Starting an event space business with no money can be challenging, but it's not impossible.
The biggest problem is securing a venue - which typically requires a large financial investment. However, with the right approach and business plan in place, it’s possible to start your own business without an impressive budget.
You’ll also need to grow and develop your business in other ways - something that can be done with the right strategy. To help you get started, here's a step-by-step guide to help you launch your event space business on a shoestring budget.
Research and Planning
Before even looking into potential venue locations, you can’t run a successful event venue business without putting in enough target market research. Understanding what kind of demand there is for an event venue business and how you can find customers is an essential first step.
Determine the type of events you want to cater to, such as weddings, corporate events, or parties. Conduct a market analysis to understand your local competition, target audience, and the demand for event spaces in your area.
This information will help you understand what type of venue space you might need or which venue owners you will need to approach.
Create a Business Plan
Just because you don’t have money, it doesn't mean you can't start an event venue or event management business.
However, you will need to have a very clear strategy for how you will get your business off the ground and how you will be able to manage a successful event-planning business.
It’s best to start by clearly defining how you will generate revenue, whether through rental fees, additional services, or other means. It’s also important to run a cost analysis to identify and minimize expenses.
By understanding what kind of revenue you could generate (based on target market research), and what kind of expenses an event will set you back, you’ll be able to understand the best way forward for implementing your event venue business plan.
Utilize Existing Spaces
Now for the hard part of starting an event venue business without any money - securing a venue.
Here’s the good news - you don't have to own or lease a venue to run events. You can create strategic partnerships with other venue owners, where you use their venue!
Collaborate with local businesses or venues that may allow you to use their space during non-peak hours. Explore partnerships with community centers or local halls that may be open to renting their space.
Different venues will be open to different types of collaborations and exchanges, so it’s always worth seeing what you can offer other businesses and what they would be willing to accept in exchange for their venue.
In some cases, venues might even let you host events for free, as long as they get to keep the bar sales, for example. Think of different ways like this that you can secure venues without needing to provide upfront payment.
Establish an Online Presence
When you know how your event venue business will operate, you’ll need to promote it. This is essential if you’re going to secure bookings, convince vendors, and build a brand. The best way to do this is by building up a strong online presence.
Luckily, this doesn't have to cost you a thing. Use free website builders or platforms to establish a basic online presence. Leverage social media platforms to promote your services and engage with potential clients. Start an event management blog to bring in traffic.
Go back to your target audience and find the right online channels and tools to help you connect with them for free.
Network and Collaborate
One of the most important steps in starting a new event venue business is having the right network of vendors available.
Build relationships with local event vendors, such as caterers, decorators, and photographers, who may refer clients to you. Attend community events to network with potential clients and partners.
Not only will this network make it easier to run events, but having good relationships with vendors could help you secure better deals when working with them.
You need to get the word out about your venue and event planning services. Fortunately, event venue owners or event planners can do this without spending money.
A great tactic is word-of-mouth marketing. Encourage satisfied clients to spread the word about your event space on platforms like Yelp or Google. Create eye-catching promotional materials like flyers and posters, then distribute them in high-traffic areas.
You could also provide discounted rates for the first few bookings to attract clients. Consider offering packages that include additional services at a discounted rate. This will help you generate positive awareness around your business.
Use whatever personal resources you have available to get your business off the ground. For example, you could even use your own space initially, even if it's your backyard or a room in your home.
Gradually reinvest profits into improving and expanding your event space.
Ensure that you have the necessary permits and licenses to operate your event space legally. This is an especially important consideration if you’re bootstrapping your business and are using alternative types of event venues.
While it’s important that you operate frugally, you still need to ensure the venue you choose is fully compliant.
Even with limited resources, prioritize customer satisfaction to generate positive reviews and referrals. This will play a big role in growing your brand and helping your business become more profitable.
Remember, while starting an event space business with no money is challenging, it's essential to be creative and resourceful. As your business grows, you can reinvest profits to enhance your services and expand your offerings.
One of the best ways to keep your business and finances on track is to use the right event management software. Not only does this streamline your process, but it can help you operate more cost-effectively.
Book a demo with Perfect Venue to see how the platform can be used to establish and grow your event business.