Opinions on viability of a business idea in Canberra

ykickamoocow22 30 May 2011 7

Hi fellow rioters,

I am seeking opinions on viability of a props hire outlet here in our nations capital. This idea is that a business makes props for all sorts of events, specifically themed parties. Themes such as pirates, arabian nights, hollywood etc.

There are several businesses in sydney which offer such a service and i was wondering if fellow rioters would be of the opinion that such as service would be viable here in the ACT. I note there are several hire companies here in the ACT all of which hire out party items, but not props for added pizzaz to your party.

I have added to a link to the place in syd.


Or alternativly if someone, could please advise if such a business allready exists here in ACT.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.


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7 Responses to Opinions on viability of a business idea in Canberra
Jethro Jethro 8:14 pm 30 May 11

Honestly… I don’t see much of a market for it.

harvyk1 harvyk1 5:33 pm 30 May 11

The first question is who are your target market?
Don’t say “everyone” or “anybody” as that’s a good sign you don’t actually have a market for this

The second question is then will they actually pay you for this service?
Be realistic, don’t just take it from your mate at the pub that they think it’s a good idea. Also ask “why” would people pay for the service. If you can’t give a good enough reason as to why, then the answer is no people won’t pay for the service.

The third question is will they require your services often enough for it to be worth your while?
It’s all well and good to be busy around christmas time, but what about the other 11 months of the year? Cashflow is king, if you have 11 months of down time, you probably won’t be able to stay in business.

If you can not satisfy those three questions, don’t start the business. The problem with the question you have asked is most people will say “yes that a great idea”, but would never actually pay for such a service.

Also keep in mind that Sydney is a very different market to Canberra. It has a population of more than 10 times the size of Canberra. It also has a lot of corporate money which Canberra doesn’t have.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 4:33 pm 30 May 11

There are a couple of businesses that do fancy dress – http://www.yellowpages.com.au/search/listings?clue=fancy+dress&locationClue=ACT&x=0&y=0

There used to be another one in Braddon opposite National Capital Motors but I think they have closed now.

ace2279 ace2279 3:08 pm 30 May 11

You might want to contact the Theatre and other thetrical/community companies here in Canberra and ask how/where they get their props and sets from. That would give you an idea as to the market and any other players. I’d also suggest contacting some of the larger/private highschools and colleges and see where they get their props from for plays/musicals etc. Talking to all these people will give you a place to start with the possible market and competition

Good Luck!!

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 11:33 am 30 May 11

Don’t expect to get any meaningful advice here! It won’t happen. The key to a successful business is not asking what others think, but knowing your idea is good, having the resources and contacts to make it work, a drive to succeed, and a measure of luck.

No amount of advice from anyone here could possibly help you if you haven’t done your research, developed a sound business plan, and have negotiated a suitable level of financial and business support.

LeatherJen LeatherJen 11:10 am 30 May 11

I would be thinking very carefully about who your customers would be. As already mentioned, most people won’t pay money for something like this at their home, government doesn’t do stuff like this for parties (although bizarrely, they do occasionally pay to have celebrities turn up), and private organisations have their own techniques for rewarding government customers (which is kept fairly quiet to those outside the circle).

Perhaps instead you consider a ‘middle-man’ approach, whereby you broker this service but arrange for props to be sent up from Sydney. This would significantly reduce your risk, because you wouldn’t need to buy anything at all (except maybe some business cards and getting a website), and you can quickly work out if there is a market for this stuff. The cost of couriering would be somewhat compensated by not needing to pay for storage of props, or carrying capital cost on buying/maintaining the props in the first place. Your exit strategy would also be far more graceful.

deejay deejay 10:03 am 30 May 11

I’m just not sure who your market would be, to tell you the truth. This isn’t a town that does a lot of lavish promotional parties – government can’t, for one thing, and consultant firms serving government are probably busy enough that they don’t need to. I don’t think it’s really a domestic item either (as least not in the numbers you would need to make it work). So while it’s fundamentally a good product, I’m not seeing much of a market for it here.

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