How to Start an Event Planning Business in Nigeria
Start an Event Planning Business – Have you been daydreaming of becoming an event manager in Nigeria? Dream no more! After reading this chapter, you will be well on your way to becoming one. The event planning business is highly profitable and can be started with no or relatively low capital. This is because event planning is a “networking” oriented activity (I will explain later).
Before I let you in on how to kick start your own event planning business, let me take a moment to say that event planners help their customers plan and coordinate events. These events can range from wedding or family gatherings to corporate events, retreats or seminars. Event planners manage the details so the customer does not need to bother himself. So “people skills, time management and the ability to work under pressure” are qualities that anyone who wants to venture into the event planning business must have.
Here are the basic steps to consider when starting an event planning business.
Work for a reputable event planning business. I suggest you take 6 months to one year to learn the intricacies of the business. Because as an event manager, you ought to have a good knowledge in everything related to event management; event decoration, sound management, catering, security, Emcee (MC), etc. Getting certified and learning an additional skill like event decoration is a plus for you.
Set-up Service Supply Partnerships.
Forge partnerships with all service providers in the event industry. These service providers include decorators, DJs, caterers, MCs, furniture /car rentals, event places /hotels, photographers, escort/ushering services etc. Enter into long term business partnerships with these service providers so that in exchange for regular business you bring to them, they will give you price discounts. Therefore helping you keep expenses low. These businesses cannot be overlooked. Without them, you have no event services business, unless you plan to incorporate all these services as you start your event planning business. I strongly advise you don’t do that at the initial stages of your business.
Determine Your Event Planning Niche.
As there are various kinds of events (e.g. carnivals, weddings, shows, corporate events, seminars, fairs, exhibitions, birthdays, festivals, burials etc) decide on the kind of events your business will handle for a start. Do not think you will be able to organize all types of events because their planning and execution differ immensely. Start with handling one or two types of events and grow from there.
Register Your Business with the Corporate Affairs Commission Nigeria.
Hire and Train Staff.
At the early stages of your event planning business you can multi task. As business grows you can employ key people with relevant job descriptions. You can employ another experienced event manager, an accountant and marketing personnel. Then as business keeps expanding, you employ more hands. Always employ people when there is a real need for them. And also make sure employees receive proper training.
Start- up Finance.
With the exception of the cost of registering your event business with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria you will need relatively low capital to run your business. This is because:
- At the early stages you can start your event services from your home. This will help you save money on additional office rent and other bills.
- If you properly negotiate with your employees and key service providers, you can pay them as your client pays you. You can even get your clients pay some percentage upfront and then use the money to do the job. When the client pays the balance, you pay up everyone.
Advertise your business.
The best way to promote your new business is by “word of mouth” publicity. Get your clients to refer their friends to you. Also encourage your event service provider partners to recommend you to their clients. However, this will happen only when your work is good. You can also advertise by sharing flyers and business cards. You can also put an ad in your local newspaper, radio and TV. Try social networks too.
The event planning business is probably not for the faint of heart. This business requires the ability to perform well under stress, to balance multiple demands, to be creative and flexible in stressful situations, and to network extensively. Event planning will also likely involve long and irregular hours. However, event planning can be a profitable and fun home-based business for the right person. Are you that person?