Do you want to start a business as a professional clown? If YES, here is a guide on how to start a profitable clown business with no money or experience.
A clown is basically a costumed entertainer who is hired for parties and other social gatherings to serve as entertainment for the event. Clowns feature mostly in children’s parties and the business is mostly tailored towards kids, though there are some clowns that can feature in adult and even corporate events.
A clown business can provide entertainment for kids and adult parties, assemblies or work meetings. There are many different clown businesses and you ought to be unique so you can differentiate yourself from the competition. This is the only way you can be successful in this crowded industry.
Another way you can make headway in this business is if you are able to offer a variety of affordable and entertaining options for your clients. When you first open, you may start with only one clown, but as your business grows, you may be able to hire additional people so you can book more than one event each day.
Steps to Starting a Clown Business Successfully and Make Money
Table of Content
1. Understand the Business
When considering the kind of clown business you want to run, it would be in your best interest to include well-known clown activities such as making balloon animals and performing sleight-of-hand tricks. You may need to create more than one act and several different characters from whom your customers can choose.
To get started, you also need to purchase the materials you need to do your act, such as a costume. You can get more than one of this depending on how many faces you want to be known with. Some children’s clowns do not wear full makeup so they are not so scary to young children.
2. Plan your Business
When thinking of starting your clown business, the very first thing to do will be to sit down and plan the business. A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and even help you discover some things that are hidden within the profession.
Typically, your target audience would be parents looking for entertainment for a child’s birthday, holidays, or other social gatherings, such as Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. More recently, target markets have also extended to businesses or organizations looking for party entertainers and hosts.
Corporate businesses and organizations are considerably more interested in the talents of a clown, minus the face paint, and will often pay considerably more for your time. When planning the business, you need to find out who are your potential customers, and how you need to get their attention in a bid to convert them to potential clients.
You also need to figure out what roles need to be filled so you can decide if you need a hand or not. Most importantly, you need to figure out how many shows you need to feature in week or month so you can break-even fast enough.
3. Name your business
Choosing the right name is very important. Once you have sorted out how you want your business to run, you need to choose an appropriate name for it. For LLCs and corporations, you will need to check that your name is distinguishable from the names of other business entities already on file in your state.
You can check for available names by doing a business name search on the SOS website. You can reserve an available name for 60 days by filing an Application for Reservation of Name. You also can renew the reservation for up to a total of 180 days.
If you plan on doing business online, you may want to register your business name as a domain name. In addition, to avoid trademark infringement issues, you should do a federal and state trademark check to make sure the name you want to use is not the same as or too similar to a name already in use.
4. Form a legal entity
For want of a better word, I would say this is one of the most important aspects of forming a business. You can set up your small business under any formation style you want. Let’s go ahead and discuss them.
This business formation type is for small mom and pop businesses that are usually owner operated. You should note that most clown businesses usually choose this Business model because they are usually owned and run by one person.
To establish a sole proprietorship, you don’t need to file any organizational documents. This is easier than most of the other formation types, but you do not get a lot of business coverage here.
To create a general partnership, usually you don’t need to file any organizational documents with the state. Although not legally required, all partnerships should have a written partnership agreement. The partnership agreement can be very helpful if there is ever a dispute among the partners. To form a limited liability partnership (often used by professionals), you must file an Application for Registration.
To create an LLC, you must file articles of organization with your state of residence. You will also need to appoint a registered agent for service of process. In addition, while not required by law, you also should prepare an operating agreement to establish the basic rules about how your LLC will operate. You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.
5. Register for taxes
For you to successfully run your clown business, you need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes. With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number.
An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account. Note that you also won’t be able to pay your taxes.
6. Open a business bank account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection in your clown business. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
For this reason, it is essential that you open a business bank account for your clown business. It also builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
7. Set up business accounting
To run your business efficiently, you are going to require a seamless accounting process, but before you come to that, you need to have an avenue from which you can finance your business. An accounting system helps you track the performance of your business and simplifies annual tax filings.
Quality accounting software lets you download your bank and credit card transactions, making accounting fast and easy.
Obtaining financing for a small business can be a stressful and time-consuming process. Similar to getting a home loan, the bank is going to want lots of documentation on your personal finances in addition to a solid idea and the business plan.
The initial cost of starting your clown business can be fairly low, with the bulk of your money and resources being spent to outfit your business with the proper insurance, reliable transportation, and the basic supplies used for entertaining at parties.
And, with less emphasis on the traditional clown makeup and outfits, many performers are able to perform in regular clothes and minimal make-up, relying instead on the acts they perform and talents they put on display.
For approximately $1000.00, most performers are able to get their clown business up and running, although the cost will fluctuate, depending on your expertise and business plan. Most people can afford this cost without looking to borrow money, but in the event you do not have any money of your own, you may look to friends and family members.
8. Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Note that you can’t run your business anywhere in the united states without the right licenses and permits. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down. Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a clown business.
Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits. In addition, certain local licensing or regulatory requirements may apply. Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
In order to play music in a business setting, permission must be acquired from the composer or license holder. Typically, it is possible to obtain a “blanket” license that can allow a business to play music owned by a large catalog of artistes and recording studios. Such licenses can be obtained from Performance Rights Organizations, such as ASCAP or BMI.
9. Get Business Insurance
Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, Workers Compensation Insurance may be a legal requirement in your state. The clown business also carries some level of risk, so you should find acquire the appropriate insurance for it.
Clown event insurance is an important component of your business and is designed to protect your financial assets if you were to be sued as a result of your business operations. You could be held liable for claims that include injuries, illnesses, or damages arising from your entertainment services.
10. Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors. Using the internet and social media are some of the most effective methods for a new business to create a brand, especially when considering keeping overhead costs low.
E-mail blasts, regular blog and photo content, and interaction among related performer groups and entertainment outlets will help to spread your name and reputation. Also, look into business cards, flyers and magnetic car signs. Create a mobile billboard with your vehicle and ask to leave business cards or flyers around town in crowd trafficked areas.
The strength of customer responses will directly affect your next jobs. Make sure the customer is left happy and content with your performance. You may have a tough time pleasing every single person, but you should strive to give the customer(s) what they want. Build personable relationships, ask for feedback, and give discounts for return customers or referrals.
11. Establish your Web Presence
A website allows potential customers to find your business online and discover the products or services you offer, and it also enhances your business’s credibility. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers. In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online which include:
- Setting up social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
- Creating accounts on review sites (Yelp, Google Reviews, etc)
- Registering for a local Google profile
To publicize the business, you need to take professional clown photos that you can post on your social media pages. You can hire a professional to do this for you if you don’t know the first things about marketing your business on social media. You should equally get a professional looking website. A biography and history of the company should also be on the website.
To get good reach, you should also advertise your services in the phone book and through online listing sites. It also helps to make professional contacts with party planning and rental businesses. Ask them to give your information to their clients to generate referrals. In return refer your clients to them.