Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No
Today's moms and dads want to give their kids memorable parties just like they had, but with a two-income household, it's difficult to find the time to plan and organize all this stuff. And even moms or dads who don't work often feel that a really creative party is beyond their capabilities. But if you're creative, then you can be the life of the gala with a children's party planning business. You'll plan the theme, provide costumes (unless guests arrive wearing their own), décor, food, favors and other assorted goodies, entertainment, and clean up afterward so parents can enjoy the festivities instead of running themselves ragged. And you can do more than birthday parties--go all out with Halloween, Christmas, Chanukah, end-of-school and end-of-summer parties--whatever you can dream up and sell. The advantages to this business are that your startup costs are low, it's creative and it's always fun--heck, you get to go to birthday parties every working day! Besides that all-important creativity, you'll need the organizational skills to pull everything together and do it smoothly so that everyone has fun. You should also know what kids like today so that you can plan parties around the cartoon character or hit movie of the hour. And you'll need to be a people person who can make sure that no shy child gets left out of the fun and no sensitive parent gets miffed at being left out the picture.
Your customers will be parents and kids who just wanna have fun. Send brochures to moms and dads in your area. Write fun, informative articles for local newspapers. Place ads in the Yellow Pages and in local publications. Network among the kiddie set and post fliers (with the owners' permission) at dance and karate studios and other children's hang-outs. Donate a party to the lucky winner of a charity auction--always good publicity--and give free parties to friends who'll spread the word. Be sure to take pictures for your portfolio.
All you really need is a planning book and a telephone. If you specialize in a certain type of party, like dress-up tea parties or wild animal parties, you'll want to lay in a stock of costumes and makeup for guests to put on.