In the early days of running your event planning business, it’s natural to take on all events and inquiries yourself. It’s often the most cost-effective and sensible way to do things. As your business and reputation grow, you may think about hiring someone to help you.
The first step is to decide where you want your business to go. Are you trying to build a team of lead planners and designers? If so, what is your ideal number of planners to have in the future? Do YOU want to be the main planner (or designer) but have a team to support you? Are you hoping to bring on a business partner? Do you eventually want to sell your business? Do you want to expand into other areas of event planning in the future? Knowing the direction you want your business to go will help determine how you build your team.
The second step is to write a job description. List all of the tasks you need help with and the type of skills you desire in the ideal candidate. Here are a few considerations to help you get started:
- Do you need an assistant just for events?
- Are you looking for an intern for the busy season? (note – there are rules and regulations for unpaid internships)
- Do you need a part time office assistant? If so, can he or she work virtually or do you need someone physically in your office?
- Are you looking for someone you can teach and mentor so they can grow with your company as a planner or designer?
- Do you want to hire someone with experience?
- Are you looking for a future business partner?
- Do you need someone during weekdays or just in the evenings and on weekends?
- Do you want someone who can expand the corporate side of your planning business while you focus on social events? (or vice versa)
If you are hiring an office assistant, you may want someone who works in a similar style as you. If you want to hire another event planner or bring on a business partner, you may want to consider someone who has a different skill set than you (outgoing vs. introvert, designer vs. planner, business oriented vs. customer focused). Once you have the job description, you may realize you need two or more different part-time employees or contractors to fulfill everything you need.
The third step is to decide where they will work. This sounds simple but take a few minutes to really think what it will be like to have someone working next to you in your office or what it would be like to have a virtual assistant who you never meet. Some business owners work great in a team environment while others love the solitude of working alone.
The fourth step is to decide what you can pay and how your staff will be paid. When you are deciding what to pay, consider your options such as hourly, commission-based, salary or a combination of any of those three. The pay structure may be based on the particular job description. For example, part time office help will usually be paid hourly. Having other lead planners in your company typically would be either salary or commission based. There are also legalities of hiring an employee versus a contractor which you can consult with an attorney about.