Balloon artists can certainly be labeled as professionals based on their talent and learned skills. The external manifestation of that professionalism shows during an event performance, the way you deal with the consuming public, and the quality of your balloon creations.
On the flip side, are you a professional balloon artist behind the scenes? Behind the scenes would include things like some of the items discussed below. If you are not a professional on the inside, it’s hard to maximize your results on the outside.
Every business should keep an accurate set of books. The books don’t need to be something that would rival the general ledger of GM, but it does need to be something that is workable and keeps accurate track of your revenue and expenses. There is no way to know how well or how poorly your business is doing without keeping track. Get something like Quicken for your computer and diligently keep track of what you spend and how much you make.
Documentation of Balloon Creations
I’ve only seen a few balloon artists who have taken the time to document all the balloon animals, flowers, and other creations that they are capable of twisting. This is important because it’s very hard to remember everything that you’ve learned to twist over the years. Every once in a while I come across a design that I twisted 5 or 6 years ago. I have to waste a few balloon to get it right again, and there are times when I can’t really remember how to do it. Had I documented that design when I was actively twisting it, I could just refer to the pages and instantly refresh my memory and start using that design again.
In my view, a balloon professional will have an accurate and ongoing inventory of balloons. Knowing what balloons you have available is important and necessary. Do you have the right colors in the right amounts? If someone orders 5 balloons bouquets that include 12 flowers and 4 buds in each bouquet, do I have enough lime green balloons to do the job? Keeping an accurate inventory also lets you know which balloons you use most and therefore which balloons colors need to be kept in higher numbers.
A balloon inventory also helps you keep a lid on too much balloon inventory. If I don’t keep an accurate inventory I find myself buying too many clear rounds, or too many heart balloons that I don’t need. Why spend the money if you don’t need the balloons?
Now, I’m sure you’ll read the title to this paragraph and say, “I don’t need financial statements!” Yes you do. Even though your financials will be simple and short, you need them. Along with the statements that report actual results, you need to project what you think your revenue and expenses will be for the upcoming quarter or year. You need goals and you need to compare actual performance to your stated goals at the end of certain time frames. You should project to bring in more revenue over time, and to control your expenses. How can you get better if you’re measuring your performance? Professionals keep records, and professional balloon artists should plan to succeed and track their success.
Even if you only create a simple website that has your contact information and some pictures, a professional these days needs to have a presence on the web. There are programs like WordPress that don’t require you to be a professional code writer to create a decent website. Do a little research, find someone to help you if needed and create a website. In our current age of smart phones, IPads, and other technological gadgets, people consult the web before looking to any other source. Do you know how many hits Google gets every day? Everything you need is on the web, and people look to the web to satisfy their needs. If they can’t find you on the web, they may not find you at all. Consider this; YouTube receives 30 additional hours of submitted video every minute of every day. That’s a lot of information.