Monday, February 27, 2006

Making Computer-Generated Greeting Cards To Sell

A greeting card business is one that you likely never thought about owning. Few people wake up and think that they will begin manufacturing greeting cards. Still, there are some simple steps you can take to get involved in this very lucrative business. We will go over several types of greeting card businesses in a series of articles. In this article, we will tackle creating computer-generated greeting cards as a business proposition.

Computer-generated cards do not have to be ones that you make using a pre-packaged software. Actually, you cannot sell those cards, so do not try it out. If you enjoy creating your own cards from the graphics to the content, then you can create computer generated cards that you can sell online.

First you will need to have a theme for your cards. You may want to go with a certain political theme or a religious one may be more your style. Pick something small to begin, and you can always branch out later. Once you have a theme in mind, you should spend some time coming up with ideas. If you have been a hobby card maker, then coming up with a few card ideas should be no problem at all. Bounce the wording off some friends or people you think will be honest with you. Judge the reactions of people you tell. If they are laughing and the card is meant to be funny, take that as a good sign. You should begin with a small stable of perhaps five to 10 cards.

Before you start to create the art for the cards, you will need to get the photo paper. Your best option here is to go to an office supply store and look around. Look lost if you need to. Do not be afraid to ask question or read the packaging. You need to be sure that you are creating the right image for your cards, and you will need quality paper to do that.

Once you have the paper, you can set up a basic word processing program in many card sizes. You also can get layout software that is not specifically for greeting cards but will permit you to select a greeting card layout. That really is going to be your best bet as far as software is concerned.

After you have laid out the cards, you should print a few and let others critique them. Although greeting card making has been your hobby up until this point, you really should take the time to listen to what other people have to say. If two or three people begin to point out the same problems with the cards or do not understand them, then you want to go back to the drawing board and rework the cards.

After you have the final versions of the cards, you should price them. Add in the paper, ink, and your time. In this theoretical model, you will be making these same greeting cards often enough that you will make back the money for your initial time investment. In the future, when you receive an order, you will print the cards, ship them, and bill the customer.

Be sure that you permit enough time in your schedule to continue to work on new card designs. On the business side, you should see if certain ideas seem to work better (sell better) than others and focus on creating more cards that fit that idea. On the hobby side, you want to leave enough time to work on new ones because you enjoy the art of what you are doing. Take some time to experiment with the card designs and your artwork.

Making greeting cards that you will print can be an amazing process. You will be shocked and very proud when you see that the cards you have made look great and are similar to the ones you find in stores. When you begin shopping them around, be sure to let owners know that you are a card hobbyist who is trying to transform this hobby into a viable business model.

Overall enjoy the card making. That is the most exciting part of the process of being a greeting card business owner.

By Julia Mercer

No comments: