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Entertainment & Events

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

Party Entertainer

Always been the life of the party? Start a party entertaining business.

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Business At A Glance

Party Entertainer

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

Business Overview

There are a couple of options available in terms of starting a partyentertaining service. You can work as an agency, representingentertainers for parties.

Or, if you have the skills, you can be anentertainer yourself. The different types of entertainers forchildren’s parties include clowns, magicians, trained pet shows,singers and skit plays. You can also gear your act to adults and offeryour services for corporate events as a magician or karaoke deejay.This is a relatively low-investment business to start and operate, andthe profit potential is very good. I contacted four different agenciesand found the average rate for party entertainers was $50 per hour,with a minimum charge for 1-1/2 hours including travel. An agencyrepresenting entertainers for parties or being an entertainer yourselfis a good home based business that allows for flexible hours, goodincome potential and loads of fun.

The Market

Your customers are parents who are giving their children parties, andbusinesses who are planning anniversary, holiday or summer events fortheir employees. While you can advertise in the Yellow Pages and sendfliers to local businesses, your best marketing tool will beword-of-mouth. Be sure to bring brochures or business cards to everygig you get.

Needed Equipment

Your area of expertise will dictate the tools of your trade. You will also need reliable transportation.

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Entertainment & Events

Mystery Dinner Parties

A passion for drama, imagination and social interaction could make this perfect for you.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Mystery Dinner Parties

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Organizing and hosting mystery dinnerparties is not only a sensational business venture to initiate, but itcould also prove to be a lot of fun. ‘Who done it’ or murder mysterydinner parties have become an extremely popular entertainment servicein the past few years, and there are many benefits to starting thisunique and fun service including:

  • The business can be managed from ahomebased office and operated on a full- or part-time basis.Additionally, the initial start-up investment is less than $3,000.
  • The demand for the service is excellent, and clients can includeindividuals wanting to host an interesting dinner party, corporationsseeking a fun social function for their employees and customers, andevent planners searching for something out of the ordinary in terms ofa unique entertainment experience for their clients.

The theme of theparty can be created or you can use a popular mystery theme or storythat people are familiar with. Currently, mystery dinner party servicesare charging rates in the range of $15 per person plus the cost of acatered dinner.

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Entertainment & Events

Theater Productions

A talented play producer can make money from one of the oldest forms of entertainment.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Theater Productions

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

Producing theatrical plays is much easierthan you think, and many plays have the potential to generateoutstanding profits even if they’re only small community productions.Producing plays simply means you’re the financial backer of theproduction and you pay for the costs associated with bringing the playto stage.

However, there’s a major benefit for producing these types ofsmall plays–often the performers, directors and stagehands will workfor little or no financial compensation. Just the fact that they’retaking part in the play itself is reward enough. Additionally, manyvenues for performances can also be secured for free, providing thereare benefits for the owner of the venue such as refreshment sales orproduct sales. The key to success in producing a community play forprofit is to retain as much of the ticket revenue as possible whileseeking out ways to reduce or eliminate production costs.

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