Steps to Transition From Hobby to Balloon BusinessWelcome to the wonderful world of balloons! One of the top questions I hear from those new to the industry as Balloon Coach is “how do I become a real business?” If you want to create income or already are getting paid for your services, take time RIGHT NOW and click the link below to read these important tips from the SBA! Small Business Administration is a great resource! Many people get so excited about creating the balloon decor and thrilled that people are willing to pay them for what they are doing, that they don’t take time to look into all the steps of creating the business! Many times local chapters of the SBA hold seminars and training to help you get started and connect you with local resources. Another great resource for local business mentors to get an understanding of the expectation of a business owner in your city and state is Score.org If you know what you would like your business name to be, I encourage you to go to Godaddy.com or another resource to search and see if the name you want to use is available as a .com. If you do .biz, .org etc then someone else already has your name as a .com and people may end up on their website rather than yours. Before you BUY the name, go to register your DBA and see if the name you want is already taken by someone else. More information on how to register is in the SBA link above! Other steps to take as you become a balloon business: *Business license *Resale License to buy balloons wholesale *Collect Sales tax and remit to the state monthly or quarterly depending on your sales and state laws *Liability Insurance *Possible Commercial insurance for your vehicle *Inflation Equipment *Purchase balloons and products from Balloon Wholesalers. Check out this blog for those resources. If this process seems a bit much for you to take in and you would like help creating your business plan, marketing and a place to problem solve with other balloon professionals check out the resources to grow your business visit BalloonCoach.com, click on Mastermind to check our our group coaching program and online training giving you support from a Balloon Professional who has been in the industry full time since 2003. Contact me directly with any questions Joette@ballooncoach.com We can arrange one to one coaching if needed to go over your business strategy. Balloon Boss Mastermind gives you access to over $2,500 of online training at your finger tips 24/7 for just $97 a month. Balloon Boss Mastermind members have a private discussion group to share tips, successes and problem solve situations! Plus our live Balloon Boss Mastermind call the 1st Monday of each month and continued support. If you don’t feel you need our group coaching support but would like getting perspective from successful business around the world – Sign up now for our Webinars! BalloonCoach.com at just $47 a month, while an active subscriber you get access to all the past replays since Sept 2015 from over 40 different instructors around the world sharing their tips and hints to help you save time and money as you grow your business. To check out a FREE mini webinar on gaining schools as a client, click on this link for a 25 minute replay with some of my tips on Marketing to Schools. School Spirit, Homecoming and Prom No matter what stage you are in with your business, gaining insight from others who are in the balloon business allows you to get on the path to success quicker. I look forward to supporting you as you grow your Thriving Balloon Business! Your Partner in Success, Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. Take Your Business to New Heights! BalloonCoach.com Join our Facebook Group Balloon Coach Community
Is FEAR standing in the way of your success?
As a Balloon Business Owner it’s good to take a look at the obstacles that stand in your way.What is your FEAR? As you wake up today and look at your plans for the future, in reaching for your dreams, what scares you? It is OK to have fear, we all have something in our life that tends to creep up or jump out at us and keep us from becoming all that we can be. Common fears that keep us from our full potential include, FEAR of:
- Speaking in public
- Opening ourselves up to others
- Being criticized
- Making a fool out of ourselves
- People saying no to our products (and taking that personally)
- What can I expect from the experience
- What do I need to be successful and have the right equipment
- Ask questions as needed
- First Monday of the Month Member Q & A “office hours” with Balloon Coach Joette via webinar 9 pm Eastern.
- Access to ongoing Group Coaching through member only Facebook group
- Decor 101 training – basics of supplies needed to create decor, framing and classic designs
- Full access to the Passport to Success webinar library recorded since September 2015
- Seat in the live monthly Passport to Success webinars the 4th Tuesday of each month 9 pm Eastern.
- Vision Board and Goal setting training
Taking the Leap from Part-time to Full-time Balloon Business Owner!When I started in the Balloon Industry in 2003, I purchased an existing business that had been a store front in Lakeland, Florida and the owner moved the business into her home when her lease on the retail store doubled. At the time I was looking for a way to work from home to be an at-home mom to my 4-year old daughter and I was burnt out serving as a social worker and jumped into the balloon business with two feet as my full time job. I had to make it work if I did not want to return to “corporate world”. My husband is a teacher in Florida so I have to bring in income into our family to help pay our bills, so this had to be a money income producing venture. My first job was to let people know that Party People was still a business, even though no longer operating a store front. I got active in the local chamber and business networking groups. I was motivated to face my fears, and do new things daily to make the balloon business profitable as I did not like the idea of returning to a job I did not like, so I grew my home based business to over $150,000 a year in sales. Now I serve as the Marketing Manager of Party People Events and it is exciting to be a part of a team that does over half a million dollars in sales a year, operating from a warehouse with a team! Over the last 16 years I have met a lot of amazing people in the balloon industry. The ones that I find that have full time income from balloons face challenges on a daily bases and don’t just sit around waiting for the phone to ring. They take action daily to grow their business. BalloonCoach.com was created to help you have the resources you need to learn from others successes and failures so that you can grow your business quicker knowing a path that will lead you to success. Meet today’s Guest Blogger Melissa Vega, Owner of Jujabel, LLC, Raleigh, North Carolina. I first met Melissa at a hands on training I held in Orlando called Bridge the Gap to Success, I taught a full day of Setting Goals and how to Network and grow your business, and David Mahoney taught the 2nd day on how to build framing and overlay design. That workshop is what lead me to create Promotions & Profits Retreat Orlando. I have followed Melissa on social media and watched her business blossom and asked her to share her journey with you. I got my start in balloons many years ago as a teen in New York City. I attended a performing arts school and instead of selecting a major in drama or chorus like everyone else, I chose Circus Arts sponsored by the Big Apple Circus. We were taught juggling, trapeze, tumbling, Spanish web and many other cool circus related skills. Being in the program afforded many of us the opportunity to perform with our instructors around the city. This was my first experience in learning that you can get paid very well for a 1 or 2 hour “gig”. At 14, I realized you didn’t have to work a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday to make a living. That stuck with me my entire life. It was during one of these gigs at a circus themed event I was taught how to make my very first spiral garland balloon arch. Ever since balloons have been apart of my life. I’ve worked for two other balloon company’s in NYC. Gaining more knowledge about balloons, working at some of the most prestigious venues amongst the most prominent clientele in the Tri-state area. After several years working with balloons and entering into my first serious relationship and having my first child, I found myself in an extremely abusive relationship. After my then boyfriend stalked and embarrassed me on various jobs It took me several more years to gain the strength to leave. By the time I decided to leave, my son was 5 and I packed a bag and headed to Florida. This was March of 2005. Upon my arrival in Orlando with a child in tow, I stayed with my cousin and landed a receptionist job making $7.00 and hour. I must of cried the entire 3 months I worked there. Office work was never my thing let alone making $7.00 an hour. I made more teaching circus arts in their after-school program, but hey this was new norm at the time and I had to suck it up until I found something better, I was just relieved to be out of the situation I was in. Fast-forward 10 years later, I’d met my husband at that crappy $7 and hour job, relocated to Raleigh, NC, had 2 more kids and it wasn’t until I had my 3rd child, my daughter Isabella, that I got the creative bug to want to do balloons again. At that moment I decided to create an LLC, and that’s how Jujabel was born. Jujabel is a mashup of my 3 children’s names (Juji, Jayden and Isabella). I remember when my first order came in from burton + Burton and my husband said let me see what you can make. Up until that day he had never seen me inflate a balloon, but he knew it was a passion of mine and pushed me to start my business. The first thing I made after 10 years was this flower. I think he was relieved when he finally saw my work. He had no clue about the world of balloons and all its glory. Him putting blind faith into me and my dreams is something I’m eternally grateful for. As I started toying around with my newly founded balloon business, I continued to work at the local hospital in the Emergency Department. A place where I got to see people at their most vulnerable moments. Working there really beefed up my customer service skills, but the job itself, left me with no joy and a great deal of sadness, anxiety and depression. I knew it was a dead-end job, so I used it to help jumpstart my business. I made the conscious decision to cut out any extracurricular activities, vacations, hair and nail salons. Anything extra went on the business. One of the first things I invested in was the help of Sandi Massori,with her Balloon Business Bootcamp with Caity Byrne & Rachel Porter, I knew how to work with balloons but didn’t know how to run a balloon business. The next training events I invested in was BalloonCoach.com Bridge the Gap to Success in November 2016 in Orlando and Promotions and Profits Retreat Orlando, November 2018. All the trainings have helped me gain new skills, helped with pricing, book-keeping, website & social media presence, networking and an overall feeling of, I can really do this! This last year at my job I gradually cut back my hours, working less and less so I can focus on my clients and their events. In the beginning it was easy for me to manage both the business and my job because balloon jobs were so far apart that I had time to schedule days off or swap a shift with someone else. At no point did I feel like my business was taking too long to grow or manifest itself into a David Mahoney style balloon shop. I knew that if I continued to tend to my garden so to speak, that the butterflies will come, and so I continued at a slow and steady pace. I knew my numbers were always looking better and doubled from the year before. The only thing I couldn’t master was determining or projecting what the next month would bring. Each new month starts with 2 or 3 jobs on the books and ends with 15 or 20 by the end of the month. Almost all the balloon jobs I book are last minute. Due to the uptick in last minute jobs it became harder for me to leave work. There were days where I would be at work stressed because there was prep work I could have been doing, quoting/invoicing or sometimes I’d have to go straight to a balloon job after working an overnight shift. When February 2019 rolled around, the jobs that I booked were almost all on Sundays. Sundays were my days to work at the hospital. Previously I rarely booked jobs on Sundays, and this time around I had 2 months of Sunday jobs booked solid. It was almost as if God was telling me it’s now or never. I tried requesting these days off to no avail. My new boss would not give me Sundays off. With that, the decision was pretty much made without me. I put in my notice and since then my email has been blowing up. The floodgates have officially opened. I’ve even turned down a couple jobs because I’m already booked. I wasn’t worried about losing a job before because I had my “backup job”, so now I have to put new processes in place and look at getting some more help so I don’t turn down anymore balloon jobs. To me these are new and very much welcomed challenges I face. It means I’m doing something right. To all of you that are still working full-time jobs while working your balloon business and you want to transition into running your business full-time, I recommend slowly weaning yourselves away by going from full-time to part-time or by tightening up your budget at home. Cut out any luxuries and separating your wants from your needs. Learn to be frugal. I did it for a little over 3 years now and I don’t regret it one bit, especially if it means you get to be your own boss! Thank you Melissa for sharing your story to help encourage and inspire other Balloon Business owners. When you Dream about having a successful company and take action daily you can create a Thriving Balloon Business the industry is booming! If you are at a point in your balloon business where you would like extra support, training and encouragement as you take your leap, I invite you to check out the resources at BalloonCoach.com. Looking forward to June and July on the road across the USA! I would love to meet you at one of the classes check out Summer LIVE tour 2019 of 9 Cities! Have a question about what training would best fit your needs, email Joette@ballooncoach.com Supporting you in creating a thriving balloon business, Joette Giardina, CBA BalloonCoach.com Balloon Boss Mastermind access to over $2,500 of training and support at your finger tips 24/7
5 Important Things When Creating CenterpiecesHere are 5 important things professional decorators need to think about when creating centerpieces for an event. These are especially important during the holidays when we might be tempted to go super big on our centerpieces and forget that we need to build things so that people enjoy the decor and they are not in the way!
Myth Busting – Bookkeeping for Balloon ProfessionalsAs BalloonCoach.com my goal is to bring resources to the balloon professional to make our lives easier! In 2003 when I purchased my balloon business, I did so because I enjoy creating memories and delighting my customers with balloon designs! I did not really think about all the ins and outs of being a business owner…like bookkeeping, insurance, contracts etc. I knew I wanted to be creative and have a career that I enjoyed and would also bring joy to others. However, all the other tasks associated with being a business owner seemed extremely tough to focus in on. Technology has developed so much since I became a business owner. The question is do you make use of what is available right at your finger tips on your computer and your phone? Time for some MYTH BUSTING Bookkeeping Truth It’s one of the best tools you can use to build your business to serve your life! To help you in doing that, I would like to introduce you to Brittany Whelchel, from Lakeland, Florida. Brittany is a Quickbooks online Advanced Trainer and Bookkeeper. I selected Brittany as our December 2017 Webinar guest, coming up on December 26th. As we talked I could tell she had a wealth of information and the passion to help out small business owners just like you and I. I asked if she would be willing to put on a FREE bonus class to give everyone an overview of bookkeeping to really understand the nuts and bolts prior to our Passport to Success webinar. My Challenge to you is if Bookkeeping is an area you struggle in…MAKE TIME to watch this FREE GIFT! Yes, it is an hour and a half. Play it while you are driving to hear the content. Watch it at your computer if you really need training on how to use Quickbooks online. At the end Brittany shares ways she can help you as a virtual bookkeeper if you are in need of that service. They can help FIX what you have in place, or help you get started if you are wanting to maintain it on your own but just need some expert eyes to help you out! This is our Christmas Gift to you! Click here for the recording of the free training! If you would like to get Quickbooks online for just $30 a month – a $240 a year savings contact – Brittany (even if you already have it) email: Brittany@StateOfTheSpark.com You can also email to get access to other online tutorials to help you out in your bookkeeping journey! NOW for the exciting part of Knowing your Numbers! They help you plan the future of your business head to BalloonBossPro.com and Join us Dec 26th to see how the numbers can help us determine pricing and our sales goals for 2018! Join in on the business conversation on Facebook at Balloon Coach Community When you ask to join you have 3 questions to answer and then we will accept you into the group! Your Partner in Success, Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.
How are balloon businesses achieving great things?I have the pleasure of talking with balloon business owners daily about what is working well, and what they struggle with. I hear stories from, “Nobody has money for balloons”, and “They want everything at a discount” to “Business is Booming – I raised my prices and I have more clients now and have doubled my sales.” So I then have to wonder…what is the difference? How are some balloon businesses achieving great things, while others struggle? One key that I have noticed….. ENTHUSIASM! Yes, Enthusiasm… it’s contagious. When you are passionate about your business, the people in your organization feel it and look forward to working with you. When you talk to your clients on the phone or in person they can HEAR in your voice that you love what you do and they feel confident that you will create the event of their dreams and take care of them. I want you to meet 3 people that share this trait. I am going to give a shout out to 3 that are standing out in my mind of most recent. I share these stories as I see that many times people with the same opportunities that not everyone is having success..and often look to find what is the secret. I believe strongly that the #1 is mindset (that we daily get to choose) And those who go through life with Enthusiasm tend to have more success, quicker! Cecile Williams-Bethel from the Bahamas. She is positive, seeks out education and puts what she learns right into action! It is a JOY to be in her presence with the positive energy and passion that flows from her. After our June workshop, she immediately went home and entered a parade to promote her company and has not stopped moving forward daily since. Sheetal Kurup seen wearing a flamingo for our October workshop..She has been in the balloon industry LESS than 6 months. She came to Orlando for Promotions & Profits in October, and when she got home landed a Grand Opening for a mall creating (6) 33 foot arches, (8) 10 ft columns – and had never done a balloon arch prior to that event. She took the training from Gary Ledbetter and what she learned at the workshop, plus the network of balloon professionals she made calling on Johnathon Shelly Gerber and Amy DesChenes to support her in the project, with Eddie Heyland connecting her to Chris Tribuna (from our Chicago workshop) to assist her on the event.
Face Your Fears and Take Action!What is your FEAR? As you wake up today and look at your plans for the future, in reaching for your dreams, what scares you? It is OK to have fear, we all have something in our life that tends to creep up or jump out at us and keep us from becoming all that we can be. Common Fears that keep us from our full potential include:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of speaking in public
- Fear of opening ourselves up to others
- Fear of being criticized
- Fear of heights
- Fear of snakes
- Making a fool out of ourselves
- Fear of Success
- What can I expect from the experience
- What do I need to be successful, have the right equipment
- Ask questions as needed
- Find out how many people they can have at their venue for a sit down dinner with a dance floor.
- Do they have a variety of spaces available.
- Who would your client contact to book the space.
- Then share how you can make the space look amazing.
- Find out the types of events they typically host.
- Take Photos, so that when a client calls you to decorate the space you can easily refer to that venue file of photos to make the best suggestions.
- Show them some of your work, and find out how you go about being on their preferred vendor list.
Balloon Business OverheadOverhead – if you are new to business this word may trip you up a bit. Heck for those of us in business, we often forget about all that is an overhead expense! All businesses have regular expenses that are not directly related to producing goods or services. These indirect expenses are termed “overhead” costs. Most businesses calculate overhead cost on a monthly basis. Typically, overhead cost is expressed as a percentage of sales or labor cost. Keeping the proportion of overhead cost low gives a business a competitive advantage, either by increasing the profit margin or by allowing the business to price its products more competitively. Overhead is all the items added up that are business expenses – the items you need to have to be able to run your business. Examples of overhead:
- Rent/lease or mortgage payment on building your business is run from.