It's our turn to celebrate this year as we reach 10 years of trading. Has it gone fast ? You bet! Starting a business in the year the economy crashed was a true test of determination and confidence. Attending various industry courses learning trade techniques and meeting other self employed people really helped to pitch where the business was heading from a very early stage.
It has not been easy, small independents don't have the luxury of big advertising budgets and endless capital to keep ploughing into staff and premises. From day one, it was lots of driving around to shops, hotels, networking events and strategic parking with the business vehicle around busy area's & supermarket car parks to get noticed (with plenty of business cards ready to hand out).
Getting started takes discipline, focus, confidence and of course money! It's not cheap setting up even the smallest of businesses can easily chomp through thousands just buying the basics such as inflation equipment, tools of the trade, suitable vehicle & stock. Becoming a member of a reputable trade organisation, ensures your clients that you are industry trained and committed to a high level of skill aswel as having the correct trade insurance to enable access to many venue's. Over the years, dealing with DIY disasters getting the last minute despair call from the Bride to be or a birthday boy on the day of the party begging for help because they have purchased cheap products off the internet and had a great vision how they would do all the decor themselves on the day & someone promised to help but didn't turn up...and guess what...they burst the balloons, couldn't buy enough high grade helium and no one has turned up to help! Not the memories you had in mind eh?
Also seeing the "part time" decorators....just "week end" basics to earn a bit of money. These individuals are very rarely trained, insured and have professional equipment to produce professional results as they don't want to spend out and they are working out of their front room! They offer "Cheap" decor as there is no value in what they offer and you have no peace of mind if they don't turn up or you sent them a photo off pintrest and they have delivered something that looks nothing like it! The same with some card shops, cheap (basic) balloons, hoping for a high turnover without the care, skill and creative detail.
There is a reason professional balloon decor has a value, it is not just the cost of offering a massive range of professional grade materials you are buying, it is the person who has invested years and years into themselves to ensure you remember your event for all the right reasons.
I always wonder why some people buy the cheapest part of the decor (latex balloons) and then ring up a business to ask if you can decorate a venue with them for pennies?! Would you go to the supermarket and purchase a load of food then ring up a restaurant and ask them to cook you a meal with your ingredients ???
The industry has changed a lot over the last few years, helium shortages caused massive price increases, higher VAT & raised import duties of raw materials continually push up basic running costs, fuel, tax & insurance price hikes...all continue to pressure independent businesses. Well, we are still here and still as enthusiastic as ever about the future in balloon decor for Blissful Balloons.
We have seen our business grow year upon year due to the fact that Melissa Johnson has integrity, determination and pride in everything she does. 100% perfectionist with a sprinkling of OCD is what produces a professional and experienced finished decor plan every time.
Here's to another 10 years! Thank you to all our clients past, present and future for showing your appreciation and choosing Blissful Balloons, Celebrate in style with peace of mind has been our strap line from the beginning and will stay with us xx
A small business owner does not run the same level of business as a huge corporate organisation. It's different on many levels.
Most small businesses are run by just a couple of people with a few staff. Even more small businesses are run by one man bands. The ones who deal with every single aspect of a business. Everything from cleaning the toilet, running to the bank for change, to being front of house and serving you with the very best of their knowledge. Nothing ever gets delegated to other people because there is nobody else.
These one man bands are responsible for submitting their accounts every year, stock taking, social media, constantly thinking of ways to get themselves out of a square box, because they want to be different and exciting.
They are the ones who answer the phone, answer emails and run facebook pages. They are the ones who build up websites for their business from scratch to keep the budget low, but sacrifice hours and hours of down time and family life to get their jobs done.
It's well known that serious small business owners constantly inject money back into the business. To buy stock, redecorate, upgrade furniture and equipment, courses and training.
How many times have you been to a huge hotel with over 200 staff and the carpets are frayed and old, wallpaper is peeling off the walls, tiles are cracked and dirty in the swimming pool, gym equipment is broken and can't be used. Rooms are old and desperately need updated. Simply because money doesn't get invested back into the business.
A small business owner isn't working day in and day out every single day to pay for a 10 bedroom beach house in Florida. Or 5 holidays to the Caribbean every year. They do it because they love what they do, they have a genuine burning desire to be doing what they are doing every single day. They do it to pay their bills and support their families.
When was the last time you actually praised a small business owner rather than complaining?
Small business owners hear more complaints than praise. Not because they are terrible at what they do. It's because we live in a world where people shout when they're not happy with something, but will whisper or say nothing at all when they absolutely loved their experience.
When was the last time you praised that small coffee shop run by a young mum whilst her kids are at school? If she made you the best cup of coffee ever, tell her. You will make her whole week.
When was the last time you went out for a meal to that small family run restaurant and told the owners that the steak was by far the best you've ever had?
When was the last time you got your hair cut and you told the hairdresser or barber, how they cut your hair so well that you were really happy?
When was the last time you went to a beauty salon and got a massage done and told the therapist that your back was literally healed after your treatment?
Moral of the story is to just be nice. If someone has impressed you, tell them. You have no idea what it will do to a small business owners confidence.
Every single business owner on frequent occasions will be so run down, so deflated and so discouraged because they have worked 80-90 hours each week for the last 6 weeks and feel like they have nothing to show for it.
Sometimes its a slow, hard slog. Sometimes they don't know how they are doing. Sometimes they are literally so close to giving up, you don't even realise just how much your praise can lift them up.
If you book a table for 4 at a small family restaurant... make sure you turn up.
If you book a hair appointment... make sure you go.
If you need supplies for something, check out your local businesses first before heading to the City. You never know who you might meet that you've not seen for a while and you never know what you could save. Shopping local does NOT mean that it will be more expensive.
The difference between you turning up to support a small business and not this week is that you could be the last straw. You could be the thing that makes someone throw the towel in on their dream because they are so deflated and tired.
Be the difference. Be the change. Rather than only ever speaking up to complain, speak up when you're impressed or really enjoyed something.
All small businesses get complaints, but remember they are probably doing EVERYTHING! They are only human and are just trying their best. But if you are happy with a small business... TELL THEM! Praise them, lift them up, motivate them and make them feel appreciated. You don't know what that can ever feel like to them.
Please shout about the good stuff too! They need to know they have your support. xx
Just a very quick note to say, (first of all) "How is it nearly Christmas!?" & secondly....WOW what a year again.
We only have a few dates now available for December orders and January is close to full also with Christmas parties, Birthdays and shop openings.
We have had another amazing year here at Blissful Balloons and the opportunities to build some exceptional designs really showing the creative skills of Melissa the creative Director, (She thrives on a design challenge). Again, we have welcomed new clients and return custom year after year. Building a great relationship of trust in our level of service and attention to detail is how we pride ourselves and only continue to keep bringing the latest products in the industry along with the professional techniques needed to ensure your decor is reliable and value for money.
Have a great festive season with your friends and family, be kind & make blissful lasting memories together xx
Just a quick check in with you all as the year is flying by again. So much has happened already this year & I plan do create a blog on one particular design as soon as I can get the chance. It is as usual, 100 mile a hour here at Bliss HQ, never being one to say no to a challenge, I have had some fabulous opportunities and have confidently rose to each challenge.
Prom bookings are in and continue to so if you are part of the planning team at your school/college/Uni, get in touch...save the date ASAP & we can talk colours later. We cater for any occasion and travel near and far (minimum spend applies). I am always delighted to guide and advice clients to make sure their event is memorable and special with minimal stress.
It's that time of year again... where romance is all around and just the two of you are arranging to spend some special time together. Year upon year, we help set the perfect scene for an unforgettable experience where you plan to "Pop the question" to your loved one.
Local Business Owner, Mom, Wife, Friend & Kind Soul. Self Motivated, independant women with a zest for life & all it's beauty. Life's a climb but the view is great x