How are balloon businesses achieving great things?

Enthusiasm creates great things

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!Enthusiasm creates great things 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.  
                Liz Romani, all I can say is THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE! She started attending training just 3 years ago and has increased the yearly balloons sales at the store she manages by $72,000!!! She is in a town of just 17,000 people! On Novmeber 19th, Liz and I did our Tech Run for her November 28th Webinar where she is going to share how her enthusiasm and passion for balloons has helped her grow their sales and what ACTION steps she has taken. As I serve as a creator of resources for the balloon industry – it is the ENERGY I receive being around, talking with and encouraging people of passion to GO for their Goals that helps me keep continue to create and push for more. Thank you Cecile Williams-Bethel, Sheetal Kurup and Liz Romani for sharing your energy, dreams and goals with me. It is a pleasure to watch you achieve your goals and inspire others to know that anything is possible!
For those of you who need a little extra push to reach your goals, I encourage you to join us in the monthly Passport to Success program. You receive a training webinar with a guest speaker, action plan, and a follow up webinar to help you feel the energy from others who are having success with their results and get your questions answered!         Take action daily with a positive mindset and you will be achieving great things too! BalloonBossPro.com Your Partner in Success, Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.            

Site Visit Challenge!

Site Visit Challenge!               While on a site visit with a local venue I did a Facebook Live. If you would like to see the video: Members of Balloon Coach Community on FB go to the group https://www.facebook.com/groups/ballooncoachcommunity/ And click on the Post from Thursday, 10/19 with caption Check out this video with a challenge and info on how you can win a $300 value ticket to our January online workshop. If you are not a member yet of Balloon Coach Community of facebook Click here to view   I started my full time career in balloons in 2003. Over the years as my business grew one of the questions I would get from other balloon professionals is, “how did you grow your client base?”   RELATIONSHIPS, and TAKING ACTION DAILY!   Yep, that is 2 Keys to success.   If you are not willing to step out of your comfort zone and do things that may scare you a bit you are NOT going to Grow as much as the guy who is willing to go for it!   Thus my Site Visit Challenge to you!   Next week Go out and meet at least 1 new venue you have not been to, or have not talked to the sales manager yet. Do this each week for a year and you will have 52 venues you are familiar with and with proper follow up great referral sources! What do I mean by site visit? Research the venues in your local area that hold the type of events that you wish to decorate for. Contact the venue and schedule a meeting for a site visit. Some may ask, why do I have to go in person, can’t I just send an email?   RELATIONSHIPS Venues are going to refer business to people they Know, Like and Trust. To build a true relationship you need to meet someone face to face, shake their hand, smile, take interest in them. So when you go on the visit it’s not about a Sales Pitch of Buy my Balloons.   While on the Site Visit
  • 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.
  Some places you need to of done work at the venue prior to getting on their list. Each venue has different procedures.   NOW you leave this site visit with KNOWLEDGE you can share with your clients when they call stating they are looking for a venue. You can share with them the venues in your area you are familiar with and that you know something about to be able to suggest the perfect decor.   It is not always about the immediate sale. More times than not it’s about building relationships that grow over the years, to grow your referral base and grow your business!   Would love to hear about your experiences in going out into your community! If you are not a member yet of our Facebook community join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ballooncoachcommunity/ You will be asked 3 questions and then we can approve you for the group.   Looking for training from the comfort of your home? Check out our Passport to Success, Monthly webinar subscription on Your Partner in Success,           Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.    

Create Raving Fans for your Balloon Decor!

Create Raving Fans for your Balloon Decor!

What do I mean by that? As you grow your business building a base of raving fans can make a HUGE DIFFERENCE in the time it takes for you to GROW to the level you desire. When I purchased my business in 2003, the previous owner had closed the store front, and after 2 years at home sold me the company. My first battle was to let people know we were still in business! Many people who had used us in the past were unaware we were still open for business since they often drove past the vacant storefront where Party People used to be! I became an active member of the local Chamber of Commerce in Lakeland, FL. ACTIVE is the key word, that does not mean you just pay your dues and pray people call you it just doesn’t happen that way. Steps I used to create Raving Fans for my balloon decor:
  • I got a magnetic name tag with my name and company name on it to wear to events.
  • Purchased some “business clothing” I love shorts and T-shirts, but knew I needed slacks and blouses for networking.
  • ALWAYS have business cards with me at networking events: right pocket my cards, left pocket cards I get from others.
  • Became an active member of the Chambers weekly Lunch Leads group.
  • Picked up the phone and followed up with the leads I got.
  • Brought balloon decor to the meeting for people to experience the decor in person – this is marketing.
  • Served as a committee member for Chamber Events, and would STRETCH the small dollars they had for events.
  • Providing decor at Chamber events (at a discount) gave me exposure I needed. It paid for the supply cost and key people did see the decor I could create. PLEASE NOTE: I’m not saying give everything away for free when you get started. I was very selective of when and where I would do decor at a discount. It allowed me to build my portfolio and get people to be FANS of my work!
  • The right Raving Fans will serve as ambassadors for you and tell everyone they know about what you can do!
RAVING FANS of your balloon decor become your marketing team – that you don’t have to pay! Daily, I hear from balloon professionals that they got into balloon decor because it fills their creative outlet, that they love how they feel when they create something special for a client. They LOVE being creative. It is very rare I talk to someone who says, “Joette, I got into balloons because I saw the huge potential to make great money because there is a HUGE profit margin in balloons”! Why am I bringing up this point? Because I care deeply about our industry. I see that Balloon Decor is being asked for more and more, it’s appearance on TV commercials, TV shows and social media gives such a boost to our visual decor! NOW the question is are you ready to jump into SALES mode and MAKE the $$ you should for creating it? BalloonCoach.com was created to provide YOU the person who is unsure of the next step for your business a resource to learn from those of us who have been in your shoes, and are IN YOUR SHOES to share how we have grown and leaped over the hurdles that small business owners face. One of the people in our industry that I know is not afraid of sales is Chad Johnson, of IC balloons in Iowa! He recently posted this photo that I love from an event! When I made a comment on the photo on Facebook, Chad shared the following information. Thank you Joette Meyers Giardina! My connections which I made through #ballooncoach‘s webinar series was pivotal to this job. So many contributors,#chrispotts #tommydelorenzo #eddieheyland and more! And how did I get this big gig? Door to door promotions for my Giant Balloon Pit last year. I turned a guy I met into a raving fan, over videos like the #ConradtheUnicorn video I took and#BalloonsbyTommy ‘s amazing parade video! Turned into a $5k+ job a few months later. And now have two champions, one hired me for this gig and the other is her husband, the guy I originally spoke to so many months ago. Thank you for bringing me on as an instructor for Chicago and #ppp2017 I’m very excited to teach what I’ve been doing, learning how to take my networking, sales and parading experience and make the monies, while having fun!!!! If SALES is not a strong suit for you, I strongly encourage you to do everything you can to join us in Chicago this summer! Ballooncoach.com workshops are UNIQUE, as our focus is not on how to make balloons…it’s on How to Make the MOST MONEY from your balloon business! June 21st 2017, 3 Dynamic Instructors for Chicago Classes (open to everyone, Get your seat now over half the 25 spots have sold) (Note…we will NOT be inflating balloons in these classes! We will be focusing on Inflating the $$$ in your Bank Account) Chad Johnson, IC Balloons, Creating the Opportunity. Chad shares key points from over 20 years of Sales Experience! Dianna Glandon, Above the Rest Event Designs, Create Your Life Vision Board Workshop Mindy Neal, Digital Marketing Strategist, How to Generate Leads and Sales from Facebook.   Best Value is to purchase all 3 classes to save $25. Register here June 22nd to 25th, 2017 Parade Promotions & Profits with Balloons by Tommy If you are ready to be inspired by a home based business that has grown their sales to over $330,000 a year and still growing you do not want to miss working side by side with the Dynamic Team of Tommy & Scott DeLorenzo! Through the 3 days of training we inflate thousands of balloons to give you hands on experience working side by side with Tommy DeLorenzo, Scott DeLorenzo, Eddie Heyland, Dianna Glandon and Joette Giardina all sponsored by Balloon Coach. Thank you to our 2017 Gold Sponsors Betallic you will also work with the Kind of Latex Eddie Heyland and Conrad’s creator Carolynn Hayman! We mix hands on balloon build and sit down behind the scenes business classes so that you can LEAVE inspired to move your company to the next level! CHECK OUT THE DETAILS PS we will go on a Tour of the Balloons by Tommy Headquarters on Friday night and have dinner at their lovely home to see how they set up their work stations and see the systems of how they inflated the volume of balloons from a home based business. This night is a time to network and relax after 2 full days of inflating and gear up for the full day of inflation on Saturday! Sunday we hit the streets of Chicago to hear 1 Million people CHEER for our Massive Balloon Display…the feeling is indescribable!   A word from the King of Latex, Eddie Heyland! Still unsure if you should join us in Chicago? Meet our wonderful team and hear from them what you should expect Recording of our Live Q & A webinar for Chicago 2017   2016 Parade Promotions and Profits at the end of the Parade route! Joette Giardina, CBA               Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. Enjoy our Free Monthly Ezine for Tips, Hints and Interviews to Inspire You! http://Elevated.Events

Take Action Today!

  Take Action Today! Last week I attended 2 classes, one on Balloon Decor Techniques, and one all day Success Summit on marketing and sales. Both classes were good, but the one that is going to make the most impact on my income is the 2nd one. Well that is if I do the next step and TAKE ACTION! In the balloon industry we have You Tube Videos, PDF’s, videos, classes, workshops and conventions and new training on techniques to create balloons daily all around the world. Creative, talented balloons artist love learning new designs, tricks and tips, however almost daily I’m asked, “how can I increase my income?” In our society we are use to things being at the touch of a screen to ask Google everything we need to know…that we often forget to take the ACTION we need for Success! During the full day Success Seminar, writing notes in a great notebook and highlighting the things I wanted to focus on, I had an AH HA moment, a Realtor in the class got up to do a testimony. The speaker had been to their office about a month ago (pitching the workshop..and giving out some tips) The realtor got on stage and said, “Listen to what Steve says…and do it! One of the tips was pick up the phone and contact 5 people a day. That is simple right? Well some did it and some didn’t. From doing it the realtor got in touch with an old friend who then listed his house on the market with him within 2 weeks! If he didn’t pick up the phone and make the contact that is a listing he would of never had. He had multiple success stories that had come through in the last 3 weeks, just from that one tip alone. Steve got back up on stage and said, “learn from him…it’s that simple take ACTION on the things I taught you today and you will increase your income. If you don’t you won’t!” WOW did this really hit home with me. As I always wonder why do some of my clients after coaching, or a workshop have amazing success and others not so much? The difference is THOSE WHO TAKE ACTION see the best results! Until we all take time to increase our Business skills, the balloon industry will struggle in getting paid at the right rate for the services provided. To create a solid income in the balloon industry it’s about taking action daily to create new clients. Be like Nike and adopt a “just do it” attitude. just-do-it-colorful-blog I understand there is fear of things we are not use to, fear of someone saying no, sometimes fear of success. Put those things aside and choose to move forward No matter what! Make your 5 calls a day! I know it’s easy to send out a mass email…that’s why picking up the phone and making a personal contact is KEY as you build relationships to grow your company! BalloonCoach.com is full of resources for YOU to take your business to the next level…take time and explore. Subscribe to Elevated.events all past issues are on the landing page, and the place to subscribe.   LEARN from others in the industry! Our monthly webinar subscription program is just $25 a month, or purchase the ones you wish ahead of time for $35   JOIN David Mahoney and I in Orlando, November 13 &14 for a dynamic 2 day business building class. Bridge the Gap to Success Early bird rates end Sept 30th. Hotel just $72 a night.   JUST DO IT.
  • GET TRAINING!
  • Take Action Today!
IF you wish for one to one individualized support that is what Coaching is all about! No matter where you are in your balloon industry journey, BalloonBossPro.com resources are here for you to take things to the next level! Your Partner in Success!   Joette Signature 1           Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. Joette Lime and Teal March 2016 post      

Computer Maintenance for the Balloon Professional

Computer Maintenance for the Balloon Professional

  As business owners in the modern world, computer maintenance for the Balloon Professional, is important! We all know our cars need Oil Changes, some people got to the Mechanic, others due it themselves. Me personally I go to the mechanic! With my computer I often forget about doing the regular maintenance, thus I get help from Erika Warren of YES, Your Electronic Specialist in Lakeland FL. I had Erika set up the antivirus on my computers, and have her remote into my computer to take care of things as needed, LOVE that service as I’m not a techie!   One day while she was helping me with some things on my laptop I asked her if she would share some of her knowledge with my BalloonBossPro.com followers and she said YES! Thus the Free Mini Webinar Computer Maintenance 101! Click here to watch the replay Here are the notes so you have the correct Hot Links.  
* Steps to keep your computer running smoothly
– Weekly temp file / cookie deletion.
Using a program like CCleaner can assist in this steps by clearing out all the installed browsers at once like Google Chrome, Fire Fox, Internet Explorer. You can download this free program at: https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download if you chose to pay for this program you can set a schedule for it to do the weekly cleaning for you.
– Uninstalling unnecessary programs like PC Slim Clean and Coupon Printer as examples
– Weekly Windows updates. Windows updates are critical for security patches that have been discovered by hackers / programs etc. Keeping your computer up to date keeps you less vulnerable to breeches.
You can automatically set windows updates by following the steps in this Microsoft KB form: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/turn-automatic-updating-on-off#turn-automatic-updating-on-off=windows-7
– Monthly app updates for security patches. Apps are such things as Java, Adobe Read, Adobe flash, Google Chrome, FireFox. You can use Ninite to download all these app updates at once by following this link: https://ninite.com/
– Daily Virus scans. By running your antivirus program to scan your computer daily is very important on day to day usage. Most Antivirus programs even scan incoming emails to check for problems. Here are some free anti-Virus solutions: Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Defender, AVG, Avast If you are looking for a paid anti-virus protection we recommend: VIPRE, ESET, BitDefender, Kaspersky With our Managed Service customers we use a business grade anti-virus protection
*Hiring an IT Company to protect you – Daily / Weekly Microsoft Windows updates, we force them by not allowing the users to stop the patches – Business grade anti-virus software with daily scans scheduled. We also have our servers enabled to alert us if a customer is in danger or has gotten a virus. We address it immediately – Weekly App patches. We force the Adobe, Java, chrome, etc updates. – Remote access for live assistance with support needs
-Nightly backups that are HIP PA Compliant
* Why do people need to backup / how? – There are a couple types of backups, there are data backups and ISO’s (ISO files are called “disc images” because they’re an exact image of a disc. An ISO file contains an exact representation of the contents of a disc, allowing you to create backup copies of discs and store them digitally) – If you are needing just data backup, we recommend that this is done daily if not hourly. – you should never have just one backup. There should always be a minimum of 2 onsite / offsite / cloud backup – If you are using an accounting software you should backup to a thumbdrive in addition to those listed above These are recommend data backup solutions: Carbonite, BackBlaze, Rackspace https://www.carbonite.com/ https://www.backblaze.com/ https://mycloud.rackspace.com/
CCleaner – Free Download – Piriform
https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download Head to BalloonBossPro.com for monthly webinars and online training! Thank you Erika for taking the time to impart some Tech Wisdom with us! If you would like assistance in maintaining your computer contact Your Electronic Specialist, they provide service worldwide! 844-=937-9334 Join us for the June 28th Webinar click here Zivi Kivi, CBA Modern Balloon Business 8 hacks to save you Time & Money on your Online Marketing   Your Partner in Success!   Joette Signature 1             Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. BalloonCoach.com Read our Free Momthly Ezine Elevated.Events  

12 Things Successful People Do Differently.

12 Things Successful People Do Differently. WOULD you like to enjoy this as an AUDIO BLOG? Click Here to hear details on how to apply these 12 steps to your Business! success 12 things Today while looking up Success Quotes on Google to share with my Coaching Clients I came across this – and decided to write a Blog – hope you enjoy!
  1. They Create and Pursue Smart Goals.
  2. They Take Decisive and Immediate Action.
  3. They Focus on Being Productive, Not Being Busy.
  4. They Make Logical, Informed Decisions.
  5. They Avoid the Trap of Trying to Make Things Perfect.
  6. They Work Outside their Comfort Zone.
  7. They Keep Things Simple.
  8. They Focus on Making Small, Continuous Improvements.
  9. They Measure and Track Their Progress.
  10. They Maintain Positive Outlook as They Learn From Mistakes.
  11. They Spend Time With the Right People.
  12. They Maintain Balance in Their Life.
  I encourage you to look over this list, – Print it out and put a Check mark on the things you already do. Then Highlight the areas you would like to work on! YOU can’t do it all at once -but its a Goal to strive for! I am blessed to coach amazing people who have a Dream, are creative and enjoy working with balloons! Sometimes the Puzzle pieces are not all falling into place for them on their road to success! puzzel - success Ever feel like you missed a step in building your business? Or just not sure What to do next? I UNDERSTAND! When I purchased my Balloon Business in December of 2003 I had no idea what I had just signed up for! I knew I wanted to work for myself, I was creative, and was good at sales and putting events together. The other parts of owning a business I was not to sure about. I took Immediate Action: Joined Networking groups to learn about business and meet people. Attended Balloon training’s and conventions to network with and learn from other balloon professionals. I stepped out of my Comfort Zone many times attending Business mixers with a bunch of people all dressed in suits! I have spent a LOT Of TIME with the Right People!!! I joined a master mind group in my area – meet several times a month with business owners in my city – all having a different business, but shared many of the same struggles. I learned from them and found out what helped them grow their business right here in Lakeland Florida and I followed their lead.   DID I meet all 12 of the things on the list above – I’ll be honest I did not! NOT going for Perfection here…I’m Striving for Success! I took a business from one level and cranked it up several levels, and then found someone to BUY my Decor Business so that I can focus on Helping our Industry Reach new Heights.   I now get to enjoy serving as the Marketing Director for Party People Events, Trainer and As Needed Crew Leader on a Part time basis…so that I can focus my FULL ATTENTION on Growing the Balloon Industry to the next level, by serving as a Catalyst to provide Business tools, training and support! (BalloonCoach.com was but a wish and a dream 5 years ago)   TAKE ACTION NOW! Print out the list 12 Things Successful People Do Differently – or write it down Put things in writing so you can MOVE FORWARD and know where you are going, and track your progress!   As you look over the list of 12, are there things you would like help in mastering? That’s what coaching is all about! I have been blessed by working with some very successful business owners in the balloon industry and seeing their steps to success and producing the income they wish. When we work together to make your plan, I’m here to bounce Ideas off of, bring resources and encourage you along the way. Owning a business can often feel like you are on an island by yourself. I’m here to give you support to reach your goals. Learn more about our coaching programs One of the People you can learn from is Colin Myles. He was our guest speaker on a webinar May 24, 2016, “Designing for Profit” click here for details Head to BalloonBossPro.com for monthly webinars and training! BalloonCoach.com is here as a resource for YOU to Elevate Your Business! Your Partner in Success, Joette Signature 1             Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. BalloonCoach.com Join us in Chicago this summer for 2 great Workshops Elevate Your Balloon Business June 22nd Parade Promotions & Profits with Balloons by Tommy

What are your goals for your balloon business?

What do you want from your balloon business? Have you written down your specific goals? For some it’s that you want a creative outlet to express yourself and bring joy to others and you don’t have a dollar amount attached to it. However for those of you who wish to make balloons your lively hood, have you just created a job for yourself? Or are you building a business that you can retire from and the business will continue to make money when you step out of the picture? On Sept 22nd, David Mahoney, owner of Balloons Everyday, was the Special guest for the Kick off of BalloonCoach.com Webclasses. After the class was over I was excited to see all the post from individuals stating how David’s class inspired them. They appreciated David’s straight forward approach, sharing how his warehouse is set up and systems he uses to organize his crew and orders. David has a drive to provide a steady income for his family and retirement. After watching the class some told me they were over whelmed as they did not want to be a manager of such a large company, and they didn’t want to work 7 days a week. My response is that is the great thing about owning your own balloon business you can create the model that works best for you. I am offering a variety of guest for the BalloonCoach.com learning series so that you will be able to hear from people all over the world as they share their business models and systems so you can choose what works best for you.   One thing I think many balloon professionals do not think about is What’s Next? Do you have a retirement plan? What happens if you end up in the Hospital? What if you have an injury and cannot personally create the balloon decor? As you set your goals for your business these are really important things to consider. If you would like to still have money being generated when you are not physically doing the work, then you will need to train a team of staff to do the work and manage the company for you. If you are a small company that might just be one or two people. If you are a large company more people. What systems are you putting in place for your business to be able to generate money when you are out of town at a convention, family wedding, or dealing with a medical emergency? BalloonCoach.com was founded to Help YOU Take your business to new Heights. If you would like help creating your plan for success (however you define success) and would like a Coach to Mentor and Motivate you during your journey, check out my coaching packages. Group coaching is meetings twice a month online with a private online support group to help you focus in on Income Producing task. One to One and elite coaching set you up for concentrated personal goal focused conversations and action plans to give you the most support possible from 3 hours a month to 2 hours a week based on your needs. It’s exciting to me to see my coaching clients achieve success, taking steps forward and getting new clients!   Our Next Guest will be Balloons By Tommy, Live webclass October 20. The Great thing about webclasses is you don’t have to be on LIVE to get the information – NO EXCUSES I want everyone to be able to Learn from each other. Sign up by Oct 15th and you will get the Replay recording access of the class within 2 days after the class and be able to login to private side of BalloonCoach.com to see the class anytime you want…payment must be recieved by Oct 15, 2015 for the access. Sign up now just $25, Tommy DeLorenzo business is home based and Doubled his sales last year, and will share the system he has put in place to make less phone calls, spending more time in production of orders. No mater if you are Brand new to the industry or a veteran Balloon Coach is here to give you support and resources! Your Partner in Success, Joette Signature 1         Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. Take Your Business to New Heights! BalloonBossPro.com    

Meet Sue Bowler, Creator of The Very Best Balloon Blog

One of my goals with BalloonCoach.com is to create an Online Community for Balloon Professionals around the world to be able to easily locate training, resources and support to take YOUR Business to New Heights! No matter if you are new to the industry or have been earning money from balloons for over 25 years, one key to continued success is to stay current in the industry. The Very Best Balloon Blog is a resource I enjoy turning to often, with over 200 blog posts, and a search feature that makes it easy to find the topic you are looking for. I had the pleasure of interviewing Sue Bowler, CBA, a social media columnist for Qualatex to find out a little more about the person behind one of my favorite blogs.
Sue Bowler
Sue Bowler
                  What did you do before entering the “world” of balloons? I am one of those people who does not change their jobs often. Primarily, you could say that I have always been an instructor! I got my first training instructor job at the age of 19 for a large retail store and pretty much worked for the same company until I left to have my first daughter. How were you introduced to the balloon world? After my first daughter was born, I was looking to find something that I could do that would fit in with being a mother and working from home. I saw an advert for ‘talking balloons’, these were plastic strips that you attached to balloons that made them talk… and that was it, I was hooked, although the plastic strips were pretty useless! How long have you been working as a freelance instructor for Qualatex? On and off for about 18 years! I have always worked closely with Qualatex. I worked for Conwin for 7 years from 2002-2009 and continued to teach at events, but since leaving Conwin, I resumed working for Qualatex as a freelance instructor. What do you feel is the most important aspect to having a successful business? To run a business as a business. That’s where I pretty much failed when I first started. I did not know how to run a business, how to charge for my work, or how to write a contract. The creative side comes naturally to most of us, but the business side is harder, but so so important! What is the craziest situation you have ever encountered while on a balloon installation? Not sure if this is crazy or stupid. I was working on a wedding many years ago when the bride and wedding party arrived early at the venue. Instead of keeping my cool and just clearing up quickly and leaving, I hid in a cupboard. It then dawned on me that it would be ages yet, and I slipped away without them ever knowing that we were still there! What resources does SueBowler.com offer for Balloon professionals? My website is work in progress, I sell educational videos including my own, plus I show people what I am capable of making with balloons, which occasionally does attract an enquiry and has lead to some great corporate jobs! I am very excited as I have a new DVD, Balloon Decor 2, that will be on sale from September 1st. There is a lot of additional information that I did not manage to get on the DVD as I over-ran (it’s over 4 hours long)! So, there will be a big resources area on my website for those who have bought the DVD. Do you ship your DVD’s outside of the UK? I ship my video’s worldwide, but I also have some distributors around the world, so I am happy to refer people to a local distributor if possible. Most memorable or special moment for you in the world of balloons. At the 2010 WBC, I was awarded The Golden Light Award in honour of the late Linda Bruce. Linda and I were very close friends, we enjoyed spending time together whenever possible, bearing in mind we lived 1000’s of miles apart! When we lost Linda to cancer, I felt that I had lost a big part of my life. Being awarded this honour was so very special! What professional organizations are you a part of in the UK? I am a member of an organisation called BAPIA – Balloon and Party Industry Alliance. It was actually founded and is owned and run by my husband John Bowler. John has also worked in the balloon industry for almost 25 years and is extremely passionate about the industry. John started BAPIA as it was felt that there was a need for an independent organisation that could support the balloon and party industry. BAPIA’s membership is a healthy mix of manufacturers, distributors, retailers and decorators. It also has members from others industries such as face painters, candy cart suppliers and other party based businesses. BAPIA works hard to support the party industry and the professionals within it by promoting a best practices policy to create positive and sustainable growth. BAPIA promotes its members and the industry to the public and encourages the use of professionals for all balloon and party needs. BAPIA aims to act as a unified voice for balloon and party professionals and will represent its members on industry related matters and bring benefits and information to assist in the growth and security of their business. With a group of members, BAPIA supports one of the biggest children’s charities every year by decorating their Christmas party. This is a very high profile event and gets huge media coverage. The decor helps to transform a hotel ballroom into a magical Christmas wonderland each year! Blog from 2014 Children’s event   What are some of your favorite countries traveled to teaching about balloons? I love the culture in Japan, and traveling to remote places. In Israel, I loved the history of the country, the people and food are lovely. What is the TOPIC or blog post that seems to have the MOST interest – or that you refer people to most often. This is a very interesting question, as so many of the blogs that I have written over the years get read and re-read all the time! The top topic appears to be ‘how to make balloon walls’, which is closely followed by “How much should I charge for that”? I think there is a good split between design lead blogs verses business related blogs. What words of wisdom do you have for those who are struggling in building and growing their business to the level of revenue they dream about, but have not yet obtained? Invest in your future! There is no better way to grow your business than to grow your knowledge and confidence. I think that many people start a balloon business because they feel they don’t have to invest a great deal to get started. But to succeed, you need to treat your business as a business and not a hobby. Invest in good education, good equipment and good marketing. Anything else you would like for people to know about you? Apart that I am very passionate about the balloon industry! I recently became a grandma… or nanny as I am known as. My granddaughter, in only a few short months, has become such a very special part of my life. I also have an adorable dog called Mylo, who keeps me very fit and happy too. I love to travel when I am teaching and meeting such wonderfully talented balloon artists, but going home to my husband and family is so very special.   If you are working on your CBA exam – Sue has several blogs to help you with that When you go to her blog Search CBA Also go to Beginners guide to the Elements and principles of Design. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about Sue and the resources she creates that are available to you. Do you find yourself:
  • Wondering how you can get more clients contacting you
  • Unsure if your brand is projecting what you want it to for potential clients
  • Love creating balloon decor, but unsure how to maximize your sales
  • Unsure how to price your decor to be profitable
  • Feeling alone in running your business
  • Frustrated that you are not reaching the goals you have set
  • Ready to increase your sales to a new level
GREAT NEWS! I have turned my passion for helping people succeed into a full time job with Balloon Coach. I’ve taken my proven best practices and am sharing them with the balloon industry.   I grew my home based business to $150,000 a year in sales and now serve as a part of the team of Party People Events with the owner Johnathon Gerber who purchased several companies and put them together we now do over $600,000 a year in sales in Central Florida.  In my group coaching program I share our tips for marketing and growth to support you in your business journey and stepping out of fear into taking action to make your goals reality.   Balloon Boss Mastermind is our group coaching program that allows you accesses to a private group for our Balloon Boss Members to ask me a question that I answer within 24 hours online from business building to balloon building. 24/7 access to over $2,500 of online training and support including our monthly Passport to success replays from Sept 2015 to now learning from some of the top leaders in the balloon industry on how to put systems into your business for growth.  No need wasting time you can learn from our mistakes and successes for a faster road to success! I look forward to working with you! Your Partner in Success!         Joette Giardina, CBA Grow Your Thriving Balloon Business Balloon Coach