Starting any type of small business can be exciting, nerve-wracking and incredibly rewarding. If you’re considering a business opportunity, consider how you can create custom business greeting cards for sale. Here are all the practical steps you need to take to launch a greeting card business. If you find this process too daunting or impractical for your business needs, learn how you can outsource your card-making production with a leading manufacturer.
Research the Market
The first step to creating a dynamic card making business is to research your local market. Determine whether you wish to sell your cards at a craft fair, storefront or an online location. Be sure to find a selling area with plenty of foot traffic and minimal competition.
Identify your target audience, any potential competition, and a good price point. Compare your potential products with your competition to see if there’s a need for an additional greeting card business. Calculate the price of greeting card creation to find the break-even price point. Can you afford to make cards at a cost that is competitive in the industry? If not, determine whether your cards are going to be unique enough to justify a higher price.
Create Initial Designs
A greeting card business can’t launch without some initial designs. These may be subject to change, but it’s important to create a few designs to nail your company attitude, branding style and to advertise the quality and craftsmanship of your cards.
You don’t have to create your own greeting cards to make a successful greeting card company. It’s possible to outsource the creative aspect of your cards, as long as you can sell the cards for enough of a profit to grow your business.
Ask for Feedback
Be sure you have plenty of feedback before launching your card designs. After spending days, weeks or years reviewing your designs, it may be difficult to objectively determine how popular each card may be. First, ask your friends and family to review your cards. They are typically biased as well, but any feedback you can gather can be beneficial.
Next, take your cards to as many third-party individuals as you can find. From fellow card-making businesses and hobbyists to loyal greeting card customers, any feedback you can gather will provide you with tips about refining your designs. While not perfect, feedback can still be reasonably used to estimate the interest and profitability of your future greeting cards.
Hone in on a Specialty
From formal business greeting cards to humorous birthday cards, there is a surprising amount of card categories to cover. As you start, hone in on a single specialty or complementary range of cards to capture your target audience. If you start out with a business plan that’s too broad and unfocused, you may not sell enough of any single card design to create a profitable business. Here are just a few popular categories of cards to consider specializing in:
- Birthday cards
- Thank you cards
- Congratulations cards
- Retirement cards
- Photo cards
- Anniversary cards
Create a Business Plan
Every business requires a business plan. A detailed business plan gives you the roadmap you need to grow your business in a concentrated way. A business without a plan can be easily derailed and distracted by dozens of options and customer requests.
Use your business plan to identify your main goal, your essential products and services, your key partners and your financial strategy. Describe your research and experience in your intended market, and define your competition and your plan to win over a portion of the market.
A business plan is a work in progress. Every business plan goes through numerous revisions and drafts, so don’t be afraid to look back on your plan and make necessary adjustments. You’ll undoubtedly learn new things about your greeting card designs, your customers’ interests and financing options that can help your business.
You’ll need a significant amount of financing to start your greeting card business. Don’t open your doors or make your ecommerce platform public until you’ve secured the necessary funding to handle your operating expenses and inventory purchases.
A card-making company could use an SBA loan or a conventional business loan to cover the first few years of operating expenses. Another option is a line of credit or business credit card. These flexible financing options create a safety net to prevent you from running out of working capital as you take on bulk orders and work with major clients.
An obvious step that can easily be overlooked is gathering inventory. Whether you’re creating greeting cards yourself or outsourcing production, you need to have accurate estimates of pricing and a steady supply of cards. Running out of inventory can quickly stall your business.
If you’re creating your own cards, you need a scaling plan. You may be able to handle a dozen orders a week, but what will you do when that number becomes 200 orders a week? Look for outsourcing options or have a plan in place to hire and train employees to operate your business.
Market Your Products
You can’t sell greeting cards without customers. Find ways to market your products and spread the word. Create a buzz around your greeting card business before you even open your doors. Use social media, online advertising, and local advertising opportunities. Be sure you have a launch party or other event to kick off your business launch with some fanfare.
Prepare to Launch Your Greeting Card Line
After you’ve created excellent cards, secured financing and gathered enough momentum for an exciting and popular launch event, it’s time to put it in motion. Launch your greeting card business and be prepared to quickly change directions and be responsive to your customers. Even the best research and marketed may miss the best business opportunities, so continue to receive feedback and consider ways to grow a successful business.
Benefits of Custom-Order Business Greeting Cards
Create a dynamic greeting card business with these essential steps. Shop at Cards for Causes today to search for custom thank you cards and other card options that offer inspirational ideas and affordable options for custom greeting cards for any occasion.