Even in our digital age, paper stationery is still very much in use. In fact, according to Statista, the Hobby & Stationery segment for the Philippines is projected to generate a revenue of US$268.80m in 2023! With such a promising market, starting a stationery business can be a great opportunity for any aspiring business owners.
There are various categories to explore in the stationery business, from custom printed and designed paper products for event promotions or personal announcements like weddings and baby showers, to traditional stationery items like pens and pencils.
However, starting a stationery business is not a walk in the park. You need to do your homework and prepare accordingly. To help you out, we’ve created a comprehensive four step guide that covers everything you need to know about the ins and outs of the stationery business.
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Step 1: Plan your stationery business
No matter what type of business you are planning to embark on, it is mandatory to have a clear plan that is crucial for success. This allows you to map out the specifics of your business and identify any unknown factors such as the initial startup, who are your target consumers and how you plan to name and brand your stationery business.
How much to run a stationery business online?
Running your stationery business online can be cost-effective, especially if you can find an affordable platform that offers the necessary features. At Shopboxo, we allow you to set up a store for free and offer useful features such as bulk uploads and integrated payment and delivery solutions.
If you want to use a custom domain to enhance your online branding, you can subscribe to the Pro plan for just ₱5880 per month. By operating your business online, you can also save on rental and overhead costs, which can help boost your profitability in the long run.
Identify your target market
The demand for stationery design and printing services is often high among individuals and organisations planning weddings, social events, or business gatherings. These hosts or event planners typically require unique designs that are not readily available through commercial printing operations. This type of business is sometimes referred to as “Print-on-demand.”
Additionally, the traditional model of selling stationery items such as pencils, pens, and notebooks is a viable option as there is always a constant need for these products among students and other individuals
Create a name for your stationery business
Selecting a suitable and attention-grabbing name for your business may seem simple, but it is actually a critical and challenging task.
Once you have narrowed down your list to a few potential options, it is important to verify their availability as a domain name, social media handles, and trademarks. This will ensure that your chosen name is usable and avoid any potential conflicts with existing brands.
After finalising your brand name, you can utilise our free slogan generator to generate some creative and catchy slogans for your business. This can help enhance your brand identity and increase brand recognition among your target audience.
Step 2: Choose the type of stationery business to start
Once you have identified your target market, you can decide on the type of stationery business that suits your goals.
The stationery business encompasses several categories, including paper goods such as greeting cards, pens, pencils, and markers. However, stationery shops also offer other products such as candles, planners, and gifts, in addition to providing custom printing services.
The stationery business can be broadly categorised into the following categories:
Custom Design Stationery Business
For event stationery like invitations, namecards, menus, etc.
Personal Stationery Business
For things like notecards and branding
Commercial Stationery Business
For things like greeting cards, pens, pencils, etc.
Step 3: How to price your stationery
Pricing your stationery products strategically is vital to generating profits for your business. If you are running a stationery business that involves designing and printing, it is essential to factor in your design time and production costs.
A typical markup for this sector ranges between 2.5 to 3 times the cost of the goods. If you are selling a custom item, you should also add an hourly rate for your design time.
However, if your products are not custom-made, such as greeting cards, you can include a little extra margin to cover your sourcing time or rely on the volume of sales to compensate for it.
By pricing your products appropriately, you can ensure that your business is profitable and sustainable in the long run.
Step 4: Market your stationery business
Typically, your first “real” client is always your friends and family. Be it whether you are sharing your business idea, letting them try your stationery products, or getting them to experience the buying journey on your online stationery store, they will always give you honest feedback, which will be valuable to improve your business.
Hence, your initial marketing step is to promote your stationery business to your family and friends. They can be an excellent launching point because they have the potential to share information about your business with their own network.
By leveraging their contacts, you can quickly spread the word about your stationery business and increase brand awareness.
For instance, if you run a custom design stationery business, consider offering your services for a relative’s wedding or other special events. This can help expand your reach as guests will have the opportunity to see and feel your work in person.
For commercial stationery businesses, ask your family and friends to provide photos of your products in use, which can be used for future marketing efforts.
Regardless of the type of business, collecting testimonials from satisfied customers is a great way to build brand trust and drive conversions.
Once you have built a portfolio of completed projects, it’s time to showcase your work to the world. Social media platforms are a cost-efficient way to promote your business, and platforms like Facebook have a large user base in the Philippines, making it a great place to start promoting your stationery business.
Start your stationery business today
Now that you have a clear understanding of starting an online stationery business in the Philippines, the next crucial step is to establish your online store. Luckily, with Shopboxo, you can launch your online store within minutes.
Additionally, if you’re interested in gaining more knowledge about selling online in the Philippines, be sure to read this article for an in-depth guide.
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