Tuesday, December 11, 2018

And the Colour Of The Year is...... Living Coral!

"Love" Balloon Wall by Sue Bowler - www.suebowler.com

"Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year is a peachy orange with a golden undertone. 'Living Coral' is set to inspire optimism, energy and social connection".

We often ask what influences a trend, and when it comes to colour there is no doubt that Pantone plays a huge part.

Since 2000, Pantone has selected a colour of the year. To determine what that colour will be Pantone combs the globe looking for colour influences. They look to the pop culture, film, popular travel destinations, socio-economic conditions, organic elements, art, fashion, and much more. The Colour of the Year has a great deal of influence on products and purchasing decisions made that year in a variety of industries from fashion, industrial design, product packaging, graphic design, and home goods.

So how does this have impact on us in the balloon industry? Our industry is very much influenced by fashion, especially when it comes to weddings, as they impact the choices for bridesmaid dresses, flowers and decor! 

Organic Balloon Decor by Sue Bowler www.suebowler.com
Organic Decor by Sue Bowler, CBA.
Coral, Rose Gold, White, Blush and Chrome Gold.

The Qualatex
® Coral latex balloon is a perfect match to the new Living Coral and coordinates perfectly with Rose Gold and Pearl Peach! 

Coral - Rose Gold - Pearl Peach

Here are a few designs that I have made using Coral as one of the feature colours.

Balloon Decor by Sue Bowler CBA www.suebowler.com
Coral with Rose Gold, White and Chrome Gold.

Balloon Decor by Sue Bowler CBA
Coral with Rose and Pearl Ivory. 

Balloon and Flower Centrepiece by Sue Bowler CBA
Coral with Rose Gold, Blush and a hint of Chrome Gold.
I think that we will all enjoy working with this fabulous colour and we will see it in much of our decor in 2019!
Happy Ballooning!



Wednesday, December 5, 2018

How Much Would You Charge For This Design?

Many businesses struggle when it come to pricing, and not just in the balloon industry! 
The fear of pricing too high and not getting any business versus pricing too low and never making a profit is an everyday dilemma.

In the interest of today's blog, I asked a few of my ballooning friends from around the world to tell me how much they would charge for this style of air-filled design in their country. I chose this design as it uses very few balloons and it's quick and easy to make.

Before we start, write down how much you would charge for this design and see how your price compares to others.

So how do we know how much to charge? Some of us will "guesstimate," while others will actually work out how much they need to charge to make a profit!

Whenever I am pricing a design, I always start by completing a QBN Job Cost Form (shown above). It really helps to make sure that you have covered all your costs and make a profit, too! 

For my example, I am using the prices that are listed in the 2018 Qualatex European Everyday Catalogue. All the prices in my example are in UK £., and I have included V.A.T.

The weight that we use in a design like this can vary in type and cost. Some will choose to use a purpose-made weight, whilst others might use a sand or water weight - this will have an impact on the selling price.

For my example, I have calculated that I would need to sell the design at £11.24 to cover my costs and to make a good profit. 

Here are the suggested selling prices for the same style of design from some of my ballooning friends from around the world:

  • Belgium €12.95 - £11.54 - USD $14.76
  • Australia AUD $19.00 -  £10.98 - USD $14.03
  • USA USD $15.00 - £11.77 
  • UK £9.99 - USD $12.79
  • USA UDS $12.00 - £9.42
  • Hungary HUF 2190 - £6.05 - USD $7.74

I am really pleasantly surprised at the price range. With the exception of Hungary, there is not a huge price different between these countries. But it does not surprise me that Hungary's price is much lower. If you look at how much people earn around the world, there is a huge difference in the minimum wages. For example between Belgium and Hungary, wages in Belgium are more than three times greater than in Hungary (comparing 2018 minimum wages) and therefore the labour costs in each of these countries will reflect this difference. 

2018 Minimum Wages - this is a helpful guide to compare wages around the world.

Belgium - €1562.60 per month
UK - £1462.60 per month
Hungary - €444.10 per month
USA - USD $7.25 per hour - USD $275.50 per week
Australia AUD $694.90 per week

The job cost form is a good guide to help you with pricing, but make sure that the information that you input is accurate, otherwise it can alter your pricing significantly! You also need to consider perceived value, too. Often designs can look like they are worth more than the Job Cost Form suggests, and there is no reason why you cannot charge the perceived price rather than the job cost price - this is very common in creative-based industries.

I have written a few blogs on this subject:

And finally, don't forget we can up- sell and offer personalisation! This is a great way to add value to any design! Below is an example of how Luc Bertrand, CBA, of WaW Balloons in Vichte, Belgium, promotes them.

Here is another way to up-sell this style of design. By simply adding arms, we have created a more interactive design! Finally, the third version is a mini table-top sculpture - all very quick and easy to make!

Thank you to all those who helped me with this blog. For those of you who struggle with pricing, have a go at using the Job Cost Form to help you to work out your minimum selling price to ensure that you make a profit. Making a profit will keep you and your business healthy and happy!

Happy ballooning!