If I’ve learned anything, it’s that it takes more than the ability to plan events to have a successful event planning business. So many of us started in the industry planning events for others; paying our dues, putting in the hours, learning the trade and becoming successful in our own right, before thinking I can do this and hanging out an “event planning business shingle”. Great events don’t occur by accident. As you may have read in this blog a time or two, success is definitely in the details. No matter the size or scope, whether you have weeks, months or years and whether it’s a conference, gala, convention, meeting or some other event, it takes attention and organization to achieve event planning success.
The Event Planning Business and Success
It has been said to be successful in the event planning business it is imperative to be hardworking, skilled and committed to the work and clients, to be dependable and driven, to provide quality work and competitive rates. As anyone who has started their own event planning business knows it not only takes event know-how, commitment, talent and abilities to succeed; to start and operate an event planning business it also takes a great deal including vision, resources, a business plan, objectives and goals, a marketing plan, business structure and quality companies to partners with.
Recently I caught wind of quite a high number of event planning businesses closing their doors. And no matter the industry, I always feel terrible when I hear of any business not triumphing. It did help me to remember what a very experience planner and business owner said when my partners and I decided to try our hand at being business owners “remember it takes a whole lot more than event planning know-how to run a successful event planning business.”
Plotting for an Event Planning Business
After all these years a couple of sage bits of advice, when it comes to the business of event planning, that did me well and still stand today; is to have personal balance and make a profit on each program. And believe me it took a while, years and years for me to understand how important both of these pieces of advice were.
For the first I don’t know how many years all I did was work and worked like a fiend I did. For me it was all about the clients and work and my own stuff took a back seat. There were summers when I barley took a full day off or saw those special to me. At the time I thought it was all in the name of success and the only way to go, but now I understand. And while it took a while, what I did learn is it’s more about quality then quantity. Yes we could take each and every single piece of business that came our way but it is key to go with your strengths when it comes to planning an event. We all need to remember to take time for the three R’s to; recharge, refresh and revitalize. It really does make all the difference to your quality of life. Now that I’m a little smarter and hopefully wiser I try my hardest to not work more than two weekends in a row. There are always exceptions to the rule, but It really does take personal balance and fulfillment (and sleep) to be successful in business.
No matter how much joy we get from our career, we’re all are in it to make a living. And while I love, love, love what I do, frankly I wouldn’t do it for free. When we first started our company, earning enough money to pay salaries, bills and expenses and hopefully at some point have a bit of savings was always the financial goal. Sounded like a plan and not the most outrageous target, right, but until we hit the ground running we didn’t realize the effort it would take to accomplish exactly that. And what I learned is that every business start-up or not, should make financial goals; starting with recognizing and making short term goals covering the next two years and long term goals covering the following three to five years. By not having set financial goals you run the risk of mismanaging your money and financial issues. And having financial goals and a plan helps to know the sources needed and the steps to take to hopefully earn money and make a profit.