If the never-ending popularity of barn weddings has taught us anything, it’s that people are eager to host their big events on charming private properties – and they’re willing to spend good money in order to do so.
Turning your property into a venue for weddings and other events is a great way to earn extra income from your land, especially if you’re in a high-demand location. But there’s more that goes into it than just hanging a couple of strands of string lights in an empty barn.
Here’s what to know if you’re interested in opening up an event venue on your property, from getting the right permits to making sure it’s a good overall investment.
#1: Make sure it’s set up to be profitable
If your venue is going to be lucrative, it’s going to need to have clients. Likewise, the price you’ll be able to charge for people to use the space will have to be more than the cost to maintain the property.
Think about what sets your property apart and what level of demand you might be able to garner. Only once you’re confident that you can market your property with efficiency and actually turn a profit on the venture should you start moving on to the next steps.
#2: Work out the details
Having the available land is a big part of what you need to open your own venue, but it’s not everything. As with any business you plan to start, you’ll want to put together a proposal that outlines the size and types of events you want to host and how you intend to accommodate. And don’t forget about nitty-gritty details like utilities, bathrooms, and parking, which are less glamorous to consider but just as essential.
#3: Get approval from your local zoning board
Unless your property is already zoned for commercial use, you’ll need to apply for a rezoning permit. Approval is conditional on a number of factors, including the input of your neighbors and the quality of your proposal.
So that you don’t waste your time, talk to your neighbors ahead of time to get a feel for whether they’d be on board, making sure to go over how your plans will (and won’t) affect them. Once you know you won’t have any serious objections, you can get started on the application process.
#4: Consider liability issues
Insurance and ironclad contracts are both a must for using your property as an event venue. Work with an attorney to cover all of your bases and ensure that you’ll be as protected as possible. It’s also a good idea to bring an inspector out who can identify any potential safety hazards on site that you’ll need to address before opening up for business.
#5: Put together a team
There are so many moving parts to running a successful event venue. Get a firm handle on what you can handle yourself and what will need to be outsourced to third-party vendors, and make connections with local caterers, florists, event planners, and so on so you have a trusted network of providers at the ready. As your business grows, you can consider hiring some pros in-house to help you manage your operations.
Want to open an event venue but don’t have the land yet? Check out land for sale and find the perfect property for your future business.
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