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Starting a Kids Entertainment Business
When it comes to their child’s birthday party, some parents love nothing more than to go all out, spending hundreds of dollars to rent horses, air castles, face painting clowns or caricature artists. If you love working with children, and you know how to work a crowd, starting an entertainment business for kids could prove both fun and rewarding. Think back to when you were a kid to help you create the ultimate entertainment business that will delight parents and kids.
Identify local competitors and determine if there is a void that you can fill. Consider your talents and compare them against in-demand entertainment services. If you’ve got musical talent, consider gearing your entertainment business towards offering DJ services. If you’ve got skills with balloons, balloon artistry may be another route. Don’t limit your entertainment business to one or two services. The more services you can provide, the more lucrative you will be to parents looking for the ultimate party with something for everyone.
Ask family members, friends and acquaintances for feedback on ideas for your party business. Don’t overlook the kids; they’re a valuable source of feedback.
Learn skills such as face painting, juggling, applying henna tattoos, magic, puppeteering, acrobatics and balloon artistry, as needed. Develop a persona that will delight kids. You may have more than one in order to accommodate the various ages and interests of the kids you will entertain.
Create an expense sheet to help you better gauge your expenses and determine what you will need to charge and how many hours or gigs you will need to book in order to be profitable. Most parties are held during spring, summer and fall during the weekend. You won’t necessarily be able to work as much as you would like, so keep this in mind when developing your rates. It isn’t unreasonable to charge $75 to $150 per hour.
Consider supplemental ways to earn an income, such as working as a balloon artist one or two nights a week at kid-friendly restaurants. Create an impressive brochure detailing why you can increase customer traffic (for a nominal fee) and present it to small businesses around town. Or work festivals, fairs and other local events.
Establish relationships with party planners, party stores, toy stores and kid-friendly clothing stores in order to be able to advertise your business. Purchase balloons, face paint,
Develop colorful brochures that detail the many services you provide, booking requirements, cancelation fees, preparation needed and why parents should choose you over a competitor. Purchase a website or start a free blog for your business and post tips for making cool cakes, selecting a birthday theme, implementing fun activities and other useful tips that parents may be researching online. This is a great way to get your name out there and show parents that you really know your stuff. Include testimonials on your site.
Consult with an attorney, accountant and insurance agent to determine the right business entity for you, to learn self-employment taxes and to purchase a business insurance policy. When it comes to working with kids, patience is a virtue. While it isn’t your job to discipline the kids, you will need to be able to organize them and ensure that children aren’t cutting, cutting or at risk of causing damage to your supplies or equipment. Have a backup plan for rainy days. Stay abreast of the latest fads, movies and cartoons that kids are into.
Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.