You must be an event professional who has been working in the event planning sector for years. And now you are willing to start an event management company on your own.
You must be an event management student who has just completed his degree in event management and now following your inner call to become an event entrepreneur.
If you are any of them then, first of all, I would like to congratulate you on taking the first step and that is to do the research about it. Because in countries like India, every day someone starts an event planning business but very few of them survive in the cut-throat competition of the market.
You might feel surprised at how can anyone run a full-fledged company from home. Then let me tell you that secret.
See, if I just want to pour some drops of motivation on you then I would say that the world’s top-ranking companies were started from a small space even smaller than your home. None other than Apple computers which was started in the garage of the childhood home of Steve Jobs (Founder of Apple Computer). Another top-ranking company, Amazon whose founder is now the richest man on the earth once started his company in the garage of his rented house. You may find many such examples to get yourself motivated.
But to be very practical, even you can start your event planning business from home and I will give you 5 practical reasons for the same.
Why you should start your event planning business from home?
- We all know that the event planning service is more intangible than tangible in nature.
- You as an event planner supposed to arrange and plan things for an event happening at any particular venue.
- You and your whole team have to be present at the physical venue where the event is supposed to be held and the whole setup is going to be done.
- If you are just starting out in the event planning business then I believe you must have a small team and most of them are your close friend or colleague. So they are very much comfortable to visit your home and share a room as a workplace.
- Most of your client meetings are either done at the client’s place or at any public places like a cafe or restaurant.
Now I hope you got my point. Even if you are not convinced then let me take you through the in-depth research that I have done to list out the 9 sure shot steps that can help you to start a successful event management company from home in India.
How to start an event planning business in India
Step 1. Learn the Event Planning skills
I believe if you are planning to start an event planning business then you must know what event planning is all about. And if Yes then you can move to the next step and if No then continue reading.
Event planning has really become more established as a professional career and with that being said it does mean that it is now more competitive for new event planners because clients are now looking to work with someone who has a certain experience, they want to see skills.
But they also want to see demonstrated knowledge, they want to know that you’ve been through some course that you have a certification. They’re looking at multiple events in winning planners at any given time so you do want to give yourself an edge over your competition.
Also, to run a successful event management business you should have the required skills and experience. Like any other business, event planning also comes up with lots of challenges and to cope up with them you have to get the expertise in event planning.
How to learn event management skills and get experience in event planning?
I. Enroll yourself in any event management course
There are many colleges across the world offering part-time and full-time courses in event management and planning. If you have just completed your graduation then you can simply go for any masters degree course offered by the college in the city or country you are living. Choose the best which suits your budget and timing as well.
Don’t get disheartened if you can’t afford a course in event management or you are unable to manage time to pursue full-time courses. There are many institutes and colleges offering part-time certification courses in event planning and management. You can pursue these both online and offline mode.
If you are looking for the best event management college in India offering part-time and full-time courses in event management then you can check this list
II. Work as an event volunteer or freelancer
Event management learning is much more than theoretical knowledge. Even at event management colleges, students are supposed to work at different events as a part of their training programs. Volunteering an event helps you to gain insights .into how any event is planned and executed. You will get to handle different types of event management job as a trainee.
But if you are not pursuing any course from any event management college then even you can volunteer any event. There are many freelancing jobs available in the market for event planning. You can even earn and learn at the same time.
So now it is all upon you, choose the one option from the two and gain varied experience in event planning.
Once you have the right skillset and event planning experience you are all set to kickstart your event planning business.
Step 2. Research Your Market
You have to research your market and find who your ideal clients are and I believe no one tends to do this particularly in the event planning business. Because most of us believe that people will come to us on their own but it is not true.
So doing a bit of research is a must but if you are reading this post then you are looking to start your business and chances are you have not already launched so the first step that I suggest is to research your market.
Why market research is important?
When you research your market it gives you an opportunity to get inside the mind of who you’ll be targeting because you want to sell people exactly what they want to buy.
Let me explain this to you with an example, Suppose you live in a small town where the birth rate is low, the divorce rate is low and there are chances that there are not a lot of people getting married, then being a wedding planner who’s just focused in that area of a town is probably not going to be your best market.
However, if you find that people tend to have a lot of celebration events in that town as they’re celebrating birthdays and retirements and everything like that. In that case, maybe the best way to position your service is as an event planner or a party planner because then you’ll have more clients. Eventually, you will get more access to those clients who are looking for the services you are offering. And the only way to find that out is to do the research.
Who should do market research?
Well, everyone should be conducting market research before they start a business and that’s whether you’re a big business, a small business, old business, new business or online business, it doesn’t matter you really need to research your market before you launch.
And there are so many places where you can do market research. I believe sometimes people think of market research and they think of the large firms that conduct research and that’s what they don’t need to do.
But this is not right, you can do all of this online and if you’re reading this post right now it means that you have access to the Internet and a device too, so you also have access to the resources available online.
So just go online, do that search go through the resources that are available and use that information to make your business decisions.
And how you plan to position your company so market research is really important and this leads you to your target clients, you know when you complete market research for your company what this allows you to do is to discover who your target clients are, that you need to be focusing on, who will be taking money out of their wallets and out of their purses to pay you for your service and before you can work out.
According to the findings of your research, now you know what event-planning clients you need to work with and where they’re located.
So once you’ve done your market research you’ll have a clear idea of what your brand and positioning is and what kind of service you will be offering and from that, you can easily determine who you need to target.
Step 3. Outline your business plan
The next step and this is a very important one that you have to create a business plan, you have to outline exactly how you plan to create your business or what you would like to see for the future of your business and a business plan allows you to accomplish just that.
If you’re currently thinking about the start in the business you’re not sure where to start, you’re not sure what resources to access to write a business plan that allows you to map out your plan of action for starting and operating your business.
And what this does is that if you create an outline, it gives you the exact plan of what your future vision will be and it also helps you determine your financial starting point and puts you in a better position to manage your company.
I find sometimes as a business owner or just as an entrepreneur when you’re getting started, you can get stuck trying to come up with an idea or something for your business and what I’ve discovered that design of the business logo and name of their business is one of those roadblocks.
How to write a business plan for the event management business?
I would suggest that you should write your business plan even if you don’t have a name for your company. In your business plan writer where it asks for the name of your business just put your own name so instead of getting stuck and hung up this allows you to write the plan and then gives you a bit of time to be creative and really think about your business name before you move on but the key is to not get stuck on this before you get a business plan done because the business plan is actually the most important part.
Information you should include in your business plan:
- Company’s Vision
- Company’s Mission
- SWOT Analysis
- Financial Plan
- Marketing Plan
Step 4. Name your event planning business
Now when you have outlined your business plan then that helps you to come up with a name for your business, simply by asking yourself two specific questions
- What is your service?
- What is the USP of your dream company?
And try to find where those two meet or words that really generate with you or words that you enjoy seeing or just sounds good and it helps you to come up with a name for your business that is suitable for you.
How to find a relevant brand name for your event planning business?
Apart from this, I also want to give you two more tips for deciding a relevant name for your company.
- Always keep a name that is easy to read and pronounceable as if your customer or client can’t remember it, then it is not worth it as a brand name. So keep it simple but more relevant to the service you are providing.
- Before finalizing any name, do check that domain name for your website is available or not? and also check for the social media pages name availability. As to get connected to your target audience, it is a must to have a website and social media presence of your company.
Step 5. Register your event planning business
Once you finalize a name for your company then I wanted to bring your attention to is registering your business and this is probably one of the easier ones depending on which country you live in. Registering your business is essential as it makes your business legit.
Right now you are official, you have a registered business name you have a business number and your company can operate as a business so I really encourage everyone to register their business because this helps you to solidify that business idea make you feel more official and it really helps you to move along to get your business started.
What does the process of registering your business really look like?
This will be different depending on what country you’re in, what state or province, or what city you are living in. But the three key things that you need to do that are probably common amongst all.
Here I am telling you those three common key things.
I. Gather information about the government procedures
The first is that you need to do a bit of research so before you register your business you’ll need to search for the business requirements in your area that you can simply google them or you can visit your local government office for registering of business and just find out what all the requirements are for registering your business so that you can gather and prepare all the documents and information you’ll need to submit with the application.
II. Determine the business structure
The second thing you need to do is to determine your business structure and one of the main reasons that when you’re submitting the application, one of the things that I must ask you to do is to identify the type of the legal entity under which you’ll be operated so you’ll need to do a bit of research to determine that. Because you might be starting your event-planning business by yourself however there are many people who might be starting with their event planning business with a partner or they might be starting with two people. It really depends and you need to just do some research to figure out which is the best one for you, what works best for your business structure and which one you’re going to go with but this you need to do before you actually start the process of registering.
III. Get your business registered
The third step is to get your business registered and once you’ve identified you know your business name and you gathered all the documents required to submit the application you can go ahead and officially register your business and as I said earlier the process will be different depending on where you are but you can usually find this information online for many cities or if not you can visit your local office.
How to open a bank account for the event planning business?
After all this, you will need to open your bank account that your business will need to function. Getting a bank account for your business is really important particularly if you would like to track how your business is doing, it’s important that you keep your business bank account and your personal finances separate however that being said if you are really efficient they’re really organized and you know how to separate those finances within the same account then go ahead and do that.
But if you’re not and you want to see a full picture then just open up one bank account of your business in a separate bank account just for your business and once your business is registered you are able to set up a business bank account in your name or in the name of your business.
Step 6. Hire An Accountant
The next thing you need to do is to speak to an accountant and I know you haven’t launched your businesses yet and you’re not making any money as yet but accountants really can offer you advice that ensures that your business operation gets started without any glitches and what this does it puts you in a position that at the end of your the financial year you do not have any surprises.
Now, again, there are also many online accounting software that you can find that can help you to keep track of your expenses, your revenues, and your receipts.
But it’s good to speak to an accountant because they will also tell you what items maybe you can write off at the end of the year so what receipts you should hold on to maybe you know if you go across the street and meet with a client for coffee you can actually use that receipt and claim it as a business spend everything like that.
But you won’t know that unless you speak to a professional so it’s important just to touch base with them to get some basic information.
Step 7. Decide the event services you will be offering
Now you are all set with the legal formalities to start your event management company. The next and another important task you need to do is to decide what range of services you will be offering to your clients. Though you must have decided this while outlining your business plan but in this step, you have to be more specific and focussed on your core services.
Let us understand with an example, Suppose you have outlined your business plan as an event planner and position your brand as an event company offering full-service related to the events.
But do you think it is possible for you to provide every service?
As you know event management consists of a huge range of services. Either you can be a birthday planner or wedding planner, a conference organizer or a live concert organizer. So you have to be more specific to the services you are offering as it helps you to find a suitable market to find your target client.
How to get clients for the event planning business?
I have a pro-tip for you, if you are not much experienced in event planning business then always go for a micro-niche. Micro-niche means to target a market which you believe can get more business with less effort in the beginning. Like you start your business as a theme based birthday party planner and target the people living in your society as they know you and must have faith in you to pay for your services.
Step 8. Prepare your Event Planning Fees structure
When you’re launching your business for everyone then you must decide your event planning fee structure so how are you gonna get that money in the bank, how you can charge your clients.
Now you have decided on the services you will be offering to your target clients then for every service the consumer has to pay a certain fee to avail it. As bigger the service is, as huge the event planning fees will be.
How to charge the event planning fees and What are the pros & cons of event planning fees?
Here I’ll take you through the three most common ones as well as explain some of their advantages and disadvantages.
I. Per Hour Charge
So the first one is hourly and this is where you charge an hourly rate for the total amount of time that you spend planning an event. Whether that be $25 an hour, $50 an hour, or a hundred dollars an hour depending on where you’re located, this fee will vary. Even to decide the hourly charge you have to research your market or do competitor analysis to find out what your competitors are charging for an hourly basis.
Pros- Hourly rates are really good it is amazing to use when you’re just starting out and the reason for this is as a new event planner you won’t know exactly how long an event will take you.
So if you’re new to event planning and you’ve never worked one-on-one with a client and a wedding, for example, you might not be completely aware of how long it will take so doing an hourly rate is a bit easier so you just give them your rate and you’ll start billing and tracking your hours and billing your client accordingly.
Cons- Now the disadvantage of hourly billing is that the cost is usually ambiguous which means it’s not clear to the client up front what it will cost them by the end of the event for your services. So for that reason, clients are sometimes unsure to choose such fee options.
the second and this is the most important one is the reason why I don’t recommend hourly for our planners who are already in the industry is that hourly rate encourages your customers to negotiate based on price rather than on value.
II. Flat Fee
The second one is the flat fee and this is where you will charge your client a one-time fee. It’s usually predetermined so they know exactly what they will be supposed to pay to avail of your service. So you have to decide prior to what cost you can provide that service by doing proper cost analysis. You can do a competitor analysis and even take the help of your accountant to do all financial analysis to come up with an accurate cost.
Pros- Flat-fee pricing is very transparent. Your clients know right up front the total cost for planning their event there are no surprises, there are no changes nothing they know the cause and they agree to it the moment they sign your contract. So the advantage of that is on it really places a focus on value rather than on price.
Cons- The disadvantage of flat-fee pricing is that if you’re not sure or if you don’t know exactly how long the event is gonna take you to plan or if the event turns out to be more difficult and time-consuming than you expected this will work to your disadvantage.
This is why I only recommend flat key pricing after you’ve started fund an event and you kind of have a better idea of how long it takes and the kind of obstacles that would be in your way as you go through.
III. Percentage basis Fees
The third is the percentage and this is where you’ll charge a percentage of the total cost of hosting the event. This is also known as management fees.
Again it will vary place to place and depending on where you are and at what percent your competitors are calculating their management fees. It’s usually between 10 to 15 percent or depending on the type of event or service you are offering. I use this fee to charge the services I am offering to my corporate clients.
Pros- The advantage of this is percentage pricing allows your profit to grow with the demands of the event so if the client is requesting additional tasks or additional items and this is increasing the overall cost of the project.
What this does it also increases the amount of money that you get to take home from that which is fair right because if you’re increasing the number of items and the number of tasks that are required and then your time needs to be compensated or accordingly.
Cons- The disadvantage of this, however, is that when clients know that you’re charging based on a percentage they may try to compromise on quality in an effort to save on cost.
I tend to use percentage pricing with corporate clients, as a percentage pricing you really do have to know your clients and if you’re using this price scheme in wedding planning then depending on who they are or how high-end these clients are they may compromise on the quality whereas I know with corporate clients if they compromise on the quality of the event then they’re compromising on the quality of what they’re providing to their customers.
Step 9. Promote your event planning business
Once you have all your business structures and your business is registered and you have a good idea of what you’re doing that’s now starting to build up a bit, you will need to promote your business once it’s open.
There are many strategies to really advertise and promote and you can do that offline as well as you can do online and I listed just a couple of major ones here but the list is extensive of what you can do offline.
How to promote your event management business offline?
- You have your business up I want you to host a launch party host a large party and invite everyone you know and their friends and families to your event. Let them know what you do and let them know what services you can provide and how they can hire you. Initially, they can be your targeted customers.
- The next one is word-of-mouth marketing and word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best advertisements that you can get for free. You just need to speak to your friends, speak to your family members give them your business card right let them know you’re here you’re available here and what you can do. And if they share that with everyone else in their network this is how word of the market really helps you to get your first client.
- The third thing you need to do is you need to create partnerships so if you find that you’re not getting a lot of traction in your business then reach out to local partners so if there is a florist in your area that you could rely on as a partner you could speak to them and see if they’d be open to collaborating on a project. They may refer any of their existing clients to you and in return, you can give them any monetary benefit or simply do an exchange of business.
- Sometimes it’s also best to go directly to your clients for example if you find that you’re looking to work with tech companies within a certain area and you live in a startup environment with a lot of tech companies around you.
Then put together a little package about your business or a brochure on your business, the services you provide and how they can contact you. Now go around to these companies ask to speak to the person in charge or if luckily you meet the owner of the business then push your business and make them believe in you and assure them that you can give the best service at the marginal rate than the market.
How to promote your event planning business online?
If you’re looking to market your business online there are a few things you need to do.
1. Create a website
The first is you need to get a website I will not understand event planners who are out there marketing their businesses and saying I’m not getting any clients but they don’t have a website if you’re looking for customers online you need to have a website something to send them to you to show them where you are in what you can do and let them learn a bit more about your company and yourself.
2. Create your social media pages
Even if you can’t afford a website initially then you can create social media pages that cost you nothing. Social media presence helps you to reach the maximum target audience by creating your accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Nowadays almost every company’s director and CEOs are active on social media, so you need to start a page get people to like your page or ask them to join your Facebook groups and keep them updated with your works and services.
If you find that you are not generating a lot of business then you can look into paid advertisement options so paid ads on Google on Facebook there are numerous opportunities for a buy you just have to do a bit of research.
3. List your business on local business listing portals
Again if you are unable to set up a website or getting more traffic on your social media pages then you can simply list your website on local business listing portals depending upon the city or country you are living.
For example, in India, there are many such B2B or B2C business listing portals like Indiamart, Trade India and many more. In spite of this, there are also some event management directory websites where you can list your event planning business like Weddingz.in, EventFaqs and many more.
Now you are all set to start a successful event planning business.
If you want to know more about event management then must read a few more articles we have covered for you.
You must know how much you are ready to start your event planning company by taking this best event planner personality test designed by the event expert team of eventshala.
eventshala also provides a free consultation to set up an event planning business, contact us if you seek consultation.
Wiz Bunny is a creative wizard who is an Event Enthusiast and a Passionate Blogger. A Hustler who always finds a way to gets what he believes in. He loves to guide people who are willing to start their career in event management. Through his blog posts, he always tries to mentor aspiring event professionals to achieve their goals in life.