Business At A Glance
Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No
If you’ve got creativity and a sense of fun, you can soar with aballoon bouquet service. You’ll design and deliver balloon arrangementsfor all occasions–white and gold for weddings, black for thatover-the-hill 40th birthday party, green and white for St. Patty’s Daybashes.
You can tie gifts to your bouquets–candy, stuffed animals,decorative tins of coffee and cookies–let your imagination be yourguide, and make up both standard and custom presentations. You can alsomake a really big splash by providing hundreds of balloons en masse forgrand openings, sales presentations, inaugurations, graduations andjust about any other celebrations you can dream up. The balloon bouquetbusiness’s advantages are that you can start part time, you can work athome, your startup costs are relatively low, and if you’re a creativeperson who likes conjuring up themes and packaging and putting them alltogether, it’s a lot of fun. And it’s gratifying–everybody’s delightedto receive a fancy bouquet, especially with gifts attached. A balloonbouquet–or wreath, rainbow or cloud–can be elegant, whimsical orsporty, but any way you go, it needs to look smart; you can’t just tosstogether a hodgepodge of colors and gifts and stick on some ribbon.You’ll need a flair for the creative and the design ability to pull itall together into an attractive package. You’ll also need to be a savvymarketer who can sell those unique bouquets to a variety of clients andcustomers.
Your clients can be just anybody who might buy florists’ bouquets, giftbaskets, or any other sort of delivered gift. Individuals will make upa large part of your sales, but be sure to target business customers,who can be a terrific source of repeat business.
Start off with traveland real estate agents, innkeepers, apartment complexes, car and boatsalespeople, public relations firms–or any other corporate clientswho’ll want to make their customers feel they’re walking on air. Don’tforget clubs and organizations–they’re always throwing dinners, teas,parties and assorted awards banquets for which clouds of balloons makea stunning statement. You can net these clients and customers withcreative marketing. Send brochures to businesses and organizations,then follow up by setting appointments to show your bouquets or aprofessional portfolio of your designs. To attract retail customers,place ads in local newspapers, send press releases to local andnational publications, offer yourself as a guest on a local radio chatshow, and donate a few bouquets to other businesses’ grand openings orfor fund-raisers in return for free publicity. You should also sendbrochures to wedding and event planners and caterers, all of whom cantake advantage of your services or refer their own clients to you.
You’ll need a supply of helium tanks, an assortment of colorful, funand elegant ribbons, and as many kinds of balloons as you can lay yourhands on.
In most states, you’ll need a liquor license if you plan toattach that fine wine, and you’ll want a resale license so you can buygifts and supplies at wholesale prices. You’ll want a hot glue gun anda workspace large enough to spread out your materials and assemble yourbouquets. (Keep in mind that a business client may order 100 or morebouquets at a time.) You’ll also need a delivery vehicle with plenty ofballoon room to cart all those clever gifts around in. And don’t forgeta credit card processing machine so you can take orders over the phone.