Set up a stationary business.
In today’s fast-paced world, people are often too busy to take the time to pay attention to detail. Everyone is in a rush, and the important things are often overlooked. When a birthday, holiday or even a wedding come around, the average person doesn’t have the time to search for that perfect gift, card or invitation. Stopping at the local convenience store to quickly pick up a generalized item for this occasion is impersonal but not uncommon.
1. Research the types of printing processes. Laser printing, letterpress, engraving, calligraphy and foil stamping are popular options. Also, it is important to test many textures and types of paper, such as matte, gloss, photographic, cotton, vellum, linen and recycled. Choose those that suit you best.
2. Create a business plan with goals. Where would you like your business to be in 5 years? Most lending institutions will require a business plan so that they know what you are going to do with the money before they lend to you.
3. Purchase the items you will need for your business. Equipment is the most important and biggest investment. You will need to have a computer, printer, letterpress, templates, stamps and embosser, depending on what type of stationary items you plan to sell. Also handy to have is packaging supplies, a digital camera and an answering system (or voicemail). Of course, you must have paper and ink. Purchase a graphic design software program to start creating your designs and ideas. Popular programs are Adobe Photoshop, Paintshop Pro and CorelDRAW Graphics Suite.
4. Create many samples of your work and a website. On the site, include an “About Me” page that includes the types of stationary that you offer. Upload photos of your samples. Make sure to include a privacy clause to ensure that the customer’s information will always be handled with the utmost confidence. It is crucial to note that you can personalize your stationary to match a customer’s specific needs.
5. Contact USPS, FedEx or UPS to determine costs and pick-up/delivery times. Set up an account, if possible, to guarantee fast, convenient shipping. You may be offered a discounted price for a bulk amount of orders.
6. Start advertising your business. You can place an ad in your local paper, Cragislist, eBay, Yellow Pages and Etsy.com, which is an online homemade goods marketplace. Always remember, your best customers will come from word-of-mouth and referrals, so excellent customer service will ensure that you are in business for many years to come.