There is nothing better than converting your hobby into a full-fledged business. It gives you immense satisfaction and fulfillment and no 9 to 5 job can ever measure up to it. But to make it successful and most importantly earn profit out of your venture, you need to have business sense as well as creativity. If you want to start a handmade greeting card business which is successful, then you need to come up with a good business plan. If you are the one doing the designing of the greeting cards, then you would no doubt want to look after the creative side of the business. But for any business to succeed, no matter how creative it is, you need to make sure that you balance the business side with the creative side of the venture.
There is a misconception among aspiring small business starters, that if it is a creative field, you do not need to bother with the accounts, marketing or profit. But this kind of thinking can lead to the downfall of the business venture. You have to balance your passion for creating unique card designs with that of the business end.
Starting a Handmade Greeting Card Business
Identify your Strength
Although there are many greeting card companies that sell a variety of cards for different occasions, there are people who prefer handmade cards. Browse through a few stores that sell greeting cards and identify those category of retail cards in which the designs are too plain. Most greeting card companies churn out cards for special occasions like birthday's and valentines that have some great designs but miss out on "get well soon" cards or "congratulations" cards.
You can fulfill this niche by coming up with some excellent designs in handmade greeting cards. Provide a good variety of greeting cards for special occasions too like birthdays and anniversaries so that your product line is more complete. If you make greeting cards with witty one liners or maybe a special greeting card sayings, then that can become your strength.
Market your Product Smartly
No matter how pretty or unique your handmade greeting cards are, unless you market them right you cannot make a sale. Word of mouth only helps in garnering business up to an extent, and unless you do some aggressive marketing, those cards will remain in the shelves. You can sell your handmade greeting cards in small gift shops and novelty stores. Most of these stores, will take a small percentage of the sales for displaying the cards or they might take a small fee. Take these costs into account while pricing the cards.
Once your business booms, you can offer these shops (where you retail) a discount if they buy a batch of your cards. Another great way to market your products as well as increase sales is to sell them in craft fares and online craft sites like Etsy, ArtFire and Folksy.
Build your Brand
The biggest mistake that most novice entrepreneurs in a creative business do is to fail to mark a brand or logo on the product. Imagine that a particular customer liked one of your handmade cards, but since you have not developed a logo and marked it on the card, she has no way of referring about your unique card to her friends and colleagues. You can lose potential customers if you do not brand your articles. Create a unique logo just like commercial greeting card companies and stamp it on the back of the card. In this way, the logo or brand becomes instantly recognizable and it will set it apart from other handmade cards.
Build a Network
For the business to succeed, you need to build a network. Make an announcement to all your friends, relatives and acquaintances that you have started a greeting card business by sending them emails and SMS. Participate in craft fairs and stationery stores and get to know other entrepreneurs who are into creative business. This way you not only get to learn new things, but also get valuable insights into the working of a small business.
These were some of the things that you need to remember while starting a greeting card business. Don't get so involved in the creative part of the business that you forget that you are running a business venture. Keep track of the amount of money you have spent on supplies, the amount you have received after your sales and the profit that you have made. Don't make the mistake of thinking that every penny that you have earned from selling handmade greeting cards is your profit and you can splurge it away. Keep a small percentage aside and put the rest of the money into the business. With creativity, hard work and smart marketing, your greeting card business will definitely flourish.