Filip Nikoloski is a Partnership Specialist at Printify. Printify is a transparent print-on-demand and dropshipping platform designed to help online merchants make more money in a simple and easy way.
Do you want to set up an online business to sell customized notebooks? Here’s a complete guide to getting you started on your journey.
The previous several years have seen tremendous growth in the eCommerce sector. Many platforms assist retailers in setting up their online storefronts and beginning international sales.
Due to the same reason, if you are thinking of starting an online business, it is a great time.
With intense competitiveness in the market, practically all businesses utilize customized stationery as a marketing tool for both gift-giving and workplace use. Therefore, a custom notebook business can offer you a booming opportunity.
The global market for customized notebooks is seeing new prospects because of improvements in printing technology, easy-to-use designing tools, and increasing convenience with Print-on-Demand services.
However, if you are wondering how to initiate a business of custom notebooks from scratch, this guide will cover everything, from manufacturing to selling custom notebooks online.
Why sell custom notebooks?
The stationary market is a fantastic sector to enter if you are trying to launch your own eCommerce business.
The term custom stationery refers to school and office supplies that have been specially designed and are frequently used by businesses, including hospitals, hotels, and educational institutions.
Due to their extensive versatility and widespread use, custom notebooks are constantly in great demand, even for personal use. Yes, Smartphones are helpful, some people adore them, and many people rely on them, but notebooks will always be important.
For example, what if you're going to a conference away from the office and the phone dies halfway there? Or what if the topic you got to write about is too complicated to put down many phrases on the little keypad?
It is the nice, old, and dependable tool- the notebook- that saves the day.
And let us get this straight, who won't enjoy writing on pages that are customized to their appeal and needs?
It is a sole encouragement for people to pull out their medium of writing and show it off to people around them.
So, you have a thumbs up for setting up a custom notebook business. Let us now dive into how to start selling them online.
How to create and sell custom notebooks?
Selling custom notebooks requires careful setup and strategizing marketing and sales effort of your eCommerce store, just like any other business. However, there are a few things that we need to pay attention to dominate your niche and target your audience.
1. Select an eCommerce platform
Let us take a look at some established platforms on which you can create an online marketplace for custom notebooks before we discuss the method for creating your notebooks.
There are several eCommerce systems from which to pick when developing your online business. Each of them differs in terms of its performance and characteristics. Some best eCommerce platforms to choose from are:
Due to its many features and suitability for creating any type of online business, Shopify is growing in popularity.
- With its drag-and-drop functionality, it is simple to set up instantly.
- You have complete power over how to design your online store.
- There are countless possibilities for customizing the store look.
- As soon as a customer order arrives, you may process it.
- It effectively enables safe payment tracking.
- The tool is great for dropshipping and offers a wide variety of one-click selling apps.
The ideal choice for newcomers with sporadic in-person sales is the $29 monthly Basic Shopify package.
There are several advantages to using PrestaShop, a cloud-hosted eCommerce platform with open-sourced technology.
- Includes a straightforward dashboard that streamlines your operations and boosts your website's social analytics, cross-selling capabilities, and SEO.
- The PrestaShop community is large and eager to provide a hand whenever asked.
- It is fairly simple to implement and manage and a good fit for multilingual websites.
While the PrestaShop software itself is free, additional costs will be incurred for hosting, an SSL certificate, and additional modules.
WooCommerce is the ideal choice if you are using WordPress to create an online store. Any website can become an operational eCommerce store with this application. It offers many befits, such as the ones listed below:
- It comes with a ton of extensions for integrating things like social networking, email marketing, and payment methods.
- Provides a wide range of analytical instruments to measure sales and marketing efforts.
- Provides plugins to interact with additional platforms, such as WooCommerce integrations for eBay and Etsy.
- Customers can expect secure transactions thanks to the system's security.
Although the platform is accessible to users without any fees, several of the helpful plugins comes with a small cost.
Once you have decided on which platform is best for your business, it is time you get specific on what you wish to sell.
2. Choose the style of your notebook
Notebooks come in a variety of types. Some of them may be more likely to catch the eye of your target market. However, remember you are not limited to a single notebook style.
Having a variety of notebook designs available helps increase your customer base and sales. Nonetheless, we have compiled some distinct formats from which to work:
- Notebooks with calendars
- Subject notebooks
- Notebooks without lines
- Bullet journals
To gain market traction and prepare for future growth, it is often helpful to launch a business with a limited selection of products initially.
Notebooks with calendars, for instance, would appeal to businessmen and educators, while journals and diaries would appeal to a younger demographic.
3. Create designs
When starting a custom notebook company, one of the most crucial phases is coming up with eye-catching designs for the notebook's cover and inside pages.
Create customization of the notebook with a design inspired by a particular theme, such as the beach, the mountains, or your animals. By creating notebooks with specialized artwork and themes, businesses can target a smaller but more dedicated consumer base.
Here's how you can create unique designs:
Give it a purpose
If you want your notebook to serve an intended purpose, it is important to keep that goal in mind while you decide on the style and content.
Is it going to be used as a notepad? Is this something people will use to doodle in? Will it be an idea journal? Or a notebook of appreciation? Keeping a travelogue?
Knowing its intended purpose can be the basis of the notebook’s whole design.
Hit the personal note
The popularity of sentiment-driven goods is high and is unlikely to decrease anytime soon.
Studies and experiments show that although a product's aesthetics or design may initially pique customer interest, it is the product's emotional resonance and significance that ultimately prompts a purchase.
Find out what is popular and build on the idea to make notebooks that are different enough to sell successfully.
Although you should not limit your study to trends in notebooks. It is a good idea to also peek at current best practices in related businesses, such as greeting cards and stationery.
Keep an eye out for well-liked aesthetic elements that you might include in your product.
Hire a freelancer
Once you have an idea for a product's design, you can seek the help of a graphic designer to make it a reality. There are several platforms to hire freelancers, such as:
Finding wonderful designers via various freelancing marketplaces may be done using different approaches to obtain excellent design competence. You can also get talent from recommendations of peers in similar businesses.
Do it yourself
Don't be scared to give creating on your own a go if employing the help of specialists is beyond your financial or aesthetic means.
Adobe Photoshop is the standard application used by all graphic professionals. It is usually used for image editing, retouching, and repairs.
Photoshop may be the best resource to enhance your design skills if you know how to utilize the application.
Whether you're just starting or have years of expertise under your belt, Canva deserves a spot among your go-to designing resources. Canva offers a plethora of benefits over traditional designing tools:
- Branding kits and other tools make it easy to use.
- Has various templates to draw inspiration from.
- You can use it on a variety of devices like phones, Chromebook, and tablets.
- It’s a cloud-based software and allows operating the same design over different devices.
Canva is a tool that can be used by people of varying ability levels. Given the cutthroat nature of bespoke design, this may be a game-changer for you.
4. Find a supplier
Getting an appropriate supplier is an important step in starting a customized notebook enterprise. When researching for suppliers, make sure the notebook types you want, as well as the capacity to supply custom notebook prints, can be met.
You should sample various notebooks from multiple vendors to obtain an idea of their craftsmanship and features before choosing one to work with as your supplier.
5. Decide on logistics
Determining your shipment and processing logistics is the following step once you've decided on your designs and identified a supplier. You can offer several choices, such as two-day delivery and international shipping.
Make sure you include the cost of inventory and packaging in your strategy.
6. Set up your store online
The establishment of your eCommerce website is one of the last phases. Make sure that the design of your online store is well considered, and that the appearance of your site is vital.
Once your store is live, you’re ready to make sales! You will need to develop a marketing plan to draw consumers in. Utilize social media to grow your following and market your company.
Email marketing, SEO, and blog posts are additional strategies for promoting your unique notebook designs.
Consider the following tips
Finding a supplier, managing shipping and handling, and maintaining an inventory are the complex and time-consuming parts of the business. Inventory also requires a considerable investment and includes various risks, such as losing products due to damage or misplacement.
Take advantage of the following options:
Taking advantage of dropshipping model
With drop shipping, a retailer can fulfill orders without stocking the items themselves. Instead, it goes out and buys the product from a supplier and arranges for it to be sent straight to the consumer. This eliminates the need for direct product handling on the part of the vendor.
With a dropshipping model-
- You don’t need to stock an inventory.
- You protect yourself from the risks of inventory management.
- You don’t have to worry about shipping and handling.
A drop shipping company may be established using print-on-demand platforms. Let us learn more about that.
Using print-on-demand services
In a print-on-demand (POD) business model, you collaborate with a provider of white-label items (such as blank notebooks or t-shirts) to personalize on a per-order basis with your branding and using your designs.
Platforms like Printify offer a catalog of 600+ products open to customization. All you need to do is upload your design, order a sample, finalize, and publish it on your eCommerce store. With POD platforms:
- You do not need to spend money on inventory, as you pay for the item after its sale.
- These platforms often connect a network of vendors and suppliers.
- They are easy to use and negate the need of explaining to your supplier every detail of manufacturing your products.
It's time to launch your custom notebook company now that you know how to make a marketable custom notebook business. Analyze your options and choose a business model that best suits your needs and budget.
With the great future of the eCommerce market, you can capitalize on shifting consumer preferences and adapt your advertising strategy appropriately with a little forethought.
For example, by highlighting your notebooks as the ideal present during the Christmas season, you can increase sales during this hectic shopping season.
Use the directions from this post to get your business started and never think once to look back!
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