What No One Ever Tells You About Owning a Business

The events industry is an eclectic collection of fascinating trades. We are caterers, musicians, designers, planners, entertainers, and more. Some of the roles look glamorous from an outside perspective, but the reality is that we are in business and often experience both great successes and formidable challenges.

Not everyone you encounter is willing or prepared to give you the real deal about owning a business, but that’s a shame. You need both the big picture and proven success strategies to make your business great. In that spirit, here is what no one ever tells you when you own an event business.

Expand through diversification

When you hear expand, you probably think of hiring more people or opening a new storefront. While these are two ways to increase your bandwidth, they are not the only way to generate additional revenue. You can also expand through diversification.

Generating revenue from multiple sources is smart. If one of your offerings becomes obsolete or a victim to a passing fad, you have more at the ready to take over. You spread out the risk instead of putting all of your money on a single venture.

If you are looking for new sources of income or opportunities, do some market research. What do your clients regularly ask for that you could provide? What talent do you have on your team that you could turn into marketable services? Adding to your current menu of options and diversifying what you offer could be the perfect path to expansion for your business.

Time is money, manage it wisely

The one thing nearly every business owner would make more of it were possible is time. There is never enough of it and we are really good at wasting what we have. When you boil it down, time is money.

While there is no app that will make more time, there are plenty to help you manage yours more efficiently. Productivity apps keep you on task and remind you what you’ve chosen as your current priorities. Project management software and apps can keep your entire team on the same page, even remotely. There are apps to help you save time with finances, payroll, client management, and yes, your To Do List. Next time you identify a pain point in your process, explore the world of apps and discover how a simple tool can revolutionize your business.

Eliminate email waste

It is far too easy to allow email to control your life. Take back the power in your relationship with your email account. Set aside no more than three 15-minute blocks each day to review new messages and sort them into “trash, needs attention, and store for later” groups, and to send brief and meaningful replies. Use filters to help automate your sorting, along with reminders to ensure that you do respond to anything that requires feedback.

Try tracking how much time you spend on email daily for a day or a week, and you’ll easily see how much of our lives are consumed with correspondence. Stop wasting valuable time and learn how to manage your email today.

Skeptical? Try tracking how much time you spend on email daily for a day or a week, and you’ll easily see how much of our lives are consumed with correspondence. Stop wasting valuable time and learn how to manage your email today.

Protect yourself

As some say, the only thing certain in life is change. The economy can boom one day and bust the next. It’s imperative that you actively work to protect your business from unpredictable conditions and events. Diversifying your revenue as previously mentioned can protect you from a sudden disruptive force in your sector of the industry. Similarly, keeping your insurance updated will guard you against unexpected events. Make sure your liability, business and workman’s comp insurance are up to date and ready in case of emergency.

Create a sustainable work culture

Few people realize how integral a positive, nurturing work culture is to the success of a business. Yours should project your business values and clearly demonstrate to others who you are and what you want to be. Meet regularly with your staff to hear concerns, share possible solutions, provide training and support, and choose how you will collectively forge a path ahead. Strive for efficiency, excellent service, and clear communication. If you don’t currently enjoy a healthy work culture, make this a top priority right now.

Look to the Future

Keeping one eye focused on the future can help you avoid the pitfalls that many businesses experience from time to time. It can also be overwhelming and intimidating. Banish your fears of the future and instead analyze it. There is software to help with this, including powerful CRM (Customer Record Management) programs that assist with storing client data and managing leads. You can employ a budget app alongside to help you with financial projections, as well.

Commit to regular evaluation of where you are and where you want to be in one, five, or ten years down the road. As this becomes a habit, the process of projection and adjustment gets easier, ultimately allowing you to make the decisions that will keep your business safe.

Running an events business is an enormous undertaking, but it can also be extremely satisfying. Hopefully, these uncommon bits of advice will help you put your house in order and enjoy the best things your own business has to offer.

Kevin Dennis

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.