Starting a business takes hard work and determination, but it is possible to turn your hobby into a profitable home-based business endeavor. This can be an excellent way to achieve financial independence while juggling the demands of raising a family.
1. Decide What Type of Scrapbook Business You Want to Start
Essentially, scrapbook career opportunities fall into one of two categories: selling supplies or scrapbooking for others.
Selling Scrapbook Supplies
Selling scrapbook supplies as a consultant for a direct sales company is often the easiest path to starting your scrapbook business. Start up costs are minimal, and many companies don't require you to purchase any inventory. However, you'll typically only make a 10 to 30 percent profit on the merchandise you sell. If you're interested in becoming a direct sales consultant, check out the following links for additional information:
- Creative Memories: A longtime leader in the scrapbooking industry, Creative Memories continually adapts its product selection to fit current trends.
- Close to My Heart: With a full range of scrapbook supplies as well as organizational tools, Close to My Heart's selection will appeal to both novice and experienced scrapbookers alike.
- Stampin' Up: Stampin' Up focuses on providing customers with rubber stamps and accessories that can be used to create scrapbook pages, as well as other paper crafting projects.
- Heritage Makers: This company isn't quite as well known but is unique in that it offers photo gifts, home decor, and greeting cards in addition to scrapbooking supplies.
Scrapbooking for Others
Many people who want to preserve their photos find scrapbooking to be intimidating. By designing premade scrapbook pages, you'll offer an easy way for your customers to create a treasured family keepsake. All they'll need to do is add their own photos and journaling to your layouts. Alternatively, you could ask customers to provide you with their photos and journaling so you could assemble the entire book on your own.
2. Fund Your Business
Scrapbooking businesses are popular because they generally tend to require minimal startup costs. For example, the lowest priced kit for a new Heritage Makers consultant was just $25 as of December 2016.
If you wish to begin a home-based scrapbook business with higher start up costs, you have a few different options to consider:
- Credit cards are a common method of funding small business ventures, but this approach can be risky due to the high interest rate.
- Borrowing money from friends and family might be an option to consider, but you'll need to come up with clear expectations for how to repay the loan.
- If you have support from your spouse, selling items of value or taking out a home equity loan can provide you with the cash you need to get started.
Regardless of the funding option you choose, it's best to keep your start up expenses to a minimum. Buy only the essentials, then continue to invest your earnings in growing your business.
3. Decide How You Want to Sell Your Merchandise
Home parties, home business fairs, craft shows, and e-commerce sales are the most common ways to sell merchandise in a home-based scrapbook business.
Direct sales consultants often sell their merchandise through home parties. You can host parties in your own home or recruit friends, family, and past customers to host on your behalf.
Home Business Fairs
Home business fairs are events where direct sales representatives from different companies each have a table in a large venue. Interested customers can go from booth to booth to learn more about the various products being sold. This approach to selling your scrapbook supplies can be useful if you're also interested in recruiting new representatives to serve as part of your personal downline.
If you are selling pre-made scrapbook pages or taking orders for custom scrapbooks, you may want to consider renting a booth at a local craft show. This approach provides easy access to a large number of people who are interested in buying handmade goods.
If you live in a rural area or find yourself in need of a flexible business opportunity, selling your merchandise online is a great option. Consider the following ideas:
- Build your own website.
- Purchase a pre-designed website from a direct sales company.
- Sell on eBay.
- List pre-made pages on Etsy.
4. Segment Your Customer Base and Develop an Advertising Strategy
Identifying your customer base is a key component of any business venture. Your scrapbook business might target:
- Newlyweds who want a wedding scrapbook
- Parents of young children who want a cute way to show off their favorite baby photos
- Avid travelers who wish to document their adventures
- Grandparents who want to provide their grandchildren with a keepsake that tells their family's story
Once you've narrowed down your customer base, you can work on developing an advertising strategy and choosing products that will appeal to each target audience you've selected. For example, if you'd like to focus on scrapbooks for parents, advertising your services near child care centers, playgrounds, and other places parents of young children are likely to frequent is a smart move. You'll want to stock products with a bright, playful feel and focus on ways to make the scrapbooking experience less overwhelming for time-strapped parents.
5. Make It Legal
When starting your scrapbook business, there are several legal requirements you'll need to consider.
Turning your love of scrapbooking into a profitable business will require keeping diligent records. When you run a home-based business, the IRS will expect you to report all income and expenses. To comply with these guidelines, it's very important to develop an accurate and easy-to-use filing system. Consult an experienced accountant if you have questions about how your scrapbook business will affect your tax liability or need assistance preparing the Schedule C.
Cardstock, patterned paper, and vellum are expensive and very easily damaged. If you're running a digital scrapbooking business, your computer, software, scanner, and printer will easily be worth several thousand dollars. Since most homeowner's insurance policies have limits on the amount of business equipment they will cover, it's a good idea to speak to a qualified insurance agent to determine what additional insurance coverage is best for your business needs.
Licenses and Permits
Some areas have minimal regulations on home-based businesses, while others have much more stringent requirements in regards to licenses and permits. Contact your county courthouse and local zoning board to see what city, county, and state laws you must follow.
6. Take It One Day at a Time
Entrepreneurship is challenging, so don't get discouraged if your scrapbook business encounters obstacles in the early stages. Adjust your business plan to meet these challenges head on and get ready to see your dreams turned into reality.