Monday, July 25, 2011

How to Start a Wedding Giveaway/Invitation Business

I got an inquiry from Mia, a reader, asking me how to start a wedding giveaway/invitation business. I established a similar business years ago with my best friend and thought I'd share some lessons I learned from it and from coordinating weddings (albeit free).

1. Look Around, Be Creative - your product offering should be unique. Don't just copy what others are doing. Look for inspiration from books, magazines, materials that are available. My Mom is a very creative person and she can turn anything into a work of art. Experiment!

2. Practice - when I was designing our wedding giveaway (a home-made photo frame) I had to consider a few things -- it had to be unique and it had to represent what my husband and I love doing. I decided on a CD sized photo frame. It took me several tries using different materials before I decided on a final design. It is important to practice so you can come out with a polished  end product which you can offer to your clients.

3. The 3 Fs - before going to market make sure to test your products through your family first, then friends and then fools. Haha. It's good to start with your family since if you make a mistake they'd actually be more forgiving because they love. Friends would surely give you feedback on what you should improve on. Make sure that you have a great product before you actually market to strangers because feedback spreads easily (viral) nowadays and it can hurt you even before you've actually began.

4. Expand - after testing the waters with your family and friends it's time to expand your market. It would help to have a website or business blog where you can feature your creations. If I was going to do this for additional income I would start first with my 3Fs and then use my samples from those "clients" and then create a simple site where I can showcase my goods. To drive traffic to my site I would use Google Adwords and earmark a PhP50 budget per day and increase it as my orders and capacity increase. I would then eventually aim and try to export my products because that's where the volume is.

5. Cost is Key - the budget for giveaways/invitations is usually just a tiny fraction of the total wedding budget, so be mindful of the materials that you use for your products (unless you are targeting high-end clients). Be creative and try to customize as much as possible.

Best of luck Mia!