If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that our bigger parties and events may be canceled, but love, family, and relationships don’t need to be. The pandemic shows us that even if big gatherings and events are restricted, people will still find a way to celebrate important events and milestones—albeit with a smaller number of guests.
If you have a keen eye for what makes a space look good, a knack for arts and crafts, and a desire to help people achieve their vision for their events, starting a party and events supply business may be a good venture for you. Here are some key tips for opening a successful store for party and special events goods.
Develop a simple business plan.
At its core, a business plan is simply the answer to the following questions:
- How much capital do you have? Is it enough to cover the costs of putting up the business? If not, how are you going to fund the remaining costs needed? You could look into small business loans. You could borrow from family or friends, and many others.
- How much will the ongoing expenses be? These expenses include utility costs, product sourcing, marketing, and annual rent, among others.
- Write down a price list for your products and services. Items that you acquire from other suppliers, like party cups and balloons, you can add a minimal profit margin. However, for materials that you have to make with your hands, like calligraphy or other DIY projects, you can charge a bit more.
- Determine how your business will make money. You can list down how you can cut costs as early as now and how you plan to expand in the future.
- Give your business a catchy name that encompasses your personality, values, and what you aim to provide to your clients.
Establish a legal entity.
Once you’ve come up with a name, a logo, and other branding elements, you can start to form a legal entity. This is simply deciding on a business structure, the types of which include being a corporation, sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or partnership. This may seem like a big step when you’re starting small, but establishing your party and events supply store as a legal business entity can provide you with so much protection—namely, if from being held personally liable if your business is sued for any reason.
The next step is doing other essential documents like registering for taxes. You might have to start with small business taxes, and you can look into your state’s regulations on how to and when you can start operating.
Find reputable suppliers.
Finding the right manufacturer or supplier is crucial to the success of your business. This is because they will decide on your product or service’s cost, packaging, quality, and shipping. This part takes so much research and due diligence to ensure that you’re partnering with reputable, above-board businesses that provide quality products and services.
You will also need to look into the best manufacturers who can provide the equipment and items you need, like a hot foil stamping machine for personalizing items and other design elements, top-quality printers, and other raw materials.
Market it in a way that keeps the clients coming.
There are no two ways about it: You will need to harness the power of the internet and social media to create noise for your business. There’s a reason why Pinterest has become the go-to social networking site for home decor and events inspiration: For every ethical consumer, there will always be an aspirational consumer—or someone who or someone who strives more in their life, whose main driver is being successful, or even just looking successful.
If you take high-quality, Instagram-worthy photos of your results and use engaging hashtags and ads, you might be able to entice engaged couples, birthday celebrants, and even corporations to hire you for their wedding or special events. Write down special captions, too, so that potential clients will know you have a way with words and can help them come up with good copies for their invitations and save-the-dates.
Make Event-styling a Goal
While events-styling is already often provided by caterers, you can also find your niche in the industry and provide designs and supplies that caterers can’t. Whether it’s a stunning and romantic floral arch or personalized balloons, there’s something about an events-styling company that makes events more customized for different kinds of celebrations and clients. And the best part? Your small business might expand to event-planning, too.