With the holidays coming up, we’re entering the season of get-togethers. I’m hosting my annual Friendsgiving again this year and am always way excited about it! Now, at some point in your life, you’ve also probably coordinated a group event, whether it was a birthday party, bachelorette party, or a dinner party. But have you ever thought about the parallels between planning a dinner party and starting a business? No, probably not. I’m going to take this opportunity to walk you through the essentials of planning a business taking the same approach as planning a kickass dinner party – the kind of dinner party your friends won’t want to leave and can’t wait to come back for the next one!

By the way, if you’re actually someone who has never hosted a dinner party – don’t sweat it. It’s not a real prerequisite for reading this blog, I promise. But after you read this, you may even be inspired to get one on the calendar AND start creating YOUR own business!


How fun is dinner party planning, right? OK, OK, maybe it’s partially exciting and partially a bit daunting. Even for me who loves planning dinner parties, I’m always equally excited and nervous because, of course, I want it to be perfect! Just like you do! I want all my guests to show up, enjoy the food and the company, and have the best damn time! So in order to achieve this (just like when thinking of starting a business), I need to start shifting my mindset to think like a host – or in our case, like a boss. The success of your amazing little dinner party will depend on YOU! And you can do it, but it takes some upfront planning.


Let’s start with your vision. Why are you hosting this party? Maybe it’s been too long since you and your friends got together. Or maybe it’s a holiday and you want to host this year’s event. What’s your WHY?

Envision the party. What does it look like? Maybe you want an intimate dinner party with your closest friends, or maybe it’s a big event with lots of people mingling. What does your perfect dinner party look like? It’s super important that as a host you also get to enjoy the party, so think about this in the context of your business. How would you set it up and what does an ideal day look like to you?

When you think about the party, think about the night overall. Everything from the moment the guest arrive – will you have appetizers ready? To the time they sit for the meal – what’s on the menu? Then what’s the plan after the meal is over to keep the night fun and get your guests coming back? This is the same as your vision for your company and how your customers will engage with you and your business. Even though your guests are coming mainly for the dinner itself, you want to make sure they have a positive “user” experience the whole time through – and want to come back next time. What does the party look like from the perspective of your guest?

Guest List (Target Customer)

So now that you have a vision for your dinner party – who are you going to invite? Who are the right people you want at the party? This is your target audience or, in business terms, customers. You should get to know your guests (i.e. customers) if you don’t know them well already. Conducting market research will help you tailor your plans. For example, knowing allergies, like shellfish, will make sure you don’t end up in an awkward situation serving it and leaving someone out (or worse…). So, like knowing your guests, knowing your target customers will help ensure your products or services speak well to your target customer and that they have the best experience with your business.

When you send the invitations (engage with your potential customers), you’ll want to make sure you send an invite several weeks in advance and in the best method that works for your guests. Is it best to invite them over the phone, via text, online invite, or a mail invitation? Do they need to RSVP? These are all things you want to think about to best attract your target customer.

Party Vibe (Brand Identity)

Remember when you were envisioning your dinner party? Now it’s time to think through your total dinner party “theme” or the vibe you’re looking to create. Think further through the complete user experience. When planning the menu (this is your main product or offerings), stick with what you’re best at. Maybe your specialty is pasta! Where is the location of the dinner and how will things be served? What supplies will you need, like plates and silverware? What about music and entertainment? What about the guest attire? Is this going to be casual or formal? This will help you map out your full story.

It’s also essential that you differentiate yourself from any other party. What’s your special ingredient that’s going to make your party (i.e. product and business) better than any other options?

If you were to run into your friend out and about before the dinner party, how would you quickly describe the awesome event you have planned? This is your elevator pitch.


Naming your event is part of the fun! Maybe there’s a catchy name you want to put on your invites. How fun would it be to have an equally catchy hashtag?! What name can you hear spreading far and wide as the “It” thing?

Rules (aka Legal)

Think about some rules of the party. Could be something fun like “no talking about work” or maybe something more necessary like “quiet hours start at 11pm” if you live in a strict apartment complex and need your guests to comply. Applying this to your business, what rules do you need to run your daily operations smoothly?


It’s super important to create a budget for your event and plan accordingly. You don’t want to overspend or skimp out on important things that are going to make your event that much better. Just like you would budget for your meal, utensils, decorations, etc., you’ll need to plan accordingly with the budget for your business.

Since no one is a master of everything, we highly recommend sticking with what you’re best at and try to outsource what you need. Maybe you’re horrible with arts and crafts (i.e. design), so you want to buy pre-made decorations rather than the good ‘ol Pinterest DIY (avoiding the Pinterest fail). You know what I mean? Time is your most precious currency, so spend it wisely. Seek help where you need it and leverage skills of others. Once you learn how to delegate, you’ll be all set and ready to enjoy.

Dinner Party Plan

This is where it all comes together! You have your dinner party plan. This translates into your all-mighty Business Plan where you outline everything you envisioned and created up to this point. And now, you should be excited to get started!

Nest e-course Invitation

Now that you‘ve read through this blog, you may be ready to host a dinner and maybe even start a business. Well good news – we’ve got you covered on the business side! We invite you to take the leap into starting your own business, and we’re here to guide you through that journey. Our methodology will walk you through the entire process of getting your business started with a solid foundation – beginning with our NEST e-course that we’re launching early 2020. It’s a New Year, New You with a whole New Vision! When you’re ready to finally make that first move toward your dream, we encourage you to think about everything we talked about in this blog to get prepared for the course. See you then (and we promise it’ll be one hell of a party)!


lisa val verde



During her 10+ years marketing everything from concept to commercialization on a global landscape, Lisa has found that her greatest opportunity is to empower and encourage any woman with a burning passion and a desire for change to pursue whatever lights her spirit on fire. With Wildernest, Lisa is able to help other women break down their own walls to achieve their full potential, and enable a community of passionate women to create thriving businesses and become catalysts for change.

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