Non Standard Leadership Techniques

Starting a Successful Creative Scrapbooking Business, Part II

Michele Cardello asked:

It’s ironic; what makes a creative scrapbooking business unique attractive to entrepreneurs seeking a work-at-home venture is also what makes it so incredibly challenging. After all, there are no definitive “rules” when it comes to pricing your scrapbook creations or determining where and how to advertise your services.

However, there are general business planning techniques you can use as a starting point to give your creative scrapbooking company the best chance of long-term success.

Setting Your Creative Scrapbooking Price Rates

Whether you specialize in wedding scrapbooks, memory scrapbooks, award/honor scrapbooks, or other creative scrapbooking creations, you’ll need to develop a price guideline. Otherwise, it will be difficult to negotiate with clientele.

Determining your creative scrapbooking business price guideline may seem daunting at first blush, but it’s actually not that complicated when broken down into “bite sized” pieces.

Hourly Rates or Standard Price per Scrapbook?

First, you’ll need to determine whether you want to set prices per project or per hour.

One huge advantage to charging per creative scrapbooking project is that consumers are accustomed to paying for products this way. After all, people don’t purchase a pair of shoes based on how long it took a cobbler to make them; they simply look at the price tag or retail value and decide if they feel it’s a worthwhile investment.

That being said, setting a price per creative scrapbooking project may not always be beneficial for you. If you discover you’re spending inordinate amounts of time on each scrapbook you create, your originally quoted price might not match your efforts. (Remember the old adage: Time is Money.)

Essentially, you can expect to experiment with your creative scrapbooking cost methods at first. Perhaps with some clients, you could offer a “per project” rate, but with others, you might try an hourly approach. There’s no “right or wrong” process–you simply want to find the best one for your creative scrapbooking business.

Remember to Consider “Hidden Costs”

Before “going public” with your scrapbook price structure, make sure you’ve accounted for the many costs (both direct and indirect) associated with owning a creative scrapbooking business. Be certain to include the amount you expect to spend on basic creative scrapbooking supplies such as specialty paper, a scrapbook, adhesives, stickers, markers, and fabrics.

Add into your creative scrapbooking price figures telephone calls, mileage (if you’ll travel for consultations), babysitting costs, and any overhead.

At this point, your initial price estimates may seem too high or low. Consequently, you can modify them accordingly, although you should never underestimate what people will pay for a one-of-a-kind scrapbook.

Selling Your Creative Scrapbooking Services

You’ve determined your basic scrapbook price. Creative scrapbooking supplies are on hand and on order. You’re organized, primed, and ready to go. But wait! You still need to attract that first key customer.

Advertising and marketing are stumbling blocks for many creative scrapbooking business start-ups; consequently, plenty of scrapbook enthusiasts shy away from becoming entrepreneurs because they assume they’ll never be able to publicize their talents. However, if you approach the selling of your creative scrapbooking services pragmatically, you’ll have an excellent chance of attracting clientele.

Initially, you may want to try a technique that has worked for many other creative scrapbooking aficionados – scrapbook “parties”. These get-togethers are akin to the “tupperware” gatherings made famous in the 70s. Put simply, a friend offers to host a scrapbook party at his or her residence for several persons interested in the world of creative scrapbooking.

Your role at the scrapbook party will be to introduce them to creative scrapbooking and to talk about what you can do for them. Obviously, it will be crucial to bring along business cards (why not design handmade “mini scrapbook cards” for the occasion?) as well as sample scrapbooks you’ve created. Coupons for discount scrapbook services make nice add-ons and will encourage scrapbook party guests to hire you. From this party, you can expect to get a few “nibbles” and perhaps one or two customers.

Naturally, it’s essential to do a fabulous job on your first scrapbook assignment. You must give it “your all”; that way, your client will have a reason to brag about and show off your customized (and exceptional) creative scrapbooking services to friends, family, and coworkers. You can also use your satisfied customer (if he or she agrees) as a “spokesperson” for your creative scrapbooking business in future advertising campaigns.

Next … Beyond Marketing 101

In the final article of our three-part creative scrapbooking business piece, we’ll examine particularly creative scrapbooking business marketing ideas and provide hints on running your creative scrapbooking company wisely, ethically, and efficiently.

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