Updated 2021 – How To Charge For A Balloon Design as balloon decorations move from inside banquet halls to balloon yard art.
I see individuals asking balloon groups, “How to charge for a balloon design?” or “How much do you charge for a centerpiece?” Like most balloon artists, I look at what the market is charging, and then, based on what is involved, I create a price. Yes, I make a price. A special price for a one-of-a-kind centerpiece that has no comparisons and can be any price I set. That is the advantage of creating unique centerpieces. I am not a shop with employees. My overhead is minimal. I do not work on a standard mark-up, which gives me complete control over price.
I calculate the cost of the material, then guesstimate how much time it will take, then look at what the market is charging, and then I develop my price. If the design is complicated, I may have to look at a small fee for research and development.
Developing A Balloon Cost Formula
The balloon artist, the Amazing Balloon Guy, explains how he calculates his pricing in this YouTube video. The formula used in the video is the basic formula used by other balloon decorators, just with minor adjustments for each business as an overhead cost, delivery, and sales tax might be part of your business price formula.
In my experience, corporate gigs understand R&D and have no problem paying extra to see samples. This ensures that management gets what they want. It’s not uncommon to do two to three small prototypes: drawings, computer-generated graphics, and small-scaled balloon figures.
Weddings and private events are not into R&D and will often give you a picture taken from the Internet and ask you to recreate it. Being a craftsman, I will always build customization into the final product, which allows me to create a special price.
I once had a restaurant owner ask if I charged more on holidays. I was baffled by the question at first; then, it hit me. There are only so many people who have the skills to do what I do. There are hundreds of banquet halls, florists, and bakeries, but few skilled balloons artists exist in any area. If the client wants it, they will pay the price. If they do not, they will find something else to spend their money on.
Don’t Undersell Your Skills
A man had a floor that squeaked, so he hired a professional carpenter to fix the floor. The carpenter immediately found the squeak, grabbed a hammer, and eliminated the squeak solving the customer problem with one nail.
The carpenter handed the client a $160 repair bill that read:
- 1 nail – $1
- Hammer – $8.99
- Finding squeak and knowing how to solve the problem $150
Our balloon materials might be inexpensive, but our design skills are priceless. Charge according, and you have a profitable decorating business.