Starting a Children’s Entertainment Business

Children’s entertainment businesses can be excellent start-up opportunities because, if you have the creativity and drive, you can get the ball rolling with a relatively small investment. To make a children’s entertainment business a success you will need to establish a niche, promote yourself in the right circles and perform all the legal checks that are required to work with minors.

Your Niche

Kids thrive on imagination so to make a success of entertaining them you must apply a similar level of imagination to your business. Clowns are ten-a-penny in this business and unless you are really good you will not stand out; you can take legitimate college courses in clowning so unless you are that dedicated don’t even think about it. Magicians are also incredibly popular so, like clowning, you will have to be very good at magic to stand out from the crowd and make a living in this niche.

So what can your unique selling point be? Well, think about what you do that entertains your own children or your nieces or nephews. If you have skills in subjects that children enjoy such as sport, science, music or dance then you should be able to create an act that will be entertaining.

Sell Yourself

When you start out you should concentrate on your local community first. Try to get a gig at a birthday party organised by a friend or family member. This way you will have support for your opening shows and most likely get some constructive feedback that will encourage you as opposed to denting your confidence. When you have enough shows under your belt to progress start looking for shows at local schools and youth clubs. By performing for a larger group of children you are more likely to have your act spread via word of mouth: “I saw this thing at youth club/school today can they come to my birthday party?” It may even be worth performing a few free shows at schools or youth clubs just to generate this word of mouth; it will also increase your kudos with the local community.

Science Boffins are a popular science based children’s entertainment group in the UK and their CEO David Hammerson started his business in a similar manner i.e. beginning at a local level with his particular niche and slowly expanding the business to the point where he now has lots of Boffins working for him, performing Science shows throughout the UK. This just goes to show what can be achieved in this business with a unique idea and some determination

Setting up a website is also a good idea. You can create a website relatively easily using blogger, wordpress or a similar online website building tool. Remember: when you make your website you must keep it simple. People want to know about you and your business; being able to see your contact details is far more important than a fancy animated gif.

When you have your website up and running, try to generate some links back to it from other relevant sites based in and around your local community. Remember to do this politely and ethically though because you do not want a reputation as a spammer.

Legal Requirements

This is perhaps the most important consideration when setting up a business that involves children. In the UK you must have a CRB (Criminal Record Background) check done to enable you to work in children’s entertainment. In the USA it is slightly different from state to state but you are unlikely to get work unless you can prove you are fit and proper to be responsible for children. You can have checks done by the local police and FBI to offer piece of mind to any potential customers or clients.

About the author

Kevin Ball is a blogger who works in marketing. He is interested in small business and believes that every business has its own unique challenges and can’t be given one-solution-fits-all advice. You can find him on twitter @KevinBall1982 where he will occasionally tweet about business, marketing and blogging… but mostly rant about Scottish football (soccer).


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