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November 2014

November 2014
Party Line: Big Power in Small Business
Shop Talk: The Party People
Most Likely to Succeed
Go Green & Clean
No Kidding
Studying for Finals
Balloon Recipe
Party People
 
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Big Power in Small Business

Big Power in Small Business

There are a lot of things out of your control, like the weather or gravity, for example. No matter what you do, the apple will always fall from the tree or rain will fall from the sky.   But on the other hand, there are a lot of ways to control your reaction to gravity or the weather. You can choose not to complain about things out of your control and instead find ways to minimize their influence on your work and on your life.   For example, there will always be competition, namely competition from chains and big-box stores. There’s nothing you can do about that, and to be honest, it can be healthy for your business if you offer something unique that those stores can’t provide.   Along with personal customer service, you can also participate in Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated…  » Read more
Shop Talk: The Party People

Shop Talk: The Party People

Spotlight on: Sydney, Australia   Whether you’re Down Under or in the states, a party is a party   When your mom is known as “Patches the Clown,” it’s not a surprise that the party industry is where you might wind up. That was the case for Dean Salakas, owner of The Party People in Sydney, Australia, whose mom started the business in 1985. “She built her clown entertainment business to include many clowns and decided to start a party venue,” Salakas said. “The party venue did a small amount of retail and the retail became more profitable, so the business changed from being a clown hire and party venue business to being a party store.”   In 1998, the business launched its online shopping store as the first of its kind in Australia and is now the market leader online.   All in the…  » Read more
Most Likely to Succeed

Most Likely to Succeed

Find out what tops the ranks for the upcoming graduation season   Remember those high school yearbooks filled with awkward pictures with superfluous captions? They’re making a comeback — graduation season style — to move you to the head of the class for 2015.   Most Popular PPR: What colors and patterns were most popular in 2014? Dawn Kirschner Unique Industries While traditional graduation parties highlight school colors, party planning graduates are also including some of their favorite colors and design trends to their celebrations. Luau themes, sports themes, candy parties, dots, stripes and chevron patterns were great ideas for less traditional graduation parties this year.    Lisa Bennett Pioneer Balloon Co. The colors range from more traditional high school colors to those that are bright and wild. Stand-out themes and color palettes consisted of the graduate’s future career interests or current achievements in sports,…  » Read more
No Kidding

No Kidding

Becoming the one and only stop for kids’ parties     A child’s first 10 birthdays are often met with elaborate celebrations, jubilant parents and countless party guests ready to celebrate a youth’s special day. These parties can become a successful and profitable area for your business. By creating pre-made party packages and carrying coordinated products of the most-popular themes, your offerings can be just as elaborate as the celebrations.   Pre-Made Packages for the Parent-in-Need Pre-selected packages will allow your customers to easily and quickly pick the supplies for their parties without much assistance from your staff. We recommend creating party packages for popular themes, along with packages for each birth year from the first year to the tenth.   Be sure to create gender-specific and neutral versions. These packages should encompass everything one would need for a kids’ birthday party at various budgets;…  » Read more
Party People: Kathy Buell

Party People: Kathy Buell

Kathy Buell Balloons by Night Moods Juneau, Alaska Balloons by Night Moods started out as Night Moods, a lingerie boutique that has slowly turned into a balloon store. They started doing balloon deliveries and learned how to do some fun new designs with balloons, and the balloons have taken over the store, although they still have a very small selection of lingerie and costumes. Buell is one of only three CBAs in the state of Alaska and also hand crafts custom garters for weddings and promotions and makes custom pinatas and candy bouquets that she sells in the store. 1.  What is the best retail advice you’ve received? Never try to compete with the big box stores; you will lose every time. Find your niche and stay focused, but don’t be afraid of change and rolling with it. (Heaven knows my store has really changed…  » Read more