Friday, January 23, 2015

Are you ready for a little 'Spring Cleaning'?

How many of us say that we want to start the new year with a clean slate and dust off some of last years bad habits? We all consider making lifestyle changes like eating better, drinking less and sleeping more, but I wonder how many of us think about making changes within our businesses too?

So when was the last time you gave your website a Spring cleaning? OK, maybe the term "Spring cleaning" sounds a bit radical but seriously, when was the last time you made any changes to your website?

It is really important to keep your customers interested and excited when they visit your website especially if they are regular visitors looking for inspiration, so change is good   from a customers point of view, but also from a search engine optimising point of view too!
Wild About You

So let's think about what simple changes you can make today.

Spring is a great time of year for the balloon industry with Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter all being perfect for the sale of balloons, balloon arrangements and balloon decor. 

So within the first few months of this year, you should ideally be featuring each of these events on your website homepage starting with Valentine's, maybe show just one design like the one featured and add a tag line;

'Make your Valentine Wild About You! Click here to see our fantastic Valentines range with prices starting from £xx'.

Pricing is IMPORTANT, don't fall into the trap of not showing pricing on your website. Let's face it, if we don't see prices, firstly we are going to assume that the price must be too expensive and secondly are we even going to bother to find out what the price is? 

If you show your prices you are more likely to attract customers to venture further into your website and look around as you have started to tick all the right boxes by fulfilling a customers needs and requirements.

You can download the Wild About You image and many others by visiting, check out the Valentine's Business Booster and Seasonal Bouquets, both are fabulous resources!

You don't need to stop there, you might also want to do a promotion too for sales of a certain value or more by offering a promotional code that they can use when they place their order, this could be for something as simple as a FREE Gift Wrapped 4" Heart that will cost you pennies to make and give away but it will give you an indication of how effective and successful your online campaign has been, measuring the success of a promotion is very important, it will allow you to make informed decisions regarding future promotions.

To find out how to make a gift wrapped Heart click here.

Keeping content fresh on your website is vital for SEO. Active websites will rank higher on search engines than websites that are not regularly updated or active.

The 'Spring Clean' does not just stop at websites it covers all aspects of your social marketing, so make sure that you refresh your Business Facebook pages, Twitter and Pinterest with anything new or your special promotions, and link them back to your website to increase activity!

As with all cleaning exercises we almost always find clutter, so take time to declutter your website with unnecessary information, old promotions or just unnecessary text and remove pages that are rarely viewed.

To check out my theory I used Google to search for balloon companies within my area, checking out the homepage of each of the companies featured on the first page and looking specifically for a link to a Valentines campaign, sadly only 1 out of 8 companies had any reference to Valentines that stood out as an important seasonal event. 

Remember your website acts as your shop window, we need to make our windows exciting and inviting, we want people to enter our 'store' and look around.

What are you waiting for, get your duster out and start cleaning!

Happy Ballooning!

Sue (Yes I know, I need to spring clean my website too!)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to inflate the NEW Heart Shape Bubble Balloon®

I love the new Qualatex Love Rose Heart shape Bubble Balloon®, but like all new balloons it's a good idea to check out how to inflate them correctly before you get started!

Love Rose # 33878 U.S. Patent No. U.S. Patent No. 6,782,675, No. 7,121,915 

Here is a short DVD clip that shows how to inflate this new Heart shape Bubble Balloon® compared to a round Bubble Balloon®.

I was so inspired by this beautiful new balloon I put my twisting skills (which are pretty limited) to the test and created this elegant Valentine's design.

Design created by Sue Bowler CBA
Happy Ballooning!


Monday, January 12, 2015

A little last minute Valentine's Inspiration.

One of my New Year's resolution's is to be more organised and to take every opportunity to plan ahead rather than give myself last minute stress that I could have so easily avoided! 

Balloon Images Oct/Nov/Dec 2014

I was reminded of that when I picked up my Oct/Nov/Dec 2014 Balloon Images magazine and on opening the Trade Secrets pages "It's Never Too Early for Love", it reminds us to 'Get a Head Start' and offers us some great suggestions on how to get our creative juices flowing! So just in case you missed this great article I am sharing some of these tips with you today!

STEP ONE: GET INSPIRED! Here is a list of resources that can help you to get started, for immediate access to the relevant pages just click on the links, all links will open in a new page/tab.
  • Check out the Valentine's Day Business Booster on
Valentine's Day Business Booster
  • Enhance your websites and your Facebook Business pages with these great seasonal bouquet ideas on

Valentine's Seasonal Bouquet Ideas

Valentine's Pinterest Boards 

  • If you are a member of the Qualatex® Facebook Groups you can use the search feature just below the pages cover photo to search for "Valentine's Day", I have added a red arrow to indicate the box you need to type your key search words into, this is a great tool when looking for specific ideas.
Qualatex Facebook Group 

  • And of course don't forget to check out The Very Best Balloon Blog, click the Valentine's label on the sidebar, (I have indicated this with a red arrow), this will bring up all the blogs that relate to Valentine's day including some great step by step designs and recipes!
The Very Best Balloon Blog

Now that your inspiration is flowing, it's time to start preparing your designs.
  • Select designs at a variety of pricing points, so that you can appeal to customers with any budget.
  • Include a couple of options that are suitable gift ideas for family or friends, not just significant others.
  • Brainstorm catchy names to make it easier for people to request a specific design.
  • Remember that 9" and 14" air-filled Microfoils make great add-ons, grab-and-go gifts, or party favours.

Once you have decided on your offerings, start making a list of the products you'll need to stock. Order your stock NOW to ensure availability. When ordering general love-them balloons, remember that these can be sold year-round not just on February 14.
Don's forget to show your staff the Valentine's Day offerings you've chosen, and print out any necessary instructions sheets so everyone will know how to create them.

If you have the opportunity I recommend that you check out the whole article as there are some other great pointers to help you to get the most from this fantastic 'ballooning' day!
'It's Never Too Early For Love" Balloon Images Article

Happy Valentine's Ballooning!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Are you ready for 2015?

Firstly may I take this opportunity to wish you a very happy, healthy and of course prosperous 2015!

I expect like me you are wondering where 2014 went? Every year seems to pass me by so much quicker than the previous one!

My 2014 ended in style as I was given the opportunity to create New Year's Eve decor for one of London's top hotels! Designing decor for an elegant venue has it's challenges. For me it was important to enhance the venue's charming function rooms without taking anything away from it's very famous characteristics. And after 3 days of preparation and installation, I was extremely happy with the end results!

The elegance of Starpoints truly complimented this stunning function room.

Now it's time to turn our attentions to 2015 and all the opportunities that it can bring us. It's time to get planning and organised so we maximise each and every opportunity that comes our way!

We can all get started by preparing for our seasonal campaigns, Valentines Day is merely a few weeks away, closely followed by Easter and then there is the wedding season and communions too! It's never too early to start planning especially if you are looking to promote your company for corporate events, Halloween, Christmas and New Years planning starts early in the corporate world so don't miss out!

I am very excited about 2015, my year kicks off with a trip to Israel for a 3 day event from 18th - 20th January with the very talented Pieter van Engen at Balloonland in Jerusalem, swiftly followed by Spring Fair at the beginning of February which is one of Europe's largest trade fairs where I have the honour to design, create and install the 'inspiring' window displays for Pioneer Europe plus I will be demonstrating some exciting new designs and sharing some of my window display tips on the Qualatex stand and The Stage on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd February.

Education is a very important part of any businesses growth and development, so look out for Qualatex classes and events in your area. And don't forget to start planning and saving for the World Balloon Convention in 2016, don't underestimate the power of attending this convention, not only will it stimulate and excite you, it will help you to gain new skills and knowledge and of course grow your business!

And finally, I look forward to another year of writing new blogs covering a whole host of topics from reviewing new products, creating new step by step recipes, discussing business issues, event coverage and featured artists throughout the year plus anything else that I think will interest, inspire or help you!

Let's make 2015 a fabulous ballooning year!