A planner book business can be a great way to make extra income or even start a full-time business. The key to success with this type of business is finding a niche market and offering products that are unique and appealing to your target audience. Here are some tips on How to Start a Planner Book Business?
What is a Planner?
A planner popularized by American social media influencers is a small journal that helps you keep track. You can use it to track your productivity habits, such as attending your workouts, flossing your teeth, and writing down your gratitude. Planners are famous for their ability to manage time.
How Much Does It Cost to Set Up the Business?
It would be better to design your product yourself, for starters. Adobe InDesign and Procreate are two of the most popular designing tools.
The monthly subscription to Adobe InDesign costs INR 1,420, while Procreate’s one-time cost is approximately INR 800. A planner can be made for as little as INR 100 or INR 400.
Marketing costs can be reduced early by sharing your products with friends and family and spreading word of mouth. Social media campaigns are another option for marketing.
Facebook and Instagram ads cost vary and should not exceed 10-15% of total revenue. For half a kilogram parcel, shipping costs would range from INR 40 to INR 50.
Delivery costs can range from INR 70 to INR 80 if you offer cash on delivery. Karan Joshi (co-founder and chief creative officer at Odd Giraffe), a stationery startup, said that a discount deal could be made with delivery companies like FedEx, Delhivery and DTDC if you are a regular customer. This reduces shipping costs.
Online marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon also charge their commission. Before you price your final product, it is essential to consider 18-20% of the goods and services tax.
The Different Types of Planners
There are many types of planners, as you can see. We thought it would be good to highlight the most popular planners.
Planners for Day
Traditional day planners typically follow a 1-page per day format. This is broken down into smaller increments. This is a great way to help busy people manage multiple appointments, tasks, or errands.
Some day planners include pages for:
- To-do lists
- You can track mileage and expenses in the space provided
- Grocery lists
There are many day planners available today. Nearly every person and planning style can find a planner that suits them. This allows anyone to stay productive and focused.
A calendar planner is similar, but it focuses on a yearly overview, often broken down into weeks.
It’s interesting to note that daily and annual planners can be called “agendas”, so don’t let this confusion confuse you. Some of the examples in this section are day planners. Refer back to them if they inspire you.
Planners for Parties
Many party planners can help you plan a memorable event, no matter what type of event you are planning. Planners often include checklists, prompt sections, blank spaces and mini folders that can be used to organize all of your party planning documents, ideas and schedules. Party planners are beautiful!
Entrepreneurs can use many apps, software, and gadgets to schedule their time. However, more business owners use traditional paper planners explicitly designed for their brand.
Although business planners can be very different, most of them share the following characteristics:
- Sections to help you set and track your goals
- Notetaking sections large
- Habit tracking pages
The majority of the planners mentioned in the previous section are business planning professionals. Scroll back up to see more details.
Diet, Fitness, & Wellness Planners
There is so much information about diet and fitness these days, so it’s not surprising that many of us want to consolidate all this information and keep track of our progress. Here is where planners for diet and exercise come in. These journals often have sections for:
- Note down the foods you eat each day.
- Exercise routines to track
- Sections to help you set your fitness goals
- An area to keep track of your exercise and diet achievements
Planner Design: What You Need to Consider
You need to keep in mind some things when designing or choosing a planner for your planner business.
Paperweight is tricky.
We assume the thicker paper is better. However, fountain pen users will find that the ink will bleed more often if the form is denser than others.
You don’t want to use too thin paper as it can lead to people accidentally ripping the paper or leaving indentations below.
You can order samples online or visit a local craft shop if you are serious about finding the best paper for your planner. You will be able to determine which brand and weight of paper meet your requirements.
Binding refers to how you secure the paper in your planner. There are many binding options available:
- Staple binding
- Spiral rings
- Stitched binding
- Binding with glue
Experts agree that stitched binding, or a combination of glue and stitch, is the best. The planner will lay flat and stay in place because it is lightweight.
However, glue binding can be challenging to do correctly as these journals have weaker bindings and are less likely to lay flat as you want them to.
Consider the pros and cons of each type of cover when choosing the cover for your planner.
- Hardcovers have many advantages.
- They are more durable.
- They offer a more rigid surface to write on.
- These products are more appealing to professional or formal customers.
- Soft covers, on the other hand, are:
- You can fold the book up or roll it up for greater flexibility.
- You will feel more at ease when you touch someone.
- These are better suited for a casual audience.
Planner sizing is relatively standard. When you compare American and European planners, the main differences are apparent.
European sizes are typically classified in the categories A, C, and B. These range from A0 through A10, B0 through B10, C0 to C10, etc.
The paper is more significant the smaller the number. All letters have the same ratio, which gives them the same shape but different sizes. A0 is the largest, but it’s also the rarest. It covers a staggering one square meter (33 by 46.8 inches).
American planner sizes are, however, much smaller. These are the most popular types:
- Letter, 8.5×11 inches, closely resembling the A4.
- Legal (narrower, 8.5 by 14.5 inches)
- Half-Letter (roughly A5, 8.5×5.5 inches)
- Junior Legal (8 by 5 in)
- It is pocket-sized (usually 3.5 by 5 inches but can be called a European A6 in the US).
Your customers will determine the size of your planner. A half-letter notebook is usually the smallest and lightest, with as many as 50 pages. However, it can be beneficial for many purposes.
Number of Pages
Your planner’s purpose will determine the number of pages you need. Consider the following: “How much space is required for this planner to be used effectively?”
Also, consider whether slips of paper should be removed without tearing the pages. You would need to place perforations marks on every page to allow users to tear them out if necessary.
How to Start a Planner Book Business
Now that we have covered the basics let’s get into the details. Now, we’ll walk you through each step of creating your planner. These are the essential steps to get started with your planner business.
Designing a Digital Mockup
A digital mockup looks precisely like it sounds. It is a digital mockup of the planner you envision. It’s usually a 3D drawing, so you and your supplier/manufacturer understand what the physical product will look like.
There are a few options. To create a digital version, you can use Creative Market. Many ready-to-use templates are available, with all kinds of graphics, fonts, and themes. All at an affordable price!
You can also look into an online freelance network such as Upwork or Fivver. You can also type “product mockup” and “digital mockup” and then look at their portfolios, ratings, reviews, and portfolios. These platforms allow you to create unique designs for very little money.
Design Your Product Mockup
If you feel you have the skills and know-how to make this job a success, you might also consider creating your product mockups. You can find the resources below if you are unsure where to begin.
Mockups Studio is an app for both Mac and Windows that allows you to create digital mockups in seconds. The interface is intuitive, and you can use the drag-and-drop editor for a quick start. The free version will enable you to create five mockups and export up to ten high-resolution images.
Threed.io is a tool that allows you to create 3D mockups right from your web browser. It’s free and does not require additional software. Upload your design and start creating! Once you are done, you can download the image. It’s that simple!
Artboard. The studio is an app that allows you to create product mockups. You’ll find many templates and items to choose from.
You can access your designs anywhere, anytime, and everything is saved to the cloud. This app is currently only available for beta testing, but users have reported that the interface is intuitive and straightforward, so there shouldn’t be any problems.
Creating a Planning Prototype
To create the prototype of your planner, you can use tools like Blurb or Lulu Xpress. This stage will give you an idea of the size, number of pages, binding options, and other details before ordering any samples.
There are over 3,000 configurations available, so you can be sure to find the right one to make your planner come to life.
Lulu Xpress Book Sizes:
- US Trade (6 x 9.2 inches)
- US Letter (8.5 x 11 inches)
- Digest (5.5 x 8.5 inches)
- Executive (7 x10 inches)
- A5 (5.83×8.27 inches)
- A4 (8.27×11.69 inches)
- Royal (6.14 x 921 inches).
- Crown Quarto (7.44×9.68 inches)
- Square (8.5 x 8.5″)
- Small Square (7.5×7.5 inches)
- Pocketbook (4.25×675 inches)
- US Letter Landscape (11 x 8.5 inches)
- A4 Landscape (11.69×8.27 inches).
- Small Landscape (9 x7 inches)
- Calendar (11.5 x 8.5 inches).
Lulu Xpress Binding Option:
- Perfect Bound: 32-800 pages (this industry jargon refers to traditional paperback binding).
- Coil Bound: 2 – 470 Pages (a flexible, black plastic coil).
- Saddle Stitch: 4 to48 pages (the pages in the planner are folded and placed between the cover. The spine is then stapled.
- Hardcover Case Wrap: 24 to800 pages (traditional binding with printed image front).
Lulu Xpress Color Options (inside the planner)
- Standard Black and white: Best for pages that are mostly text-oriented with few or no images
- Standard Color: This is ideal if you have some color images, graphs or illustrations.
- Premium Black and White: Great for longer texts
- Premium Color: Ideal to print image-heavy material with high ink coverage
Lulu Xpress Paper Types:
- 60 Cream – Uncoated: Traditional cream-colored paper
- 60 White Uncoated: A versatile and affordable white paper
- 80 White – Coated: Super-smooth, bright and slightly thicker
Once you are done with your prototype, it can be shipped to you. Lulu Xpress ships internationally to more than 150 countries so they can ship to you. You can expect to receive your product by mail in 3 to 5 business days.
You can also use Blurb to build your planner business model. You can use their template to create a yearly journal as a guide for your planner. You can include quotes and prompt pages up to 480 pages.
Blurb is partnered with BookWright. Go to BookWright and select “Create,” followed closely by the “Notebooks” button. Blurb will provide everything you need for creating your planner.
Their journal paper is uncoated and comes in the standard 70 text stock color.
Blurb has a variety of covers to choose from.
- A hardcover and a dust jacket
- Hardcover by itself
- You can also choose from these sizes:
- 5 x 8 inches
- 6 x 9 inches
- 8 x 10 inches
Now it’s Time to Find a Supplier for Your Planner Business
We have ranked every type of planner supplier, from the easiest to the most complicated. We hope you find the following information helpful in helping to choose the proper sourcing method for your planner company.
Print-on-demand may be the easiest and most accessible option. You can customize your planner to a certain degree, and your supplier will also handle the shipping and packaging of your products. Dropshipping is another name for this process.
This is how it works.
- The planner product is customized and listed on your website. You market it.
- The customer places an order.
- Notify the print-on-demand company about this order
- The order is then shipped directly to you by the courier.
- It is that simple.
Print-on-demand has its downsides. The costs are typically higher, so your profit margins will be lower. You won’t have as much control over how your planner is customized (compared to printing on demand) because your supplier will standardize it.
Print-on-demand does not require you to order inventory ahead of time. You only order merchandise from your supplier once a customer places an online order. This makes it easier for those who don’t want large quantities of inventory upfront.
These are some print-on-demand companies that you should look into:
Gooten currently only sells blank journals and notebooks. You could market them as planners if you have the right design.
Zazzle is a great supplier of print-on-demand for shipping and creating planners. Zazzle planners include all the following features:
- Size: 5.5′” x 8.5’’ (relatively small).
- There are two sections for weekly and monthly planners that span twelve months.
- This sheet contains a lot of colorful stickers. These stickers are placed at the back of your planner.
- 60 pages
- Softcover front and back with laminated back covers
- Spiral spines made of wire-o(r), available in white, black, and gold
- You have two options: upload your cover design, or you can use images and patterns from other Zazzle members.
- Zazzle is entirely free to use. Zazzle allows you to set up an online store or integrate it with any eCommerce platform.
Dropshipping directories are another option if you don’t mind customizing the planner’s look. Once you have found a planner you like, you can dropship it directly to your customers.
Spocket (Spocket Review) is your best option if you go down this path.
Spocket can be used to integrate with Shopify and WooCommerce stores. Spocket works with suppliers in the US, UK and EU. This sets them apart from other dropshipping apps that focus only on AliExpress suppliers.
Spocket’s search engine will bring up a lot of options for you to choose from. Once you have found planners that you like, you will be able to order a sample directly from the supplier. Once you are satisfied with the product, upload the listing and images to an eCommerce store. Then, start selling it!
Spocket products offer pre-negotiated discounts up to 60% off retail prices. Spocket suppliers in Europe and the US can deliver your products within 2-5 days.
Spocket is free to use. Spocket’s free plan allows you to:
- You can import up to 25 Spocket products into your eCommerce store.
- You can order infinite amounts of products.
- Spocket’s global pricing guidelines
- All shipments come with tracking numbers.
- Customer support via email
Full-scale Design and Production (Manufacturing)
You will need to manage every aspect of your business, from planning products to fulfillment. You don’t have to worry about that, though, because you will find helpful advice throughout the article.
Your planner product inventory will likely be sourced from a supplier if you are sourcing full-scale production and design. You will need to collaborate with the supplier to make your planner products.
There are several ways to find manufacturers that can make your business plan business products.
- Source from Alibaba manufacturers
- Sourced through a third-party organization like Sourcify
- Directory of manufacturers to source
- Below, we discuss each option in more detail.
Get a Sample Made for Your Planner Business
It doesn’t matter what method you use to source products for planner businesses; it is always a good idea to get a sample sent to you to allow you to examine it and ensure that it meets your requirements thoroughly.
To ensure you get the sample you requested, however, it is essential to know these things before sending an email to suppliers. Be sure to include the following questions in your email when you contact suppliers:
The product’s exact specifications. Be as specific as possible regarding dimensions, covers, bindings and paperweights.
The shipping address to which you would like your sample sent by the supplier
So you can distinguish their sample from other suppliers request a model number as well as a company name tag.
Ask the supplier how long it takes to send samples and when you can expect to receive them.
After we have covered the basics, it might interest you to know that there are many types of samples that you can request.
Factory samples: These are products the supplier has already made. They don’t have the expense and effort to make items specific to your requirements. This is an excellent option if your planner doesn’t need much customization.
Pre-Production samples: These are essential for customizing planners. They allow you to verify that the manufacturer can make something you want. You don’t want a lot of planners before you are sure the supplier can make them exactly how you want them.
Warehousing, Shipping & Fulfillment for Your Planner Business
Your product must reach your customers. This is where warehousing and shipping come in.
You have two choices:
Dropshippers can help you sell products and fulfill orders for you.
You can fulfill your orders. This means that you will work with a logistics company that handles warehousing, order fulfillment, and other tasks.
Many logistics companies will store your products and pack them before shipping the orders. You can also integrate your Shopify store with third-party logistics companies.
You’ll be able to do these jobs without any effort. You’ll also enjoy the following benefits:
Flexible pricing: Many logistics companies offer flexible pricing. As your business grows or goes through slower periods, so will the cost of the service. It is typically not as costly as renting a warehouse.
Avoid the hassle of recruiting: If your goal is to fulfill and ship customer orders yourself, you will eventually need staff to assist you. It takes time to recruit, train, and manage a team. Outsourcing to a logistics company may be a welcome relief.
It would help if you focused on your strengths. We don’t want to make assumptions. However, there is a good chance that you didn’t start your business because of your love for packing boxes. You can spend your time on other aspects of your business instead of handling your shipping.
Therefore, it is essential to outsource shipping and fulfillment services to companies that are experts in this field. You can free yourself from the monotonous task of shipping and fulfillment and spend your time on things that directly increase your bottom line.
This same principle applies to refunds and returns. You’ll be happy to know that most third-party logistics companies can handle these issues for you, freeing up more of your time.
When Should You Use a Third-party Logistics Company?
It can be challenging to know when it is best to outsource this task. We have listed some scenarios in which you may benefit from a professional warehousing or shipping company.
Your Sales Rate is Sporadic: If you have a fluctuating sales rate throughout the year, it is usually not worth managing your warehouse and staffing it. Outsourcing is the best option.
You’re Time-Poor: Most entrepreneurs are time-poor. If you spend most of your time on order fulfillment tasks and not on activities that grow your business, you might be ready to outsource.
You don’t have the infrastructure: When your business proliferates, there is a risk that your existing infrastructure will become obsolete, leaving little room for growth. Outsourcing to a company that is specialized in logistics can be a wise decision if you can relate.
How Do I Choose a Shipping and Fulfillment Company?
It is always best to work with a company that has experience with eCommerce shops selling planners and stationery. Reach out to the logistics service to learn more about your business and get their advice. Be sure to:
- Refer to references
- Please specify your exact requirements.
- Ask for any additional questions.
- This is the best way to get a feel for the service you will receive.
Creating Your Online Planner Business Store
There are many options when it comes to setting up an online store.
- Social Media Stores
It’s better to use all of the above. Multi-channel selling is what we refer to as.
Let’s now take a closer look at each platform.
Shopify, a subscription-based software, allows online sellers to build a website that connects with a digital shopping basket. It makes it easy to sell, ship, and manage stock. Shopify offers a free trial, so you don’t have to spend any money before feeling satisfied with the service.
Its interface makes it easy to use. You can personalize your online store in minutes. You can even choose from professional-looking themes to enhance the look of your website.
Shopify’s reliable infrastructure ensures that your eCommerce store loads within seconds.
Shopify can be integrated with thousands of apps, making it super simple to add extra features or extend the functionality of your website.
Shopify can be costly for entrepreneurs who have a tight budget. However, you still get web hosting and a domain with your purchase.
Shopify users have access to many features, which is excellent once you’re familiar with the platform. However, it can be overwhelming for beginners.
It’s okay to find the features overwhelming. We promise it will be worth it! To learn more about Shopify’s most notable features, read our complete Shopify Review.
BigCommerce, an alternative to Shopify, is another eCommerce platform. It provides both domain and hosting services for your online store.
It offers an app that allows you to manage your store from your mobile device and your desktop.
It isn’t as expensive as Shopify.
BigCommerce integrates Amazon, eBay, and Facebook, making it easier to sync your online sales across all platforms.
BigCommerce’s templates store for websites isn’t as extensive as its competitors.
BigCommerce users don’t have as many plugins, so your options for extending the functionality and design of your store may be limited.
You’re likely to have heard of Etsy. It may be the right platform for you if your goal is to hand-make your planner or create one with vintage flair.
Etsy is a great community platform that makes it fun to be involved in.
A higher-quality customer will usually attract you. Etsy sellers can establish rapport with customers and build trust, a positive sign for shoppers.
Your audience will be found. Even if you have a unique niche planner, Etsy will likely find a market.
It is not easy for new sellers to be noticed on Etsy. This could mean that it may take a while before they make a profit.
Etsy charges a range of fees, including publishing a listing and making a sale. There are also credit card fees. These expenses can quickly add up, it is obvious.
Users complain that Etsy’s search function is a little awkward. We all know how important it is to provide a great user experience.
Etsy sellers often complain about the excessive amount of sponsored items appearing in search results. This can cause customers to lose interest in your listings and decrease traffic, which could lead to fewer sales.
Amazon makes it easy for online sellers to get into eCommerce.
Amazon has a global reach, making it an excellent place to expand your audience.
You’ll be happy to know that Amazon’s customer service is unsurpassed as a merchant. Amazon has many agents across the globe, so it’s easy to find a representative in your area.
As a Prime Seller, you can store your inventory in their fulfillment centers so that you don’t have the hassle of shipping or fulfillment.
Amazon has hundreds of sellers. This is because Amazon’s marketplace is so large that it can easily get overlooked. Amazon customers, especially Prime members, may ignore you if you don’t offer the best prices or your product is expensive to ship.
Amazon is the most expensive option on this list. You will be charged fees for each product you sell, and you have to pay $500 per year to publish your product catalog.
SOCIAL MEDIA STORES
Facebook is the most popular social media store. It’s not surprising, considering that Facebook is the most used social media platform. Businesses can now create a Facebook shop and sell directly to their customers. Integrating your Shopify store is possible, so there is no need to maintain two inventory!
- There are many users on the site, so you have a good chance of finding and appealing to your target market.
- You can easily customize your Facebook shop to reflect the brand’s style.
- Customers can reach you directly with any questions or concerns.
- Facebook analytics are pretty thorough.
Comparable to other platforms, loading times are reported to be relatively slow.
If you don’t have any experience in web development, it can be pretty expensive to get your Facebook store looking exactly how you want.
Selling & Marketing for Your Planner Business
There are many ways to market your planner business. But have you ever thought about making it a subscription box product? Planners and accessories can be easily turned into a subscription box product since they are used regularly or annually.
Subscription boxes offer higher retention rates, so they are so popular. It’s easy to see that 15% of online shoppers have signed up for an electronic commerce subscription in the past year.
This shows that there is a lot of money available. As you already know, it is more cost-effective for existing customers to keep them coming back than to acquire new ones. You will be more likely to keep your customers happy longer by offering a subscription service.
Because they offer regular opportunities for interaction with your community, they do this. It’s all about getting customers to make everyday purchases and stay with you as a seller/buyer. Retention shouldn’t be difficult if you sell the right product and provide excellent customer service.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time marketing your planners to encourage customers to continue purchasing your products. You can now focus your efforts on creating new products and offering excellent customer service with all the time saved.
These are some other marketing tips that will work well for planner businesses.
These are step by step to How to start a planner business. You need to follow the steps, and you will succeed and have a source of income. So, the next time you purchase your planners or schedule in any bookstore or don’t even buy them if you know that you can make better use of your time and money. Manymoon hopes that our guide can help you understand what you should do to create a Planner Book Business.