Business · October 25, 2022

How To Start Balloon Business

How To Start Balloon Business – I’m Rilee Acrey! Founder and CEO of BalloonWorks. BalloonWorks is a leading balloon styling company specializing in unique and carefully designed dynamic installations to add style, creativity and personalization to all of life’s amazing moments. BalloonWorks installations are a unique way to take any event to the next level – from birthday parties and weddings to corporate events and grand openings.

Our client list consists of both brands and celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Kyle Richards and Maybelline Cosmetics. In 2019, we doubled our revenue and doubled our team without any outside funding.

How To Start Balloon Business

How To Start Balloon Business

BalloonWorks was born out of a desire for something more. I have finished finishing. Seven months ago, I took a leap of faith and put all my trust in God’s plan for my life. I quit my crazy corporate job where I traveled a ton and had a secure income to build a company now known as BalloonWorks.

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After leaving my job, I had a lot of faith but little clarity about what my next step would be. That weekend, I was asked to use balloons to add some pop to a friend’s gender reveal party. Two weeks later, I found myself at Paris Hilton’s birthday party installing a 30-foot balloon arch over the spiral staircase in her foyer. Oh… and Kim Kardashian posted my work.

It was the confidence boost I needed and the vision for what I was capable of. I immediately saw the need for newfound creativity in the balloon world and knew I could change the standard helium-filled balloon arch that had monopolized the industry for years. It was also the outlet I needed to put the corporate world behind me and enter opportunities that allowed me to be expressive and creative while working with people to bring their visions to life.

To say it happened quickly would be the understatement of the century. Along with the adrenaline and confidence comes a lot of “Ohhh what am I doing” thoughts. Eight months later, I can tell you that it was the most transformative, exhilarating and humbling experience of my life. There’s nothing like taking that leap of faith, believing in your ultimate vision and rushing to make it happen.

I went to bed with an action plan to implement the next day and I was excited to make it happen! There is nothing better than seeing your vision and company come to life.

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To be really blunt, it has been very difficult. (Ha, I didn’t even know what an LLC was at the beginning of the year!) My advice to would-be entrepreneurs is just START. I was always taught that actions speak louder than words. It’s time to take whatever you’re passionate about and GO with it. The timing won’t be right and you probably won’t feel ready, I’m sure not. But let the beginning of my journey be the impetus you need to start your own path in this world. JUST BEGINNING.

The first question I got was “Did you blow all that up with your own lungs?” I immediately laughed and lucky for me the answer was NO! But in the beginning, I hand inflate each balloon for my installations and also use the needle and thread technique. Looking back it was very time consuming. I am lucky now that I have bought an exclusive air pump for balloons that has a peddler and four nozzles and blows up the balloons easily. I’m also self-taught, I’ve come up with a technique to keep the balloons together while creating a design that allows for each unique design/frame assembly.

Looking back at my first install compared to now, the average eye can see a huge difference in the quality, experience, and overall presentation of the WOW!

How To Start Balloon Business

The first four months were a whirlwind, to say the least. I have sought out any and all opportunities that have allowed me to explore my craft and develop ideas that previously only existed in my head. What does it look like? Lots of pro bono work for friends, startups and non-profits looking to add some POP to their upcoming events. In return, my skills are sharpened and my portfolio is the proof.

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I was ready to take BalloonWorks public, which meant filing an LLC, building a website and launching our biggest marketing tool, our Instagram page, in less than a week.

I’m a bright-eyed newcomer to the balloon scene (yes, that exists) and doing things differently than many people and companies have done in the past. I’ve disrupted an industry that doesn’t see real evolution and certainly isn’t open to it. With that comes quick opportunities and faster responses than the “competition.” It’s clear that what I’m offering makes competitors uncomfortable, which means I’m doing something right.

That conflict drives me to improve my skills, improve my business and set big goals for what we’re going to achieve, regardless of what other people are doing in the space.

The early days of BalloonWorks were a cash flow puzzle with no outside funding or personal savings to keep us going. To stay ahead of the curve, we implement a 50 percent deposit when booking so our team can get the supplies they need to do the job without racking up credit card bills or depleting our working capital in the process.

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Through growth, I have been able to keep my hands on every project that comes through the company. I believe that business leaders are the people who should have their hands sharpest in the craft and be directly involved in the outcome, especially in the early stages. This is not only my business, but this is my reputation and my words online. I don’t take it lightly. Every job we do is a direct reflection of the heart behind why we exist: the great confidence, hard work and hustle you need to make it POP!

The initial key to success? Smile and dial. I called every event planner I could find and explained BalloonWorks to anyone who would listen. I talk as if I’ve been doing this for years when, in reality, I can count on one hand how many jobs I’ve done. It didn’t matter, my confidence was vindicated and my belief in what we were building was raised in a way that I have not experienced in my professional life.

The work we do is arguably more visual than any other industry, which makes Instagram our biggest marketing channel and the tool where we get 90 percent of our work. The page grew organically for the first five months through word of mouth and well-placed giveaways in addition to partnerships with companies like Pacific Organic Pops and Picnic Collective. After seeing success with this natural integration, we were able to take our reach to the next level and invest in promotional ads targeting businesses in Southern California.

How To Start Balloon Business

The best customers are returning customers. Good work and great reviews speak louder than any “about” page ever could. BalloonWorks thrives on repeat business, primarily through corporate clients, event planners and retail locations that host events throughout the year. Customers come back because of your work AND because of the relationships you build with them.

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Our company culture is to go above and beyond for the customer and always say “yes” whenever possible. Our thinking and actions lead to trust, respect and excitement for what we build together – involving the client throughout the entire project. When you do great work and you treat people well, you’ll go further than most… especially in a city like Los Angeles.

The power of social media is no joke. If you are consistent with your efforts and you post content that people really want to see, your community will want to follow you and engage with your business. We see success when we bring followers with us, showcasing a behind-the-scenes look at how we get the job done and the real-life realities of operating in the industry (like blowing up balloons from 11 p.m. – 5 a.m. for 28 stores on one of LA’s busiest streets). .

Today, we’re moving into what I see as phase two of the company, exclusively catering to large-scale events, launches and A-list parties. We see real estate development as a way for us to grow, providing POPs to mall openings, corporate conferences, residential housing communities and more.

Our short-term goal is to use our profits to buy the tools we need to run and scale the business efficiently, which will minimize rental requirements and cut our overhead costs in half. We are on track to make these purchases, including the wrapped BalloonWorks sprint van, by the end of the year.

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Long term, we will move into a studio space that will allow us to host people, companies

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