Donna Higgins, Bird and Blossom Balloons
Go For It Programme and Business Start Up and Coaching

What is your business?
Bird & Blossom Balloons is a balloon décor company based in Ballyclare. We provide bespoke décor for all occasions. All designs are of professional standard and only use quality products.

Why did you start your business?
Bird & Blossom Balloons was developed as I always had a passion for creative arts.
My background in theatre and design has always been something I wanted to revisit and balloon art and twisting was a business that reignited my creativity.

What was involved in the Go For It Programme?
Myself and Catherine developed a business plan and financial projections for the first two years of my business. We covered areas such as pricing, competitors, finances, funding and many other elements to consider when being self-employed.

What was involved in the Business Start Up and Coaching Programme?
After completing the business plan, LEDCOM signposted me to the Business Start Up and Coaching programme, managed by Antrim Enterprise. With this, I received 5 hours of mentoring. I required mentoring in areas such as Social Media and Digital Marketing. In these sessions, we created content for my social media channels, branded my business and optimised my platforms. These skills have helped and developed my Facebook and Instagram pages. There is a £200 bursary available on this programme when proof of HMRC registration is shown. I will use my bursary to buy more supplies and equipment.

I found these programmes very helpful, especially as I don’t have a business background. Sitting down to develop a business plan is something that I would recommend to others who would like to start a business. Another big advantage is that the programmes are free.

Where do you see your business in the future?
The vision for my business is to expand to events and larger set ups. This is something that I am working towards.
I would like to become more consistent on my social media platforms and collaborate with other local businesses.
I would like to explore the possibility of accommodating corporate events as well.