The Pros and Cons of Starting a Party-Planning Business

Two party planners talking
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Do you love to throw parties? Do you enjoy the planning and preparation that takes place before the big event? If so, a small business as a party planner might be the perfect business idea for you.

The Pros

Some of the reasons you might want to start a party-planning business include:

  • Startup costs for a party-planning business are relatively low since no storefront is necessary. Your base of operations likely will be your home and the vehicle you use to travel to your clients. You'll be able to deduct these expenses when you file your taxes.
  • You can work as much or as little as you want. It can be a side job to earn extra income, but if you build up a large enough client base, this could be a full-time job. Depending on multiple factors, typical salaries for party planners can range from $45,000 annually up to $70,000 annually.
  • It can be fun work offering a lot of variety. Parties might include receptions for weddings and other life events, but they also might include corporate events. Parties also can range from small, informal gatherings to large and elaborate events complete with entertainment.
  • The more your business grows, the greater your opportunity to market yourself. There is a potential client in every attendee at the parties you plan, making your events the perfect marketing tool.
  • Party and event planning provides an opportunity to express your creative side. While clients will have ideas they want you to execute, often, they're looking to you to bring their concepts to life. It is your opportunity to take the client's starting point and design what the party will look like and what kind of experience it will provide for guests.

The Cons

Some of the potential challenges of starting a party-planning business include:

  • Marketing will be an additional cost. When just starting out, you'll need to have a strong marketing plan to start building a base of clients. Establishing a detailed website is a must, and advertising on the vehicle you'll be using also may be beneficial.
  • While no formal training is necessary, it can be difficult to establish trust and relationships with caterers, bakers, DJs, and other suppliers and subcontractors you'll need to work with if you don't already have experience and contacts within the industry.
  • It can be a high-stress job. From food to decorations to entertainment and maybe even the weather, many elements need to come together for a successful party. As well, your business and reputation are on the hook with every party you plan. As much as successful parties can be a great tool for recruiting additional clients, one disaster can be a significant setback.
  • Hours can be long, and you can count on them, including evenings, weekends, and holidays–when people most often throw parties.
  • You likely will need liability insurance and bonding, which is an additional cost.
  • You likely will need to work with an attorney, at least when getting started, to help complete the template you use for your standard contract.