It is hard to miss the screams of children playing in and enjoying the bouncy castles set up at parks, in backyards or maybe even in your own yard for a birthday party or other celebration. Bouncy castles are a source of income for many who purchase them. You, too, can start a bouncy castle business.
Talk to family and friends. Ask whether they have hired a bouncy castle for birthdays or other celebrations. Ask whether they would like to have one available for hire should you purchase one. Talk to your spouse and/or children. If you purchase a bouncy castle to hire out for parties and other celebrations, determine whether you will want to do this alone, with your spouse or as a family business.
Explore the government regulations and liabilities regarding having a bouncy castle. Apply for a sales tax number from your state. This allows you to collect sales tax. When you fill out the forms, you will be asked to include the name of your business. To find about your state's sales-tax requirements, go to the official state Web site.Also, talk to your insurance agent about a liability policy.
Count the cost. Before purchasing the bouncy castle, figure out what starting the business will cost. A 13-by-13 bouncy castle starts at £910. Purchase one that comes with basic set-up supplies, such as a blower, repair equipment, stakes, a storage bag and a tarp. Add costs for a trailer to haul the bouncy castle, gas to and from party locations, costs for insurance, financial software, advertising and hired help, if needed. Once you know your costs, add in your time per hour (including set-up and dismantling) to figure out what you'll need to charge for the use of your bouncy castle.
Prepare a contract. Before you schedule your first event, prepare a contract. Do this with the assistance of a lawyer. Remember, this is a business. To be taken seriously, you need to do things in a businesslike way, which means your contract must spell out the obligations of both parties, the payment involved and when it's due. The contract also needs to be clear on what happens should the event be cancelled for illness, weather and so on. Be sure to always keep good records and an up-to-date calendar with not just bouncy castle dates, but other important dates and events in your life, so you do not schedule a bouncy-castle event the same day as you go out of town on vacation, for example.
Plan an advertising campaign. Create a business name and a logo. Use this on business cards, flyers, brochures and letterhead. Hand out information on your bouncy-castle business to family, friends and co-workers. Ask them to spread the word. Spread the word on social-networking sites and through e-mail. Talk to schools, churches and the Chamber of Commerce about your availability. Ask to put up flyers at different businesses in town, especially those that sell party supplies. You might even offer to volunteer your bouncy castle for one or two worthwhile fund-raising projects. Send press releases to local media and ask about a television interview. Advertising in the local newspaper, along with a story, is great promotion.