Please welcome Hayley who will talk about a new home based business idea. Hayley is the owner of Disease Called Debt, a blog which provides a wealth of information about eliminating debt, making money and frugal living. Hayley is also a freelance writer and has recently published “101 Ways to Earn Money From Home” on Amazon. You can connect with Hayley on Twitter.
Let me know if you would like to guest post on MMYW and share how YOUR way to make money!
Before my daughter was born, I was a Marketing and Events Manager. My job involved organizing and delivering conferences and exhibitions around the UK. One of my work contacts was a lady called Sarah, a sole trader who booked all of my event venues for me.
Sarah had her own venue sourcing business and I worked with her on a regular basis. She would undertake venue research for me and come back with a number of conference and hotel venues compared by size and cost.
It saved me a lot of time having some of the logistical requirements being taken care of. Sarah would organize the contract for me when I decided which venue to go ahead with and was the main point of contact in case I had any queries. Even better, Sarah’s venue sourcing services were totally free! That’s because she was paid by the venues themselves on a commission basis. It was a no brainer to use her services.
Venue sourcing is an ideal home based business
Like Sarah, anyone can set up a venue sourcing business all from the comfort of their own home. It’s the ideal work from home job for parents who are trying to juggle family life with work commitments. This is a very low cost business to start up with the only real cost being a website (which to be fair won’t be a lot if you use WordPress).
Most venues are willing to pay a 10-15% commission, which can equate to a lot of money if you’re booking a conference venue for a 1000 delegates. Here’s the slight sticking point – you’ll usually get paid when the booking has taken place. This can mean a bit of a wait at first while things get going.
Below are the main points you need to consider to get you started:
1. Promote your services
This is the type of home based business where you need your logo, website and business cards in place before you start. Anyone wanting to use your venue sourcing services will want to see that you look professional and you look like you know what you’re doing. A good way to go about this is to get yourself a website and use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to try to rank it on the first page of Google for keywords relating to venue searching in your local area.
Testimonials go a long way. Try to book some venues or accommodation for friends or family and ask them to provide a positive testimonial for you. Include any testimonials on your website.
2. Build up your venue contacts
There are a couple of ways you could approach this. You could try to get clients first, see what their requirements are and then contact various venues and hotels to introduce yourself and see whether they can deliver what you need.
However, it’s useful to make yourself known to at least a few venues before you start trying to get clients – knowing what kind of venues are available will definitely help. You can ask for the venue’s commission structure when getting in touch with them. Going forwards, the more work you can place with a venue, the more likely you’ll be able to get a discount for your client and your commission on top. You can build up relationships with more venues as you go along.
3. Getting clients
To get started, approach your small local businesses and ask them if they book hotel or conference venues for any reason – accommodation, work dinners, conferences, exhibitions or any other event that requires a venue. If they say yes, introduce your services.
Here’s how you want to position your services. You can take the stress out of booking venues, freeing up the client’s much needed time to work on other projects. You will undertake comparative research on a number of venues based on the client’s individual requirements and report back with a proposal.
When the client decides what venue they want to go with, you’ll handle the booking. You’ll be the main point of contact and best of all you can do this at no cost to the client because you’ll earn a commission from the chosen venue. Most businesses want to save money, especially small businesses, so focus on the benefits that you’ll be saving them time and money.
If the potential client asks whether or not you’ll be using preferred suppliers, you can tell them that you have good working relationships in place with many different venues and that you only work with high quality reputable venues who offer excellent value for money. (You’ll get to know which venues are better than others as you build up your business.)
4. The work that you’ll be doing
I briefly mentioned earlier that your job will involve researching venues and reporting back to the client with a proposal. You’ll need to make sure that your proposal looks professional with your logo and branding on it and above all, that it’s simple and clear. Use a format which easily shows different venue factors side by side.
When the client wants to book a venue, you’ll be the middleman (or woman). You’ll go back to the venue and organize the booking on the client’s behalf. The contract will come to you to check and then you’ll forward it to the client for them to sign.
After the contract is signed and returned, you can forget about the booking until a few weeks before it’s due to happen. Make sure you’ve logged your bookings somewhere! Then you’ll need to get in touch with both the client and the venue and make sure that everything in the contract will be delivered as planned.
This business on the whole can be done from home. However, you will need to visit venues and clients from time to time, especially if you land a big booking that’s going to make you a lot of money and therefore need to take your relationship building to the next level. Once the event booking has taken place, you can invoice the venue and receive your commission!
A business with great potential
Venue sourcing can be as big or as small a business as you want it to be. If you want to work at this part time or full time you can. Either way, to be successful, this business will require a lot of your time and efforts. But once this business is up and running, you could be earning a very nice profit indeed and all with a job that allows you to have some work life balance.
Venue sourcing is just one of the ideas I outline in my new eBook. If you’re interested in earning money from home, you might want to check it out! Priced at just $2.99, “101 Ways to Earn Money From Home” is currently in the top 10 Amazon Kindle Bestsellers in the Personal Finance category.