The checklist should be in writing. If some representing themselves as a home watch company cannot produce a written checklist, save your time and money. These are people who will 'work from memory' to accomplish what they do. How can they show accomplishment of each item? Just ask them! Without a written checklist you have no idea what was actually done. They may have run through the property and ensured there were no fires, and left. Without a written checklist, you have no idea. A good company will keep the checklist for reference in case they believe there may be a problem in the future.
The budget is important because it can determine how your party will take shape. Figuring out your budget before any planning will save you time, and of course, it will save you money. It can narrow down the choices for the menu, the location, the drinks you'll serve, the decorations, the location, and the number of people you invite. The guest list is the next item you should put down on your party planning checklist. It, like the budget, is important to determine early on in your party planning process. If you were smart, you already have a budget calculated. That budget should already give you an idea of how many people you can invite.