International Online Trade Newsletter Copyright © 2000

Balloons @ WorkTM*********************************************************************************************************************************

Balloons@Work is produced by Business of Balloons Pty Ltd (ABN 16-076-582-119) in Sydney Australia and published at approved web sites.

Hard copies are not mailed outside of Australia. Readers may print content to use only as trade reference material. Web Site Phone: 61- 02 – 98981544 Fax: 61 – 02 – 98981963

Post; Balloons@Work PO Box 6868 Parramatta Business Centre NSW 2150 – AUSTRALIA.Print Publication No PC250R500054


In The January 2001 Issue

* Editorial – (business) New Year’s Resolutions        * Pro Tips #33 and #74

* Letters To The Editor (great feedback)                  * Did You Know? (who, what & where)

* Rent Pro Equipment & Save
* Valentine’s Preparation & Sales Advice

* The Balloons@Work Year 2000 Award Winners (for industry contribution)

* Sign on for FREE (overseas) membership with eballoons delivery network

* Wholesale + Retail …. A Conflict of Interest?


Happy New Year! I’ve always found January to be the most inspirational month for

me, as a businessman. It’s the time that I look forward to as the month of evaluation

of last year’s actions …. and planning for further growth in the new year ahead.

Doing the rounds of Christmas drinks with suppliers, customers, associations

and old friends in December, many of us exchange opinions on whether it was a good

year for business or a bad year. If it was a good year, it was due to clever management. If it was a bad year, the Government of the day usually gets the blame.

After all the season’s festivities, it’s January! The computer spits out your annual pie charts, graphs and spreadsheets. You spend a day or two studying the truth. Did the new competitor in the neighbouring town effect your turnover? Was the targeted x% growth over last year achieved? Your decision to focus on the niche markets ….. was it correct? Have you reduced or increased your overhead expenditure from 1999?

OK …. now you know what went right and went wrong (and why) ….. what are you going to do about it? It’s time for your business to make some new year’s resolutions! The “unwritten” wish list!

To get you thinking in the right vein, I’m going to list a few that are sure to apply to your business in 2001.
Why? Because I see indicators that 2001 is going to be a year of attrition. The smart, the strong and the financial will power on and overwhelm the part
time players and the undercapitalised. More state governments will introduce legislation regarding balloons. More than one segment in the marketplace will be
threatened as a result. Inflation is imminenet! With the devaluation of the Australian and NZ currency against the greenback, if you don’t already have
(imported) time saving equipment, it’ll be further out of reach. I suggest you cross off the list below the one’s you have already applied to your
balloon business and consider the others as the “minimum goals for 2001”. Add others you think are necessary.

1] Buy a Conwin Digital Dual Sizer. The DDS allows you to cut your labour time dramatically…. which

allows you to take on additional jobs. Gives you the edge when bidding against a competitor without a DDS.

2] Join a business-to-business (B2B) network! Your balloon business will no longer survive on “local”

business alone. B2B networks deliver out of town customers to you when they need balloons in your town.

Join the Qualatex Balloon Network – the “eballoons” network – or a balloon decorating franchise group.

3] Become proficient in special effects such as balloon drops, exploding balloons, confetti cannons and

banner drops. Consumers are now regularly demanding special effects for their domestic celebrations.

4] Attend at least one balloon education seminar in ‘01. IBAC – the ASR – the ABC or even a local class.

5] Get all of your business online! Online business is bonus business now …. but it’ll be part of the core

business to many by the end of this year.

6] Resolve not to be pesimistic about the future. Without a positive attitude, you might just as well be

asking your customers and your competitors to tattoo “Loser” on your forehead!

My #1 business resolution for 2001??? It’s considered bad luck to tell! Don Dixon CBA

Don Dixon CBA

Many inexperienced balloon pros panic when they discover the function is for 600 – 1,000 guests and the venue is the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel.
Take a deep breath and apply the “Principles of Elements & Design” to the project. Scale & Proportion should dictate that you can easily use 16” latex for garland. Twenty four inch latex, 3ft and 4ft
Jumbos are likely to be appropriate elements in the decor design to fill vast open space from the table tops to the sculptured ceiling or glass atrium. And don’t overlook the fact that big balloons deliver big impact. So …. you can justify charging more.

(For contribution to the balloon industry)

The best quality balloon manufacturer
Pioneer Balloon Company – USA
The best trade information resource
Balloon Headquarters
The best electric balloon inflators
Zibi Balloon Accessories – Switzerland
The best value-added balloon delivery item
“Uplifter Banner” – Walden Productions Inc.
The best new shape balloon (foil)
Giant Numeral Shapes – Bettalic Inc.
The best new printed design (foil)
Smile Face Santa – Qualatex Round 18”
The best balloon trade publication
Balloon Images – Pioneer Balloon Company
The best regulator valve
BR74HG Deluxe Foil & PV w gauge – Western Ent USA
The best balloon convention                                       IBAC
16 – Las Vegas USA
The best balloon class instructor
Linda Bruce CBA – Pioneer Balloon Company
The best new product
“Uplifter Banner” – Walden Productions Inc.
The best balloon web site (retailer)
Rocky Toomey CBA –
The best balloon web site (supplier)                           
Carbonics –
The best balloon delivery network
“eballoons” –
The best drop net kits
Balloon Pro – L. Daniels Inc.
The best balloon exploder/device
Nomatch Shocktube – Theatre Effects USA
The best in balloon framing products
Rouse Matrix Systems – RMS International USA
Recognition in Australia/NZ
Sanbrook Rubber Co. – Exporting of Link-O-Loons
Recognition in the USA
M&A Zettler, J&D Hederick – Coproducers of the ASR
Recognition in the UK
Christopher Horne CBA – World wide tuition.
Recognition in Asia
Kaori Kimizuka CBA (Japan) IBAC dual award winner
Recognition in Canada
Bruce Walden CBA – Innovation & product development

Our congratulations and much kudos
to all the above mentioned.


Preparation:- * Inflate all your air filled balloons on Sunday 12th. Bag them to reduce oxidising. You can also helium fill all your foil balloons on this day and watch for leaks through till they are dispatched.
* Make certain you have plenty of HI-FLOAT in stock. Use it in every helium filled latex balloon. * Make sandwiches and an urn full of coffee/hot water for the staff on the day. * Have a staff prep meeting two weeks ahead of time.

Sales Tips:- * In your advertising, target both male and female deliveries, …. AND …. spread your workload with a line such as;“ Hey girls, drop a big hint by sending him Valentine’s balloons a day early.”
* Reduce risk of popping and lift your average invoice amount. Offer arrangements consisting of foils, foils and more foils. * Valentine’s Day in the southern hemisphere is mid Summer. Chocolates with balloons ARE NOT a good idea!
She may receive a gooey brown, melted mess and it won’t matter how nice the balloons look. * Promote that you can arrange for balloons to be delivered interstate or overseas. You DO NOT have to be a member to access / use the “eballoons” online delivery network. (but you earn $ if you are)

The process, or additive, used to turn a normal latex balloon into a pearl or metallic
textured latex balloon is also one of natures own products? The mineral mica! The fine powder (most obvious on the inside of a latex balloon) is necessary in the stripping process when the balloon is removed from the mould. That fine dust is also a natural mineral …… talc!

The annual pilgrimage to “Balloon Mecca” will be on again in just 10 weeks time? IBAC 17 is
to run from March 14 through 17 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel in Chicago USA. (sweet home ….Chicago) To many of the balloon saints and angels around the world, IBAC is their balloon heaven. Like heaven, child birth or winning an Olympic gold medal ….. one just can not descibe IBAC to their friends or loved ones. Impossible!
You have to EXPERIENCE it to know what it’s REALLY like for the balloon professional.

Whilst on the topic of conventions ….. I can report that the bi-annual Australian Balloon Convention (ABC)
will be staged in the historic Victorian city of Bendigo from April 30th to May 3rd inclusive. The local line up of speakers includes; Ray Connett, Sean O’Kelly, Kim Marsden, John-Michel Luce, and Marloes Bakker-Marsden CBA. Coming in from overseas are; Graham & Mary Queen Rouse CBAs (USA), Linda Bruce CBA (USA),
Vivian Goh (Singapore), Christopher Horne CBA (UK), Jan Iams CBA (USA) and Judy Bradt CBA (USA). We hope to bring readers more details in the next issue of B@W.

Crystal Narramore CBA
of Conwin Carbonics Inc. has a fantastic spiral column featured
in the Portflio
section of the Sept/Oct ‘00 issue
of Images magazine. Can’t wait to see Crystal and Mike Wing
at the Conwin booth at the Australian Balloon Convention (ABC)
in April/May ‘01.

If you are in a two person business partnership it’s important not to duplicate management.
Clearly define the management duties / roles of each partner. This can be as simple as; “My job covers everything necessary to find customers out there and get them to walk through our front door or phone our number!”

As distinct to your job which is; “To serve them so that they will want to come back again and again.”

Either “simply defined” management roles entail an enormous scope of tasks. Both are very hard work!


I believe you say GDay

I don’t know if you remember me or not, but I wrote you regarding an article you had in your newsletter. It was about the Bowmaster machine.
It got me thinking about starting a company, with bows as the primary business, and balloons secondary.
After a few classes with the small business administration, and the I.R.S. I decided to go for it. I just wanted to let you know how things were going.
I have made very large bows for a couple of local car dealerships. They used them to decorate the cars, and their show rooms.
I have also sold to a beauty salon who decorated the entire salon with bows, and wreaths that I made out of bows.
I made the snowman, and Christmas trees that the bowmaster already had recipes for. The dealerships,and salon also used these.
I came up with my own idea for making wreaths. They have come out beautifully. I live in a fairly high Jewish area and made bows and wreaths for Hanukah,
I was pretty successful with that too. I have a contract with a company for balloon bouquet deliveries to all their employees.
I was buying my ribbon at the local supplier ….. the only problem was that they were about 45 minutes away. So I decided to take the big plunge and buy my
own machine. I’m working out of my home. I hope to get into the wedding market sometime during 2001. I have been learning a lot.
Pioneer Balloon company has a representative here locally that has been a real big help in answering questions, and teaching me new things.
The beauty salon has decided to decorate with bows for all holidays, so it looks like Valentines day, Easter, 4th of July, Holloween, and Christmas
I will have a steady place for bows. Maybe Thanksgiving too. I just wanted to fill you in. It was your article that inspired me to take this risk.
So far I’m having fun.


Sue Grzybowski – AHhhh Balloons and Bows

Arizona – USA

Is there any way I could receive the back issues of the newsletters?

Laura Lasaki

Miami Florida USA

Editor’s reply:- Easiest way is to go to They’re all there.

Hey Don

I just wanted to let you know that —much to my dismay—–I have not been able to access your newsletter. My husbnd has tried several ways to no avail. I am dissappointed becase I feel it is a great idea and always love the info you are so willing to share. If there is a secret as to how to access this please let me know. I haven’t been able to receive even one yet and we try every month!!!!


New Jersey – USA

Dear Don,

I am sorry, but I didn’t received anything the last two months. It’s right that I am already on your mailing list (I took a subscription in September) but till now I just received the September issue of your

outstanding magazine. So please put me again on your mailing list, I just love your “Balloons@Work”.

Karel, who is mainly a balloon entertainer in Belgium but also do occasional balloon decorations.

Karel Ost – Belgium

P.S. I like to thank you also for your valuable contribute to the BalloonHQ mailing list “balloondeco”.

Hi there,

Congratulations on the newsletter. Just for feedback however I have not been able to use the compressed

zip file on the past two occasions and have had to go to the site in order to view the file in HTML form. It is not a big problem but others may be having trouble too. I am using Winzip 7.0


S Wales – UK

Dear Don,

Thank you for the December issue of Balloons@Work. Keep the great ideas and information coming.

Unfortunately I am one of the unlucky ones that cannot open the zipped file and have to go to another site to read it. I have to change the text font colours that you use because, while they look great on screen, they do not print out at all well.
I usually do this by editing in word, but this time only the first two pages will print out. I have tried through both of the alternative sites that you give us and it is the same on both, only the first 2 pages will print.
Could you please use only black for your text colour? It would save a lot of hassles for me and I would guess I am not the only subscriber who has this problem.

Thanks Don.


Geelong, Victoria – Australia

Editor’s Note:- Thank heavens readers take the time to provide feedback! Because I have received a few complaints that the compressed files can not be opened by those without the current software, we have addressed that problem starting with this issue. Balloons@Work can now be accessed by all readers by simply clicking on the hyperlink emailed to each subsciber to view the newsletter in HTML at our web site.

I have also stopped using yellow and orange colour text to improve reading and printing. Should you still have trouble reading the printed text, try setting your print command to B&W only. The variation in colours throughout the newsletter helps distinguish a change in topic and also alleviates the perception of some readers getting bored with page after page of B@W text. If I receive more negative feedback on the text colour, I will change it.


The single biggest balloon delivery
day of the year is fast
approaching. Membership to eballoons outside Australia/NZ
is FREE. Members earn $$ for both sending and receiving
orders. Sign up online:-


Sometimes it’s pretty tough starting out in the balloon business! There
aren’t too many with unlimited capital to buy stock, vehicles, framing
materials and every modern convenience in balloon pro equipment.
The Business of Balloons group of companies understands that dilemma. We
look after our loyal customers who may need to call on our CBAs with years
of experience and we also have a wide range of rental equipment on hand.* For that one-off job when it isn’t viable to purchase big dollar
* When your own gear is in disrepair or being serviced
* When you just don’t quite have enough panels or regulators for that
BIG job
* When your accountant advises you to “rent – don’t buy”
– for tax advantages
Email Business of Balloons on;
SDS QuikFrame Panels Walk Thru Heart Arch Frame Split Second Digital Dual
7.5kg (20lb) Steel Base Plates Triple Outlet Regulator Twin Outlet RegulatorPick Machine Four Person Inflation Station SDS FlexiFrame panels
CoolAire Elect Inflators Confetti Cannons Trade Videos
Walk Thru Horseshoe Arch Frame Economy Regulators Adjust-A-Length Ribbon
Will your current wholesale supplier RENT pro equipment to you until such
time as you decide to buy your own? Do they really know how to use
the products they sell? Will they teach and advise you? Will they split
designs and allow you to “Pick-The-Mix” in latex balloons?
And which one of your wholesale suppliers can take your order 24 / 7 online
…. and be open on Saturdays for those emergency supplies?Will they ship interstate and allow you to pay for your goods by credit
card over the phone or online with guaranteed security? Who will repair
your leaking regulator? Stop and think about the REAL VALUE in choosing
your suppliers. When did your current supplier last refer business your
way? Isn’t there more to business than 25 cents a bag saving here and
$1.50 a cylinder there? Are you watching the pennies ….
and yet blind to the pounds you could be saving every year?Just one design tip, a technique, a job lead, or even trouble shooting knowhow
from a balloon industry veteran could mean many THOUSANDS of dollars to
your balloon business every year! It’s like having a silent partner
or small business guardian angel. At “Business of Balloons”, our
philosophy is simple! “We’ll go the extra mile to support
those who support us.”
To our occasional trade customers we are happy to be just another (optional)
wholesale supplier. To our regular and loyal trade customers we strive to
be their supplier, hands-on instructor, mentor, an associate, a business
and education resource, inspiration, troubleshooters, estimating and pricing
guidance, partners in marketing, their access to industry experts world
wide. Think about it!

Betty Vlamis – Executive Vice
President Pioneer Balloon Co, stopped in to visit their Qualatex distributor
in Sydney. Rose Davila, Don & Dolly extended some Aussie hospitality.

Don & Dolly at their Sydney Balloon School with visiting student
PJ Goh “Ballooney Creations” – Singapore.


At the Business of Balloons Group, we know what it’s like to be a balloon decorator in a dog-eat-dog world. Friendly competitors can be few and far between. However, we do not classify balloon decorators as “the enemy”! We go to great lengths to ensure our retail/decorating division (Celebrating) operates without a “conflict of interest” relative to our wholesale division. This is what separates us from most wholesalers.A little insight into how we run our businesses;* Each of the 3 divisions in the BoB group are registered and trade autonomously. (separate stock holdings)* Celebrating is always reluctant to enter into a tender or competitive bid situation. They DO NOT set out to undercut competitors! Cheap prices are for cheap customers, which is not Celebrating’s target market.* Celebrating staff would be quite foolish to intentionally poach known clients of our wholesale division. The simple fact is that their target customer is the same today as it has been for over 10 years. New balloon business…. not someone else’s balloon business.* Celebrating has NEVER employed a sales rep on the road, or engaged in cold call telemarketing.* As a member of a buying network, Celebrating purchase product from Business of Balloons at the same wholesale price as their fellow network members/competitors. No “special deal” or internal favours!* Management at Celebrating pass on (refer) at least 10 jobs to other Sydney balloon decorators every week? Sometimes 5 or 6 in a single day! Networking (not traveling) makes good business sense.* By having separate wholesale, retail and ecommerce divisions, the Business of Balloons group maintain a daily “finger on the pulse” approach to every facet of the balloon industry. That can greatly benefit our company, our suppliers and our customers too.* BoB will not sell direct to auto dealers, fast food chains, hotels etc. Balloon retailers, decorators and twisters ONLY. Our customers should not have to compete with their wholesaler!* BoB is not interested in entering the custom print balloon marketplace, as our policy is – once again – that our customers should not have to compete with their wholesale supplier.

* Celebrating had to buy “eballoons” membership at the same rates as all other Australian members.

* Celebrating and Business of Balloons have separate offices, showrooms, entrances and work areas. They are next door neighbours, but on different floor levels. BoB sell to recognised trade customers ONLY!

88% of BoB trade sales are initiated by fax, phone or email orders.

So, we’ll let the readers (our peers) be the judge! We invite your feedback. Considering our company policies, your interpretation of our business ethics, our 10 years of industry history, our image and business philosophy as explained above …….. Are our separate wholesale and retail divisions a “conflict of interest” as some have inferred? And if so ….. exactly who’s interest?

Footnote: Don Dixon is editor and publisher of this free trade newsletter. He is also the Managing Director of the “Business of Balloons” group of companies. Dolly Dixon is the General Manager of “Celebrating” and Dean Johnson is the Network Manager of “Eballoons”.




If you’d like to contribute a tip, a photo, some news
announce a new product to the balloon industry … Contact Don Dixon
next issue of Balloons@Work will be
posted in the first week of Feb. Deadline for copy is Jan 21st.
Order any product shown in Balloons@Work at;


Last Updated:Saturday, Dec 30, 2000