How to Start a Party Decorating Business
If decorating has always been your favourite part of hosting a party, you’ve probably considered a career as a professional party decorator. Not everyone gets as excited as you about putting together the perfect decoration scheme, so why not put those skills to use and start a professional party planning business of your own? Read on for a guide on the steps you can take to get started.
Choose your business model
The first thing to consider is your business model. How will your party decorating business make money? What range of services will you offer under the umbrella of party decorating, and what types of clients will you target?
One useful place to begin is to decide whether you will be a B2B, B2C, or even B2B2C business. A B2B business sells its goods and services to other businesses, while a B2C service sells directly to consumers. The lesser-known B2B2C model consists of an intermediary business between you and your consumer.
Your business model choice will depend on the types of parties you would most like to work on. A B2B party decorating business might specialize in corporate events, while a B2C business in the same industry might specialize in wedding decorating. A B2B2C business might also specialize in weddings, but the business model would incorporate working with specific intermediaries, such as designated event planners.
Create a thorough business plan
You may be tempted to jump into action and start pursuing those dream clients, but taking the time to write a well thought out plan is an essential step for any aspiring entrepreneur, including party decorators. This step will help you think through all of your small business details and give you a chance to catch flaws in your plan, such as an unsustainable pricing structure before they become a problem.
Another reason to create this document before you start an event or party decorating business is to access funding. Banks, creditors, and granting organizations will typically want to see that you have put thought into your operation to help them make sure they want to fund your small business. They also want to see that you’ve considered your budget and can operate within it. A business plan allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, the market size and opportunity, an overview of your services, how you will go to market, and how your business will turn a profit.
Decide how much your party decorating business will charge
You will do this as part of your business plan, but it is an important aspect of your business to consider carefully. If you underestimate your operating costs and cost of living, you may find that you’re not charging enough, and increasing your prices dramatically can be confusing and off-putting to clients. On the other hand, if you charge a lot more than the industry standard in your area, you might have trouble landing clients at all. By taking into account all of the costs associated with party planning and decorating and identifying how much profit you require in order to stay in business, you can avoid both of these problems.
Choose a business name that you love
This step of starting a party decorating business may be daunting, but it’s also exciting. Your business name is an important element of your branding and can help sell clients on working with you. Consider the needs of your dream client, and brainstorm ideas that would resonate with that client.
Consider ease of pronunciation and spelling when choosing a name. After all, you want people to be able to easily share information about your services with others.
Register your business and open your business account
Once you have your plan and name in place, you can start getting the legal and financial aspects of your decorating business set up.
Registering your business, whether as a sole proprietor or a corporation, is an important step even if you’re starting out small. It enables you to register your unique business name and is typically required by banks when opening a business account. Once you reach earnings of $30,000 annually, you’ll also need to register for a GST/HST account to collect and remit sales tax.
You may think you don’t need a bank account for your party decorating business if you’re a one-person operation. There are many benefits to having a business bank account. When the time to file your taxes roll around, you and your accountant will both be grateful that your personal financial activity is neatly separated from your business finances.
Build a website and showcase your portfolio
With your legal and financial affairs in order, it’s time to start sharing your work and pursuing those customers. Nowadays, just about every legitimate business needs a website, and a decorating or event planning business is no exception.
If you don’t have a portfolio yet, you can offer your services to local businesses or your social network for free or at a great discount. Decorating friends’ birthday parties or holiday parties for corporate customers in your area is a great way to showcase your work, collect testimonials that you can use for marketing, and build a collection of portfolio images for your website and other channels.
Even if you don’t have web design skills, you can use a portfolio building website to make a professional site.
Use social media and networking for marketing
With your portfolio website up and running, you can start advertising your services. While you can certainly run paid ads, social media is a great way to get your work in front of potential customers for free. You can use Instagram to share visuals from parties and events you’ve decorated, giving people a sense of your services. You can also use it to network with local businesses or people you may wish to work with in the future.
In addition to using digital platforms for networking and building a client base, introducing yourself personally to potential customers in your community and seeing if they need your service is a great way to make connections as a planner or decorator.
While it’s always a challenge to start out in a new industry, it’s also exciting and rewarding. Once you find your niche and build a portfolio, you’ll see that it becomes easier to get new clients. A career as a party decorator has many perks, from being able to be creative on the job and knowing that each new job is different from the last. With these tips, you can start making your party decorating business dreams a reality today.
Ready to start your business? Ownr has helped over 30,000+ entrepreneurs hit the ground running quickly—and affordably. If you have questions about how to register or incorporate your business, email us at [email protected]
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.