How to Start a Party Planner Home Business

Pros, Cons and Steps to Running a Home Based Party Planning Business

Start a Party Planning Business
Help people plan parties and events!. Credit: DreamPictures | Getty Images

Overview of the Party Planner Business

Planning parties sounds fun, but it takes more than booking a caterer and DJ. It also requires diplomacy, salesmanship, multitasking, and above all, a desire to help other people enjoy themselves. Party planner engagements can range from weddings and product launches to corporate seminars and awards dinners. Tasks can include renting a hall, mailing out engraved invitations, coming up with a theme, booking entertainment, deciding on the food and hiring waitstaff.

The median income for event planners is over $58,000 according to Salary.com, with the range being from $43,075 to $78,088 per year.

There is no specific education or training required to become a party or event planner, but experience can go a long way to helping you know what to do and what to expect. Further, having a network of professionals from caterers to entertainers will be important in having the resources to supply what clients want for their party or event. 

Pros of Party Planner Home Businesses

  • Can be started with little investment
  • No formal training is required
  • You can start from scratch or invest in a franchise event business opportunity.
  • Can be run from home.
  • Ideal for people who are outgoing and enjoy working with others
  • Doing business with people and businesses out to have a good time
  • Job variety
  • Potential new clients at every event
  • A six-figure income with the right clientele 

Cons of Party Planner Home Businesses

  • Long or odd work hours. Party planners need to be on-hand during the event, which often run evenings or weekends. Some maybe even be multi-day events.
  • Every event can be stressful as you're only has good and popular as your last party.
  • It can be difficult to get your first clients
  • Clients can be difficult and unreasonable in their expectations
  • Reliance on subcontractors
  • Pressure to look your best whenever doing business
  • Client always comes first

What You Need to Get Started in a Party Planner Home Business

  • Write a business plan outlining your service, prices and financial projections. This is the time to decide if you're going to focus on a specific type of events, such as weddings or conferences.
  • Although not required, you might want to get the Certified Meeting Planner certification as it can increase your marketability. Clients will feel more comfortable working with someone they think has been vetted. This can also allow you to charge higher rates.
  • Determine what and how you're going to charge for your services.
  • Create your contracts. Consider having a lawyer to help you to make sure you cover every possible legal ramification. 
  • Obtain needed Business license and liability insurance
  • Create your marketing plan and promotional materials, such as business cards, brochures and a website. Consider including videos of successful parties, with your clients' permission of course.
  • Gather images and testimonials of your events to create a portfolio of your success. Also develop a plan for generating referrals.
  • Develop a network of reliable professional suppliers and professionals needed to help you pull off your events, such as florists, caterers, photographers and DJs.

If you have trouble getting your business off the ground, or want more experience before going on your own, consider getting an event planning job.