Establish your own business:
Remember those days when you used to purchase blank cards and drew on them all through the winter vacation so that you can gift New Year’s greetings to your mates and teachers? You have all grown up and there is hardly any scope and liberty to design and draw a card today. Life is filled with hoards of ruminations and we spend a considerable amount of time each day playing Clash of Clans and checking through the virtual world of friends. But have you ever thought if you could utilize this time in doing something worthwhile? How if you could revive your childhood hobby of designing greetings card into a part time business?
Sounds unreasonable; isn’t it? But if you still possess the artistry and love for creativity, then it can be transformed into a way of earning money. What’s more, a business of homemade greetings card needs a very small capital investment and you can easily get started in as low as 1000 INR. Think of how you spend thousands of rupees in restaurants, movies and cosmetics; and you can effortlessly start your own art business with that amount of money.
Your artistry and creativity is the greatest resource for your business and if you can devote the time and efforts it require, your homemade greetings card business is bound to stand and thrive well. As long as you have your innate brilliance to support you, no barriers would be enough to dissipate you.
Make your first move: Business Planning
Are you still wondering where to start from? It’s better to write down all that’s coming to your mind in a piece of paper. It will start with a lot of scribbles and don’t fret if it gets you nowhere. You will eventually come to make out things and develop a solid business plan. Till then, find out:
- What type of art you are proficient in?
- Would you like a friend of yours to join in?
- Which occasions would you like to cover in your greetings card?
- Would you open a brick and mortar store or an online retail?
- Would you offer anything more than greetings card?
- How would you promote your business?
These few preliminary questions can help you get a good idea about how you can go along and where you will land. Designing artful cards for best friends and doing the same for selling have a lot of disparity in them. Therefore, you can pay a visit to a nearby card store to have a concept about what’s in vogue. If you are confident enough in your own creations, you may not follow any preconceived estimation but set your own mark. As an illustrator you are well aware that art cannot be confined within any boundaries and therefore your creations should only be limited by your imaginations.
Build up the business:
If you are not lacking in funds, you can either rent a shop or take a lease if you are willing to establish your own store. On the other hand, you can approach the local stationary and art and craft store if you they can highlight and sell your products.
Selling online in your own webpage or any reputed online retail is also a viable option, though a part of the price of each greetings card would be deducted as commission. But the exposure and publicity you would receive in exchange of a small percentage would suffice to smoothen your way towards prosperity.
When you are selling your products in a reputed online or a physical store, your products are revealed to all who come to those establishments. Some of them may take a look upon your designs while others may pick one for gifting or simply keep it as a piece of souvenir. In addition this, greetings cards are generally priced so affordably that anyone can buy it. So, investing a small share of your profits for the initial exposure is a wise way to go.
Don’t forget to apply for your trade license with your local governing authorities in order to stay away from any kind of legal complications in future and keep updated in payments of sales tax. While you may think that you are starting off as a small scale business, you never know when it will grow into a large enterprise. So it’s imperative to keep safe right from the start.
Get the supplies:
Imagine yourself as a shopper of birthday greetings card for your mother; think of the innumerable number of cards that you will go through to pick up one single piece. You may like the message of one card and the design of the other one. So, you are not one of a kind and this happens to everyone while selecting a greeting card, especially if it is meant for someone who is close to our hearts. You will have to offer ample choices to your customers so ensure that you get the supplies right.
You will need different types of papers, pens and pencils, colour, sparkles, ribbons, beads and many more. You can make a card with anything you want, therefore, make sure you have an access to all these items at affordable prices so that your creativity is not hindered by lack of supply. Enough space is also required to keep these items and you have to ensure that they are kept out of the reach of kids in your home. Finished basement or a deserted room in the attic is the best venue to give life to your creative genius.
Keep a track of your inventory and the price you are paying for each item. These calculations would come in handy while setting the price of your greetingcard.
Make your items unique:
You will have to think that given a relentless number of greetings card in the market, why would someone choose the cards that are designed by you? You will have to develop a USP that would attract new customers each and everyday. It can come in the form of new designs or use of unconventional decoratives or brilliant messages or a particular type of paper that are used to make the card or anything you are comfortable with.
Develop a habit of keeping a keen eye to what your competitors are upto and learn from their success. Try to incorporate all that captures your attention without making a direct copy. You must empathize with your buyers’ emotions in order to get a better idea of what they want and how to produce them. You can look for online suggestions and inspirations so that your creativity never runs dry.
Disadvantages of starting your own homemade Greeting card business:
The biggest challenge of starting your greeting card business is that you have to come up with new ideas regularly. If you have started this enterprise as a part-time venture and it has grown to an extent that you are not able to handle, you may have to consider hiring a creative mind. It can so happen that you are looking for new prospects or you have an important examination coming in your way, then you will not be able to devote the time it requires.
You cannot depend upon your expertise completely in order to produce new designs and style; it is imperative to pay attention to the current trends that have captured the market. You will always come across some buyers who can’t be pleased and satisfied. If your greeting cards are left in the stock for a long period of time, they may lose their fresh glow and people may decline to buy it. So you will need to invest in proper packaging so that their glamour and beauty remain intact as long as possible.
Prospects and opportunities to come your way:
No matter how much the virtual reality allows people to share images and greetings on special days, there is hardly anyone who would accept the fact that greeting cards have no value. People choose to buy a choicest greeting card and a bunch of flower to dedicate their love to someone even today. So if you make your own cards or own a handmade card business, there is definitely an opportunity for you to earn money and fame. Most card stores in India have witnessed a steady increase in sales of greetings cards in the last two years.
This can be attributed to the relentless choices one gets under each category as well as considerable personalization in cards. For instance, ten years back there were no availability for greetings that dedicated a special message to each member of the family, beloved or a teacher or a special friend except for those cards that belonged to perky corporate houses. But today the local card makers are also paying attention to these details as a result of which the acceptance of greeting cards have risen to a great extent.
So if you can invest your imagination and artistic skills in the right direction, your small business can be transformed into a brand someday and your designer creations would find their place in the lavish stores of a chic shopping mall. There are a few things that are timeless and nothing can deter their effectiveness and success.