One of the most underrated business ideas in the 21st century is perhaps a stationery shop. Whether online or brick-and-mortar, a stationery store still rakes in the cash despite everything else going digital. And it makes sense: some people prefer working with their hands and some people prefer receiving gifts and cards that have a tactile aspect to it.
In short, a stationery business is never going to go out of style, but just because it’s lucrative doesn’t mean there aren’t things you need to consider when starting your own stationery store. Here are questions you should ask yourself if you’re thinking of breaking into the stationery game:
Reduce Your Operational Costs Through Outsourcing
As with most businesses, setting up a stationery store from home will drastically reduce your overheads. With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing in many major cities around the world, setting up a brick-and-mortar shop might not be the best idea at the moment. Our advice? Stick to a home-based venture and save yourself up to $4,000 a month in rental space (depending on which city you’re from).
It will also be best to consider outsourcing your production needs: it’s tempting to buy yourself a commercial hot foil stamp machine to create customized products, but purchasing, owning, and maintaining an industrial-sized machine is going to be an expensive (not to mention unnecessary) operational cost. If you have or want items that will require the use of a commercial hot foil stamp machine, contact a trusted production shop instead.
If you’re going to have a home-based business, you’ll need to have a website that has e-commerce capabilities and tech support. Again, while these are things that you could do on your own, unless you already have a background in website design, coding, UI/UX, SEO, website hosting, etc., you’ll want to outsource these services as well.
What Recurring Expenses Should You Expect Once Your Business Grows?
Aside from your operational costs, most of your recurring expenses will be focused on paying for your stock and inventory: paper products, stationery materials, pens, pencils, and the like. Once your business starts expanding, you’ll want to look into storing large volumes of your products in a rental space like a small warehouse or a sizable garage. Delivery will also be something to consider; you’ll want to find a reputable delivery service that can deliver your products door-to-door consistently while keeping costs low.
Staffing is also going to be an expense to watch out for: as your business grows, operating it solely from your home might not be manageable anymore, and you’ll have to look into renting an office space or a brick-and-mortar location that can serve as your base of operations. But, take these into account only when you hit your initial ROI (return of investment) and you have extra money to invest back into your business (which you should).
Stationery Business: The Bottom Line
Done and marketed well, a stationery business can generate around $22,000 annually, with the option of growing that further by expanding your products and your customer base. Of course, that last bit is really up to you and your business savvy.