You can turn your interest in the greeting card and invitation industry into an operating business by creating a solid business plan. With careful planning and attention to detail, your business plan should provide a customer profile, financial outlook and sales and marketing strategies. “As a selling tool, your business plan should sell others on your business...” says Los Angeles writer Karen Klein. It is designed to help you secure money from banks and investors, and by following a basic outline your business can become a reality.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Personal computer
- Word-processing software
- Spreadsheet software
Write an executive summary. Develop two to three paragraphs. Write your greeting card and invitation company mission, vision for the future and product information. Use clear language. An example sentence might read, “ABC greeting card and invitations will offer customers a wide range of decorative, funny, greetings.” Or you could write, “We are a company that is looking to expand our greeting card market to include...”
Write a company description. Write the location of your greeting card and invitation business and include a brief overview of your hours of operation. Here's an example: “ABC greeting cards and invitations will open Monday through Friday during the hours of 9am to 5pm. We are located in the downtown district and cater to…”
Write a customer analysis summary. Research and gather information on your customers and their buying habits as this will help clarify your niche, according to Campuslibrary. Write a two- to three-paragraph summary of your findings. Use relevant statistics. An example sentence might read, “Due to the 50% increase in weddings, corporate events and birthday celebrations, customers are buying more greetings cards and invitations each year.”
Write a products section. Include the pricing information for your greeting cards and invitations. Create a list and write a narrative statement explaining to the reader your pricing strategy. You could write, “ABC executive line of greeting cards will be priced from £3.20 to £6.50, the price reflecting our top-of-the-line item.”
Create a marketing summary. List three to four marketing methods. Include a narrative statement for each. For example, you could write, “Our marketing campaign will include social media websites and special e-mail invitations to potential customers.” Describe other methods such as business cards, web banners, word of mouth and events.
Create a budget spreadsheet. Include all costs associated with your greeting card and invitation business. Include the cost of supplies, printing costs, rent, staff payroll, utilities, telephones and marketing costs. For start-ups, you can estimate. Include any donated equipment or volunteer time and include a line for start-up capital.
Tips and warnings
- Proofread and spell check the business plan for clarity.
- Include a table of contents.
- Some business start-ups hire an accountant to draft a financial projection forecast.
- Add an appendix section for research items like articles and handouts.
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