5 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Event Planning Career
So I thought I would take a moment and get back to the basics. I know when I first started my event planning business I was lucky enough to have a lot of business management background—however, that’s not the same as being an entrepreneur! Sure, I was guilty of jumping in head first without all of the preparation I realize now I should have had. Part of being an entrepreneur is taking risks and not being afraid to fail. So let’s start there…
Don’t be afraid to fail. First off, forget the idea that it’s one of those “bad” four-letter words entirely. People love to throw around the statistic that 95 percent of business fail. Don’t listen to that—it’s an excuse to make you feel comfortable about giving up. If that number is even correct, it’s because most people don’t commit, they don’t follow through to the end or they are stupid in how they manage their money. And let’s say the first venture doesn’t pan out—that’s okay. Failing at something, anything really, allows you to grow and better understand yourself. It helps you develop a new path.
2. Industry knowledge
You won’t know everything. That’s okay. In fact, you probably won’t know anything when you first start. Start anyway. When I first got into events, I had no idea of the difference between a tish and a bedeken. And you probably have no idea what those are yet either. Again, that’s okay. Here are the two things I recommend: get a business coach in the industry (and yes, I also coach new planners along with tutoring for QC students—my shameless plug) and don’t be afraid to learn on the job!
Don’t quit your day job too soon. Yes, you’ll have more time to build your business, but let’s be honest: there are 168 hours in a week, only 40 of which are consumed by your job and another 50 by sleep. You have plenty of time if you would just hustle and turn off Netflix. Don’t be afraid to quit your job if you can afford it (see rule number 1!) but if you can’t, don’t feel like you have to rush in.
4. Financial stability
Create a safety net fund. Even for an experienced pro, having a “rainy day” fund is important. This industry is feast or famine. It’s good to get a coffee can of cash for just this reason. Consider 6 months of business expenses saved as a good starting point. What is defined as business expenses? That’s a whole other subject for another time!
5. Time management
Spend your time wisely. You have to know what your time and attention is worth! Divide up your tasks and determine what your “$10 per hour” tasks are and what your “$100 per hour” tasks are. Basically, understand what really makes you money! Designing a logo…$10 task. Attending a networking function, getting business cards from potential referral sources …$100 task. Focus more of your time on higher return investments.
These are some of the basics you should consider in the very beginning stages of starting your business. However, it’s never too late in the game to consider and re-evaluate your strategies!