Being “your own boss” and working from home is becoming increasingly popular, and it covers a really wide range of businesses, from arts and crafts to financial advisory. One of those businesses that flourish when done from home is event planning. People love celebrations such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, but they don’t like throwing themselves under the bus when it comes to dealing with all the trinkets and big stuff a properly planned party must have. That is the place where you fit in with your communication skills, sense for organization and an eye for style. If you’re gifted with these qualities and you want to start a home-based event planning business, here is a short guide that will get you there.
Build a Network of Contacts
This is the most important thing in event planning business. On one hand, if you don’t know the people who will want to hire you to plan their parties for them, your business is pointless. On the other hand, if you don’t know the managers of venues, the musicians, caterers and other people that should work with you to make everything smooth, you will come off as unprofessional. Start building your network early, but do your research before contacting anyone. Remember, the first couple of contacts will be difficult to get, but once you get a few valuable ones, your network will keep growing exponentially.
Set up a Workspace
Working from your sofa in your pajamas is tempting and pleasant only from some time. After a while, it impacts your productivity and organizational skills. So, try to set up a specific workspace which will make you more efficient. Ideally, you should choose a room where you can close the door and work without interruptions, but you can also make a home office nook in your living room or bedroom. Think about all the things your office must have – chair, desk, storage, phone, answer machine, etc.
Meet Your Clients
Now that you have all the necessary foundations it is time to get some real clients. No matter which mean they choose to hire you (phone, e-mail, social media account, etc.), you should always schedule an initial consultation meeting live, in order to get some insight into their character so you could know what sort of atmosphere they want for their event. This will inspire you to come up with some creative ideas for their special occasion. The best places to meet clients are their offices, your home office (if it’s professional enough) or some fine restaurant/coffee shop.
Master the Online Realm
In home-based businesses, the online realm is a vast orchard with fruits just waiting to be harvested by the ever agile self-made entrepreneurs. Don’t let that shiny red apple slip away, and be sure to have all the basics covered – a nicely designed and simple-to-use website and accounts on all relevant social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). Your website should be optimized for mobile use and have all the necessary plug-ins which will not only make your job easier, but also your costs lower. For example, having a great wp event ticketing system might save you tons in commission, since you’re not selling your event tickets through existing third party distributors.
Be ahead of the Game
In this business, the trends can make or break you, so it is highly important to keep up with the latest changes in all the areas that might be relevant for event planning. Just in case you don’t know the color combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity (warm pink and cool blue) is this year’s biggest trend, but that will change the very next year. If the words Poke and Maringa mean nothing to you, then you are not familiarized with 2016 food trends. Keeping up with what’s hot in the music world is also important.
Remember, no matter how great and comprehensive your marketing strategy is, your best commercial is a satisfied client, so make sure you get plenty of those.