How to Start a Scrapbooking Business

Overview

How to Start a Scrapbooking Business

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.

Scrapbook Industry 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 are commonly made

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.

Checklist for Starting a Scrapbooking Business

Starting a scrapbooking business can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for the challenges ahead. Use this checklist to help get your business off on the right foot.

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.

Related: How to write a business plan

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 the 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.

When deciding on which business entity is best for a scrapbooking business, it normally comes down to the sole proprietorship and Limited Liability Company.

A partnership opens the owners up to unnecessary personal liability because if a partner does something to get the business sued, or runs off with cash from the business, the other partners are personally liable to repay. The corporation can be a good choice because it separates the business assets from the owner’s assets. If the corporation is sued or certain business debts can’t be paid back, the owners aren’t personally responsible to repay them. The downside to the corporation is that it is more complicated than all the other entities and requires more administration than the LLC. If you plan on raising a lot of investment though, the corporation is usually the better choice.

That leaves the sole proprietorship and LLC.

The sole proprietorship is the least expensive and easiest entity to start which is appealing. The downside is the owner is personally liable should anything happen to the business, which is an important consideration. The LLC offers the ability to operate as a sole proprietorship with the liability protection of a corporation. Depending on the state, the cost to form an LLC runs from $40 – $500, which is pretty inexpensive for protecting the owners from business-related lawsuits and certain debts.

Related: 3 steps to forming your LLC
 

Forming an LLC sounds complicated and expensive, but using an entity formation service guides you through the process so you know it was done right.


Some popular LLC formation services include:


IncFile - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

IncAuthority - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent the first year!

ZenBusiness - $49 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

Step 4: Select your Location

You can run your scrapbooking business as a home business, as you don’t need a large area to do your work. If you choose to sell scrapbooking supplies in a shop, that would likely require a physical storefront.

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 bank accounts is important to track the income and expenses of your business and identify trends.
 
Many banks offer free business checking accounts, so be sure to find a cost-effective option for your 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 business are on eBay and Etsy, typically with premade scrapbook pages.

Related: Low-cost ideas to market a new business

One important marketing task is developing an online presence. A website developer may be out of the budget, but Wix makes it easy for non-technical people to get a website running quickly and affordably.

Step 9: Get Business Insurance

To protect a scrapbooking business, there are several types of insurance to consider. A couple of these include:
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.
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.

The cost for insurance a scrapbooking business will vary on a number of factors. 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: Hire 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 the accounting for your business

The thought of accounting can be intimidating for a lot of new entrepreneurs. There are a number of ways of handling bookkeeping, from DIY to hiring a bookkeeper. These include:

- Pen and paper - Low expense, but difficult to track.
- Spreadsheet - Low expense, but easy to make errors.
- Accounting software - Medium expense, but owner typically inputs expenses. Some great accounting software programs include Freshbooks or Wave Accounting.
- Hire a bookkeeper - Higher expense, though very affordable at $100-$200 per month in most cases. A dedicated bookkeeper will probably save money because, in addition to handling all of the bookkeeping (so you can focus on the business), they also provide personalized tax advice and ensure the business is in compliance.

Find bookkeepers in your local area or use a service like 800Accountant.

How much does it cost to start a scrapbooking business?

The costs to start a scrapbooking business are very minimal and you already likely have many of the items needed. Here are some of 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, patterned 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

How profitable is a scrapbooking business?

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. Given the low cost to get started, at the very minimum, a scrapbooking business is a great way to make some extra money.

A typical scrapbook can be priced at around $100-$200, but special scrapbooks for things like weddings could be as high as $2,000-$5,000.  If you do 3 scrapbooks per week at $150 and 4 wedding scrapbooks per year at $3,000, you would make $35,400 per year.

In addition to making scrapbooks, a scrapbook expert could also teach classes to people wanting to learn more. This would not only be a way to generate some extra income from the classes but would also spread your name around the community as the go-to person for scrapbook projects.

Are there grants to start a scrapbooking business?

It’s extremely rare to find a grant to start a scrapbooking business. If you search for business grants, you will come across a lot of scams and misinformation. Occasionally an organization will offer grants to start a business, however, be skeptical and don’t provide any sensitive personal information or pay money to get more information.

Legitimate federal grants can be found at Grants.gov and you can check on your state’s economic development office to see if they have any grants available.

What is the NAICS code for a scrapbooking business?

The NAICS code for a scrapbooking business is 511120, which is categorized under Periodical Publishers.

The NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System) is a federal system to classify different types of businesses for the collection and reporting of statistical data.

Related: What is a NAICS code and how to find yours

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