Lessons Learned from a Halloween Party

halloween partyOne of my many business adventures is a partnership with two friends, Denver Underground Parties. We hosted our second major event this weekend and there were many lessons learned. Here are a few that apply to almost any business.

 

Pre-Plan Everything, Then Plan for What You Missed

We worked very hard to make sure every single detail was handled perfectly for the event. We had staff schedules, vendor contracts, and plans for every detail we could think of. The trick is, you can’t always think of everything.

Even with our plan in place, we still had to show up on party day and fix problems, make last minute changes, and adapt to new information on the fly. If you are not ready to adapt, you are in for a load of trouble when you hit a bump in the road.

 

Never Plan on Doing Anything Later

Don’t do later what you can do today. Something will always come up later and you might run out of time.

The day of our event, I was at the liquor store and grocery store getting last minute items. Another team member was at the hardware store buying equipment to rig up colored lighting. Both of those things should have been done ahead of time, because we were plenty busy with other projects on party day.

I ended up doing those trips plus re-building a stage layout, building room dividers, re-planning a layout, and other odds and ends on party day. I couldn’t have done those early, but it would have been an easier day if I did not have to run to the store as well.

 

Never Assume

As my Dad always told me, “assuming makes an ass of you and me.” I assumed my partners were taking care of some things that they did not. That means I ended up having to do it.

Always communicate and verify everything. 100% of the time. Period.

 

Really Get Contracts

I’ve written about disputes with other business owners before on this site, and I didn’t learn my own lesson. For this event, we had a disagreement on a fee for a service. We were both already locked into working together, but had different ideas on the fee.

Always, always, always get that kind of stuff in writing in advance so you don’t learn this lesson the hard way.

 

Plan To Work After The Work is Done

After our party was done, we had a lot more to do than mob the floors and walk away. There were excess product returns to be made, checks to be written, payments to be collected, follow-up conversations to be had, and more.

If you have any sort of service business or sell an expensive good, always plan to do follow-ups with your customers. Whether it is a short thank you letter or a phone call, always schedule in time after the job is done to make sure it is done right.

 

Lessons Learned the Hard Way?

What business lessons have you learned the hard way? Please share in the comments.

About Eric Rosenberg

Eric is a finance blogger at Narrow Bridge Finance and a serial entrepreneur. He runs a media company, flash mob company, and DJ business from his hometown in Denver, Colorado. You can read more about his finance background and connect with him around the web.

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