How to Start An Event Planning Business From Scratch
Starting a new business in event planning can be a very profitable venture. However, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get started. In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to start an event planning business from scratch in 6 easy steps!
We’ll also provide tips on how to market your new company, advice on what services to offer your clients, the type of training you should get, and more. So, if you’re ready to start planning some amazing events, keep reading!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Much Does It Cost to Start an Event Planning Business?
First thing’s first: you need to have an idea of the money required to build an event planning business. The cost of starting your business can vary, depending on a number of factors – such as the size of your company and the services you want to offer. However, in general, you’ll need to invest in some basic start-up costs, such as:
- A computer and/or laptop
- Telephone line and headset
- Business cards
- Business website
In a recent article published on Shopify’s blog, it was stated that in an entrepreneur’s first year of business, they’re likely to spend an average of approximately $40,000. Keep in mind that many of Shopify’s customers are business owners selling and shipping physical products from an online store. So, some of the data within this article may not necessarily apply to an event planning business owner. Still, the data within this blog post is definitely worth the read!
Additionally, you may also want to consider purchasing software that can help streamline your event planning process, such as wedding or event management software. How much you end up spending on start-up costs will largely depend on your specific needs and budget.
What Does an Event-Planning Entrepreneur Do Day-to-Day?
The next question to consider is: what does an event-planning entrepreneur typically do on a daily basis? How many hours will you be working each week? Will you have enough work to pursue this endeavor full-time?
The answers to these questions depend on a lot of things. (Although we can say that the answer to that last question is a resounding YES!)
In general, an event planner is responsible for the organization and execution of a wide variety of events. This may include everything from weddings and corporate functions, to birthday parties and charity galas. An event planner will typically work with clients to get a clear understanding of their vision and budget, then develop a plan of action that meets both requirements.
Moreover, they’ll also be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the event on the day-of, from coordinating vendors to ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
It’s important to note that the job duties of an event planner can vary, depending on their level of experience and specialty. For example, if you’re just starting out in this industry, you may only have limited experience working with specific types of events. In this case, you might want to focus your business on providing services such as event planning consultation, venue scouting, or contract negotiation. As you gain more experience, you can then expand your services to include things like catering coordination, decor design, and even budget management.
For even more information on this particular subject, check out our blog article all about a day in the life of a wedding planner!
How Can I Start an Event Planning Business with No Experience?
Starting an event planning business with no experience can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible! In fact, many successful entrepreneurs got their start in the event planning industry by starting small and gradually building their business over time.
One way to gain experience in the field is to volunteer your time at local events. This will allow you to learn about different types of events, as well as the logistics involved in putting together a successful event. You can also network with other professionals in the industry, attend workshops and webinars, and/or read books and articles on event planning.
Another option is to take online courses that specialize in event planning. These courses will teach you everything from how to plan corporate events, to wedding etiquette, to event decoration. They can also help you get started by providing tips on marketing strategies and business management. Furthermore, completing an accredited online course will also arm you with a reputable certification to add to your resume!
We’ll delve deeper into the type of online event planning training you should get a little later on in this article…
How Much Should I Charge for Event Planning Services?
There are many factors that go into pricing your event planning services. Some of the questions we recommend asking yourself include (but aren’t limited to):
- How long have you been in business?
- What are your qualifications as an event planner?
- How much in-field experience do you currently have?
- How many clients do you have at the moment?
- What type of events will you be working with (i.e. weddings, private parties, corporate functions, etc.)?
- Are you planning to launch your business with a team, or solo?
- If the former, how experienced are your staff members/team members when it comes to planning events?
- Do you specialize in any sought-after niches, or intend to?
- How much time does each client take up per month or year?
- How profitable is this particular industry within your region/niche market space right now?
Once these questions have answered, then you can better determine how much money it would cost you to run your company over a set period of time, such as the first year, years 2-5, and beyond. This article by The Balance Small Business provides further information on the topic of pricing your services. So, we recommend giving it a read!
What Type(s) of Services Do I Want to Offer My Clients?
When starting an event planning business, it’s important to decide which services you want to offer your clients. For example, will you be specializing in weddings? Corporate events? Social events?
You don’t have to limit yourself to one area! In fact, many event planners offer a variety of services, such as wedding coordination, theme design, catering management, and more. Either way, it’s important to choose the services that you’re comfortable with and that you know you can deliver on successfully.
Here are just some of the services you can offer your customers:
- Private event planning
- Wedding planning
- Destination wedding planning
- Luxury wedding and/or event planning
- Event decor
- Floral design
- Virtual event and/or wedding planning
- Corporate event planning
- Promotional event planning
- Travel and tourism services
- Festival and live event planning
- And more!
Fun Fact: Did you know that QC Event School offers internationally-recognized training in ALL of the above events services? It’s true! Learn about our full list of self-paced, online courses here!
Alright, now that we have some of the most popular FAQs answered, let’s jump into the 6 steps involved in building an event planning business from scratch!
Step One: Get Trained and Certified as an Event Planner!
First thing’s first, you’re going to need training in this industry. Although technically, event planning isn’t a regulated industry, this does NOT mean you won’t be much better off with proper training under your belt. In fact, we’d even argue that getting professionally certified is the single BEST way to become an event planner and achieve success!
When it comes to obtaining a solid event planning education, there’s no better option than to enroll in an accredited, internationally-recognized school! QC Event School, for instance, offers a variety of courses in multiple different areas of professional planning.
The best part? All of our programs can be completed at your own pace and right from the comfort of home!
Plus, our courses aren’t only geared towards those already working within the industry, who are looking to upskill or add additional services to their company. They’ve also been carefully designed for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business, too. In fact, this is why all of our courses offer an entire unit specifically dedicated to business training.
This means that regardless of your skill level or past experience, you’ll absolutely benefit from the knowledge and expertise offered in QC’s wedding and event planning courses! And once you’ve completed our course(s), you’ll receive an internationally-recognized certification that’ll demonstrate your skills and knowledge as an event planner!
How awesome is that? Talk about taking your resume to the next level!
Step Two: Figure Out What You Want Your Business to Look Like!
Alright, so now that you’ve got your education under your belt, it’s time to start thinking about what you want your business to look like. How will you structure it? How much money are you willing to invest in getting it started up and running smoothly (as well as how long)? Do you eventually want to hire on fellow team members/staff, etc.?
Now is also a great time for some self-reflection! Ask yourself:
- What kind of events am I really interested in planning and coordinating (i.e., weddings, corporate events, social parties etc.)?
- How flexible am I when it comes to working evenings and weekends during event season(s)?
- Do I have enough money saved up to get this business started and support myself while I’m in the beginning stages?
- How much money do I need/want to make?
- How many hours am I willing to work per week, month, or year?
- What are my short-term and long-term goals for the business (i.e., what do you want it to look like a few years down the road)?
Your Business Name and Brand
You’ll also want to start thinking up some ideas for your company name! This can be fun AND stressful all at once, so don’t sweat it too much if you’re struggling with how to come up with one. If all else fails, try using an online business name generator. There are lots of great ones out there that can really help jump start the process!
(And once you’ve chosen your business name, don’t forget to get it legally registered. That way, no one else can swoop in and take it from you!)
Lastly, you’ll also want to figure out what you want your brand to be. What do you want your business to look like? How do you want people to perceive it? What kind of vibe(s) are you going for (i.e., fun, elegant, modern etc.)?
Do some research and figure out what would work well with the audience(s) that you’ll be working with! The key is to find something that you feel comfortable with and will allow you to stand out from the crowd.
Step Three: Come Up With a Plan for Your Event Planning Business!
Now that you’ve got your education under your belt, have decided what kind of business you want to start up, AND figured out how it’ll be branded, it’s time for step three! This is where you put your business plan together.
A good business plan will help to outline all the important details about your company. It will include what services you’ll offer, how you’ll market yourselves, what your expenses and revenue will be, as well as who your target audience is. This document can also serve as a roadmap for your business; helping you figure out what your next steps should be as you go forward.
It’s also important to note that banks and other financial institutions often require a business plan from anyone looking to take out a loan for their business. So, think of it as the blueprints for your company!
If you’re having trouble putting together your own, there are lots of great resources online (like this one) that can help you out.
Step Four: Build Your Event Planning Business Website and Social Media Presence!
Once your business plan is complete, it’s time to start building your website and social media presence! This is where you’ll be able to showcase all of your amazing work, as well as give potential clients a little taste of what they can expect from you.
If you’ve never built a professional website before, or run social media channels for a business, we’ve got some great tips in our blog article, “How to Get Clients as an Event Planner“, to help you get started!
Just remember that the key here is to make sure your website and social media accounts are up-to-date and reflect the brand that you’ve been working so hard on in step three.
Step Five: Establish How You’ll Get Clients and Market Your Event Planning Business!
From here, it’s time to think about how you’ll actually get customers. How will people know that you’re an event planner – and even more importantly, that they should hire YOU for their next big shindig? Furthermore, what kind of marketing materials will you need to create (e.g., a website, business cards, online ad marketing, social media profiles, etc.)? How often will you need to update these items?
One great way to kick off this step is by creating a list of potential referral partners or affiliates. Do some research and compile a list of wedding venues, catering companies, florists, photographers, and other event service providers in your area that might be interested in working together. You can also meet with these businesses in-person to discuss how you can help each other out!
Online marketing will also be your best friend when it comes to getting your business seen. After all, that’s the point of a website and social media presence!
Establishing a budget for your marketing efforts is always a smart idea. Start this by asking yourself how often you’ll be able to put money towards advertising. Then figure out the answers to these additional questions:
- How much do you have available each month or quarter?
- How can this amount help get people interested in what you’re offering?
- What do you know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? Are you willing to learn about it and put in regular efforts to maintain high-ranking SEO for your company?
- What sort of online marketing are you interested in utilizing? (E.g. paid ads on Google and/or social media, email campaigns, monthly newsletters, etc.)
You might even want to consider a marketing budget at the start of each new year so you have time to plan ahead!
Step Six: Start Networking and Getting Real-World Experience as an Event Planner!
Last but certainly not least, it’s time to start networking and getting hands-on experience. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as:
- Attending industry events and meetups.
- Participating in online forums or communities related to event planning.
- Volunteering your time with local charities or non-profit organizations that host events.
- Offering free consultations to friends or family who are having a party or event soon.
- Collaborating with other industry experts in your area on a stylized photoshoot, etc.
The more you put yourself out there, the more people will know about your business – and the better your chances of landing some great clients! And don’t forget to network with other event/wedding planners in your area as well. Although they’re technically you’re “competition”, the fact is, there’s always room for more than one planner in the events industry.
If anything, you’ll quickly come to realize that your fellow planners will actually make for some of the greatest friends and allies as you navigate life as an event planning business owner!
We hope this article has been helpful in outlining the steps you need to take when starting an event planning business from scratch. Just remember to be patient, do your research, and have fun. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day… and neither will your business be!
But so long as you follow these 6 steps, you’ll be seeing success in no time. Thanks for reading!