At Business Cards Maker, we commonly receive requests associated with Greeting Cards and Greeting Cards Creation for Professionals. At the moment we are only supplying business card designs that you can easily make and sell to your customers. Nonetheless, to help our users who are looking to Start-up a new activity by selling greeting cards, we have built this guide.
1. Hire a Graphic Designer or Be the Graphic Designer
If you are looking to start a greeting card company without any skills or knowledge of design, then we suggest you hire a graphic designer with some experience with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Adobe has the most commonly used tools to build design assets and therefore this should be the best fit for your Greeting Card business.
In fact, hiring someone full-time can be costly to a newly created company that doesn’t have a portfolio or a customer-base. There are some options to handle this situation:
- Hire a Graphic Designer Locally as a Part-Time. Put a Job description on Craigslist and wait for candidates. Interview and offer them a part-time job.
- Hire Graphic Designer on Upwork on a Milestone Basis – Upwork is an online platform full of artists worldwide. You can hire a designer with experience in greeting cards creation to complete a single or multiple jobs and you will only have to pay when the work is completed.
- Enroll in some online courses on design through Udemy to better use Adobe tools and use available templates online to build your greeting cards.
The above suggestions are given assuming that you are not a Graphic Designer. Alternatively and if you are familiar with Adobe Tools, you can actually subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud Tools for roughly 25$ per month (stay tuned with Black Friday Discounts on Adobe as they have top deals for new subscriptions and upgrades). You can also obtain discounts if you are a student.
2. Visit other Greeting Cards Company
This may seem unethical for many but if you are paving the ground for your company’s success then you need to learn from the best. Find out on your local areas the best Greeting Cards companies and visit them. See their portfolios and ask for quotations. This will help you both in understanding the quality you should aim to have on your art and the pricing level you can apply to your own products.
3. Build a Demo Portfolio
You need to show your first customers what your company is capable to do and how it could outperform the competition. Therefore, it is important to build a portfolio of suggested greeting cards. Aim to create a wide range of samples and segment these samples according to their category (wedding invitations; birthday greetings, wedding anniversary, friendship, love, Christmas, Mother’s Day and others that you would like to target).
Alternatively, you can focus your business in one of these segments only: wedding invitations, for instance, is a fairly large niche.
4. Find the best greeting cards printing partner
At this stage, it is not recommended to buy printing machines as you will face very high upfront costs without knowing the full potential of the business. Finding a printing company with experience in printing greeting cards is the best solution. Visit up to 5 printing companies in your local area and get the best quotations for long-term cooperation. Don’t be afraid to tell them that you don’t have customers. As an initial order, buy from the best company your printed demo portfolio. Keep in mind the following factors when selecting a greeting card printing company:
- Price – It’s always important to make sure you can build good margins.
- Quality – Finishing and overall quality of the product is key.
- Delivery Speed – Your clients will always expect speed. Therefore, make sure that the printing company can handle tight deadlines.
- Precision – Having errors in the greeting cards can be very costly for your company. Imagine that they print 300 wedding invitations wrongly: what a nightmare. Therefore, make sure the precision is guaranteed.
- Paper Quality – You need to be sure that the printing company has the right paper quality for the type of greeting cards you are offering. Eventually, you need to keep in mind that Wedding Invitations are bolder and have a stronger paper while birthday invitation cards or other greeting cards can be lighter.
5. Setup an Online Store to sell Greeting Cards
Having a Website is always important to display your products and portfolio. We suggest you build an online store with Shopify – It’s easy and you can do it yourself. If you face any difficulties in creating an online store, you can watch a couple of YouTube videos and get it ready to go. Make sure you organize the store in the best and most segmented way such that even a 5-year old or a 95-year old can easily navigate.
Lastly, don’t forget to enable online payment options. It’s always nice to get paid before the work is done.
6. Setup your Physical Store
You can start a greeting card business from home, but I’m sure that you can also find a small shopping center near your home where you can display the portfolio and contact potential customers. At this stage, you won’t need a big store.
7. Go to each and every Fair and Event
The Greeting Card Business can be well integrated into several events. Wedding planning events, birthday planning events or bridal fairs can always get you customers and new orders. Position your brand and distribute leaflets on these fairs.
8. Build Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram Profiles
Be bold and update frequently your social networks. If you believe you can target your customers through these channels, build also advertising campaigns to sell pre-made or custom-made greeting cards.
9. Sell Pre-Made Greeting Cards on Card Stores
There are several types of stores that always need card stores. Flower Shops, Wedding related stores or souvenir shops are always great places where you can go and sell your better-looking greeting cards.
10. Build deals with other agents
Find complementary services related to your greeting cards. For instance, Wedding Cards are always demanded by couples who are also looking for Video Recording for their Wedding or people who are looking for a hall to host the wedding. Build commission-based deals for referrals from complementary services. Take this opportunity to build also a reciprocal deal: if customers reach you regarding greeting cards, make sure you can also refer them to other services and get a commission on the referral.
11. Build your Mailing List to sell Greeting Cards
E-Mail Lists are quite important if you want to get your customer’s attention. There are some ways you can build your e-mail list:
- Ask for e-mails during events and fairs in exchange for a discount or a freebie
- Ask for e-mails from your existing customers to e-mail them in important events (Christmas Time, Valentines Days, Father’s or Mother’s Day). Recurring Sales are a great type of income when there are lower seasons of new customers.
So, what are going to be your costs to start a greeting card business?
- Adobe Cloud Tools: 25$/month or Freelancer (depends on the volume of work)
- Accounting & Other Software Costs: 50$/month
- Website Cost: 10$/month
- Demo Portfolio: 500$/year
- Rent: 200-2.000$ month (totally dependent on the location)
So, this business following the above guidelines can cost you at least 785$ on the first month and 285$ in the following months.
Here is an infographic with the most important details to get your greeting card business running: