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Cirque Du Soleil has altered the circus scene considerably. Ringling Brothers-style circuses featuring elephant and tiger performances are becoming increasingly rare. Even today’s smaller circuses perform acrobatic and theatrical acts and are frequently seen in clubs and at large events such as music festivals. If you’re a performer or MC, or simply want a life of adventure, you might create your own circus and tour the world while earning a living and entertaining adults and children alike.

But before you can start having fun, you must first grasp the process of starting a business. Fortunately, this step-by-step book will teach you all of the entrepreneurial skills and knowledge you’ll need to establish and maintain a profitable circus business.

Step 1: Find Out if this is the Right Business for You?

Positives Vs Negatives

Spread Happiness – Put a smile on everyone’s face.
Travel and have a good time.
Good Money – Big concerts can result in large payouts.
Work may be difficult to come by at first.
Injured performers may file lawsuits.

  • Size and historical growth – The US live performance business is expected to be valued $5.5 billion in 2022. While the sector was severely impacted by the epidemic, it is currently on the mend. 
  • Forecasted growth – The US live performance industry is expected to expand by 11% in 2022.
  • In 2022, there will be 4,812 live performance theater firms in the United States. 
  • Employees -. The live performance theater sector is expected to employ 33,140 people by 2022.

Cost of Starting Circus Business in 2023

The cost of starting a circus ranges from $6,500 to $35,000. The low end is based on a modern circus with acrobatics and other acts that will be performed at various places. The most expensive option is for a traveling circus that requires a bus and a circus tent. 

Investment Items:

  • Performance apparatus
  • Tent
  • Bus
  • Costumes

Is Circus Business in 2023 Profitable?

Circuses that perform in public places charge a set price plus an hourly cost that varies depending on the number of performers. A two-person performance in a club would cost around $400, extra $100 each hour. A huge theatrical performance would cost a significantly higher flat charge, which may vary from $10,000 to $40,000 or more, depending on the size of the venue. After deducting labor expenditures, your profit margin should be around 40%. These calculations will use a $5,000 average performance fee. 

In your first or second year, you may conduct two concerts each month, bringing in $120,000 in yearly revenue and $48,000 in profit, assuming a 40% margin. As your bookings increase, you may do eight concerts every month. With $480,000 in yearly income, you’d generate a nice profit of $192,000.

Entry Barriers

  • Identifying outstanding performers with whom to collaborate
  • The costs of starting a touring circus.

Step 2: Create a Strategy

Identify a Gap

Examine circuses’ services, pricing, and client feedback. You’re aiming to fill a market void. For example, if the market is lacking a circus with trapeze performances and jugglers. This might kickstart your word-of-mouth marketing and immediately attract clients. 


  • The kind of acts you give will be determined by the sort of circus you choose and the artists you recruit. 


The number of performers and the size of the venue will have a large impact on your pricing. You must charge enough to compensate your performers while maintaining a profit margin of around 40%.

Once you’ve determined your expenses, you can use this profit margin calculator to figure out your mark-up and final pricing points. Keep in mind that the pricing you use at launch should be subject to modify if the market warrants it.

Target Market

Your target market will be determined by the sort of circus you provide, but it will most likely be fairly broad. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn should all be part of your marketing strategy.  


Choosing the correct site for your circus is critical to drawing spectators and guaranteeing the success of your business. Look for a location with plenty of room and sufficient visibility, such as a fairground, an outdoor stadium, or a prominent park.

Consider accessibility and convenience, ensuring that parking and public transit are easily accessible. In addition, review the local rules and zoning laws to verify compliance and secure any required permissions. You may develop a profitable and effective circus business that captivates people and stands out in the entertainment industry by deliberately selecting the correct site.

You may need to hire a practice facility or storage space. Commercial space for rent in your region may be found on sites like Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

When selecting a business facility, you should consider the following guidelines:

  • A central position that is easily accessible by public transportation
  • Natural light and ventilation
  • Lease that is flexible and may be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use area that requires no substantial upgrades or repairs.

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

Every company need a strategy. This will serve as a manual to help your business through the launch process while keeping you focused on your primary objectives. A business plan also helps potential partners and investors understand your company’s mission and vision:

  • Executive Summary: A brief summary of the full business plan that should be produced when the plan is completed.
  • Business Overview: A description of the organization, including its vision, mission, ownership, and corporate goals.
  • Product and Services: Provide detailed descriptions of your offers.
  • Market Analysis: Conduct a SWOT analysis to evaluate market trends such as variances in demand and development potential.
  • Analyze your top rivals’ strengths and shortcomings, then produce a list of the benefits of your services.
  • Sales and marketing: Investigate your company’s unique selling propositions (USPs) and create sales, marketing, and promotional plans.
  • Management Team: A summary of the management team’s functions and professional backgrounds, as well as a corporate hierarchy.
  • Procurement, office location, critical assets and equipment, and other logistical aspects are all part of your company’s operating strategy.
  • Financial Plan: A three-year financial plan that includes initial expenses, a break-even analysis, profit and loss predictions, cash flow, and a balance sheet.
  • Include any extra financial or business-related papers as an appendix.

Step 3: Create a Marketing Plan

Some of your customers will be passing by or online, but you should still engage in digital marketing! It is extremely vital for new businesses to spread the word since it increases consumer and brand recognition. 

After you’ve launched your website, connect it to your social media profiles and vice versa. Because you can generate compelling posts that sell your items on social media, it is an excellent tool for promoting your business: 

  • Facebook: A fantastic paid advertising network that allows you to target certain demographics, such as males under the age of 50 in the Cleveland region.
  • Instagram has the same advantages as Facebook, but with a different target demographic.
  • Website: SEO will help your website rank higher in relevant search results, which is critical for driving sales. Make certain that your website’s calls to action are optimized. Experiment with the wording, color, size, and location of calls to action like “Buy Tickets Now.” This has the potential to dramatically increase sales. 
  • Google and Yelp: Getting listed on Yelp and Google My Business can be critical to creating awareness and consumers for businesses that rely on local clients. 

Kickstart Marketing

Increase awareness of your services and promote your brand by utilizing your website, social media presence, and in-person events. Here are some ideas:

  • Distribute fliers in your community.
  • Make a video about your circus. Use humour, and it may go viral!
  • Start a blog and post regularly. Change up your content and distribute it across numerous platforms. 
  • Do press releases for new shows.
  • Paid social media advertisements – Select sites that will reach your target audience and run targeted ads.
  • Pay-per-click marketing entails using Google AdWords to improve search engine performance. First, conduct keyword research.
  • Influencer marketing entails paying individuals with significant social media followings to promote your circus. Micro-influencers with lesser followings and cheaper prices are available.