How to start a kids' party supply business

Written by deb mcleod
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How to start a kids' party supply business
Kids need party supplies at their birthday parties. (Jezperklauzen/iStock/Getty Images)

Kids take their birthday parties seriously, which means everything surrounding the party matters. You want to provide your child with the right atmosphere, the right theme, and perhaps even the perfect guest list. While they are often overlooked, party supplies are essential to that party and can be a nice part-time or full-time business for someone who wants to sell them.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Decide how you will run your business. Will you market directly to local people or will you run a website through which you can sell and post party supplies to customers all over the world? If you decide to sell locally, you can begin as soon as you get stock, but if you are going to sell through a website, you'll need to think about domain names, building the site, taking orders through the site and other considerations.

  2. 2

    Find a supplier. Research party supply wholesalers and focus on one that prominently features supplies targeted to kids. Drop shipping is generally not recommended for kids' party supplies because when a customer orders supplies, he generally needs them quickly and drop shipping can be unreliable or take more time than you would take to deliver the product. Instead, plan to buy a stock of supplies so you can deliver whatever is ordered yourself.

  3. 3

    Consider offering just a few themes to start. Because you will be building your stock, you don't want to be stuck with supplies that aren't selling. Focus on the most popular themes and stock up on those. As your business grows, you can begin to build a larger inventory. Look through party supply catalogues to determine which themes are popular and stick with those.

  4. 4

    Choose a name and build a website if you are going to offer web ordering. Your business name is important, because you will use it on your website, your labels or bags or boxes and on business cards. Try to choose a name that potential and repeat customers will remember.

  5. 5

    Consider offering packages of supplies instead of selling products individually. This can be more profitable and provide an easier way to deliver the product. You can offer extras -- say, if someone needs supplies for 10 children and you sell in packages that serve 8 children -- but if you offer packages, you are likely to sell products in package form and that could result in a higher return for you.

  6. 6

    Use social media. If you are selling party goods, it's helpful if you engage with potential customers socially. Use Twitter to announce new products, or provide links to party planning articles. Use Facebook to encourage customers to post their party photos and ideas. Advertise both your Twitter and Facebook sites on your web page and business cards.

  7. 7

    Tap into your network of friends, especially when you are just launching your business. You don't want to spam them, of course, but let them know about your new business and ask them to think about you when they plan their next children's party. Like most event and planning businesses, most of your customers will come via word of mouth, especially when you are just starting.

  8. 8

    Think about the details. Because you are selling party supplies, think about all the finer details that party planners consider. Create or buy custom postage labels that celebrate who you are as a business. Wrap the supplies in colourful cellophane and tie with a bow. Insert a card that thanks people for their purchase and that you sign personally. All of these elements will help customers remember you when they need kids' party supplies again.

Tips and warnings

  • Create an element of fun in your business. You are selling celebrations so bring that mood and flavour to your business.

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