How to Start an Event Planning Business
Thinking of starting your own event planning business? Event planning is projected to grow by 9% in the USA between 2019 and 2029, making it a fast-growing industry and lucrative business opportunity.
One of the key perks of starting an event planning industry is its low startup investment: even a one-man team can start an event planner business with just a laptop and an internet connection, and you can start the business from home to eliminate rent costs.
However, just because it’s a promising business opportunity, doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to be successful. You’ll still need the right market research, planning, and most importantly, execution.
Yet, it’s still a potentially high reward business over the long term, and here are the details and processes you will need to follow to start a successful event planning business.
Step 1: Market Research
Before anything else, you should make sure whether there is a legitimate need for event planning services in your area. Don’t rely on your guts, you’ll need to do some proper research or else you’ll regret it later.
While performing market research can be easier said than done, you can:
- Research potential competitors, public data, analysis, and reports on the internet
- Interview potential customers or you can also conduct online surveys
- List the number of competitors there are in the area (too many, and it might not be worth pursuing, too few, and you might not have any market)
- Monitor the number of opportunities for event planning services over certain months
- If possible, speak to other event planning companies or professional event planners to get more information
- Analyze the similarities and differences in the services your potential competitors will over compared to your business idea
Step 2: Plan Your Business’s UVP
If you’ve passed step 1 and you’ve confirmed that there’s a legitimate need for an event planning business in your area, then congratulations! In this next step, we’ll figure out what your business can offer as a UVP (Unique Value Proposition).
Your UVP is essentially what’s going to differentiate your event planning business from your competitors based on your market research.
List the core areas where you know you have an advantage over your competitors. For example, if you are able to organize a specific type of event where you have expert knowledge.
However, you should also consider what your weaknesses are. If, for example, you are not yet confident in your skillset to manage a large-scale event, you might want to avoid this type of event.
In short, figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and design your event planning business to amplify your strengths and cover your weaknesses.
Step 3: Planning The Business
We’d recommend developing an actual business plan when planning your event planner business.
A well-written business plan is especially important if you’d like to secure funding to start the business (more on this later), but even if you are planning to fund the business yourself, a business plan can be a very useful roadmap for you in achieving success.
In your business plan you should consider:
- What types of business entity the event planning business will be
- A catchy and attractive brand name
- Vision/mission for the business (with a proper mission statement)
- SWOT analysis
- Financial plan
- Marketing plan
Step 4: Figure Out The Financial Details
How will you fund the business? Check whether any funding is available to you, for example, if your college can offer funding support or whether there are incentives or grants for starting a business in your area.
If you can start your business on your own without any financial help, then this is the most ideal approach since you won’t need to worry about repaying loans or giving back to your investors. However, obviously, this isn’t always an option for everyone.
Nevertheless, calculate exactly how much the business will need, what the money will go to, and when you will need it.
Step 5: Legal Requirements
Identify the local requirements for starting an event planning business in your area. This will vary between countries and even between states. Then, you should formally register your company.
Once the company name is registered, you should also create your company logo and branding and take the necessary steps to protect your IP via trademarks, copyrights, or patents. If necessary, don’t be afraid to take legal advice.
Step 6: Technological Infrastructure
In this digital age, your online presence is obviously important in winning more clients.
Set up your website and social media accounts, and you should aim for the same handles across different social media networks for consistency.
Publish content on your website and social media pages as soon as you can. You can start with a “coming soon” message, but don’t forget to regularly update the pages.
Also, it’s time to invest in an event management software solution as the backbone of your business. We’d recommend Eventtia’s software for event planning where you’ll get all the important features from online registration, payment/invoices, attendees tracking, and more in just a single solution for cost-efficiency.
Step 7: Decide on a Pricing Strategy
Another important and potentially challenging step is to get your price right,
Research your competitors to find out how much and how they charge for their services. This can be a challenge on its own, but you’ll get very valuable insights if you can get an understanding of how your competitors price their services
Also, when you get an inquiry from potential clients, make sure you get all the details before quoting your price. Get as many details as you can to enable you to calculate your costs and profit margin accurately.
Step 8: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing
Now that you’ve established your event planning business, it’s time to promote your business like crazy and secure more projects. Tell as many people as you can about your business, and market your event planning business in various marketing channels.