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Tweetie Pie
16-12-2002, 11:12 AM
I am getting married and have decided to make my own stationery. Last night I bashed out 10 ideas (first time ever done anything like that!). A few people have said that I should start up on my own. What do you think? See pages 3 and 4: http://groups.msn.com/HitchedGirls/suzannetweetiepie.msnw?Page=1

Louise Coldwell
16-12-2002, 11:50 AM
Hi and Congratulations!!

Have just taken a look and think its fantastic.Very contemporary and modern.Think you should go for it girl!

Maybe try setting up some sort of mail order company,get them photos off to anyone and everyone so the more people see it the better....maybe try approaching local newspapers for advertisments etc....

Maybe putting a portfolio together and getting it round bridal shops etc....that way they end up doing the promo work for you!

I wish you all the very best(for your wedding and the Biz)!

Good Luck and let me know how you get on...

Lou

Tweetie Pie
16-12-2002, 11:58 AM
Thanks Lou! The reason why they're all in gold is because that's my colour theme but obviously I could do others.

Louise Coldwell
16-12-2002, 12:13 PM
I like the cards with the butterflies on....

You could offer the design service to potential brides 2 be....to match thier colour scheme..........I think it will be a success as there arent many companies who offer tailored individual design services and that are hand made.

There is also lots of funding out there if needed re start ups and materials to get you going.......

You should disscuss your idea with someone ie:Business Link etc they are really helpful and informative as helped me out.

Lou

Tweetie Pie
16-12-2002, 12:21 PM
Thanks! I've always wanted to be my own boss. I love doing anything arty/crafty which is probably why I hate my administration job!

matt1905
16-12-2002, 03:49 PM
And once you're going don't forget to utilise the all important Wedding Fairs, afterall that's where I found mine!

Congrats and all.

Tweetie Pie
16-12-2002, 03:57 PM
So do you think I'll have much trade then?

matt1905
16-12-2002, 04:13 PM
Depends on a few factors such as Value for Money, how you market yourself, card designs, flexibility etc etc.

There's definitely a market out there for it but likewise there is also a few companies out there already doing the job. It'll be down to how you compare to them pricewise, what you do different to them, how easily you can tailor yourself to individuals needs.

But if you work hard at it and develop many different designs that can appeal to the masses then there is no reason you cannot succeed.

I am developing something at the moment and am yet to talk to Business Link about it but I will be doing so in the new year. I have already got on a course thanks to Shell-Livewire in January which should push things ahead for myself. Two option you should utilise if you are seriously thinking of giving it a go.

Tweetie Pie
16-12-2002, 04:17 PM
I have been on quite a few courses with business link.

I think I could be quite good at tailoring designs to individual needs.

People at work said that considering its me thats done them they look professional! Thanks guys! I think they meant it better than how it came out!

Zozzy
16-12-2002, 04:18 PM
I think these look great. Oh, and congrats!

One thing to think about is time - how many of invites can you make in a day, and then trying to figure out how much you would need to charge to be profitable, once you've taken into account materials and advertising.

Reckon there's definitely a market though - you could also do a press release to all the wedding magazines and see if you could pick-up free publicity.

Good luck.

Z

matt1905
16-12-2002, 04:18 PM
LOL, yes I'm sure they probably did!

Well keep experimenting with new designs. Of course you could do worse than to look into making cards (B/day, XMAS etc) as well.

Tweetie Pie
16-12-2002, 04:21 PM
Thanks everyone! I've just shown them to my team leader and even she thinks I'm in the wrong job!

Those cards took between 3-15 mins for each one. But saying that it was my first ever time doing anything like that. I really enjoyed doing them

Do you think I should charge by the hour then?

Zozzy
16-12-2002, 04:33 PM
Don't reckon you should charge by the hour, but for your purposes you need to know how many you can make in an hour to know roughly what to charge.

When I bought my wedding invites most companies seemed to charge in groups of 10, so, price for 10,20,30 etc, with a better unit price for the more you order.

You should check out other companies and see what they charge, both big ones, like Debenhams, and then have asurf around and see what other smaller designers are doing.

Guess if you're getting married you've already got some wedding mags - probably worth getting some samples from potential competition.

Z

matt1905
16-12-2002, 04:33 PM
No I'm not sure that would be possible. Every other stationary place I have seen charge by the card but it is normally expensive so you should make a good profit.

What you'd have to do is work out how many you could make in an hour/day/week/month/year as a maximum. Then work out how many you would need to break even on costs such as advertising, materials etc.

From there you can go on to predict the sort of sales you would need to be profitable/enough to live on/enough to expand with/ and of course enough to be successful.

For example if you can make 100 cards a day you may find you'll need to sell:

10 to cover material costs
20 to cover materials and other costs combined
30 to break even
40 to be profitable
50 to be able to cover your living expenses
60 to give you back up funds to expand or use in another way
etc etc

Have a look at other peoples sites and see what they are charging then consider what costs would be applicable to you and try to weigh it all up. Don't panic if this process seems difficult as there are many people out there willing to give you advice.

businesslady1
16-12-2002, 04:34 PM
Hi,

I have just checked your cards and stationery, they're lovely designs, very modern. Congratulations!

I enjoy arts and crafts myself. I have recently been to hobbycraft and they have lots of lovely products.

At the mo, I'm getting into card making (hobby) and have been looking for a good card making set but not found one yet.

Anyways, let us know how you get on and good luck with your venture!

Regards xxx

Tweetie Pie
16-12-2002, 04:38 PM
Thanks everyone! You're all such lovely people!

One thing I'm a bit unsure about is advertising costs - I mean how do know how much I'm going to spend now?

Tweetie Pie
16-12-2002, 04:43 PM
It's so weird you know ..... I've been wanting to start my own business for yonks and yonks. But since planning my wedding I've had so many opportunities thrown in my face!

Been plucking up the courage to start making my invites for ages I thought I'd be rubbish at it! LOL

Zozzy
16-12-2002, 04:46 PM
I've been looking into advertising costs for the business I'm setting up and it's fairly easy to get ideas. Just call the relevant magazines and they will be able to give you a tariff for advertising costs.

It is exciting isn't it.

Must get offline back to real job now .... boring!

Good luck.

Z

matt1905
16-12-2002, 05:11 PM
Phone magazines, ask to speak to their advertising dept and they should be able to supply you with an scc rate (Single Column Centemetre) and other costs such as taking up 1/8 page, 1/4 page, 1/2 page, full page. Ask them about colour as well as this usually costs more, using one colour will be cheaper, any more is classed as full colour and will add a standard set fee on top no matter how many colours you use.

Single Column Centremetre rates basically is how much it will cost you to place an advert in their publication depending on the size. For example if you have an advert that is 10cm tall and would need to fit across 2 columns of their magazine then you would be covering 20scc (10cm tall x 2 columns wide). If their scc rate is 25 then you're looking at a bill of 500 for each insert.

10cm tall x 2 colums wide (20) x 25scc rate = 500

Things like Yellow Pages have advertising costs online which seem to be annual.

Hope this helps.

Tweetie Pie
16-12-2002, 05:14 PM
Cheers!
You lot are so knowledgeable. I wonder if I'll ever be like that.....maybe in 20 years time!

elena
16-12-2002, 06:08 PM
Hi Tweetie pie,

So many replies in one day!! There is definetely an interest in your cards.

I went to have a look at your cards and they are great. (also added a link to my site, cheers!!)

Advertising in magazines is going to be very expensive. I learnt the hard way. You will have to sell loads to cover the cost of the ads. Be very careful as adverts are not always the way forward.

If your working with a small budget how about craft fairs, you will make a mint at some of them. Also target wedding shops, commision your cards at balloon shops, florists. This will be much cheaper and you will hit a more targetted market.

When i finally get my links page up you can promote your cards on my site.

Good luck
Elena
www.oohlalaa.com

matt1905
16-12-2002, 06:09 PM
Nah don't worry, I used to work in advertizzzzzing so I know the background and the rest I pretty much picked up from the Shell Livewire website.

elena
16-12-2002, 06:33 PM
Hi Matt/Tweetie pie

500 for an advert is lots of money. How many cards would you have to sell to cover that cost and make a profit?

Also in many publications you wouldn't get 10cm x 2 columns for that amount. In my experience anyway.

The response rates for adverts are not brilliant unless you keep advertising continuosly and at 500.

What about Pr im in a bride magazine next month and this was free. If it will be any good, I cant say yet. But at least its free.

Im no expert but i have had much more response from pr than from adverts.

But as i have said b4 this is just in my experience.

Elena
www.oohlalaa.com

matt1905
16-12-2002, 06:39 PM
Elena

I agree with you that when starting up this form of business that magazine adverts probably aren't the best, especially as other companies that are already set up are likely to have adverts twice or three times the size of yours.

Best places for a start up are wedding fairs and if you're doing cards as well then craft fairs as they will have a low cost and you know you're going to get something from them. Only downside to this is that you'd need the `gift of the gab' or at least confidence in dealing with the public and the ability to sell your product.

Zozzy
16-12-2002, 06:58 PM
Hi Elena

I've seen a lot of your posts and you seem to be doing a great job with PR - are you doing your own press releases or getting an agency to help?

FOr my business plan I have no money (or v. little) for advertising for the first few months and am going to have to do lots of press releases and try and build a profile this way, but wondered whether it's possible or whether I'll need to pay someone?

Many thanks

Z

elena
16-12-2002, 07:31 PM
Unless you can afford the best i would recommend you dont pay anyone unless you are entirely sure.

To be completely honest the most response from pr I have had is the pr i have done myself. This may because i have lots of enthusiasm and i sell myself with confidence. I dont know.

Lately Ruth Coe which is on this website has been helping me with ideas and has sent some press releases off for me. Im sure this will work.

In the future as im running out of stories i may have to get someone to help with ideas. I need wacky boob stories!!

To start off with you can do your own as you can introduce your company, yourself to the local paper radio. Its after youve done that when it begins to get tuffer as you need to think of other ways of getting press. And im no journo!!

If you want me to look at anything for you and give you my opinion let me know. Im more than happy to help. Everyone else on this site will assist you to.

Thats what were all here for..

Elena
www.oohlalaa.com

Zozzy
16-12-2002, 08:00 PM
Fab - thanks for your offer, and when I have some PR to show it'd be great to run it past people - reckon I'll need all the help I can get!

And I'll try and think of some wacky boob stories!!! Have you got the forward schedules of the major women's mags? I guess you would be able to be an expert voice in any articles they do on size/fashion tips for the larger lady etc.

Z

elena
16-12-2002, 08:06 PM
Where do i get the forward schedules from?

I call the magazines and ask for Who...?

Thanks
Elena
www.oohlalaa.com

Zozzy
16-12-2002, 08:09 PM
I read something the other day that said all magazines have forward schedules that you should be able to get hold of, and then you can try and tailor your pr to any articles that they are doing. I'd start with the editor's PA (listed in most mags) and see if they can point you in the right direction.

Hope this is helpful - haven't tried it myself yet, but sounded good, if it works ...

natalie
16-12-2002, 09:01 PM
I agree with Elena. Advertising is not always the best way to go for new companies as they can be very expensive and not very cost-effective. I placed a series of ads in The Guardian which cost a fortune with no great return. I would definitely think about this very carefully because you will be up against the more established companies and it is very unlikely you will cover the price of the advert!

It is worth trying PR as this is free, but is very time consuming and labourious. However, if you get it right, it could work really well. I had an article written in the Daily Express for free which would've cost me a fortune if I had done it as an advert.

With regards to schedules, you need to either telephone the editor or their assistant and they should send you the features which are coming up.

john.crocker
16-12-2002, 09:50 PM
Hi,

From one card designer to another i would just like to say that your card designs are fantastic. Yes you should start up on your own but get yourself a portfolio together first. You can either specialise in wedding stationary or embark on a whole occassions set. I have to say the simple designs are the best and if you can get your card supplies from warehouse sellers you can cut down on costs but not quality. If you need any help on where to go for suppliers and if you want to bounce any ideas off me then please don't hesitate to drop me aline at maria_crocker@bigfoot.com

Congratulations by the way.

Take Care
Maria Crocker

Tweetie Pie
17-12-2002, 12:03 AM
Hi guys. Thanks to everyone who has responded on here. You have all given me alot to think about that's for sure!
Thanks again.
Wish me luck!
PS: Done one more design tonight and added it on!

Tweetie Pie
17-12-2002, 12:04 AM
Maria I have emailed you. Cheers

Tweetie Pie
17-12-2002, 10:15 AM
I think I'll get more trade if I appeal to everyone - i.e. doing birthdays, and everthing else.

I am in the process now of seeing what my competitors are charging!

Tweetie Pie
18-12-2002, 12:01 PM
Thanks Maria for your help!

I'm getting in contact with my County Council today for funding! I'm so excited.

I think to begin with I won't give up work I'll just do the cards in the evening until I've got a bit of money from it then when it takes off I'll give up work or go part time. What do you think.

Also is there really is there really much money in this? It's just that I have another business idea up my sleeve sort of related which is why I've done the courses with Business Link. I think starting with this could get my foot in the door so to speak with the other idea I have.

webprojectuk
19-12-2002, 04:10 PM
Hi, nice cards. If you got time give it a try or you will never know other wise. Thanks

http://www.webprojectuk.com
info@webprojectuk.com