Work Hard, Play Hard, At the Same Time
Businesses take event planning very seriously, doing their utmost to impress their clients. Think remote-controlled helicopters delivering trays of champagne; rotating platforms showcasing leggy dancers; fountains drizzling chocolate; sizzling wonders of molecular gastronomy.
Well, these are extreme examples, way out on the fringe, perhaps. If you start a business as an event planner, a lot of what you do may not be nearly this extravagant, yet quality is important, and as an event planner it will be your job to ensure that things are done with equal parts precision and finesse.
As an event planner, you hire the entertainers and chefs, arrange the venue and plan the theme. You’re setting up the chic company get-together, the product unveiling, maybe a high-end birthday party. It’s about working hard and playing hard at the same time, having fun and making cash.
Event planning can absolutely be done as a home-based business, and it’s not hard to fund the beginning of this interesting business.
Obviously, one of the biggest things you need to dive into this exotic venture is an outgoing and fearless personality. You need great people skills and as many connections as you can possibly forge. You’ll need to know d.j.’s and florists and caterers who know folks who throw parties and who can send some business your way.
The reason you don’t need an awful lot of startup capital is that the equipment for the parties are all supplied by the various parties with whom you interact—the d.j.’s, bands, caterers, etc. The facilities are provided. You just need a phone and a computer and anything you need to create marketing materials—perhaps no equipment at all.
One of the things you’ll do as you get started is establish those relationships with the vendors I mentioned above. As quickly as possible, try to gain a stable of reliable people who can supply the things you need, such as decorations, entertainment, limos, etc. You’ll want to get into the realm of discounts for your repeat business as soon as possible. Also, since events can be inherently stressful, dealing with people with whom you have a rapport is very important—there may be some improvisation and needs for flexibility in what you do. Good people are one of your most valued resources.
You may do a wide variety of events or may specialize. Certainly, specializing in, say, weddings, will allow you to get a lot of referrals and establish yourself as an expert. Doing several of the same types of events at first will give you sample photos and videos to use to attract similar business, not to mention references.
As is the case with many businesses, you’ll have to hire an accountant before long, and getting business insurance is important for an event planning business.
Be ready to do an awful lot of hard work. You’ll have a lot of problem solving to do, and may end up feeling as though the world is one big obstacle course set up by someone who’s trying to mess with your head. If you have that kind of temperament, you should be able to reap the rewards.