1. Once I have taken this training course, how much money do I really need to get
I would say about $600 minimum. Others have started for less; others, more. I provide
an itemized list of the necessities and where to purchase them at the best wholesale
price ! ( I buy nothing retail!) You do not need to buy all the pieces of equipment
the balloon industry promotes out there. Old timers techniques will teach you how
to do things without all the machines they want you to buy!!! Save, save save....
2. Why can't I learn the balloon business on my own just by buying those balloon
You can, but at a price. Time and Money and in accurate techniques.... Balloon videos
are great if you already have a foundation, a knowledge, of how everything works.
. . and if you already know you are doing the technique correctly. They are really
geared for the intermediate balloon artist to teach new techniques and “another”
ways of doing things. They don't teach you how to operate your whole business for
a profit and they don't teach you the common pitfalls and mistakes you can make.
Experience passed down does that, and that saves you money, embarrassment, and time.
AND, these classes teach techniques you do not see everyday. Your work is different
from everyone else in the business! That is my point of this particular seminar.
You need to learn (by doing) hands on techniques AND practice with an instructor
so you can do the basics correctly. If you think what you have learned on utube is
right- you are wrong. It has been my experience that time spent learning it right
instead of trial and error does two things. It saves time in the long run and your
credibility/reputation is not damaged. I’ll give you an example. Making a helium
balloon arch sounds simple. But to the untrained person, who just figured it out,
their arch may have small gaps between the clusters, and on a column you see the
pole (that is only one of the many problems). Unfortunately if you are making a simple
mistake there is no one popping out of the video showing you what you just did wrong.
If you are going to compete with the established guys in your yellow pages for the
same business, your work has to look perfect and professional. If you were the only
one in your “village” doing this, well then, it would not be a big deal since the
customer would not know any better. If you want to make money, learn it right, know
how to fix the problems and be professional. The money will come! If you can build
a latex balloon column, take a photo of it for your professional portfolio (not scrap
book!), disassemble every balloon and put it back in the bag looking brand new--
to use and sell at a later date-- then you know the first lesson of our class. If
not, you really don't know technique, how to utilize and to save money.
3.What benefit is there in me taking this course with you instead of looking for
resources on the net and trying to do it myself?
The benefit is to learn every facet of the business and where to buy your supplies
at wholesale prices and do it right. The other is how to price and calculate so your
business actually makes money- so it is not a hobby. The cost of your tuition, lodging,
airfare will be covered by the money you save purchasing wholesale product, not buying
equipment you don't need when you can do it without-- the money you save in making
the right decisions on setting up your business, not paying for stuff u don’t need,
and the money you save in client satisfaction in doing the job perfectly. This translates
into more business. I cannot stress this enough. In all parts of life, your best
bet is finding something that works and copy it. Don't try and invent it yourself
when some successful person already has. What you save in learning it right from
someone with experience, is well worth the money spent on the front end. Not to mention
your reputation of being able to do things the other companies in your area CANNOT!
4.What happens if I get home after I take the classes and I forget how to do something?
Hopefully that will not happen because you will have an awesome training manual to
rely on. And, because I make you replicate everything we do, (hands on training)...
it is a known fact that you will remember it. But if that does happen, email/phone
support from me is always available to you. By the way, you do have to pass a basic
skills test or you are not leaving the class! And you also have your class support
group, all previous LBD graduates as a resource as well as me! (closed group on FB)
There is a professional balloon artist networking organization which is also a great
support group and supplies you with great new ideas and answers to any kind of questions.
These people have been around for many, many years and are a wealth of information.
When you join this organization along with your membership you receive your own webpage
on their server where you can promote your own business. They have several templates
and all you have to do is upload your information and your photos! Quite Wonderful!
5. Once I complete this course, will I know everything I need to start my business?
Absolutely! The only thing you have to find out how to do on your own is the laws
of your state and the state sales tax. I can tell you where to find that information.
Every state is different. Many students are walking out the door with jobs ahead
6. Can I do this part time and keep my regular job?
If you want to do only part-time decorating, this is a simple task because most parties/events
are evenings and weekends. You can make appointments with your clients after work
to discuss their decoration needs. It can be a perfect home base business. You can
see your tax accountant for specific write offs in your home if you want. You will,
however, come to that fork in the road when you become so well known, you have to
decide whether or not to make it a full time ambition. (Trust me ---it happens!)
7. What about class size and how much time do we work during the week?
I try to keep the group very small. The perfect class size is 8 students, but it
can be as large as 10-12 students. More than that is too much!
Time in class:
4 day seminar: Classes will start at 10 am on Friday and will end between 3-4
pm on Monday. Hopefully you will be able to schedule a flight home for Monday night.
When booking your flight, make sure you have 2 hours to get thru our airport before
your departure time. They really mean it!!! That 10 min drive from the hotel to
the airport is now 30 min or more in traffic remember! This major change in days
and time is due to needs requested by the students who could not take weekdays off
What really happens in a class? We work 9-5 in class and min 2 evenings after dinner
to give you the same time experience in the original program. If someone is not
getting a technique in class, we work on it that night. Lots of work to do. Tell
you family and friends you are NOT on vacation in Florida. We cover all the learning
techniques so when u leave and see any balloon picture you immediately know how it
has been done. Classes usually get 20-30 portfolio pictures of class work for their
This is no light weight class! And yes, you get a certificate! BTW, you will leave
overqualified to pass the CBA. Help to pass the test is always available- but my
students don't need it.... EVERYONE of them who decided to take the CBA has passed
their CBA! Also it is not mandatory to have a CBA. You graduate with a certificate:
Certified Balloon Decor Designer. CBDD
8. Where can I stay while training and what airport do I go to?
You need to fly into Tampa International Airport (TPA). We are actually 10 minutes
away from the Tampa Airport. No need for a car rental unless you want to add a few
days to see the sights. Book an extra day for the beach, Busch Gardens (1/2 hour
away) or a quick trip to Disney (1 1/2 hrs away). See the Accommodations page for
suggestions on where to stay. South West and Spirit has some great deals to Tampa.
Host Hotel is now Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas, 7700 Courtney Campbell Causeway Tampa
FL 33607 BUT that could change--class by class. www.Godfreyhoteltampa.com Beautiful
hotel on the Tampa Bay. Prices start at $109 on “the city” side and more on the water
side. 813-281-8900 Early booking gets even better rates. Rates are lower on their
website when u join thier “group”.
Dont forget the DEALS on Priceline.com this hotel offers Free shuttle to and from
the airport to the Hotel. And also to International Mall *Winter Prices INCREASE
Hotel Location sometimes change if we find better hotel rates somewhere else
9. I see a lot of people selling balloon instruction- why is yours different?
Be very careful when picking someone to teach you and then mentor you whenever you
need them after u take the training. This constant support and ongoing training is
worth every penny of your tuition. Make sure they have awards, and some substance
behind their credentials-not made up.Do your homework-check out the info. We meet
in hotel locations that produce beautiful Portfolio pictures-not in a shop. There
are several mimics out there. I had 2 male students who took my class twice, talked
to them every other day for 5 years- now they teach their version of this seminar
in TN. Do your homework - u get what u pay for. I have past students for verification
if u want to ask.
Yes, two. Anyone going into business in proximity to Tampa Florida, has to sign
a non-compete agreement. That means you cannot open up a business within 1 hour driving
time from my business in Tampa, Florida. The reason for this is I share all my business
materials, marketing strategies, pictures, recipies, etc with you. Basically I am
Duplicating my business. I cannot have someone in the next town using my pictures
in their portfolio or website to sell their business. This only makes sense. If
you sign the non-compete agreement and you do end up in my back yard, I can sue you,
or as the lawyer said, take the money for the job you did and give it to me. It
is only right to make this disclaimer up front. If you ARE more than 1 hour and a
half away, you do not need to sign anything. Therefore I do not teach people living
in the towns close to me. How silly of me to teach my competitors?! My lawyer says,
THERE ARE NO LONGER ANY EXCEPTIONS! S O R R Y
Also, I don’t speak any foreign languages. You need to have a decent command of the
English language to be able to keep up with the class. (This is most important too
for the other students in the class.) I have found that one person who cannot comprehend
what I am saying slows down the learning process for the rest, and we do not get
the whole course of study finished.
11. I am excited!!! Tell me what I need to do to enroll in your classes.......
First: Qualify your need for starting a new business in your present area. Go to
your yellow pages and see what your competition will be. If you live in a metropolitan
area where there are 4 pages, front and back, of balloon companies, then you might
want to reconsider this profession OR consider moving elsewhere! I honestly don’t
want to train someone and then find out the main reason that they didn’t succeed
was because the market was already flooded. My training of students is limited to
only a few classes a year. That is all the time I can give up right now to teach.
I want to make sure the students I do teach will flourish and you are not wasting
Second: Fill out the Enrollment application and tell me when you want to take the
class. I will return your email and let you know if it is available. Sometimes
we find classes totally booked, but due to life’s curve balls, someone will have
to change their scheduled date- and then there suddenly is an opening. If you are
interest in a "first available"- let me know.
Finally...... you have to send a check, money order, or pay by Paypal if you are
going to use your credit card, to hold your space. This $200 deposit is non-refundable
and goes directly to the hotel for their space, but if you have to reschedule your
class, you are free to do so up to 30 days before the scheduled class not lose your
"non refundable seat deposit". You may reschedule 1 time with the same deposit. If
you cancel less than this you will have to put down a new deposit to hold a seat
again. NO EXCEPTIONS Please understand All Deposits are used toward the money for
the rent of the building we are having the classes in-so the deposits are already
spent 30 days prior- thus reason for non refundable $200.
Once you have in your deposit, (*See new info under Student Info tab on how to “secure”
your seat from anyone taking it.) the research begins and you will be working on
all the info you need to acquire to start up your new business. This may take you
several days and a ton of phone calls, but you will be coming to class with all the
info I need to help you set up your business. (And you thought I was kidding when
I said you would walk out the door doing balloons!) Students with fully paid tuition
receive their training manual.
*If you pay your full tuition, receive your training manual, and then do not come
to the designated training session, you DO NOT get any tuition reimbursement. You
may come to a different session but there are no refunds once you receive your training
There is much to be said for been there and done that and now I know better how to
do it. To be able to cut 2 or 3 years off of getting your business going and growing
is a Godsend. A seasoned veteran with 33 years of teaching experience to show the
best and fastest ways of doing things will propel you way ahead of all the others.
Accumulating all the resources of 30 years, knowing the short cuts, and how to save
money is worth its weight in gold. The training cost FAR outweighs the money you
will save by not making the mistakes, buying equipment you don’t need, doing it quicker,
buying it cheaper, and enabling your business to grow rapidly. (I only wish this
were available to me when I started out.) Again, In ANY BUSINESS VENTURE if you can
copy the pattern of someone else's success, that only makes sense. Don’t do it all
yourself if there is already a proven way out there. Learn their basic operation
and then put you own flair to it to make it your own.
A large part of student registrations are from people already “doing” balloons. They
are failing to make any money after 2 years
13. After this training, is there any need for further balloon classes?
You bet there is!!! This business changes all the time and new ideas are out there
for the taking. Plan on attending at least one balloon convention a year to learn
more new balloon ideas. (Conventions usually cost me about $1500+ for four days--that
is the class fee, airfare and hotel and food) You will find networking with other
balloon companies around the country is also wonderful thing. Even after 36 years
I still go to conventions.
But even better than that is my private 2 day seminar in Vegas with the Best of the
Best national instructors just for LBD graduates. We pick what new things we want
to learn and get the edge on the competition. Best part is it is a non profit convention
which is only about learning- no one trying to sell you anything. Cost is $199. Seats
are limited to 70 grads and all the $ goes directly to the instructors! Advance Balloon
Decor Convention.com just for us!!
Comfortable clothes that fit our climate, a well-rested body, a desire to learn,
and sense of humor! It has been also suggested to bring your vitamins! Since this
is non-stop, it is a good idea not to “frenzy yourself out” before coming and that
you do not arrive here tired. Although your training manual is quite concise and
you do not have to write everything down.
A good camera to take pictures is also necessary. ( If you do not have one, phones
have been used as well. Have an extra sim card if you need one) With the cameras,
the wider the lens, the better for taking pictures of entire room balloon decor.
Most phones will suffice! NO VIDEO.
15. Give me some idea of what the classes are like?
In the beginning we will be going over basics on starting your business and the mechanics
of accomplishing this. Then we will move on to learning about helium, balloons, and
all the hands-on training. (making balloon sculptures, large dance floor decor, etc)
Then on to the tricks of advertising, making your own portfolio and logos, and a
whole lot more. EXCEPT for entering competitions at conventions- I teach you everything
I can do. My grad students tell me I make mini me's out of them and that I do not
charge enough for the course. The class outline lists SOME of the topics but not
everything in the training manual is listed on this outline. It is quite in-depth.
See Home page for the list of scheduled classes. Because I teach only 3-4 seminars
a year, these classes fill up months before the start date. Students have now gotten
smart and pay their full tuition and received their training manual.... Or pay half
of their tuition that then guarantees them their seat. Most seats are purchased
no less than 45 days before the start of class so I can get the manuals to you so
you can read. Pre reading is a MUST- saves the class time. All payments need to
be in by 30 days before start of class please.
The old fashion way of a check, snail mail works--- as well as Master Card and Visa
ONLY thru Paypal. Students from foreign countries who cannot use Paypal can use
Western Union (contact me for information)
You can use Pay Pal to put a deposit of $200 which is non-refundable. If you have
to change your date, give a minimum 35 days notice, then you can apply your deposit
to another class and you don't lose your deposit. Balance is to be paid before
class using Paypal credit card, check OR money order. There are no refunds of deposit
once you receive your training materials.