Party or event planning can be an exciting and lucrative career. Many professionals are hired for these positions within universities, hotels, convention centers, and various other venues. In fact, the job outlook for event planners is much faster than average at a projected 11 percent growth rate. But you don’t have to work for a big corporation to do what you love.
Many people are building a lucrative career for themselves right from the comfort of their own homes. Of course, to be successful, you won’t be staying home for long. You’ll be mingling with people like future brides, business executives, and other party professionals. If this sounds like the career for you, keep reading to find out how you can get started.
Choose a niche
As a party planner, you don’t necessarily have to specialize, but niching down is good for business. For one thing, if you know what you’re specializing in, it’s easier to find your target market. Marketing to one type of clientele is much easier than trying to be everything to everyone.
But aside from effort, it also makes you appear more professional. For example, if you wanted to hire someone to plan your wedding, would you rather hire a random event planner or someone who specializes in weddings?
Choosing a niche makes it easier when building your inventory, too. In other words, you won’t have to stock up on all types of decor for birthdays, weddings, and corporate events. You can keep your eye out for deals on party products for your particular specialty.
The niche you choose might depend largely on the area in which you live. Certain areas of New York, for instance, have large Jewish neighborhoods that make Bar and Bat Mitzvah planning very lucrative. And if you live in a small area, you’ll definitely want to keep the local culture in mind. If you live in a large city, however, the sky’s the limit. You might choose to specialize in corporate events, such as trade shows, company parties, large meetings, etc.
Figure out your budget
Party planning is a great business to start on a shoestring because it requires very little inventory to get started. Your upfront costs might include things like licensing and registration for your business, advertising, and insurance. You’ll probably also need to hire an outsourced accounting service to help you keep your business compliant with federal and local tax requirements.
But as far as supplies go, you can buy those with the deposits you receive from your clients. And in many cases, you won’t even need supplies. This usually depends on your specialization and the area you’re working. For example, in certain niches, your entire job may be to coordinate the various vendors. This might include decorators, photographers, caterers, etc.
In other words, you may be hiring another party to take care of decor and supplies instead of providing them yourself.
Market your business
Marketing your new party planning business doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It can be as simple as just letting people know what you’re up to. Of course, in order to turn it into something big, you’ll have to put in a little more work than that. But in the beginning, simply landing your first job can be just the boost you need.
The first thing you’ll need is a web presence. This is mainly so that you’ll have a place to direct people to when they want to know more about your business. There are many services, such as Wix and Squarespace, that make building one easy. But you can also opt for just a Facebook page to begin with.
Another important thing you can do early on is to get some business cards printed. You can hand these out at school functions, churches, the market, and any other place you frequent. You may even be able to get your beautician to let you leave some on the front counter. The important thing is to just get your name out there however you can.