Make your mark with your own home-based greeting card business.
Valentine Candle with a greeting-card - close-up image by Werg from Fotolia.com
Greeting cards are big business. People need them for countless occasions. Not only do they send them to mark births, deaths, graduations and anniversaries, but they also send them just to add cheer to a loved one's day. Many people won't even think about giving a gift unless there is a greeting card attached. If you have a unique idea for a line of greeting cards and artistic flair or even talent with the written word, you can start a home-based greeting card business.
Visit several greeting card stores and gift shops to browse through their selection of greeting cards. As you browse, try to determine what is missing or how you can produce better cards. If you can find a need in the greeting card business, you can experience business success by filling it.
Brainstorm unique greeting card ideas for your greeting card business. For example, you may come up with unique messages to include in your greeting cards and then develop handmade greeting card designs or use a desktop publishing program to create appealing artwork.
Related Reading: How to Start a Greeting Card Company
Decide whether you will specialize in cards that contain inspirational messages, funny greetings or both. If you really want to do something different, you may even create greeting cards that have shocking messages in them.
Purchase the materials you will need for your greeting card business. If you will make handmade cards, you will need a range of special papers, pens, colored pencils and embellishments. If you will design cards on your computer, you will need a desktop publishing program, scanner, printer, and card stock or photo paper. A paper cutter may prove helpful as well.
Write a business plan for your business. Include the funds, you will need for your startup expenses as well as information about where you will purchase your supplies and how you will market your business. You may also include goals for expanding your business in time.
Apply for a business license. Many jurisdictions require business licensing even if you run a home-based business.
Set up a home-based office in which you can create your greeting cards, market your business, and handle administrative and marketing tasks. If you don't have room for an office, consider setting aside space in a finished basement, dining room or even a guest room.
Stock your home-based office or space with basic office supplies and equipment as well as card-making supplies. Set up your computer, fax machine and phone in the same area. You can use this space not only for designing your cards, but also for communicating with potential customers and suppliers.
Make several sample greeting cards to entice customers. Use photos of them to create marketing materials, including brochures and fliers.
Create a website to market your greeting cards. Choosing a catchy name for it may help customers to find you.
Ask local businesses, such as card shops, gift stores and craft companies, to display your cards in their shops. Some may be willing to do this on a temporary basis while you attempt to generate interest in your cards. If customers show interest, this may turn into a permanent display.
Sell your cards at craft fairs, church bazaars and special events. You may also ask family members and friends to show samples of your cards to their friends and coworkers.
- Fax machine
- If you aren't as talented as you'd like to be with artwork, hire a designer to help you create your greeting cards.