Greeting cards and scrapbooking are a huge industry. The US scrapbooking industry has now reached $7 billion. This has happened since the first modern scrapbooking store was opened in 1981. In the UK every year the average person receives 55 cards. That figure is only slightly lower in the US.
These are massive markets and you can become involved in them part time to start with and then build it up to full time if you really like it. There are a large number of different ways to sell the products and services related to papercrafting and some will suit you better than others.
Supplying local shops on a sale or return basis can work very well if you like designing cards. This will mean you need to come to an agreement with each shop on a per card or percentage basis.
You will need to write an invoice with the cards you have supplied to the shop and the terms that have been agreed. You can return every few weeks to re-stock and collect payment. It should be possible to get into a routine.
You could supply a large number of different stores in your area with cards providing you are imaginative and can find ways of designing cards that suit their style. The important thing to remember is that a traditional shop will want traditional cards and a modern shop will favour very modern cards. Try to design for the outlet.
A large number of people like handmade cards. It is important that they are well presented and if you do scrapbooking as well or you are prepared to make invitations etc be sure to have a label on the back of each to let people know how to contact you.
Another way to get yourself known is to have a market stall or car boot sales. You will want to bring a large variety of different cards to suit all the types of people that may be there. You will want to have signs made beforehand giving prices. Try buy 3 get one free. Also buy 10 get 5 free.
Check the prices of cards in your area to decide on a price for selling your own. Price yours so that they reflect the fact that they are handmade but are also competitively priced for the area. It is also an opportunity of getting your name known in the area which is an added benefit to you.
Always have a genuine competition for your purchasers or anyone interested to enter. Have the prize on display. This is useful for collecting details for keeping in touch with your customers. You may want to have a prize draw every quarter or even monthly. Find out how they prefer to be contacted. Either by post or email are ideal. If you want to give customers a discount coupon to be used by a certain date this will encourage website sales and give publicity to your website.
Giving details to everyone of all the services you provide is useful because if you are friendly people will be more likely to contact you in future. Keep in touch by email with your special offers.
Another way to promote your business locally is to team up with non-competing crafts such as cake making and pottery painting businesses to hire an inexpensive area and have a Craft Day locally. Be sure to distribute flyers giving locals the information in plenty of time.
Design cards to show your style and display them in the library or supermarkets to find new customers. Be sure to let them know the sort of paperwork projects you are prepared to undertake for them.
As soon as you have happy customers ask them if they will provide you with a testimonial. This is important and can be used in your advertising . You must get their permission first. This is second only to personal referrals for encouraging prospective customers to give you a try.
A really good idea is to start a new customer relationship by pointing out that you expect them to be so delighted with the service you provide that they will refer you to 5 friends as as a result.
They will be reassured about the effort you will make for them and expect to be asked in future if they know anyone else that may benefit.
There are companies that you can be a company representative for but these each have different requirements and with some you need to buy a certain amount every month. Always understand what you are committing to before signing up.
You need to have your own marketing plan that suits your circumstances and the time you have available. If you decide to expand your business you can do that when it suits you and when you have the funds available.
It is best to start small and not commit too much too soon. There are a lot of online scrapbook and card making opportunities available also. eBay is one.