Updated: Sep 2, 2021
The wedding and event industry is an ever-growing business, and if you are dreaming about starting your own business, there are some things you need to know regarding how to start a venue. As a venue consultant, I have learned a thing or two along the way, and I am here to share my experiences with you.
1. Figure Out If You Are Financially Prepared
Owning and operating several venues has taught me how a venue can fail—typically, it does not have the finances to support the business until it's thriving. The first year will be a test for your new business. Only 20% of small businesses make it thru their first year. And only 50% will survive the fifth year.
The cost of your investment will depend on the plan you have for the venue, but it will always require money. Figure out if you are building from the ground or renovating. If you are leasing, the cost is dependent upon the location. Understand what you are responsible for and what the landlord's responsibilities are.
Be mindful of the expenses you will incur, i.e., insurance, taxes, maintenance and repairs, utilities, building improvements, etc. Once you know how much you need, it is time to review your account.
2. Write A Business Plan
Opening a venue involves many details. It is not only about finding a great location and customers. You need to develop a concept, study your market, establish what type of business you are, have a marketing plan and projections of growth. It sounds like a lot of work, but starting here will help you set a line regarding where your business is going.
3. Know Your Competitors and The Area
Wedding venues are diverse; not every couple wants to tie the knot in a hotel ballroom. Some look for rural destinations and secluded locations. Find the right location for your venue and start by doing your homework. Research and identify your competitors; competitive research is the catalyst for strong marketing strategy. Not identify your competitors and their marketing tactics, you’ll struggle to differentiate yourself and your product from the crowd.
4. Network with Event Industry Professionals
Weddings and events take more than a venue; you need a community of professional vendors to create a successful event. Building relationships with industry professionals such as wedding planners, caterers, florist, event designers, rental companies, DJ, is beneficial to the success of your venue. This means attending networking functions, hosting an open house with local vendors. This adds value to your business as face time with other vendors or businesses as well as potential customers.
5. Make Sure You Are Ready To Invest Time
The most important question you need to ask yourself before deciding to start a venue is how much are you willing to invest? Even if you eventually find a great team who handles the events, you will need to be present and be a backup for them. Weddings and social events mainly hosted on weekends and evenings. Are you willing to invest your time in your business?
Finally, as your venue consultant, I can tell you that starting a venue business is an important decision you should make with care. But if you feel ready to jump on this train, I am here to help you create a successful business. Contact me today to make your dream of venue ownership a reality.