A feature blog by Steph Sandford, owner of Purple Fizz.
Reading time: 7-8 minutes.
I’m excited for you. You’ve either started your own events business or you’re thinking about it. When I started Purple Fizz, I really did go in with my eyes wide shut! I had no idea what I would be taking on when I made the decision to start an events related business. In the first few years there were certainly more downs than ups and I believe that’s mostly down to not having any business experience previously, twinned with a lack of industry knowledge and research. With that in mind, I wanted to share 5 key areas of focus that I recommend anyone read, should they be thinking about starting an events business, or already have one that is in its infancy.
Figure out WHY…
The most important thing you need to do before you do anything else, is think hard about WHY you have decided to start this business. These are the questions you should aim to answer:
- Why have I chosen this industry?
- Why have I chosen this service?
- What is it that I will bring to this industry that will add value to my clients?
The point of answering these questions is to figure out if you’re getting into this business for the right reasons and what your core values are. This will also help to determine your USP and benefits to the client.
Figure out WHO…
Next you need to consider exactly who your ideal client is and what type of person they might be. Ask yourself and specifically answer:
- Which demographic categories does your ideal client fall into? Answer this for age, gender, income band, location and ethnicity.
- What is important to my ideal client? What is their top priority?
- What are the pain points of my ideal client?
- How can you solve those problems for your client?
By getting clear on who your ideal client is and what they actually look like from a profile perspective, you will be able to shape your product and service to fit perfectly with your client’s needs, ensuring complete client satisfaction, retention and word of mouth marketing. It also helps you to market efficiently and successfully.
Figure out WHAT…
With the WHO taken care of, you can now start to focus on exactly what your product and service is. I did this the wrong way round when I started Purple Fizz and it took me 5 years to swap them back around. Answer these questions:
- What actually is my product/service and what does it do?
- What is different about my product/service?
- Are there any products/services that my clients will want that I could be offering (without appearing like a Jack-of-all-trades).
- Is my product/service a ‘trend’ satisfying business? If so, you’ll need to think about how you can adapt with evolving trends. An example of this is light up letters and flower walls. Great fun; but, they will have their time.
Being clear on what your product/service is will enable you to align it with your core values that you discovered with the WHY and your client needs in the WHO, to make sure that everything is consistent and makes sense.
Figure out HOW…
So you know WHAT you want to do, WHY you are doing it and WHO you are doing it for. Now you need to figure out how you are going to do it. Answer these questions…
- How are you going to finance your start-up costs and working capital? It’s a bad idea to start a business without at least one years’ living expenses under your belt and the capital to cover your business costs in that first year.
- Do you have the free time to work on your new business? If not, how will you free up the time without adding harmful pressure to your mental and physical health, your home environment and general well-being?
If you have time and financial support, you are off to a great start and can get working on your new business right away without those added pressures that can steer you in the direction of wrong decisions and delayed success.
Figure out WHERE…
Where are you going to get your business from? Once you’ve got your trading name, logo and brand determined, you literally can start putting yourself out there. It’s not a good idea to open the shop without anything on the shelves; so, I’d recommend doing a little more groundwork so that when your clients do get in touch, you are prepared and have something to go back to them with in a timely and professional manner, leaving a great impression. Consider the following ways to promote your business…
- SOCIAL MEDIA platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google for Business are no longer optional if you want to grow a successful business. Some might not be appropriate for your business whilst others will be more powerful; so, look into it. Having a presence is great; but, being inactive gives the wrong impression.
- ON THE WEB | Hopefully we don’t need to tell you that having a professional website is an absolute MUST. It’s your shop window so it needs to not only look good, but put you across to your clients in the right way within seconds before they hit the back button. Our website was designed by makemelocal.com who were incredible when it came to drilling down what I really wanted for the business, which type of clients I wanted and what my company stood for etc. You can read my review for them HERE.
- BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENTS are a great way to get started when you are new in business. It’s fantastic way to meet other business professionals in your industry that are likely to be able to refer business to you. They will also teach you a wealth of valuable information and insights about business, that you can apply to your own business to succeed.
Now that you’ve started putting yourself out there, it’s really down to you to get your ducks in a row and prepare yourself to offer the product/service that your client wants and the one you are telling them they are going to get if they choose to work with you. The best way to start is to draft out a customer journey and figure out at which point you will need either a resource or information for them and be ready to give it to your client in a timely and expert fashion. In the beginning, a lot of time will be spent designing logos, writing content, putting together brochures, sourcing materials and costings; but at some point you will find that you have done everything you need to do for the complete customer journey. And there you have it, a good job done, a happy client, a thriving business and a thrilled business owner (that’s you!).
I hope that this blog has given you some useful insights and perhaps raised points you might not have considered yet. I certainly was not aware of any of these things when I started; but, I was lucky enough to have the support and time to keep going until I got it right.
I wish you all the best for your new events business and would love to hear from you. I’m a big supporter of those new in business and I would love to help you too, if I can.