Need tips on how to become a professional kids' party planner? Today we are sharing a new book from Tonya Coleman, founder of Soiree Event Design that will give you the inside scoop.
What I love about Tonya is she tells it like it is, and is not afraid to talk about money. This book is filled with tips from someone who's been there, seen it all, and made a nice living out of doing what she loves. Tonya is also giving away three copies of her ebook to our readers, so take it away, Tonya...
I am so excited to guest post today right on the heels of the AMAZING BASH Conference that took place a few weeks ago in Phoenix, AZ, where I taught my class “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Party Planning.” The class shared information from my new ebook: Soiree Event Design’s Guide to MY Party Planning Biz! which is a detailed look into the kid’s party division of my business.
This is not the stuff many other planners will tell you... things I frankly couldn't find anywhere when I first started. I scoured the internet & purchased multiple books looking for DETAILS, but none of them gave me the nuts & bolts on how to do it. SO, I felt passionate to share my story (successes and failures) with other new party planners.
Talking to many new party planners, it seems that the common struggle is money, and deciding how much to charge. Frankly, it seems like a confidence issue to me. My lightbulb moment came when I actually kept track of the time I was spending on a party. When I added up all the receipts and time I spent on the party, I ended up not making any money at all. In fact, I was in the hole. Then my daughter walked in the room and it hit me! I spent HOURS working on this party. Hours that could have been spent with my kids. Hours that I gave away for FREE! NEVER AGAIN!
Here's a snippet from my book on how to set your price: "Rarely do I ever get an actual dollar amount from clients when I ask this question. Many times we play the game of "tell me how much it costs"... then I submit an estimate... and then ALL OF A SUDDEN they have a budget! So, after wasting a bunch of unpaid time putting together a decor plan and estimate without any frame of reference of their budget, only to present an estimate that ends up way out of the client's actual price range, I devised this budget formula which works for me when budgeting a kid's party that the client wants to have at their own home. I figure out the total amount it would cost to have a party at a local fun zone type of place for the amount of guests that the client is inviting. I use Chuck E. Cheese as my unit of measure, as most people for some reason compare custom parties to doing it at an all-inclusive place like this.
A party for 12 kids would cost at Chuck E. Cheese $23 child, which includes:
2 hour table reservation next to many other parties going on Activities-- video games, play gym & pull string piñata Entertainment-- Chuck E Cheese character (not exclusive to you) Chuck E. Cheese branded balloons, disposable tablecloth & tableware Chuck E. Cheese branded goody bag & favor cup 2 slices of pizza, soda & ice cream cup per child Party host Chuck E. Cheese email invites
So for a party of 12 kids, it will run you approximately $300. Then I simply triple that and create my base budget of $900 and explain to my clients that the additional cost is to provide a unique, personalized custom experience specifically for their child and their guests by creating a room transformation around their child's theme, providing themed activities, themed personalized favors, personalized printables and setup and breakdown of the party decor."
Seem like a lot? Parents all over this country are paying to throw fabulous parties for their kids and they value our talents and will pay for that value.
This is a business. Party planners are in the business of bringing smiles to children’s faces, but we have to make a profit while doing so. We just have to be confident to charge our worth and transition our minds into a value based pricing system instead of a service based pricing system.
Once I did that, my confidence levels soared. I began to charge my worth and guess what? Clients started rolling in. Stop giving your value away for free…find out how I did it and how I went from making no money to running a profitable kids party planning business! WHO’S READY?
I’m so excited to partner with Catch My Party to give away to 3 lucky winners a copy of my ebook. To enter, just head to this post on the Catch My Party Facebook page and leave a comment. That's all you need to do to be entered!
If you’d like to purchase a copy of the ebook, you can purchase it here. Don’t worry, if you are the winner, you will be refunded. When you purchase the book, you receive an invitation into our private Facebook group—an online community of fellow party planners with direct access to me on an ongoing basis to answer questions, offer support and continued guidance. PRICELESS!
Tonya, I can't thank you enough for sharing your wisdom. You are a bold, creative, and very funny lady. I'm happy to have you as my friend!