How To Start An Event Planning Business?

0
72
how to start an event planning business

How to start an event planning business? Start by understanding if this is the right idea you are pursuing. Before you set your foot into the immensely competitive market, it’s important to hone your idea. You can start by doing your market research and understanding the event planning industry.  

Does this business bring some kind of fulfillment to you? Is it a good option to generate your desired amount of income? Most importantly, are you solving any problems in the event planning industry?  

First, ask these questions to yourself. Put your answers down on a piece of paper. Now, let’s take you through a step-by-step process for starting an event planning business.  

Ideate: Event Planning Business Planning 

Ideate_ Event Planning Business Planning

Before you take the first step, see if it’s the right direction. 

1.Why? Event Planning Market Assessment 

If you have answered the questions above, you should already have some answers as to why you should start an event planning business. Starting a business requires efficient planning, which starts with the right market assessment. So, how do you do the right market assessment? 

Start by researching the event planning industry. Evaluate the competitors you have in your location. Also, check out their price points and customer reviews and evaluate them to understand if you can fill in any market gap.  

While taking reviews from your competitor’s customers, you can even start your word-of-mouth marketing efforts – which is a plus point during your early start. This market assessment will also help you identify your target market.  

2.What? Value You are Binging to the Table 

As you start with your market research and identify a market gap to fill in, you should have an idea of what services to provide to your event planning target customer. Of course, you can try to provide every single type of service under event planning. But, try to carve out your niche or specialization to stand out.  

For example, some event planners take care of everything, starting from planning to handling the logistics, setting up the event, and overseeing it throughout. But you can also schedule and outsource other services. Need help choosing something specific? These examples might help – 

  • Corporate event planning.  
  • Social event planning. 
  • Wedding planning.  
  • Festival planning.  
  • Conference  
  • Sports event planning. 
  • Virtual event planning.  
  • Destination event planning.  
  • Exhibition & Trade Show planning.  

3.Who? Target Customer Research  

Who_ Target Customer Research

Once you understand why you are in the industry and what you are providing in the event planning industry, it’s time for the most crucial part yet. Who are your target customers? Your answer is hidden  inside the services you are providing, and who you are providing your services to.  

For example, if you are providing wedding planning services, then your customers will be established people willing to get married. You can find them on social channels like Facebook & Instagram.  

But, if you are planning events for commercial institutions or bigger corporation, then your customers are corporate managers or the Human Resource managers. LinkedIn would be a more suitable place to identify and locate these target customers.  

It’s important to understand various segments of your customers if your event planning services are tailored for different segments. It’s best to build a target customer persona and do your research. This way, you’ll know what their pain points are and find ways to solve them through your business.  

Your answer to “who your services are for” also helps you understand where to find them and how to market your services to them. 

4.Where? Choose a Location for Your Event Planning Business 

Now you know that your idea will work, you know who your customers are and what product or services you are providing. The next part is to identify the location from where you will run your business. Initially, if you are starting with a low startup cost, reduce all the hefts and start from home. Your garage or the spare room you don’t use too much, can be the best places to start.  

But, as your business grows, you will hire more people, and you will need your inventory. That’s when you’ll have to rent a commercial workspace and inventory.  

If you are looking for a commercial workspace, try keeping the following things in your mind – 

  • Is the location you are choosing accessible via public transport?  
  • Does the place need much renovation? 
  • Is it spacious and gets enough natural light? 
  • Is the lease flexible, with enough room for extension as your business grows? 

It’s best to have a clear communication with the owner of the space. Ask questions before you decide to purchase or lease your commercial workspace. 

5.Be Part Of A Franchise/ Or Do Your Own Thing? 

There are two ways of starting a business in the USA. You can either start something from scratch or buy a franchise. That also applies to event planning businesses. USA has many established event planning and management businesses. Look around and do your research to find franchising opportunities.  

If you just want a steady and sustainable source of income, then franchising options are good to consider. They already have brand recognition and a proven track record to help you start, expand, scale, and grow your event planning business. But, if you want to start from scratch, you have to write the best event planning business plan yet.  

6.Write Your Business Plan  

Write Your Business Plan

So which one is it? A franchise or your own event planning business built from scratch? If you are building it from scratch, don’t skip this part. You need to write down a detailed business plan before you start your event planning business journey. Your event planning business plan should include the following points – 

  • Executive summary: The executive summary includes your vision and a comprehensive strategy for running your business. Also, include the services you will be providing through your event planning business.  
  • Business overview: what’s the specialty of your business? Include specific services like helping with venue selection, theme development, vendor coordination, and event day management.  
  • Product & Services: this portion should include the details of services your event planning business provides. Are you also handling entertainment management and catering services as well?  
  • Market Analysis: During market research, you must assess the event planning services, your competitors, and potential target audiences. Your event management business plan should also include a market analysis of the specific target market you are serving.  
  • Competitive Analysis: run a competitive analysis to find out the market gap. Your business plan should include your potential to bring in niche expertise like specific event expertise, creative decoration, and design, or exceptional vendor relationships. Competitive analysis should help you identify your specialty.  
  • Sales & Marketing: include your marketing, social media, and networking strategies in your business plan. 
  • Management Team: Highlight employees or necessary business stakeholders in this section. You can outline the names of responsibilities, such as marketing, maintaining relationships with vendors, etc.  
  • Operations Plan: Outline your business operations, from getting your clients to receiving post-event feedback.  
  • Financial Plan: include your startup costs, service pricing strategy, expected revenue, etc., in this section of the business plan.  
  • Appendix: the appendix contains supplementary documents like portfolios, client testimonials, etc.  

Start: Establishing Your Business 

Start with the right business name. Here’s why you should choose wisely – 

7.Choose Your Business Name  

If your business idea is strong and you logically have a chance to penetrate into the market, then you are ready to start your event planning business. So, now it comes down to choosing a name for your event planning business.  

Here are some tips – 

  • Choose a name that’s unique, easy to remember, and something that speaks to your target customers. It should be easy to spell and easy to tell.  
  • The name of your business should be relevant to the products or services you are selling.  
  • How do you find the right business name for your event planning business? Start by asking your peers, friends, and colleagues, or shoot a poll on social media, making people choose between the two names you have shortlisted.  
  • Remember, whichever name you choose should be related to your industry. It should be SEO optimized so that your customers can find it through internet searches. You can be quirky. But don’t be too specific for better search engine optimization. Keep some room open for expansion and mystery.   
  • Try a location-based name if you want to provide your services to a targeted location.  
  • Most importantly, once you decide on a business name, check if that name is still available or already registered for another business. Try contacting the Secretary of State or do a simple internet search. You’ll find out if that name is taken or available. 

8. Get Your Event Planning Business Domain 

It’s really important to choose a unique event-planning business name. You don’t want to choose a name only to find out that the domain name of the same has already been taken. If you have thoroughly followed the steps before, it shouldn’t be difficult to find the best domain name.  

Now, go to a domain-providing platform like Godaddy and look for the domain name of your business. Remember, your business name is what you will use for your domain, social media accounts, and branding. Once you choose, there’s no going back. So, do consider your choice before you choose any event planning business name.  

9. Incorporation: Register Your Event Planning Business 

There are different types of business incorporation methods thanks to the varieties of legal structures existing in the USA. All types of incorporation methods have some pros and cons. Whichever structure you choose for your business dictates personal liabilities, taxes, and requirements in business registration. So, it’s important to choose your incorporation methods wisely. Here are some examples – 

Sole Proprietorship: This is a structure that does not make any legal distinctions between the owner and the business. The profit goes to the owner, and so do the liabilities.  

General Proprietorship: here’s another business structure where the business owner gets to keep the profit and be responsible for the liabilities. However, it involves more than two people in the business.  

LLC: this is a mix of sole proprietorship and corporation-type business structure. In this business structure, the owners are not personally liable for the debts.  

C Corp Business: The business is an entity itself, and the owners don’t have any liabilities for the business. They take their profit through dividends in a C Corp structure. 

If you are starting a small event planning or event management business, LLC will be the best business structure to follow in this case. It gives entrepreneurs considerable tax protection and helps them pass through taxation.  

10. Get Your EIN 

The last step before you can pay taxes is by getting an EIN or Employer Identification Number. You will find more about EIN, and if you need it, you can find it on the IRS website. Business owners can file for EIN online, by mail, or by fax. Sole Proprietors can choose their social security number as their EIN.  

When you get your EIN for your event planning business, you have to choose your tax year. Your tax year can either be a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year starting in any month. Based on your business structure, you’ll have specific taxes to pay. Also, your tax cycle will be determined by your tax year.  

11. Get Funding: Fund Your Event Planning Business 

The initial start-up cost for an event planning business doesn’t require much. But, if you don’t have the capital, you may have to look for loans, which is possible only if you have a strong business plan.  

However, you can also secure funding for event planning through other means. For example – 

  • SBA guaranteed loans 
  • Government Grants 
  • Friends & Family 
  • Crowdfunding, etc.  

12.Obtain Licenses 

Whenever you start any business, you will be required to come up with different types of licenses and permits from the local, state, and federal governments. There are certain regulations applied by the state, local, and federal governments for small business owners to follow.  

Here are the federal regulations, licenses, and permits related to starting a business as an event planner – 

  • Health license from OSHA 
  • Copyrights 
  • Trademarks 
  • Patents 
  • Permits  

Here’s a tricky part. The license requirements and how you can get them vary from state to state. So, it’s best to check your state, city, and country government websites for location-specific directions. The best place for information is still the SBA if you want to know more about your state’s requirements.  

Wait, does it feel too overwhelming? In that case, get help from a professional to fulfill all the legal checkboxes.  

13.Business Bank Account 

When you start a business, you’ll make money. But the most difficult thing is to know where you’ll keep it. It’s extremely important to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances. That way, things like tax filing and income and expense tracking for your business become easier.  

So, even if you are running your business as a sole proprietor, it’s best to keep your personal and business finances separate. The process of creating a business bank account is pretty straightforward. However, the process might be a little different for each bank. 

However, you will need your EIN, legal documents for your business, and incorporation article to create an event-planning business bank account.  

14. Get Your Insurance  

Don’t overlook this part. Many small businesses overlook the need for insurance and pay dearly. It’s a protective shield keeping your business safe from unforeseeable events. Make it mandatory to obtain licensing for your event planning business.  

Launch: An Eventful Journey 

Once you are done completing the processes mentioned before, it’s time for the most awaited start. Use your start-up capital to get your event planning business equipment, a used truck for logistics, and spend on marketing. Always accept challenges head-on and prepare contingencies for recurring challenges in operating your event planning business.  

Despite the challenges, there are opportunities to explore and problems to solve. Your entrepreneurial journey to start an event planning business will indeed be eventful. But ensure that you make the most out of them.

READ ALSO:

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here