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Balloon Bouquet Service

Tap your creative strengths to bring smiles to customers with balloon bouquets.

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Business At A Glance

Balloon Bouquet Service

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

Business Overview

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.

The Market

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.

Needed Equipment

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.

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Entertainment & Events

Reunion Organizer

Bring old classmates together by organizing reunions.

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Business At A Glance

Reunion Organizer

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

As a reunion organizer, you’ll be a combination event planner andprivate detective, hunting down missing members of high school andcollege classes, large families, groups and associations, then planningand organizing the bash of the decade.

To find those missing members,you’ll pore through phone directories and computer databases andcontact school and civic records departments and friends, neighbors andrelatives. Reunion-organizing is a growing field–with all those babyboomers being joined by Generation Xers just reaching high schoolreunion age, there’s no dearth of potential customers. And since justabout everybody is out in the workforce these days, no one has the timeto spend on tracking down former classmates or associates and thenattending to all the details of the event. Which leaves lots of workfor you. The advantages to this business are that you can work at home,it’s creative, challenging and rewarding–you get to help people havefun and renew old ties every time you plan a reunion. As a reunionorganizer, you’ll have to be obsessive about locating attendees, aswell as creative about ways to broaden your search. You’ll also need tobe extremely detail-oriented and organized–people will be travelingfrom all over the country to attend events you arrange and counting onyou to pull it all together.

The Market

Your customers can be the Class of X for high schools and colleges,groups and associations, and large, far-flung families. Your best betfor selling to these groups is to establish yourself in your community.Introduce yourself to and leave brochures with vendors inevent-planning industries who can refer people to you–caterers,hotels, florists, printers and photographers. Find out who’s in chargeof the reunion committees for your own high school or college class orthose of your friends and relatives, then call and introduce yourselfand your services.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a computer with the usual office software, a laser printer,a fax machine, a calendar, a planning book and a phone.

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Entertainment & Events

Dance Studio

Dance your way to profits with a studio for lessons and rehearsals.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Dance Studio

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Starting a dance instruction school is a wonderful new business ventureto set in motion, as dance schools have been proven financially soundfor decades. The business can focus on dance instruction in general, oron specific dance styles such as tap or swing. If you aren’t a danceinstructor yourself, professional dance instructors can be hired on anas-needed part-time, revenue-sharing basis to conduct the instructionclasses. The innovative entrepreneur who starts and operates a danceschool can also increase revenues and profits by videotaping theinstruction classes and selling the videos by way of mail order and theinternet.

The Market

Your customers will vary depending on what type of dance studio youdecide to open. You can have a studio strictly for adults, one thatfocuses on instruction for children, or a dance studio for all ages.

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Entertainment & Events

Old-Time Radio Programs

Nostalgic productions can be brought to life with a love for acting and history.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Old-Time Radio Programs

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

History always has a way of repeatingitself, and old-time radio programs from the 1930s and ’40s are noexception to the rule, as these radio programs are once again becomingvery popular. Seek to purchase the rights or pay for the rights tore-record old-time radio programs onto cassette tapes and compactdiscs. Once complete, the tapes and compact discs can be sold toretailers on a wholesale basis, or directly to consumers via mailorder, the Internet, or even infomercials. Providing you can secure theright radio programs to re-record and that demand is high for theprograms, the profitability of the business could be outstanding as itonly costs a couple of dollars each to mass produce tapes and CDs.

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