As a single parent, Gladys Hurtado worked several jobs throughout her son’s childhood to ensure that they always had a secure income. One of those jobs was as a manager at a banquet hall. When her son graduated from college, she took a risk and turned her 14 years of event-coordination experience into Everything For Your Party, which she owns and operates herself. At the end of 2014, she threw her first party and reinvested the earnings to “plant the seed for 2015,” she says. Her business has since grown from that single event to nearly 70 recurring clients.
Being able to scale quickly was the result of Gladys’ business savvy and clever implementation of AdWords, Google’s advertising program. With a sizeable inventory of event supplies like chairs, tables, and glassware, she realized that she could rent out equipment and extend her services beyond the usual full-blown event production. She started promoting “party rental” on AdWords and unlocked tremendous growth. “AdWords not only helped me find more customers for the event-production side of my business, it created a whole new revenue stream through party rentals,” she explains. “My profits pretty much doubled.” Gladys continues to see huge returns on AdWords. “For every dollar I put in, I get about four dollars back,” she says, which is why she dedicates nearly all of her marketing budget to the digital platform. While the full-scale events still tend to have a higher price tag than the rentals, she realized, “I don’t get as tired renting 500 chairs as I do throwing a 250-person party.” Discovering this opportunity has enabled Gladys to transform Everything For Your Party into a more scaleable business.
Whether providing the chairs or an end-to-end experience, Gladys is most gratified by her satisfied customers, many of whom refer her to their friends and family. Gladys is a native Spanish speaker, and part of her expansion has meant more business in English. While this has been a challenge, she refuses to shy away from the opportunities with English-speaking customers. “I’m getting a lot better with each conversation,” she says. In the meantime, she uses Google Translate to ensure that she and her English-speaking clients are on the same page. “I’ve been able to provide great customer service regardless of the language.”