An invitation business has a vast universe of potential customers, from individuals to corporations to charitable and nonprofit organizations. When creating an invitation business, consider either focusing on a niche market or providing a wide array of services that can be customizable to a variety of consumers.
Determine Your Market
Decide who will want to buy your invitation services. For example, if you focus on wedding invitations, you may target newly engaged couples, wedding or event planners and bridal consulting services. Research the competition to learn what similar services are available, and look for ways to differentiate your invitation business from the fray. For example, you might focus on electronic rather than paper invitations or offer mailing lists or event thank-you cards in coordination with your invitation creation. This will help you set yourself apart from your competitors.
Determine Business Needs
Depending on the size and scope of your invitation business, you may need to purchase equipment and software for manufacturing your paper goods. For example, consider a desktop publishing or graphic design program, high quality printers and paper cutters, customizable templates and a variety of paper stock and designer stationeries. Alternatively, you may find it more cost effective to initially lease design software or equipment and have your invitations printed at a large commercial facility. If your business is online only, Internet marketing is essential. Deciding these characteristics in advance of launching your business can help you maintain focus and allocate human resources and financial capital appropriately.
Create multiple and diverse sample invitations to use as a portfolio for selling your services. Upload templates to your invitation business website, or print a representative range of invitation types in marketing literature such as brochures or fliers. Develop a pricing structure or invitation packages and à la carte invitation offerings so consumers can choose from a variety of products and price points. For example, you might have, on the low end of the spectrum, an email blast invitation service that includes an electronic RSVP feature, all the way through a top-tier custom engraved invitation, response cards and handwritten addresses.
Network and Market
Start promoting your new invitation business by advertising and reaching out to your target demographic. For example, if you specialize in business event invitations, run an ad in your local business magazine or sponsor a chamber of commerce event to get your name into the general business community. Start developing relationships with organizations that regularly use invitation services. Ask for referrals from satisfied customers.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.