Starting out by working from home keeps costs lower as renting office space can be a huge outgoing for a fledgling business and you may not wish to be tied into a long-term rental contract from the outset. Starting from home gives a new business the best possible start during those important early months. Commuting to work every day can be time-consuming and stressful in terms of both time and travel expenses, and is a part of the day that fills many with dread. By working from home you are not only potentially saving on your monthly travel outlay but you are probably removing the big city temptations which are so easy to fritter away money on coffee, cake, and other high street temptations.
Most important though you become more time rich. If your daily rush hour commute was an hour each way this gives you the chance to extend the productivity of your working day by a whole two hours if you want to in the blink of an eye!
Set up a specific workspace which can be your dedicated work area. Ideally have a room that you can close the door on at the end of the day, rather than being reminded about the mounds of paperwork on your desk and hearing the phone ring after hours! You can design the space based on your work preferences. Perhaps you want to use a room with a view or perhaps staring at a brick wall would be better for your concentration.
As well as working set office hours some people still choose to dress as if they were still going to an office job every day.
It is up to you but no one else is going to pay your salary for you. Furthermore, in my experience running your own business keeps you busy, busy, busy. I actually found the opposite in terms of discipline — it is actually hard to switch off and working from home can fudge your work-life balance as the lines are blurred between the two. Whether you struggle to focus or struggle to switch off though discipline has to be key! One of the things we struggled with as our business grew was storage space.
We invested in bigger and better printers, event equipment, marketing materials, banners and so forth, but this investment also takes up space.
Furthermore, our regular clients increasingly wanted us to hold some of their materials and branded items between events which put a further strain on storage space. When event boxes of literature started taking over the lounge every time we had delegate folders to collate ahead of an event we realized it was time to move to a more purpose-built office solution. Perhaps this is less of a problem today when less information is printed and more is presented digitally for events, but nevertheless, it can add up.
One of the biggest perks of working from home is the productivity element. As event deadlines get close hours are often long for an event planner and it is great to feel safe in your own home and able to carry on working for as long as you need to. Likewise, if you have international conference calls across time zones it is convenient to be able to do this from the luxury of your home office.
There are however many other perks to working at home too — for example paying no or reduced business rates, tax relief and off-setting a percentage of your household running expenditure through the business. These elements will, of course, vary from country to country so do look into the realities of this before you take the plunge.
Whether it is a distant dream or almost a reality, here are 22 steps you need to take to set up a successful event management company. Starting up an event planning business is not a decision to take lightly.
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It is a major decision which impacts not only on your life but also on your family and others around you. As one of the one-third of businesses that have survived past the ten-year mark my event management company was established in , we wanted to create the ultimate useful reference guide to help others take those important first steps to being their own boss.
It is a high risk, but potentially high reward strategy over the long term. Here are the details and the process you will need to follow before officially launching your event planning company. There are lots of things to think seriously about and we have flagged essential action to take for each step.
Read, digest and bookmark this article for a blueprint of how to prepare to launch your business and ensure the best chance of survival. The more event planning experience you have the better the service you are going to be able to offer your clients. Jump at any opportunity to get paid or unpaid work experience.
Use this to learn the things that work and the things you would do differently. If necessary teach yourself how to use tools that will benefit you as a small business. Today, many of these programs are available online and there is a wealth of video tutorials and written content to help you learn how to use them. The first thing you need to establish is if there is a definite requirement for the services that you want to offer. Instead of just believing it is a good idea you need to do some actual research to confirm this.
How To Market My Event Planning Business
This information can be difficult to find and you will need to refer to lots of different sources to try to get a reliable picture. Look into public data, reports and analysis on the web, talk to people and try to undertake a focus group and individual phone calls with those that you are looking to develop relationships with, to determine evidence of a need. Consider whether you are looking to offer a broad, full-service event management company or focus specifically on producing a specific type of event or a specific target market.
If you can, focus on your strengths so you can tailor your marketing and all efforts to attract the right type of business from the start.
For example, you may decide to specialize in conferences or exhibitions or party planning. Each of these areas is likely to require a different brand and language to attract the right clientele. The key is not to position yourself in too small a niche it is limiting but not trying to do so much that it detracts you from your real passion and focus and puts you outside of your comfort zone.
Think about how you are going to survive as it may take some time before money starts coming into the business and you still need to be able to pay your bills during this period. This will obviously depend on the role you have currently to ensure that you are not in breach of contract — make sure you act ethically and fairly to your current employer. Discuss your aims with your partner and family to try to prepare everyone for the change of lifestyle and circumstances. The buck stops with you.
You are likely to work the longest hours of your life, working 80 plus hours a week is not unheard of for business owners. Your salary is directly linked to the amount of profit you can generate. There are many different types of organizations and you need to learn about the different entities to determine which is the right one for you. You might want to be a freelance event planner or to set up a company. The legalities will vary depending on the country you will be operating in too.
We recommend that you take advice from experts if you are unsure.
Start Your Own Event Planning Business: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success by Amy Jean Peters
Look for any conflicts, which prevents you from using names already in use. Also, think about abbreviations to avoid any unfortunate shortenings.
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Within this post, there is a section dedicated to choosing event planning business names and offering further guidance on this. Creating a business plan is highly recommended to crystallize your aims and intentions for your company. It is a document describing your business objectives, financial forecasts and strategies for sales and marketing. Opinions on business plans differ in terms of how detailed this should be. Whether you create a lengthy document of 60 pages, a couple of A4 sheets or write it on the back of a beer mat, it will be a good use of your time and enable you to speak more confidently about your plans and identify problems.
Certain banks and investors would also need to see this document. It includes financial and marketing planning information, as well as the vision and mission statements for the company. Keep reading this post as we have a free business plan template for you to download and complete. Is any funding available to you? Certain geographical locations may offer incentives or grants for new businesses, to help them start out, or your college or university may be able to offer support. The traditional route for business investment was always through banks or through an angel or investor, although there are many more opportunities and non-conventional routes available today, such as crowdfunding.
Find out the process for formally registering your company and what information and format are required.
How to Become an Event Planner
This varies from country to country. In the UK, for instance, the government is keen to encourage people to go into business and so they make the process easy to reduce the barriers to starting up. You can complete a simple online form to create a company in less than 20 minutes. When your company name is decided and registered you can start creating your company logo and branding. You might have to live with this for a long time, so make sure you are happy with your corporate identity. Tools and design packages are available if you have the skills to create this yourself, otherwise, a graphic designer should be able to create your company identity for you for a reasonable price.
They can also design your stationery and business cards, which can be printed for a small outlay. Check your website domain is available and purchase it when your company name is agreed. Aim for the same handles across all networks for consistency. Protect your brand via trademarks, patents, copyrights, whichever route is relevant to your product or service. Take specialist advice on these matters to ensure that you are protected against theft and plagiarism. When your company is registered you will be able to apply for your company bank account. This will need to be done face to face at your bank to verify your identity documents and to sign the relevant paperwork.
Choose a bank account that matches your needs, for instance, do you need to deposit cash or take payments by card. If so they will be able to advise the best solutions available to you. Thought needs to be given to your pricing and fees so you know how to answer questions about your costs.