Digital Scrapbooking Business Idea

Start A Scrapbooking Business in 30 Days!

jn7511 2/17/2008

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Business Summary:

The Hobby Business Association states that over 13 million crafters in the U.S. spend some of their spare time working on scrapbooks. This extremely popular pastime has become a viable home-based business, particularly for women at home with small children. For those who enjoy using state-of-the-art technology, digital scrapbooking promises to be a fun and profitable way to take this skill to a new level.

Why go digital? The answer is simple – it’s both cheaper and easier than the traditional scrapbooking methods. You need one of the popular image-editing programs, such as Microsoft Digital Image Pro or Adobe PhotoShop. Then, instead of fussing with cutouts and glue, you can layout your scrapbook pages on your computer screen. You may be surprised at the level of artistry you can achieve without using paper pages.

One of the premier digital scrapbooking companies is Shutterfly. This company provides scrapbooking software free of charge, together with detailed specs for all page layouts. These layouts can be emailed to clients so that they can have input into the scrapbook’s design as you progress. When you start your digital projects, Shutterfly will help with layouts, fonts, and other details. Once you have become proficient in working with digital layouts, and you’ve decided that you’d like to make it your business, you’ll need to do the usual research to determine what the market is for this product in your area. Check with friends, family and other trusted associates. Check the Internet and talk with scrapbooking friends for courses or workshops in digital scrapbooking so you can hone your skills.

There are several ways to get started in the business. You can teach the skill in adult education or at house parties, as long as each participant has a computer loaded with the necessary software. Most digital scrapbookers who start their own businesses make individual scrapbooks for clients and charge for the finished product. These products, done well, are truly works of art – setting prices for them is not easy. Again, this will require research and inquiries of those already working in the field. But the rewards of having your favorite hobby turn into a profitable home-based business are sure to surpass the challenges.

Start Up Cost: $500 – $1,000

Can Be Home Based?: Yes

Can Be Operated Part Time?: Yes

Skills Required:

You should be a creative individual whose talent for digital scrapbooking has been developed through constant self-training, classes, workshops and other learning opportunities. You also need to have a moderate level of technical ability in order to work with fairly complex software. In addition, you’ll need a good business sense, self-confidence, and a flair for promoting your new business.

How Much Can You Earn:

The professional scrapbooker’s earnings will depend on the level of expertise, the type of job, and whether work is part time or fulltime. If you decide to charge by the item, you’ll need to calculate your expenses (website maintenance, business cards, brochures) and be sure that you are making a nice profit over and above these costs. Even on a part-time basis, earnings of $10,000 to $15,000 yearly should be possible.

Understanding Customers:

At first, you can expect your clients to be your friends and neighbors, your relatives, and their contacts. Once your reputation is known and word is spread about your talent, you will gradually acquire more customers. Typical clients will be too busy to organize their photos into a scrapbook or too hesitant to try a project that involves computer skills. They will often want a scrapbook to commemorate a very special occasion – your portfolio should have many examples of such mementos. These customers value home and family – they will want their photos beautifully preserved by someone they can trust. You can convince them that you are that person.

Marketing Strategy:

You will want to develop a great website with examples of your work beautifully displayed. You’ll also benefit from the distribution of brochures (preferably designed and printed by you) to hand out at church, the library, and at craft stores. Small but eye-catching ads in local papers work well, too. Again, having friends and relatives spread news of your business by word-of-mouth is a dependable way to gain customers initially.

Requirements:

You’ll need to get your Assumed Name (or DBA) certificate from your County Clerk’s office. In addition, you’ll need the following:

  • Computer
  • Quikbooks or other bookkeeping software
  • Image-editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop
  • Specialized software for laying out and printing digital scrapbook pages (Shutterfly, Epson)
  • Commercial grade, gloss-coated text weight paper
  • Customizable scrapbook covers in a variety of sizes
  • Brochures and business cards
  • Elegant boxes for presentation to clients

Eventually, plan on adding a website to your other PR efforts.

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