Small Business Start-Up Idea – Custom Calendars

A personalised calendar is a popular gift item which many people enjoy giving to friends, family, co-workers or even just for personal use. The calendar can have photographs that are special to you and even include personalised dates that are special to you. Calendar’s are often also used as a corporate promotional tool and can display products or advertising. With the technology available today it is relatively easy to publish your own calendars.  

Skills needed: You will need to be talented in the field of graphic design and familiar with the software that is used to create it.  

Business environment and set-up cost:  There is some international potential for you in other English speaking markets but the language barrier may prevent you from being successful all over the world. You will have to purchase a computer and scanner (if you do not already own them), as well as a high quality printing device. The correct software will also need to be purchased and some money set aside for promotional purposes. The overall start-up cost will range from £1,000 to £3,500 (1,800 – 5,000 EUR, 2,000-7,000 AUD/USD).  

Marketing Techniques:  

  • Make sure your website is easy to find by using search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Participate in the pay-per-click schemes of the popular search engines
  • Use viral marketing to encourage your clients to recommend your service to their friends
  • Get your website listed in link directories and web-rings related to gift ideas
  • Display some samples of your creations on your website
  • Use OnlineOffice to set up web-site, blog and online shop to promote your business online

Complimentary business ideas: You could expand your product line to include other custom products such as mouse mats.  

Notes: You will have a lot of competition for this sort of work so you may wish to focus on one particular niche in order to make your mark. If you have a high volume of orders you may find that you need to outsource to a professional printing company.  

Online examples & resources:  

For previous SME start-up ideas, look through the archive here  


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