There are many challenges to overcome when starting a greeting card company, and you'll make some mistakes along the way. Knowing some of the common mistakes, however, will help you maneuver around the pitfalls. Here are 3 mistakes to be avoid when starting out:
1. Mediocre Writing
If you're starting a greeting card company, you're either a writer or are passionate about cards. Either way, it's important to think about your cards as products and not just a creative outlet. Your writing has to be high quality if you want to have a competitive advantage. This may require finding more skilled writers, and you can find them by posting job ads on websites, such as www.craigslist.com, or bidding websites, such as www.guru.com. Some writing tips to keep in mind are:
- Stay away from cliches, unless you're using them for humor
- Use poetry sparingly
- Personalize the message as much as possible
- Make sure your ideas flow well and that the message is well written
If you're hired to write specialty cards, make sure that you follow the guidelines, and deliver nothing but quality writing to your customers.
2. Not Asking for Referrals
If your greeting card company offers a writing service to business owners and individuals, you'll want to ask for referrals from existing and past customers. Form the habit of asking potential and existing customers for the names and contact information of others who might be interested in your company. Ask them to call their contact on your behalf, to let them know that you'll be calling. This ensures that the person who is being referred is expecting your call, and therefore will be more open to hearing from you and learning more about your company. Getting referrals will help spread the word about your company, and is an effective way to find more customers.
3. Not Marketing Online
Many small greeting card companies take the step of hiring someone to design their website, but a common mistake is to ignore online marketing. You should avoid the mistake of not engaging in ongoing Internet marketing to find customers, and network with distributors and others that might carry your product. Some of the online marketing activities that you should be doing on a daily, weekly or monthly basis are:
- Building your email subscriber list
- Sending out emails or newsletters to subscribers
- Posting tweets on Twitter
- Starting and managing discussions on Facebook
- Networking with industry leaders on LinkedIn
- Participating in high traffic forums that serve your niche market
- Leaving comments on high ranking blogs in the industry or that cater to your target audience
- Writing articles for your website
- Writing and submitting press releases for distribution online
- Getting involved online with the Greeting Cards Association
- Pitching your cards to already established online stores
You can grow your business faster and boost sales by doing more online marketing activities on a regular basis. Create your own list of marketing "to-dos," and schedule time to get it done.
A greeting card company, like any other business, needs to meet the needs of customers and generate sales. Avoiding these 3 mistakes can help your business become profitable.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.