How To Start An Event Planning Business In 10 Steps

how to start an event planning business

Learning how to start an event planning business isn’t as difficult, nor as daunting, as it may seem at first. It just takes a bit of organization on your part and the willingness to work through everything step-by-step until the end.

In this article, we discuss some of the basic steps that can help you transform your dream of starting an event planning business into reality.

Table Of Contents

How To Start An Event Planning Business: Phase 1

how to start an event planning business

1) Get To Know The Industry

One of the first things you’ll want to do when starting your own event planning business is get to know the industry in your area.

If you’re not sure how to do that, consider these options to start:

  • Visit the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce in your area
  • Read articles online
  • Talk to other business owners
  • Talk to those who work in the event planning industry
  • Talk to friends and family to find out if they think there would be a need for your type of business

However you choose to conduct your research, ask plenty of questions and gather as much information as possible so you can get a clear picture of the industry.

2) Gain Experience

Going into a brand new industry with zero experience can make your goal of starting an event planning business even more difficult — not impossible, just difficult.

Good news! You can reduce that difficulty by working in someone else’s event planning business for a while. Doing so can give you an insider’s view into the problems inherent in the industry and the best ways to overcome them.

Working in an event planning business yourself can also help you decide for sure if it’s the right path for you.

3) Register Your Business

Once you have all the information you need and you’re confident that the event planning industry is right for you, it’s time to register your business. In doing so, you’ll need to choose a name and type for your business.

You can name your business anything you want, but you’ll have to choose from several predetermined types, including sole proprietorships, partnership, limited-liability corporation (LLC), S-corporation, and C-corporation.

If you’re unsure about which type to choose, talk to a tax professional for more information.

4) Open A Bank Account

Regardless of whether you choose a sole proprietorship or a C-corporation, the next step on the list is to open a bank account for the business.

You’ll want to do this as soon as possible because it can help you keep your personal spending and your business spending separate and under control.

A business bank account also makes it much easier come tax time — you won’t have to spend hours at the end of the year trying to separate your personal income and expenses from your business income and expenses.

How To Start An Event Planning Business: Phase 2

decorations on a table of an event

5) Create A Business Plan

Sure, you can run an event planning business without a plan, but why would you want to? More to the point, creating a business plan before you get too far into the process may help set you up for success later on.

Think of your business plan as a roadmap that can show you how to navigate your way through any difficulties that may pop up.

As you create your plan, be sure to think about (and plan for) things like:

  • The accounting practices you’ll use
  • The equipment you’ll need
  • The company culture you want to build
  • The day-to-day procedures of the business
  • The hiring plans you want to put in place
  • The financial projections you think will impact your business

Keep in mind that you won’t use all of this information right away. You may not, for example, hire employees until a few years down the road, so you don’t necessarily need that portion of the plan from day one.

Instead, add to your plan along the way and do your best to do so before introducing a new variable into your business.

6) Build A Budget

Regardless of what you include in your business plan to start with, consider it a priority to build a budget that will be in effect from day one. Even a simple budget can help you keep track of your income and control business spending.

As you build your budget, include a range of acceptable spending for variables such as:

  • Insurance
  • Equipment
  • Tools
  • Advertising
  • Payroll
  • Savings
  • Branding
  • Fuel

Then, do your best to stick to the budget so you don’t overspend and find your funds dwindling.

7) Purchase Supplies And Equipment

Though you may have had to spend a bit of money to register your business, you likely haven’t had any major expenses to contend with — until now.

At this point in the steps of starting an event planning business, you’ll need to purchase the supplies and equipment necessary to make your operation run smoothly.

Depending on the type of services you offer, that may include:

  • Tents
  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • Food service equipment
  • Decorations
  • Vehicles to transport everything

To keep expenses as low as possible, consider purchasing used items or leasing from a reputable company until you have the funds for new equipment.

8) Set Your Rate

Before you do any kind of advertising, you’re going to need to set the rate you’ll charge for your event planning services. No two jobs will be exactly the same, but you want to have a base rate that you can build on when talking to potential clients.

To figure your rate, include variables such as:

  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Employee pay
  • Fuel
  • Time

It’s also important to build some profit into your rate. If you don’t, your business might break even, but it will have a hard time growing.

How To Start An Event Planning Business: Phase 3

bartender serving drinks

9) Hire Employees

At first, you may be able to run the business on your own. Eventually, though, you’ll likely need employees to help you out.

If you’ve never done so, hiring may seem even more difficult than learning how to start an event planning business. But, as this article has revealed, following a few simple steps can make things much easier.

For hiring, those steps include:

  • Write a job description
  • Post the job description online (and in other places)
  • Spread the word that you’re looking for a new employee
  • Interview potential new hires
  • Check their references
  • Hire them into your business

Keep in mind that you may not need to go from one person to 10 people overnight. Hiring one or two employees at a time can help you control labor costs and grow your business at the right pace.

10) Train Your Team To Work Together

Regardless of the number of employees you have on your team, they’ll all need to be trained to work together as a unit. You can streamline this endeavor by putting together an employee handbook and making it available to everyone.

Be sure to include topics like:

  • Safety
  • Dress and grooming
  • Professional behavior
  • Quality standards
  • Individual job requirements
  • Time tracking
  • Timesheet procedures

Group and one-on-one training can also be beneficial for helping your team work according to your business’s high standards at all times.

Organize Your Team And Your Events With Inch

outdoor wedding set up

Organization is key when learning how to start an event planning business. The importance of that organization continues after you open your doors.

At the minimum, you’ll need to coordinate where and when your events occur and keep track of the important information that goes along with them. You’ll also need to organize and coordinate your team so they can work efficiently and productively whenever you need them.

That’s three different levels of organization that can make or break your event planning business.

Inch can help you with them all — and anything else that comes your way in the future.

inch app for an event planning business

Inch is a suite of task and workforce management tools that give you and your team the ability to perform a wide variety of tasks from any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, including:

When you start using Inch from day one, you’ll be better equipped to handle all the tracking, recordkeeping, and organization that it takes to start an event planning business and make it successful.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit today.

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