Starting a Greeting Card Business

Looking over the horrible cards in a gift shop will help you realize there is room for someone with a little creativity who is also interested in starting a greeting card business.

If you are creative and can get your thoughts on paper, there is opportunity. According to the Greeting Card Association, this is a 7.5 billion-dollar industry. There are over 2000 greeting card publishers, ranging from major corporations (i.e. Hallmark) to small family-run organizations.

There are a lot of options to get started in the greeting card business. You can be a writer and designer, or you can simply be an independent distributor. Or you can tackle the entire thing and design, publish and distribute your own cards.

There are a lot of “mom-and-pop” businesses who have started in their basements and done pretty well, even though the big guys like Hallmark control a majority of the market.

Another option is to be a freelance designer or writer and you send your work to existing greeting card publishers for a fee.

But if you want to really be on your own, have full control and you have a real knack for creating better cards than the awful ones you see in the stores, I suggest doing the whole thing on your own. You can charge higher prices for your own professionally produced cards. And, again, you are in control.

But there is a lot more to it when you are responsible for running the entire business. But that’s just how it goes when the alternative is working for someone else.

Also, the Internet is opening up the market for greeting card designers and writers with the popularity of e-cards. But sometimes the Internet makes it too easy and there it can become an over-populated crowd.

What skill do you need to start a greeting card business?

Of course, you need to be creative and get your thought onto paper in a creative and meaningful way. It can be a lot of fun. But you also need to have the ability to meet with people and sell your creative products. Although creativity often sells itself, being able to present in a professional manner will only help you succeed.

A sales background could help, but it’s not necessary. Just concentrate on being friendly and respectful of your prospects time and money.

Startup Costs/Equipment

$400 to $5000. You will need a computer, a very high end color printer and basic art supplies. If you are going to print your own cards through a commercial printer, you are looking at a minimum cost of $1,000 just to start up the press.

Digital “On-Demand” printing allows you to print a small amount of cards for much less money than it would cost to print on a traditional press. That way, you can start off printing smaller quantities and test the market before spending a lot on larger printing quantities.