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    3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2008 1:39 AM by Lighthouse24

    starting a party planning business from home

    sashel323 Newbie
      For the last 7 years I've been giving these Adult Party Retreats that sometimes last for 3 to 4 days every Memorial day weekend and the location has range from Big Bear , Palmsprings and Las vegas. I alway get more than great responses about these retreats and have been told from one time to another that I should go into business doing this. But how do I go about starting a business like this, would this be a party planning business even though I host it as well what kind of category would this be. I only want to do adult party I don't do kids party or weddings, just adults. Sometimes we have Luau or Mardi gras , the theme varies and it get pretty wild (that's why I don't do kids party) The age groups are Very Mature 30's and up hard working people only and very responsible.Sometimes I do only couples and sometimes we mix it up a bit. We really have a good time it's only once a year , but they always look forward to the next year. So how do I get started in turning this into a business. I feel that I already have the experience and a head start on clientele. I just need to be pointed in the right direction as far as start up cost and advertising tips.
        • Re: starting a party planning business from home
          LUCKIEST Guide
          *323, welcome to this web site and *starting a party planning business from home
          You said "you need to be pointed in the right direction"
          Think SCORE. SCORE is FREE and helps people in businesses.
          You can visit a SCORE office or go on line.
          SCORE can help you develop a Business and Marketing Plan as
          well as start up cost and advertising tips (ALL FREE).
          Yes, I am a SCORE Counselor.
          *Good luck, LUCKIEST*<br /
          • Re: starting a party planning business from home
            nMoncrief Adventurer
            You are fortunate to have the chance to earn a living doing something you love to do already. I'm just curious, have you been paid for planning these parties in the past, or were the trips just for friends? If you've been doing it for free (for friends only), you need to know that it's going to be different when it becomes your job, even though you enjoy it. For every decision you make, you'll need to ask yourself 1.) Will this make people want to join my party? and 2.) Will it make my business more profitable?

            A new business owner can throw away a lot money FAST in wasted advertising. For this type of business, that will be your biggest expense. If I were you, I wouldn't spend a penny on ads, yet. Since you already have "a head start on clientele", go back to your past partygoers and offer them a generous incentive to bring one or two other people to your next party (ie, free or reduced trip if they bring a few others with them??) Word-of-mouth advertising will be your best strategy, but don't believe it when people say it's free. By offering your past guests something valuable, you'll motivate them to get involved now instead of later. If that works for you, keep doing it. Personally, I'd much rather go on a trip like yours if my friends recommended it to me.

            If you don't already have it, get a website. You don't have to spend much. Be sure to post pictures of everyone having fun at every party you host. Send email notices to your clients when new pictures are posted, and announce your next trip at the same time so they're thinking about it while they're remembering how much fun they had last time. And make sure your clients can pay online with a credit card. Take reservations, down payments, even sell the photographs and other souveniers! You want to make it convenient for people to give you their money... don't overlook this step. If they have to work to pay you, they'll quit.

            Make sure you get a good deal on credit card processing so you don't end up donating all your profits to banks. I'd be happy to help! You can get an instant, anonymous rate quote at www.CreekFinancial.com. Give me a call if you have any questions in this area. Click my name for contact info. Best of luck to you. It sounds like a lot of fun!

            Neil Moncrief
            Creek Financial Services
            • Re: starting a party planning business from home
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              Like any other enterprise, you can get a great start by doing some business planning. In your case, you have the advantage of having staged these parties already (so you can accurately estimate most of the operating costs) and you have the people who participated in the past (so you can use them as a research and focus group to learn if and how they would search for a "commercial" version of the same such event, and what marketing and pricing strategies would lead them to discover and attend such an event if they didn't already know you).

              Next, look at the competition -- not just people/clubs who are in the same or a similar business, but every activity that is potentially competing for that discretionary income in your target market. You need to identify a competitive strategy that will set you apart from everyone else. For instance, perhaps your parties more fun, or safer, or less expensive, or closer to participant's homes (or farther from participant's homes!), or more exclusive, or the most compatible for a specific demographic, etc., etc. as compared to others. Ideally, you will identify a niche market that really wants what you have to offer, but that isn't finding a suitable provider at present.

              As far as advertising and marketing, one approach would be to launch the business initially by partnering with other entities that sponsor separate events or activities in the same location at the same time, so you could tie your parties to those events in a way that allows each to use the other to draw participants. (Granted, this would be a slower growth strategy than a standalone launch and full marketing blitz, but it would keep your costs manageable. If you're interested in a specific example of event partnering, please e-mail me c/o the website in my profile.)

              Hope this helps. Best wishes.