Ever since I was young, I have been enamored with parties. I used to love being invited to parties and then when my mom and dad would throw me birthday ones, I would go with them to the store, buy decorations, help them come up with the “food” or “snacks ideas”; as I got older, I would go into painstaking details about throwing theme parties.
In fact, I remember when my friends would make fun of me. Today? I am a party planner and I plan weddings as well. I started my business two years ago and my client base has only grown. In fact, repeat business is where it’s at. I printed my first 200 business cards and handed them to family and friends, often giving them extras so they could them out just in case.
I will never forget catering for my best friend. The budget was super small and I walked away with $150 at the end of the day: however, I will never forget how happy she was with what I pulled out with her tiny budget. She told me the chef I hired was incredible, the decorations were classy, the lighting set up quite the ambiance, and her guests kept telling her they were so impressed. As a result, she is still my client today and has spread the word about me all over town with her friends. She even gave me the best Yelp review I could have ever asked for.
No matter what business you have, especially if you are a party planner, you need to make sure you make solid connections. You need to know several chefs, caterers, furniture rental, decor rental, and heck, even other party planners. It’s not a competition! There is plenty of business to go around. Also, if you become overbooked, you can set up a referral fee and refer your client to another trusted party planner or perhaps you can both split the responsibilities and the pay.
That’s why I have some solid corporate entertainers on my list. Yes, I also now throw parties for corporations. These are the best kind because more and more, corporations want to be known for being great workplaces so they can attract the best employees.
I have had almost disasters happen when a caterer or another entertainer couldn’t come through. Since I knew a handful of other party planners, I was able to reach out to them and receive their recommendations for solid caterers and suitable entertainers. The next thing I knew, I had made my network more solid. For a thank you, I took out my friend (now) to lunch.
When you give, people always give back (most of the time!) Stop thinking everyone is a competition and build your empire. Shine bright and attract the best of your industry to you. I planned my first wedding eight months ago but only after shadowing another wedding planner and paying her a fee, which is understandable. She taught me a lot and opened up more of her connections to me.