How to Start a Scrapbooking Business

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Quick Reference

Scrapbooking is a popular way to store memories in creative ways.   If you enjoy scrapbooking and think that you have an artistic eye, a scrapbooking business may be a great option for you.  You can start it with very little money and make a living doing something you enjoy.

Business Overview

Many people want to organize their memories into scrapbooks, but either don’t have the time or just don’t have the creativity to make something aesthetically pleasing.  A scrapbooking business takes a customer’s photos and other memorabilia and creates a scrapbook for them that they can enjoy for years to come.  Scrapbooks for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, vacations and other are common.

Industry Summary

According to IBIS World, the online hobbies and craft supplies sales market is $15.1 billion in 2021 and has grown at 8% per year for the last five years.  Scrapbooking supplies are a part of that, indicating that interest in scrapbooks still exists.  The industry is somewhat sensitive to economic fluctuations because scrapbooking is not a necessary expense.

Industry Trends

Scrapbooking is popular among all ages, according to the Craft industry Alliance.  Scrapbooking was a huge craze in the early 2000s but has been less popular in recent years.  Digitalization is a likely reason, so there is an opportunity now for digital scrapbooking.  You may be able to offer both physical and digital scrapbooking to customers if you have computer skills.

Target Market

Your target market will be anyone with an interest in scrapbooks, particularly families with children.  Digital scrapbook customers are likely to be younger people.  Wedding scrapbooks are also very popular, so people with upcoming weddings are an excellent target market.

Skills, Experience, and Education Useful in Running a Scrapbooking Business

There are several specific skills that you will need to open a scrapbooking business.

  • Creativity.  You need to have a good artistic eye to create aesthetically pleasing scrapbooks.
  • Technical experience.  If you want to create digital scrapbooks, you should be able to utilize online tools and software.
  • Business knowledge and experience.  You will need to have at least some basic knowledge of marketing, finance/accounting, and human resources.
  • Customer service. You’ll need to be able to build rapport with your customers so that you retain them as customers and gain repeat business and referrals.

Costs to Start a Scrapbooking Business

Here are the typical costs you will face when you open a scrapbooking business.

  • Setting up a business name and corporation costs approximately $200.
  • Business cards, brochures, postcards for marketing $200 – $300
  • Website setup $100 –$200 for a basic, do it yourself website, $1000 – $2000 for a professional site
  • Scrapbooking supplies such as albums, paper, scissors, stickers, stamps, adhesives, etc. $500
  • Software for digital scrapbooks $200
  • Liability insurance, worker’s comp, property-casualty insurance $200 – 300
  • Initial marketing such as Facebook ads or search engine optimization for your website, flyers, and postcards, $500 -$1000

Steps to Starting a Scrapbooking Business

Step 1: Write your Business Plan

After coming up with the idea, the next step in starting your scrapbooking business should be to write a business plan.  The business plan will make you focus on some important aspects of the business, such as who your customers are, how you plan to reach them, projecting sales and expenses, your value proposition to use for marketing, and more. You’ll also need to do some research to calculate exactly what your startup expenses will be and what your ongoing expenses will be.

Not only will a bank require you to have a business plan if you need financing, but multiple studies have shown that having a good business plan increases the odds of starting a successful business. Writing the plan helps you to think through all the aspects of the business and then serves as a guide as you begin.

How to write a business plan
Free sample business plans

Step 2: Name the Business

Finding the perfect scrapbooking business name can be challenging. Not only does the name have to reflect what you do and be appealing to customers, but it also has to be available to use. You can check your state’s website to see if the name is available and register your name.  Your name should make you stand out, reflect your brand, and tell potential customers exactly what you do.

Step 3: Form a Business Entity

A business entity refers to how a business is legally organized to operate. There are four primary business entities to choose from, which include a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC).  Each type of entity has its own pros and cons, such as liability exposure, costs, and administrative requirements.

RelatedComparison of Business Entities

Step 4: Select your Location

You can run your scrapbooking business from your home, so you don’t necessarily need a separate location unless you choose to sell scrapbooking supplies in a shop.

Related: Choosing a business location

Step 5: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

You may need to obtain certain business licenses and permits. These permits and licenses can vary based on the state and town where the business is located. Some cities and towns require licensing for home businesses, so be sure to check before starting.

Some other common local, state, and federal registrations a scrapbooking business may need include a sales tax permit and an Employer Identification Number.

Related: Common business licenses, permits, and registrations by state

Step 6: Find Financing

Coming up with a good business idea and having the skills to run it are one thing, but getting the funding to start a scrapbooking business is another.

Fortunately, the cost to start a scrapbooking business is very low and most people will start with personal funds, however, in order to get a loan, the borrower(s) will need to have good credit and be able to invest 15-25% of their money towards the total start-up costs.

Related: Finding the money to start a business

Step 7: Open a Business Bank Account

Keeping your business and personal finances in separate business bank and credit card accounts makes it easier to track the income and expenses of the business.

Step 8: Get your Marketing Plan in Place

A scrapbooking business will need to set aside a budget to cover marketing costs on a continuous basis. Common marketing techniques for a scrapbooking business include social media marketing and online advertising, as well as flyers and postcard mailers.  Developing a website can be a significant expense, but it can also give your scrapbooking business greater visibility online.

You can also partner with wedding planners or wedding photographers to get wedding scrapbook referrals. Also offering classes at craft stores or hold craft retreats can be another way to spread the word about your business.

Other places to market a scrapbook businesses is on eBay and Etsy, typically with premade scrapbook pages.

Related: Low-cost ideas to market a new business

Step 9: Get Insurance

A scrapbooking business needs several types of insurance for full coverage:

General liability insurance can help protect you from third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage.  This may be expensive due to the potential for injuries.

Professional liability insurance protects you from claims of professional errors or negligence that result in a financial loss.

Worker’s compensation insurance covers expenses like medical bills and legal fees that a business might face if an employee were ever hurt while working.

Insurance policies will vary. To get the most accurate idea of what to budget for insurance, request quotes from multiple providers. When comparing the quotes, consider not only the premiums but also how the plan exclusions, coverage limitations, and deductibles compare.

Related: Common types of insurance a business may need

Step 10: Hiring Employees

You may choose to hire employees to help you run your scrapbooking business, particularly if you build a large customer base.

In addition to salary costs, your budget will also need to include other employee-related expenses. Workman’s comp insurance, unemployment insurance, and paid time off are common expenses that a business will need to cover when hiring staff.

Related: Hiring your first employee

Step 11: Set up an Accounting System

Setting up an accounting system for your scrapbooking business is essential to the long-term success of your business.

Staying on top of taxes not only keeps the business out of trouble with the government but the numbers can be used to track and monitor trends and cash flow in the business and maximize profits.

Related: Setting up accounting for your business

How Much Can You Potentially Make Owning a Scrapbooking Business?

A typical scrapbook can be priced at around $100 – $200, but special scrapbooks for things like weddings could be as high as $2000 – $5000.  If you do 3 scrapbooks per week at $150 and 4 wedding scrapbooks per year at $3000, you would make $35,400 per year.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Scrapbooking Business

Running a scrapbooking business, or any business will have its challenges.  You need to be prepared and make sure that you know what you’re getting into.

Marketing and acquiring clients will be your biggest challenge and an ongoing expense.  It will take some time to get enough clients to cover your marketing costs.

It can be hard to make a full-time income with scrapbooking, though there are plenty of successful businesses that harnessed the power of selling online or tapping into a profitable niche that doesn’t have a lot of competitors.

Talk to other business owners for tips on starting a business and do your homework to determine costs.  Research other scrapbooking businesses to see what they offer and what prices they charge.

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