How to Start an Event Planning Business on a Budget
Here you are: freshly graduated from Event Planning school, armed with your certification, and filled to the brim with knowledge and motivation. Firstly, congratulations are in order! You’ve worked hard, and we’re unbelievably proud of you!
Now you’re ready to step out into the professional world and start your very own planning business. For some, this may seem a little daunting. If you happen to have all the money in the world to invest into this endeavor, that’s one thing.
But what about those who are on a budget?
Luckily, this doesn’t have to deter you! Yes, there is obviously some level of financial investment you’re going to need to put into any start-up project. But it isn’t always as expensive as you may think, and there are definitely ways to get maximum results – without maximum spending!
So, if you’re a newbie event planner on a budget, this one’s for you. Let’s look together at 4 cost-efficient ways you can get your business off the ground!
Start Planning Ahead
I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling motivated, I tend to feel as though I need to tackle everything at once, immediately. And we get it: you’re riding the high of completing your accredited Event Planning Course, and you want to start on the path to success ASAP!
But wait just a moment! Before you go rushing into anything, consider this: it may be better to wait a bit.
For the eager go-getter such as yourself, this may be hard to hear. But you’re also a smart, organized planner. So, you know the value of thinking ahead! Because the thing is, if you immediately jump into trying to start a business without properly saving your pennies first, you may quickly become discouraged at the costs you WILL need to pay.
For instance: while there are plenty of things that have cheaper alternatives, one area where you will need to spend some money is registering your business name.
In order to have your own business, you’re going to need a name that no other business has. Then, you’re going to want to legally register it so that no one else can ever take the name away from you. In some places, this can be done for as little as $100. In others, it can cost more. It all depends on where you live.
This is just one example, but it reflects our point. If you’re on a tight budget, your best move might be to give yourself some time to put aside more business-related funds. Before you know it, that budget won’t be quite as tight anymore!
While it may put a slight delay on your short-term goals for now, it will pay off in spades in terms of your long-term goals and overall success!
Take Part in a Stylized Photoshoot
In the beginning, a big part of building your business will involve putting together your portfolio. This portfolio will need to include high-quality images of events you’ve organized. If you’re on a budget, though, hiring a professional photographer may be out of the question right now.
Plus, there’s the age-old Catch 22: you need a portfolio to showcase your past work with clients, but you’ll often need a solid portfolio in order to book clients. If you’re just starting out, how exactly is THAT supposed to work?!
One option – at least in the beginning – is to offer pro bono planning services for some friends, family, coworkers, etc. Another great solution is to get involved in a stylized shoot!
This involves a group of local professionals within the industry who will get together and combine their services to produce one, neatly-packaged photoshoot. You, as the planner, will typically organize the shoot. Examples of other types of professionals you can work with include:
- Fashion stylists
- Hair stylists
- Makeup artists
- Event decorators
- And more!
Most often, no one will be getting paid for a stylized shoot. Instead, everyone helps each other out by providing the fruits of this combined labor. In your case, a stylized photoshoot is an excellent, cost-effective way to get free, high-quality images for your portfolio!
Build Your Website
In this day and age, because practically everything is done online now, you absolutely NEED a business website. The purpose of it is to reflect your event planning business in the best possible light, in order to impress prospective clients. Think of your website as a visual resume and business card, rolled into one!
In order to make the best impression, your site will need to look professional. It should also contain all the possible information a potential client will need. Once you’ve developed a portfolio that you’re proud of, we strongly recommend adding that to your website, too.
Don’t know much about building your own website? Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as complicated as you might think it is. This article offers a great breakdown that will have you putting together your business’s website in no time!
Did we also mention that it doesn’t need to cost an arm or a leg either? There are tons of free website builders out there! Some of the best may tack on fees if you start including add-ons, but even then, many are offered at a low monthly price! Here are just a few possible options:
- WordPress – starts as low as $3.00 per month
- Weebly – starts as low as $6.00 per month
- GoDaddy – starts as low as $6.00 per month
- Gator – starts as low as $9.22 per month
Even a website host like Wix (which many argue is one of the best overall), can costs as little as $13.00 a month!
Leverage Social Media
When it comes to increasing your online visibility, social media is truly a blessing. Your possibilities are endless, in terms of how you can choose to utilize social media in order to market your event planning business.
The best part is that so much of it costs little to nothing!
Most of us are already familiar with platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. So, why not create a profile for your business on each of these channels? Here are a few ways you can market yourself through social media at no cost:
- Post regularly
- Publish interesting, unique, and relevant content
- Incorporate your branding into your color schemes, captions, etc.
- Utilize hashtags (without going overboard)
- Develop and showcase your niche
- Interact regularly with comments, questions, and messages
SEO also plays a big part in online marketing. Luckily, there’s no price tag when it comes to doing research! Devote some time to learning about SEO, and how you can capitalize on it to improve your online visibility.
Should you want to allot some money to your marketing strategies, platforms like Facebook offer you the option to boost your posts to a wider audience. Because there’s no minimum amount required, you can take advantage of this particular marketing strategy as much or as little as you want, for just a few bucks at a time!
The benefits of properly using social media to market your business can’t be stressed enough. If you approach it correctly, and give it the attention it deserves, you’ll be amazed at how many potential clients it could send your way!
At the end of the day, we all come from different backgrounds; with different stories, different goals, and different budgets. None of this should make you feel as though you can’t pursue your dreams and career aspirations!
Being an event planner is about dedication, hard work, and a genuine love for what you do. So long as you have that, nothing else will be able to stand in your way!