organizers and also love to deal with other people and don't mind deadlines and crisis situations. They make good event planners. Not all could run a business, but being an assistant to the owner would let them do all the fun stuff, without being too involved with the business aspects.

I think it would be fun and satisfying to be involved in planning wedding events. Dealing with vendors and the bride & groom's family would be very interesting.

Clairdelune
Post 6

Before I even thought of starting an event planning business, I would test the waters and do a lot of research. Working for an event planning business and trying to learn all I can about various aspects of the business would be a good approach.

I have heard of so many people who have jumped into a new business without having a good business plan or enough money to see the way through the rough first years of a new business. They very often fail.

A novice event planner has to be prepared to work long and hard hours to build up the business.I would concentrate on one type of event planning, at least until my business got off the ground.

KaBoom
Post 5

@JaneAir - I think you definitely have to have a certain kind of personality to run an event planning business. Some people really love to plan and organize and don't mind the stress. I think this kind of business could be great for someone who is both calm and detail-oriented.

However, as this article points out, you also need to know how to run a business. No matter how great you are at event planning, if you don't know something about business you're not going to succeed! I would recommend finding a mentor or taking a few classes before spending money trying to start a business.

JaneAir
Post 4

@comfyshoes - You are so right-the event planning business isn't at all glamorous. My boyfriend works in hotels as an AV technician, so he deals with a lot of event planners.

He told me they always seem stressed out and rushed. Keep in mind, events are a "big deal" for most people, so most of your customers are probably going through a stressful time. Also, there is a lot of pressure for everything to be "perfect." One event that goes wrong can ruin the reputation of an event planning business forever!

suntan12
Post 3

@Comfyshoes - I think that if you are able to buy an existing event planning business you might be better off because you will have existing clientele and staff that is trained so that you can hit the ground running.

It will cost more, but if you go to a business broker they should be able to supply the income and profit statements to you as well as give you an estimation of what the event planning business that you are buying is worth.

I almost bought a business this way and these business brokers can really open your eyes to what a business is really like. I also think that a bank will finance an existing business that has proof of profitability rather than one that is started from scratch.

comfyshoes
Post 2

@BrickBack- Those are good ideas but for me the most important things to starting an event planning business is experience working in the field and money in the bank. A lot of people think that event planning is glamorous and I am sure that some of the jobs are, but this is a business that requires a lot of patience and persistence because things can go wrong.

Working in the field for at least six months gives you an indication if you like the work or not. It also shows you how a business of this type is run. You will also get a general idea of the money needed to make the business successful, but if you don’t have experience in the business it might be harder to estimate this.

BrickBack
Post 1

I think that if you are starting an event planning business you should do a market analysis and call around and shop your competition. You should try to see what your competition is offering and the prices that they charge so that you can remain competitive.

I would also look at where they are advertising because these places might also be good promotional opportunities for you too.

I think that once you officially open the doors, you should do a press release in the lifestyle or neighbors section of your newspaper to get the word out about your business. It is also a good idea to submit a press release to your local community paper.

This will also draw in more potential customers. I have done that in the past and it does work.

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