Business, Featured, Your Event Career

How to Run an Event Planning Business with a Full-Time Job

Being your own boss has so many benefits, such as setting your own hours and rates, as well as choosing clients. It’s no surprise that many people pursue an event planner career with the ultimate goal of one day running their own business! However, it takes time and patience to get any new business off the ground – and it’s often perfectly reasonable (and necessary!) to keep your full-time job intact while you start your business.

But how can this be done? Well, it’s tricky and will take some serious time management skills and commitment, but it’s totally doable. Stick with us as we run through some easy ways you can run your event planning business while still holding down a full-time job (and keep a steady income rolling in!).

Prioritize!

Look, we’re not going to sugar coat it for you – running your own event business and maintaining a full-time job is no easy task. It takes a great deal of dedication, organization, and the ability to keep your eye on the prize. In order to keep everything running smoothly, and still reach your career goals as a certified event planner, it all comes down to one word: prioritizing.

Event planner working full-time job

Everyone organizes their lives differently, so you really need to figure out what works for you before diving into a situation where you’re taking on new clients, figuring out décor for events, and working hard at your full-time job. If a schedule is the best way to keep track of all your responsibilities, then do so! Having your week or month at a glance will allow you to schedule clients without worrying about double-booking, and will also give yourself enough downtime in between work and your business (this is very important – you need to take care of yourself!).

Alternatively, putting reminders in your phone or keeping everything jotted down in a notebook also works. You’ll need to carve out time in the evenings and on weekends to devote to your event planning business, as your days will be busy at your job, so making a note each week of the hours you’ll need to put in is vital to both your stress levels and your event planning career. After all, the last thing you want to do is burn out before you’ve even begun the juggling act of running your business and working full-time.

Set goals

A full-time job is just that – a full-time job, and a BIG time commitment. It’s easy to get swept away in responsibilities, whether it’s your job or family, and lose sight of why you’re running an event planning business.

This is why it’s so important to set goals. Your business is not a hobby, although you may enjoy it just as much! You really need to plan your next steps in a clear way, whether it be to acquire a certain number of clients by X date, or increase your social media following by X date – be sure to follow through on those goals.

Goals for starting an event planning business

Make a long list of these items and hang them in an area of your home or office that’s visible. This way, you’ll see them every day and be reminded of what needs to be done to keep your event planning career moving along successfully. Be realistic with this list, but be sure to force yourself to get tasks done – it’s much easier to do in simple steps than to be overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. Crossing items off that list of goals is going to feel amazing, and rewarding!

Network

Regardless of whether you’re currently working at an event job, or in another position, you can always find ways to network. If you’re interacting with customers in your current job, be sure to mention that you’re currently starting an event planning business, and provide them with your business card and website. Never underestimate the power of a connection made in person! A co-worker could be looking for an event planner, or have a friend or family member who is getting married and will need a wedding planner – you never know.

We know you’re pressed for time, but attending networking events such as trade shows and open houses at local venues can be very beneficial. Meeting as many people as you can is essential.

Another way to boost your event planning business while working a full-time job is to team up with local businesses in your area. Nobody knows your business better than you do, so figure out where your clients are going for other services (perhaps a bakery, retail store, or salon) and try to network your way to more visibility. Get to know business owners and find out if their clientele have ever shown interest in event planning services – this could lead to a recommendation or a partnership which could have a seriously positive effect on your business.

The great news? You can do all this while working full-time! Even better if your job is located near one of these businesses, or if you know the owner already. Check out a few more ways of boosting your business while working full-time.

How to network for your event planning business

Make the most of every moment

Your downtime is extremely valuable, since you certainly can’t pour from an empty cup! However, in order to run your event planning business successfully, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices. This includes making your free time as productive as possible.

If you work five days a week, your evenings and weekends become a valuable time to spend planning events, finding new clients, and boosting your business through marketing or networking. Making the most of your spare time is key, but remember to carve out time (any time possible) to relax and recharge. We know it’s not easy, but it’s necessary to your success!

While it is a huge time commitment to balance both a full-time job and an event planning business, your hard work will inevitably pay off in such a rewarding industry. You can look forward to leaving your full-time job at some point to focus on event planning full-time – and you may even take on some former coworkers as clients!

Learn how to effectively market yourself and manage the back end of your event planning business with QC’s Accelerate Your Business Workshop!

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