Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Rainbow Fish inspired 6th Birthday Celebration

The Rainbow Fish, written by Marcus Pfister, has always been my favourite illustrated Children's book. It is pure magic from cover to cover. When I started to design the decor for my granddaughter's recent 6th birthday celebration, it was a very easy decision, to create my version of The Rainbow Fish for her, which is something that I have always wanted to try.


The Rainbow Fish Balloon Decoration by Sue Bowler

To make the design, I used the Fish Shape  from Nikoloon Frames for Balloons. Standing 117cm high and 100 long, I knew that it would be perfect size for my design. Using this type of frame allowed me to create a pattern within the frame that would give me the look that I wanted to achieve.

I am going to be completely honest: it took me several attempts to get started. I actually found it easier to start from the tail end and work forward, leaving the face for last! 


The Bubbles!

You might assume that I cleverly superimposed the bubbles in the photo with the power of an editing tool, however, but they are actually real! 

To make these awesome bubbles, I used a giant bubble making kit! Knowing that our party was going to be outdoors, making giant bubbles seemed like the perfect summer Funday activity for everyone in attendance, young and old. It was also my sneaky opportunity to create the perfect photo, because let's face it, we all want 'that' perfect photo! This photo is actually a frame from the video that I took (below), as the bubbles were perfectly positioned! 



Here are more of the decorations that I made for Alexa's birthday celebrations.

Fantastic mermaid coloured balloons have been used to decorate this children's teepee
Meet Mylo!
Mylo thought that Alexa's teepee was a great place to stay in the shade, and keep cool on this beautiful summers day!

Vibrant coloured balloons have been used to create this beautiful garden decoration for a Childs 6th birthday celebration. Decor made by Sue Bowler

Strategic placing the decorations in my garden gave me the opportunity to take this awesome photograph! 
I used Northstar Balloons letters to make Alexa's  name banner (which I suspended between two trees) and the Qualatex Number Six to make the Mermaid themed arrangement! 


Alexa's 6th Birthday mermaid and Rainbow Fish theme garden decorations by Sue Bowler

Another cleverly placed photograph - I love that you can see
Alexa's name banner in the background!



I don't know about you, but I am always looking for beautiful photographs to use on my social media accounts and fun content for future blog posts! By taking a little time and planning you can create your own photo shoot opportunities and at the same time make someone special very happy! 

Happy Ballooning! 

Sue

Follow me @suebowler



Thursday, June 10, 2021

Customer Complaints - One of the Hardest Jobs to Deal with.


Receiving complaints or any kind of negative feedback never feels great. However, this kind of feedback can be a good opportunity to differentiate your business from others who may not be as efficient as you are when dealing with complaints.

When a customer complains, it is normal to want to react in a defensive manner as it is very easy for us to take any complaints to heart!

I suppose what we need to remember is that 1) we cannot please everyone all of the time, and 2) that balloons are destructible: they can pop, go down or be affected by the elements very easily.

Complaints happen and you will get them!

The perfect outcome for a complaint is that it goes away quickly and quietly, and without turning into a bad review online. You occasionally might have your suspicions that the customer has done something to damage the balloons, or maybe they expected the balloons to last longer. It is important to put that all aside and make it your goal to resolve the problem quickly, and definitely not to prove that you are right and that they are wrong.

Take time to listen and show empathy.

By listening to your customer, you can more easily empathise with their situation. This is also a good opportunity to ask questions and to gather any additional information you need to be able to offer a suitable solution. 

Decide on your complaints policy now.

It is so much easier to make a decision on how you are going to deal with complaints when you are not in the middle of all the drama that tends to follow a complaint. 

Some businesses offer a no-questions asked, time-limited replacement guarantee.

"If you have any problems with your order in the first 24 hours, we will replace it free."

Many companies have a Complaints Policy Statement that they display on their website:

If you have a complaint about our products or service please contact us as soon as possible so we can put into action a fair, confidential and effective complaint procedure. 

We endeavour to respond to all complaints within 1 working day and resolve complaints within 3-4 working days.

Refunds, partial refunds or an exchange will be given if the product is proved to be faulty or damaged and will be issued at the discretion of management 

         
This is your opportunity to decide on what your policy is and how you want to apply it. Take a look at what other businesses have done to see what their policies are and decide what would work best for you and your business.

Offer a Solution

Once you have identified the reason for the complaint, it is important to offer a solution as quickly as possible. You have listened to the customer and as much as you may not feel that the problem was your fault,  it is essential to avoid challenging them or allowing your personal emotions getting in the way, as this won't help you in your efforts to resolve the problem. 

Apply a solution: this could mean a full refund, a replacement or a credit for a future order, all depending on your complaints/refund policy. Make sure that your customer is happy with the solution and that the problem has been resolved otherwise you will still end up with an unhappy customer. 

Offer an Apology

Let them know you're sorry they were inconvenienced, disappointed or upset, then also thank them for giving you the chance to work it out with them. For many customers, this sincere effort goes a long way. 

Care Cards and Balloon Fact Sheets

I recommend supplying a Care Card or How to Care for your Balloons Fact Sheets, with every order. By giving customers information on how to look after balloons, this can often resolve and definitely defuse many complaint situations. There are many reasons why a customer might complain, here are just a few examples.

Complaint 1: It's a very hot day and a customer puts the balloons into a very hot car,  by the time they got home, the balloons have all popped - "My balloons were all faulty, they all popped!" 

Complaint 2: The customer places all the helium-filled latex balloons on the ceiling in their home and some of them pop! "My balloons were faulty, they popped when I got home!"

Complaint 3: The customer places her balloons outside "All my balloons went dull and cloudy, they are not what I asked for!"

These are very simple and basic complaints, however, if you inform the customer in advance that these things might occur, then you can prevent that complaint ever occurring.

Here are some different things that you can list on your fact sheet and also alert customers to certain situations when they purchase balloons from you... if you feel it's relevant at that time (like the weather) it is worth actually mentioning it to the customer before they leave your shop or store.

1. Balloons and Temperature: Please don't leave balloons in a hot car - helium expands in the heat and this could cause your balloons to pop! We recommend that you use air conditioning in your vehicle when transporting balloons on a hot day. If your balloons get rained on and start to droop, don't worry – they'll float again when dry. When helium-filled balloons are taken into the cold, they will temporarily deflate and will re-inflate again when warm. 

2. Balloons - Child and Pet Precautions: Balloons are not a toy. Uninflated or burst balloons can present a choking hazard and should never be left with children under the age of eight without supervision. Store balloons away from pets to ensure that they cannot get themselves tangled with balloon ribbons or accidentally ingest popped balloons or their decorative contents such as confetti, feathers, or other materials. If a balloon pops, clear away any broken balloons and any decorative contents immediately.

3. Balloons and the Environment: At the end of a balloon's life, cut the end of the balloon with scissors to remove any air or balloon gas, then dispose of it in the bin. NEVER release balloons into the environment. ALL released balloons become litter. They can get caught up in trees or power lines. Remember - Don't Let Go & Pin It and Bin It ðŸ˜Š

4. Balloons and Allergies: Most balloons are made of natural rubber latex and may cause allergies. Please look out for symptoms in case of allergies and seek immediate help.

5. Inhalation of helium: Inhaling helium can be dangerous and it is not recommended. It can deprive your body of oxygen and can result in a fatality.

6. Balloons and Ceilings: Lights, paint textures, irregular surfaces and even static can all pop balloons. If you are planning on placing your balloons on a ceiling, ensure that you test it first.

7. Latex balloons and Oxidization: Clear balloons become cloudy quickly when exposed to heat and sunshine. Coloured balloons will take on a velvety, matte appearance.

8. Balloons can Pop: While we use the highest quality balloons and take every precaution necessary with your balloons to ensure they last through your event, once the balloons leave our door or we have left the venue, they are out of our control.

As a business owner we need to be a master of all trades: designer, sales person, the writer of quotes and proposals, accounts manager and the one who responds to emails and messages, as well as social media expert! One of the hardest jobs is to deal with complaints! 

I hope this helps any of you who are not really sure how to deal with complaints.

Happy Ballooning! 

Sue

www.suebowler.com

Follow me @suebowler



Friday, June 4, 2021

Father's Day - Balloon Delivery Inspiration 2021!

According to many different studies, consumers tend spend more when it comes to buying gifts for Mother's Day versus Father's Day! Buying gifts for women is easier, with flowers, chocolates and jewellery topping the list. When it comes to buying for men, it is a little trickier, with more practical and traditional gifts. 

With Father's Day fast approaching, this is the perfect time for us to tap into this market and help our customers to find the perfect solution for their Father's Day gift... here are some great ballooning ideas! 

Personalisation remains a top trend


The key to a successful Father’s Day for retailers will rely on the ability to tune into what the customer is looking for as they celebrate after a turbulent year. Balloon deliveries are still an extremely popular choice when it comes to ordering balloons!

It is clear that personalisation, a major trend in gifting over the last decade or so, will continue to be important for Father’s Day 2021. 

Qualatex Deco Bubbles are perfect for personalisation, especially when using a die-cutting machine such as the Silhouette Cameo. 

I absolutely love this design by Cam Woody, CBA, of Pioneer Balloon Company in Wichita, KS, USA. What could be more appealing than giving this to a Daddy for his first Father's Day! 




Don't forget, Qualatex has prepared some great ready-made social media posts that you can freely download - click HERE for a direct link or visit https://pioneerballooncompany.widencollective.com/c/zijzavod



Microfoil balloons can be personalised too! How about taking this 'Adorable Astronaut' Qualatex balloon and adding a special 'cosmic' Father's Day message! 

37" 'Adorable Astronaut' 
#87966

Cheers to Dad on his Special Day!


Design by Eve Antonello, CBA, of Pioneer Balloon Company.


Only a balloon professional could look at a balloon, flip it upside-down and add a little facial feature to create a whimsical design like this Father's Day arrangement made by Eve Antonello, CBA, Pioneer Balloon Company, Wichita, KS, USA.






"Dad you are my Champion"

For all those champion Dads how about this 'You're the Best' balloon arrangement, and don't forget the trophy balloon can be personalised too! 

Designer name: Sam Jossie, CBA of Pioneer® Balloon Company in Wichita, KS, USA.









Message ideas!

Choosing the perfect message to illustrate on a balloon is never easy, so here are a few examples that should hopefully help! 

To the world’s best Dad, happy Father’s day!

Thanks Dad for everything you do for us.

Happy Father’s day to the coolest Dad ever!

Happy Father’s day to my wonderful Daddy. 

Thanks for always being there for us/me

Out of all the dads in the world I think we got the best one! 

 Happy Father’s day to my superhero Dad!

Sending you all my love and I wish I could be there to give you a big bear hug. 

I am so lucky to have you as my dad. 

Thanks for being so wonderful!

You truly are the best Daddy! Happy Father’s day.

Thanks for being the coolest dad on the block! Happy Father’s day!

Happy Father’s Day to the greatest Dad in the whole world!


If you would like to learn how to re-create some of the designs featured in this post, check out these fabulous video tutorials by Cam Woody and Eve Antonello! 




Once you have decided which designs you are going to offer for Father's Day, it is time to start promoting them on your social media channels. Remember that using the right hashtags is the key to success of your campaign! 

#fathersday #fathersdaygifts #dad #happyfathersday #love #father #family #mothersday #fathersdaygiftideas #daddy #gift #giftideas #birthday #fathers #fathersdaygift #gifts #handmade #diadelpadre #fatherandson #dadlife #shoplocal #fatherhood #papa #instagood #anniversary #giftsforhim #dads #smallbusiness #fatherdaughter #personalised #bhfyp (best hashtag for your post) it is also important to include at least one hashtag with your location, town or city, unless you are offering a national balloon delivery service.

Here is another great ready-made social media post from Qualatex. Some have messages added while others have been left blank to allow you to add your own messages and company details! 



Remember your Father's Day sales campaign does not need to be 100% about the products that you are selling! To attract attention and followers, you can always add in a few 'off the wall' posts! 



How about a Father's Day fact? 
While the exact date that the word “dad” came into use is unknown, it is estimated that it began around the late fifteenth century. It is believed that it was simply derived from baby talk, as in many languages “dada” or “tata” refers to a baby’s acknowledgement of father.

Good luck with your Father's Day campaign, I hope that this post has given a little bit of inspiration! 

Happy Ballooning!

Sue
Follow me @suebowler




Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Are you a Decorator, Twister or Deco-Twister?

When I first started in the world of balloons there was a distinct difference between a balloon decorator and a twister and never did the twain meet! 

However over the years, there has been an increasing overlap between these two worlds in the form of deco-twisting. The term "deco twisting" was first coined in the late 90's by several artists who displayed twisted elements in their balloon decor. However, deco twisting only really started to become popular with balloon artists and customers from around 2010. Ten+ years on, it is more popular than ever, especially when you look at all the detailed Marquee Balloon designs that are extremely popular today where there is always the addition of fabulously twisted details!

 

Elegant Balloon Marquee Design by  Balloons For Everything in Chicago, IL, US.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Moon Gates, Infinity Arches and Hoops - Elegant Wedding Trends for 2021

Weddings are back on the agenda in the UK! Whilst it's true that we are restricted to a maximum of 30 people until all restrictions are lifted, that could be changed as soon as June 21st! I appreciate that each countries COVID rules are different but let us hope that we all find some normality again soon! 

With that I mind, I felt that this is probably a good time to start talking about weddings again  and bring some inspiration to our brides!

Organic-style decor remains a favourite for weddings with moon gate arches, Infinity arches, and round arbors (or wreaths, depending on the name you refer to them as). These dreamy, full moon shaped arches have been the hottest ballooning trend for quite a while now. They really add that wow factor with their graceful shape and delicate nature - their uses are endless. Moon gates make a pretty epic backdrop that can be used as a top table backdrop, a gorgeous photo booth backdrop or for framing the cake table.


Elegant Wedding Wreath Designer name:  Instagram User @balloonilicious

Elegant Wedding Wreath Designer name: 

Instagram User @balloonilicious



Elegant Moon Gate Arch by Sue Bowler, CBA
Moon Gate Arch by Sue Bowler

I made the Moon Gate Arch as featured above. I designed it as part of a display for the Qualatex Trade Booth at Spring Fair 2020.

I made the frame using aluminium rods, and I created angular connections for the base to give it that circular shape rather than a traditional arch.

AeröPole System have now made a Circular Arch Adapter Kit - this creates rounded arches with the existing AeröPole System. This kit is now available from your local Qualatex distributor.


Wedding Hoops

In keeping with the circular theme, hoops are also very popular for weddings! Shown below are a range of hoops that I have made in different colour themes. I love to add flowers and greenery to my wedding designs.

Country Garden Elegant Wedding Hoop by Sue Bowler, CBA


Shades of Blue and Lilac - Elegant Wedding Hoop with balloons and flowers by Sue Bowler, CNA

Stunning Wedding Hoop featuring balloons and flowers in elegant shades of Pink and Peach
Wedding Hoop by Sue Bowler
Shades of Pink and Peach with accents of elegant silk roses and delicate greenery


Hoops can be displayed in many different ways; they can be hung or secured to fittings such as a staircase or on a pole and base as shown below.

Wedding Hoops by Sue Bowler, CBA

Elegant Wedding Hoop by Sue Bowler


If you would like to learn how to make one of these awe-inspiring hoop designs, check out this great video by Nir and Avital Shechter, CBA's of Nir Balloons in Israel. 

In this tutorial Nir and Avital will explain and demonstrate how to make romantic, round and floral balloon frames using a combination of pastel colours, stunning flowers and of course balloons.



Balloons can look absolutely stunning at weddings. I believe that statement designs such as a moon gate or infinity arch as shown above are the most appealing to brides at this time, rather than a room filled with balloons which can look gaudy or over bearing. It is important to understand trends as well as have the capacity to react to them. Remember, most wedding decor trends start in the floral industry - I definitely take much of my inspiration from this market.

Happy Ballooning!

Sue
Follow me @suebowler


www.suebowler.com




Sunday, May 16, 2021

From Unicorn's to Fairies - Whimsical Theme Decor Perfect for Summer Parties

There is something simply enchanting about Unicorns and Fairies! It is such a magical theme when it comes to creating decor! This magical idea is perfect for birthdays, new baby celebrations and baby showers too!

I am not traditionally a lover of outside decor, primarily because of all the problems that you can incur when putting balloons outside, (I will revisit this later in my post.) However, there are also many benefits when creating a fairy theme party outside! It's all about setting the scene and outdoor space that will allow us the opportunity to find the perfect setting! 

Sculptured Balloon Number by Sue Bowler, CBA.
Sculptured Balloon Number by Sue Bowler, CBA.

Last year I created decor for my Granddaughters 5th birthday, however, due to COVID restrictions, we had to have an outside party, and to be honest it was absolutely perfect as the extra space allowed me to be a little more creative.

Unicorn by Sue Bowler
Unicorn Column by Sue Bowler

Garden Decor by Sue Bowler
Garden Decor by Sue Bowler

If you would like to learn how to make the Air-Filled freestanding Unicorn Design, and other simple balloon ideas to use outside, check out the video below.






If you would like to learn how I made the Number Five that I made for Alexa's birthday, check out the post that I wrote last year: How to Make a Styled Framed Number, and Make a Five Year Old Very Happy!  or click HERE
 Here is a little more inspiration!



Rainbow and Unicorn by Sue Bowler
Rainbow and Unicorn by Sue Bowler



Rainbow by Sue Bowler
Rainbow by Sue Bowler



So what are the factors to remember when working with balloons outside? 

You need to be aware that:
  • Balloons will swell and expand in the heat.
  • Darker balloon colours will absorb heat and pop faster.
  • Balloons will oxidise (go misty and cloudy) and lose their clarity.
To combat these issues, follow these rules:
  • Firstly, use quality balloons such as Qualatex®; quality makes a huge difference. 
  • Use much larger balloons than required. 
  • Work with 16¨ latex balloons rather than 11¨, and under-inflated them. A 16¨ balloon should not be inflated to greater than 12¨. This will allow the balloons to expand with the heat. If using 11¨ balloons, do not inflate them to any bigger than 7.5¨.  Always fully inflate balloons to their maximum size and then deflate until you reach the desired size. NOTE: Just under-inflating a balloon will make little difference. The idea is to stretch the balloon to its limit and then let it down to size. This will make the balloon more durable and less likely to pop in the heat.
  • Use light-coloured balloons and avoid using dark colours. Use accent elements such as ribbons to introduce the darker colours into the decor.
  • Plan for the balloons to oxidise. This is not a bad thing, it merely changes the visual texture of the balloon. Explain in advance to your clients that the balloons will look more “velvety” and acquire a rich, matte finish.
  • Use white balloons as much as possible; they reflect the sun and fade less.
  • When working with framework and poles, ensure that you cover these in white duct tape or wrap with white modelling balloons. This will help to keep the framework and poles from getting too hot.
  • If working with helium-filled balloons, keep in mind that extreme heat speeds up the balloon diffusion process. So, in high temperatures, helium will escape much faster than normal, drastically reducing float time. If you can find a way to provide shade for the balloons, it can slow the process.
  • Do not use water to cool down balloons. As the water dries on the latex, it becomes slightly sticky. The balloons can stick together, causing them to pop as they expand in the heat or move with the wind.
  • Use Qualatex Bubbles™️ and Deco Bubbles whenever possible as they can withstand the sun, rain, and wind, making them much more reliable for outdoor decor.
Summer time is the perfect opportunity to create some fabulous outdoor party décor and further inspire your customers with fun and exciting ideas! If you are struggling for good photos, why not set a party in your own garden? This will give you the opportunity to practise, and get some great photographs... that's exactly what I did! 

Happy Ballooning! 

Sue
Follow me @suebowler




















Sunday, May 9, 2021

How Much Should You Charge for Your Balloons?




How much should you charge?

Being creative is fun, but working out how much to sell our work for is not quite so exciting!

I have written a number of blog posts on this subject, but with many new people joining the world of balloons, I felt that this was a good time to revisit this topic! 

I regularly see posts on Facebook asking for help with pricing and I know from my own experience that understanding how to cost your work is probably one of the more difficult aspects of running a balloon business. However, it is one of the most fundamental things you need to have at least a basic understanding of before you set up any business. Get it right the first time, and you’re well on your way to having a successful business. Get it wrong and you’ll either not make enough money to survive or you’ll be too expensive for your customers.

If an item is readily available at a variety of outlets, such as a carton of milk or a weighted helium -filled 18” foil balloon, then it will have a ‘market’ price. However, if it is a bespoke balloon sculpture, event decor, or even an elaborate arrangement, then pricing is not so straightforward.

Take your time to absorb this post, as it is full of important and helpful information, especially to first-timers! I have shared two great pricing tools that will help you with your pricing calculations, however, you still need to understand how to work out the different costs that you will need to include So please read through or watch the video's that I have attached to this post as each will also help greatly! 

So how do we price our work?

Remember, the price that you charge may be VERY different from the price that another balloon company would charge and you will understand why very soon.

There is one simple rule to remember when pricing - make sure that you make money!

To be able to calculate a selling price we need to know the following things:

  • How much our materials cost including helium (balloon gas), accessories and add-ons
  • How much we need to charge per hour
  • How much does it cost us to run our business (in other words, what is the overhead?)
  • How much profit do we want to make


Material Costs

Material Costs should includes all the components that you have used in the design or decor that you have made. This includes balloons, balloon gas, accessories, etc. It is a good idea to create a cost sheet with unit cost prices for every single items you use, even down to the little glue dots you may use!


How much should you charge for your time?

Calculating an hourly rate for a self-employed person is not easy. Many people begin by looking at the hourly rates of people that are employed. However, the rate for a self-employed person cannot be equated in ANY WAY to the hourly rate of an employee, and here's why.

An employee (someone who is employed) will in most cases be compensated for some or all of the following

  • Holiday/Vacation time
  • Sick leave
  • Work breaks
  • Obtaining quotes for a customer
  • Paid even when they have no work to do
  • Is provided with a place to work
  • Is provided with equipment, computers and all office supplies
  • Employer contributes towards a pension
  • Employer covers all the bills (heating, telephone, internet)

As a self employed person you will not get paid for any of the above and in addition:

  • You need to pay for premises - unless you work from home
  • You need to pay for business equipment (e.g. computers)
  • You need to pay for insurances (e.g. public liability)
  • You need to sort your own pension
  • You need to pay all the bills
  • You need to do your own marketing
  • You need to pay accountancy fees

In the world of being employed by a company there’s a simple formula to calculating out an hourly rate: Take the annual salary, divide it by 2 and remove 3 zeros.

For example; If someone is earning £20,000 a year, they are roughly earning £10 per hour. If they earn £25 per hour, they roughly earn £50,000 a year. 

If you want to make £20,000 per year from self employment you will need to charge more than £10 per hour. Remember, the rate that you pay yourself needs to include the time that you spend visiting clients, doing admin, sick days and holiday allowance... plus other expenses. 

Check out these Self-Employed Day Rate Calculators to help you to determine how much you should be charging. I am sure that there are similar calculators that reflect employment rates in different countries. Check them both as they work slightly differently.

https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/self-employed-income-calculator.aspx and https://www.freelancesolutions.co.uk/day-rate-calculator/ 

Running Costs and Overheads

This is the cost of running the business.

While overhead costs are not directly linked to profit generation, they are still necessary as they provide critical support for the profit-making activities. The overhead costs depend on the nature of the business. For example, a retailer’s overhead costs will be widely different from someone who works from home.

Some examples of overhead costs are:

  • Rent
  • Utilities (water, electricity)
  • Insurance
  • Office supplies
  • Advertising expenses
  • Accounting and legal expenses
  • Salaries and wages
  • Depreciation
  • Government fees and licenses
  • Property taxes

Overhead costs can include fixed monthly and annual expenses such as rent, salaries and insurance or variable costs such as advertising expenses that can vary month-on-month based on the level of business activity.

How do you calculate your overhead rate/percentage

To calculate the overhead rate, divide the total monthly overhead costs of the business in a month by its monthly sales. Multiply this number by 100 to get your overhead rate.

For example, say your business had £1,000 in overhead costs in a month and £5,000 in sales.

Overhead Rate = Overhead Costs ➗ Sales

The overhead rate is £1,000 ➗ £5,000 = .2 or 20%

This means that the business spends twenty pence on overheads for every pound that it makes.

Profit

Making a profit is vitally important for the growth of your business.

The term Gross Profit is the Overhead % and Net Profit % added together

The term Net Profit is a company's profit after all of its expenses have been deducted from revenues.

What net profit margin should a UK small business aspire to make in the UK?

A good margin will vary considerably by industry and size of business, but as a general rule of thumb, a 10% net profit margin is considered average, a 15% - 20% margin is good and a 5% margin is low.

In the balloon industry we generally use a Job Cost Form. The job cost form is a manual tool that will help you to calculate a selling price.

Here is an example of a Job Cost Form that I completed for a design that I made some time ago.



Now for the good news! There are now two Interactive Pricing Tools that I am aware of. These tools were created and shared by two UK Balloon Wholesalers. With both of these tools, you can easily work out the prices you should be charging for a product, service or decorating job. You will need to input materials, quantities and costs and then a total cost will be calculated for you. Adding in labour and other expenses, you can accurately come up with a direct cost for your job. From this figure, the tool then works out a selling price for you based on your desired level of profit and assumed overheads.

Balloon Market Interactive Pricing Tool


This tool also gives you the option to manually price your designs using the 
Manual Pricing Tool – This is a printout version of the interactive pricing tool so that you can write in details and work costs out yourself. A bit more difficult, but definitely worth doing - this is the same as the one that I used above when costing the Pedestal Bouquet.

There is also a Formula for Manual Pricing – This is a little guide on how to work out costs and selling prices. The numbers correspond to the boxes on the Manual Pricing Tool.

And to help you with your helium pricing, there is a Helium Calculation Sheet – This sheet is to work out your helium costs. All you need to do here is enter in what you have paid for your cylinder and the rental charges (if applicable), and the sheet will do the rest of the work for you. You can then transfer these costs into the Interactive Pricing Tool or Manual Pricing Tool.

To download this tool follow this link: https://www.balloonmarket.co.uk/interactive-pricing-tool

The other Pricing Tool is an App that has been created by Greetings House that you can use on your iPhone and is available from the App store, just search Greetings House. You are able to change the values and currency in the setting easily.



Both of these tools are completely free! I am sure they will become invaluable to your business as they are to mine! 

Here are two excellent videos that I believe will also help you to understand pricing a little better. The first one is from Balloon Market with Mark Drury of Qualatex Europe. Mark has helped countless balloon businesses work out the correct costings for their decorations and has given a lot of people the confidence to price correctly. Please note that this video was filmed in 2017 and prices quoted may differ.




The second video below features Keith Stirman and Dominic Cassidy - The Boys of Q Corner. In this video, they share their extensive knowledge of costing using the Qualatex Job Cost Form.
They show how to easily find the minimum sale price of your balloon work, as well as what happens when you discount your work, and how it affects your bottom line. They also demonstrate how to ensure you are pricing for profit and not just turning over money. Remember: Turnover is vanity, Profit is sanity & Cash Flow is reality! For the links that they mention visit 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXayX0IriPo&t=478s or click HERE



As I stated at the start of this post, pricing is probably one of the hardest parts of running a business, but it's so very important to get it right to ensure that you make a profit. Making a profit is essential for a business to survive.

I hope that you have found this post helpful! 

Happy Ballooning! 

Sue
Follow me @suebower