How to Become an Event Planner in 30 Days Part I: Create a Plan of Action
How to become an event planner is doable if you have a solid plan.
There are 3 major steps towards becoming an event planner – create a plan of action, determine a target market, and spread the word about your event planning business. Because these steps are so important, I am splitting these posts up into a 3-part “how to become an event planner” series.
How To Become An Event Planner
For Part I, I’m going to explain the importance of creating a plan of action and how to create that plan. A proper business plan should include 4 parts (Executive Summary, Marketing Plan, Management Bio, Financial Plan). Not sure what to include in those sections? Don’t worry! I’m going to help you later in the article.
But before I get started helping you create a business plan, I would like for you to take out a piece of paper and write down an answer to the following question:
Why do I need a business plan?
Don’t worry about having the “right” answer. Just answer it to the best of your ability. A short paragraph is all that is needed.
Why Every Event Planning Business Needs a Business Plan
I could come up with 100 different reasons a business plan is important. But, for the sake of keeping it short and to the point, every event planning business owner needs a business plan because it gives your business some much needed direction.
You can’t just wing it and expect to succeed. An effective business plan addresses potential pitfalls, keeps you on track during the tough times, and establishes a marketing plan.
Sometimes, in this business, you’ll have short “dry spells” where it seems you can’t catch a break. Clients aren’t willing to pay your desired fees or no one seems to have a need for your services. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably start questioning yourself and wondering if what you’re doing is the right way. In times like these, I go back to my original business plan for inspiration.
Tips for Creating an Effective Business Plan
You now know why a business plan is needed, so I’ll stop making you wait for the good stuff! Let’s get down to business and go over some tips on creating an effective business plan. First off, your business plan should:
- Be written in a clear and concise manner (easy to read, but technical style)
- Include an Executive Summary (short section that sums up the content of the business plan)
- Include a Marketing Plan (section where you determine your target market and establish the strategies used to market to this audience)
- Include a Management Bio (section where you include bios and resumes of all partners and employees, if applicable)
- Include a Financial Plan (section to list available capital and projected expenses)
It will likely take a few hours to write your business plan. The plan should clearly explain the who, what, when, where, and why of your event planning business.
WHO is your target market and WHO are the owners and key employees?
WHAT types of events will you be planning?
WHEN are you “opening your doors”?
WHERE is your service area?
WHY are you a qualified event planner?
The 4 Parts Every Business Plan MUST Have…
Go into detail on each section except for the Executive Summary. The Executive Summary should clearly and concisely explain what the reader is going to discover within the business plan. (1 page)
On the Marketing Plan section, think long and hard about the types of marketing strategies you’re going to use (SEO, social media, word of mouth, etc.). Explain why those strategies are beneficial to your business. (2-5 pages)
In the Management Bio section, include updated resumes of every key person. The resumes should be relevant. For example, if you previously worked as a Data Entry Specialist, that job has no relevance to this field. So mentioning that you “type 90 WPM” doesn’t prove you’re a qualified event planner. (2-5 pages)
Lastly, in the Financial Plan, go into detail about every expense you expect to encounter. That includes everything from office supplies to marketing expenses to travel expenses. Put it this way – if you can write it off on come tax time, put it in the plan. (3-10 pages)
For a free Business Plan Checklist, click here.
I’d love to hear from you.
I hope this post has helped you understand the importance of creating a business plan. I’m going to leave you with one final question that I’d like for you to answer in the comments…
What are some of the marketing strategies you will list in your Marketing Plan section?
Let me know in the comments below.
Note: this is an article I originally wrote for About.com.