New to the event industry? Here are five (5) quick recommendations (plus a bonus) to help you “kick start” your business.
1. Get educated. Learn and know your craft. Sign up for some courses, but be mindful of your choices. There are plenty of “workshops” that lack the substance you need for growth, so ask for recommendations for courses and workshops from experienced planners. Read magazines/blogs that are industry-related and magazines/blogs that are business-related. Here is a list of wedding industry blogs I believe are worth checking out –
Here is a list of business magazines/blogs I believe are worth the read —
2. Get a business plan. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you want some type of roadmap in place to help you determine your core client profile, your goals and your action plan for kick-starting your business. And know that your business plan isn’t written in stone — You can modify it as you grow and/or pivot
3. Get “out there.” Professionals do business with the professionals they know, so network like your business life depends on it. It’s difficult to be successful if no one knows who you are, so network (in person and on-line) as often as you can. And, don’t let the fact that you are not the “smartest person in the room” stop you from introducing yourself to the established professionals — instead, use that to your advantage. Share that you are new in the industry, but excited about your future. Then, ask for advice (and follow up with a “thank you” after the event.)
4. Get ample assistance/staffing. Even though you may be a “solo entrepreneur,” you won’t be able to manage the on-site work alone. Get reliable (key), professional assistance to help you carry out your visions and allow you to shine on-site. And, don’t forget to delegate! If you are able, outsource legal work, accounting work and administrative work. That will allow you to focus on your core work.
5. Get a mentor/cheerleader. The work in this industry can be tedious, laborious and frustrating at times. So, find a mentor who can provide you with some wise counsel based on their similar past experiences. It’s much easier to persevere when you know that you are not alone. And, get a cheerleader — I have two: My husband Chris Wooten and my brother Cornell. They both are great at giving me an emotional boost when I am feeling down or I am ready to “throw in the towel.” Trust me, those words of encouragement will go a long way.
BONUS. Get insurance. I know, I know. I am always talking about insurance. But my education and my professional experience have taught me that no professional planner should go without insurance. And, I believe that professional planners should encourage their clients to get it. You may never need it, but if you do, you will be so glad you are covered!
Kawania Wooten is the principal consultant at Howerton+Wooten Events, LLC. Known to her friends and family as Kay, she uses artistic skills, her keen attention to the smallest details and her strong commitment to customer service as the hallmark of her business. As the founder of the company, Kawania strives for professionalism, creativity and impeccable organization within every function planned by Howerton+Wooten Events.