Greeting cards are one of the simplest and most beautiful gifts. Not only do we use them to mark births, deaths, graduations, and anniversaries, but we also can use them to to bring a smile to a loved one’s day.
For many people, they don’t have the creativity, time, or resources to make their own greeting cards, and that’s where a Greeting Card business comes in. If you’re reading this blog, I believe that you want to start a Greeting card business.
In this article, I’ll answer the following questions for you:
- Are greeting cards in demand?
- How does the Greeting Card business make money?
- What are the start-up costs for the Greeting Card business?
- How do I know if the Greeting Card business is a good option for me?
- How to Start a Greeting Card business step by step?
Are Greeting Cards in Demand?
With cell phones and social media taking up so much space in our lives, it’s natural to wonder if people are still interested in greeting cards. The good news is that many people are still enjoy sending and receiving greeting cards.
And for them, the joy of holding a handwritten card is out of the question in times of happiness and sadness.
According to a report by the Greeting Card Association, around 7 billion cards are purchased in the US each year, representing approximately $ 8 billion in retail sales. The average household buys 30 custom greeting cards a year. And out of 10 greeting card buyers surveyed by the association, 7 considered greeting cards almost essential.
As per the report, greeting cards will continue to be in demand. However, I recommend if you plan on selling in your local area that you research and find out how local greeting card sellers are doing. You can also talk to your friends, family, and neighbors to see if they are buying greeting cards and what type of greeting cards they are looking for.
How does the Greeting Card business make money?
There are many ways a greeting card business can make money. You can sell business-to-business (B2B) . In this way, you’d partner with other businesses and sell your business cards in locations like:
- On their store shelves
- To their customers
- Or, within a product/service bundle they’re selling
For example, you could partner with flower boutiques, and when their customers buy flowers bundles, they could also include your cards. With business-to-business, you deal more with bulk orders, and companies want to know you’ll be able to reliably fulfull their recurring bulk orders.
As an alternative, you could also sell your cards business-to-consumer (B2C)–this would mean that you’d be selling your cards directly to people who may want to use them as a gift.Business-to-consumer is typically not as high in bulk as business-to-business, but it can still be a very viable option for building your business.
You can make offline sales through partner stores, malls, or retailers and online sales through email and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also sell premium cards in a boutique. Many customers prefer handmade cards over the printed ones.
In addition to selling cards, you can add designer envelopes and other writing accessories to your line of products.
What are the start-up costs for the Greeting Card business?
The initial cost of a greeting card business can be fairlyly low; However, it depends on how you plan to run the business. Selling cards online can be cheaper than opening a store. Your basic set up costs include:
- Product sourcing
- Talent sourcing
- Designing and publishing tools
- Print costs
- Equipment costs
- and, optionally, Resale licenses to buy cards at wholesale prices
You may also need to invest in the following equipment to operate your greeting card business.
- High-quality color printer
- A website
- E-commerce functionality
- Desktop publishing software
- Email marketing software to maintain mailing lists
How do I Know the Greeting card business is a good option for me?
Do you love making cards, or do you feel like you have a knack for picking out cards consumers would like to buy? If so, then you may do good in the greeting card business.
A greeting card business can be grown into a large scalable endeavor, or it could be a route to making extra income as an extension of your hobby. Whether you’re looking to grow a large scale business or just make a side hustle income doing something you lovea greeting card business might be a good option for you.
How to start a Greeting card business step-by-step
Here, I’ve rounded up the simple steps from planning to making money so you can get the business up and running.
1. Create a Business Plan
A business plan can help you sail through your start-up journey smoothly. Before you start selling your products, you need to determine critical business aspects like your brand name, target customers, pricing and advertising strategy, mode of operations, and many other things. Let us understand each one of these:
Your target customers
Who do you want to sell your cards to? Do you want to cater to weddings and birthdays, or do you want to sell cards for every occasion? Do you want to sell printed or handmade cards? Would you sell cards in bulk to retailers and other resellers, or will you sell to individual customers?
You can choose to sell at trade shows and special events only. Knowing your target market can help you set realistic business goals, competitive pricing, and marketing efforts through the correct channels.
How would you like to finance your business? You would need money to cover the start-up costs. How are you going to set up a business, get greeting cards, and buy tools?
Do you want to invest some of your savings? or ask for a loan?
It is important to analyze your finances and invest accordingly. I recommend you consult a financial expert before choosing the funding model.
Prices and services
You should price your cards in a way that covers your expenses and make profits. The prices can vary according to the occasion, size, and design of the cards. It’s good to study the existing sellers’ pricing strategy and set competitive prices for your greeting cards accordingly.
Marketing and advertising
There are many greeting card providers in your area. How do you make sure that your customers are informed about your business? You have to invest in marketing your greeting cards, and in my opinion, a website is a must for that. A catchy brand name with a well-designed website can attract a lot of customers.
You can also reach your customers through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. All you need to do is post high-quality pictures of your greeting cards with attractive captions and hashtags. Customers looking for greeting cards can easily find your page if you use the right social media tricks.
But, before that, set a goal and budget for your online and offline marketing initiatives and ensure that they generate quality leads for your business.
You are setting up this business to make money out of it. But how much money should be enough to stay in it? You need to set an income goal for your business and work towards it. A clear objective and income targets can help you keep a check on your finances, operations, promotions, and sales.
Now that you know what to include in a business plan, click here to download our free business plan template.
What after you have made a plan?
It is critical to establish a legal business entity to save yourself from personal liability if your business gets into legal trouble. You can choose to set up your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited company.
If you are still confused, turn to legal services such as Incfile and Swyft Filings for the best way to start up, and help with incorporating. They also keep the records, help you with the annual reporting, payment of taxes, and other legal requirements you may need to keep your business running.
Get licenses and permits
Depending on your state government, you may or may not need licenses and permits to operate your greeting card business. Terms,conditions and fees may vary depending on the location and type of incorporation. Remember, not getting these licenses can lead to legal issues.
Click here to learn more about your state licensing requirements.
3. Build a Website and Social Media Presence
Since more people are discovering products and services online, it’s a good idea to build a website. Greeting cards are exchanged for their designs and messages. When buying greeting cards, people look for specific types of images and text.
Your website and social media accounts make it easy to display your designs and attract customers to your page. If you are concerned about building a website, I recommend the following:
●Bigscoots Hosting: Provides you with custom WordPress hosting plans that will make it quick and easy to store your content securely.
●Leadpages: It provides a landing page builder so you can design your greeting card website in a way that gets visitors to take action.
4. Map your Customer Journey
While a website is a must, it is critical to map your customers’ buying journey online and offline. Your customers may visit your website but buy from other stores.
Understanding their preferences is the key:
- What types of cards do they search for?
- Are your customers making an online purchase?
- Do they prefer handmade cards over the printed ones?
- What kind of envelopes do they look for?
- Are your customers interested in lengthy texts or smaller ones?
Studying your customers’ buying journey will help you understand them better and reach them with the right offers.
5. Get More People to Know About Your Business
So, you are ready with your brand name, logo, business plan, and all the licenses and permits. You have also crafted a beautiful website. Now, how do you let people know about your business?
The internet has made it easier to reach your target customers. However, getting these customers to your website or store is a challenge.
According to a report by IBISWorld, There are 1,236 Online Greeting Card businesses in the US as of 2021. How do you make sure your customers find you? Here are some tips to help more people learn about your business.
- Keep getting people to know about you
- Make special offers that keep customers coming back
- Optimize your website to rank high in the SERPs
- Promote your cards on social media. Create quality content on places like Facebook and Instagram
- Ask your family and friends to tell others about what you’re doing
- Share your website and social media accounts
- Connect with gifts and cards retailers and offer them a bulk discount
- Put up your kiosk in fairs and community events
- Ask your customers to write feedback and recommendations
There are many more ways you can promote your business. Schedule a Free Consultation to understand how to make more people familiar with your business. Also, check out our Star-tup Entrepreneur’s Toolkit.
6. Sell Your Product or Service
Selling becomes easy with proper business planning. Nonetheless, it’s essential to choose the right sales channel for your business. Software such as ThriveCart E-commerce and Shopify E-Commerce provide a convenient platform for selling online. You can use them to set up an online store, upload pictures and descriptions of your cards, attract customers and make sales.
These steps can help you achieve your income goals. But it shouldn’t stop there. In today’s highly competitive world, you need to keep improving your process to meet your business objectives. Here are some things to do consistently:
- Evaluate and set goals and a plan
- Promote your greeting cards consistently
- Maintain the legal and financial requirements of your local area
- Improve the design and quality of your cards as you get customer feedback
Note that there are already many greeting card providers out there. To be successful in this business, you need to stand out with your cards. Your cards need to be unique and add value to customers. For example, there is a high trend towards music cards or a card with LED lights. Additionally, environmentally conscious customers want handcrafted greeting cards that can be recycled.
You need to do your research and find out what your existing competitors and sellers are missing in their offerings. Maybe you can make that your niche.
Making cards for your family and friends is different from running a greeting card business. You must have sufficient time and dedication to design and ship each greeting card order. If you’re determined to take off from here, don’t miss out on our free consultation. Book here to speak with a marketing pro about the next steps. Quality mentorship can help you sail through the tough times as an entrepreneur.