This means selling
those long balloons twisted into interesting shapes.
It implies that one is selling them in an entertaining
manner. We've often said that if we had nothing but $5
to $10 for a bag of 260Q balloons, we could rebuild a
company in just a few years. A $10 bag of balloons
sold at retail, which can be two hours or less, yields
from $50 to $150. It takes about twenty minutes
for most people to learn how to make three or
four saleable balloon sculptures, and you can
practically be an expert in a week or two.
The only other thing
that we have ever found with such a high ratio of ease
of use to instantaneous mass appeal are costumed
characters. One or two means an instant party, and the
person inside the suit doesn't even have to be a
fantastic performer (although it helps). The fastest
way to capitalize on that appeal is by selling
photographs with the costumed characters. That can
sometimes provide for amazing cash flow, and requires
nothing but your suit, an actor, good traffic and
about $40 for an instant camera and your first roll of
On one of our earlier pages, I implied
that even if you were just a beginner, that you should
be wary of performing for free. That's because of you
combine Balloon busking and photos with costumed
characters, you can be paid as you enjoy the "free
publicity" almost anywhere that there is a crowd,
anywhere in the world.
You simply hand out
your business card with a balloon, and write your
telephone number on the back of the photo with a
Sharpie instant marker. These kinds of contacts are
much more likely to result in greater birthday party
bookings, because you have a few seconds of personal
contact to make friends.
You may enjoy face painting, but it
requires a little bit more preparation, a little bit
more skill, and a few more dollars to invest in the
newest paints. If you can take few more minutes and
charge a few more dollars for full-face designs, it
can be profitable. Generally, balloon twisting
requires less and pays more.
There is something of an art to getting into
department stores to sell balloons and pictures. In fact, there may be an
official policy against it. If the store manager believes that he can appear
to be sophisticated enough to his supervisors understand the growing
importance of entertainment in retailing, it can be good for his career, and
a gold mine for you. I'll detail my best sales pitches for managers in the
next few days.
If you can't get into a large department
store or a mall right away, try large independent family restaurants. All of
the same benefits apply, but there are fewer people to work with. You'll
have more time to work for it, though, so it can still be very profitable.