A Guide on How to Venture into a Photo Book Business
Monday, January 06, 2020
A picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, photos hold great importance for everyone. With more and more smartphones flooding the market, people have started documenting their day-to-day life by clicking numerous snaps.
Imagine being in a business where you could help almost 2.7bn smartphone owners to create with those images. We are talking about photo book printing. One of the best options as a business for you if you love creativity.
But again, starting every business needs a lot of preparation and research. And of course, will power.
So, here are some steps to keep in mind before you start a photo book business.
1. Insightful Research
Three things to research well into before starting a photo book business:
Mode of Business
One thing you need to decide is whether you want to start this photo book business offline or online. Or whether you want to combine both offline and online modes.
However, unless you are very sure of immense success of your offline photo studio, it is better to start photo book business online. The reasons why starting it online has an edge over offline are:
- Print on Demand technology/process can help save money and resources.
- It lets customers utilize their creativity to design photo books as per their wish. And this personalizes their experience further.
- Lesser investment required to create a website than buy or rent space.
Or you can also go for a hybrid store too. Starting with an online store, you may expand it to an offline store once your brand gets popular.
Analysis of Competition and Customers
Understand the photo book market first. Keep yourself abreast of the big brands in the same business. Analyze them thoroughly and try to understand their ideas and strategies. Study their sites and product offerings.
You can add your own innovation to that analysis to come up with the latest trending products in the market. Don’t copy competitors but take inspiration from them.
Also, try to figure out the potential customers of your business and the price they are willing to pay for your products.
Accordingly, decide on the products you want to sell and their prices.
Budget plays a crucial role in any business. So, your financial strategy should not fall flat in any case. Your strategy should take into account everything - run-time and anticipated expenses, monthly and yearly profit margins, funds for investments, etc.
2. Selection of Products
After researching well and building an idea, the next thing is selection of products. In the business of photo books, selection of covers and papers of photo books is important. Selection of these two depends on market trends, price, profit margins, requirements of your store, etc.
The main types of photo book covers available for you to choose from are:
- Flipbook - A soft-cover photo book. It’s very flexible and durable like a magazine.
- Hardcover - Feels like a real book. Comes in hinged and layflat forms.
- Booklet - 2-staple binding on the spine helps flat opening. Ideal for small-size photo books.
- Linencover - Outer covering of real canvas. Gives a classy and elegant look.
The main types of paper you can choose for your photo books are:
- Matte - Non-glossy and ideal for designs with enough text on it.
- Glossy - A paper with a very ‘shiny’ surface. Lighter than the matte paper. Ideal for vibrant photos.
- Satin - Lies midway between matte and glossy papers. People also call it ‘pearl’ paper.
- Linen - Has textured lines on its surface. Feels like a linen cloth. Suitable for presentation folders, wedding invitations, art paints, etc.
3. Judicious Selection of a Supplier
A supplier should be consistent in supplies and quality. Once you set up a store, you’ll need stuff like photo book pages, spirals, covers, etc. So, make sure that the supplier you pick is capable of delivering everything on time. And doesn’t leave you with an irregular supply or bad quality products.
4. Selection of an E-Commerce Platform
Choose an e-commerce platform judiciously. Consider factors like hidden charges, mobile and SEO friendliness, support and security updates, etc.
Here are the types of platforms you can choose from:
- Traditional - Pay a fee upfront and get the annual license of the platform for a year. Hybris, IBM or Kentico, etc. are good examples of traditional platforms.
- Open-Source - You don’t need to pay any license fee annually. But you’ll need to pay for implementation and customization. Magento is the most popular platform in this category.
- Cloud - Traditional open-source platforms with an upgrade of a hosting system. Demandware, Salesforce, Common, etc. are good examples.
- SaaS - Software-as-a-Service platforms are cloud-based platforms accessible across all browsers. You only need to pay a monthly subscription fee to the third-party provider for maintenance, performance, and security.
5. Selection of a Right Designer Tool
- Choice of suitable Photo Book Design Software is a crucial step. The design software for your photo book business should provide:
- Management of multiple image slides
- Skew Effect
- Drop and Shadow Effect
- SEO Friendliness
- 2D and 3D Previews
6. Selection of a Right Printing Method
Despite the availability of umpteen print methods like flexography, screen printing, lithography, etc., digital printing is ideal for photo book printing. As it involves reproducing digital images on a paper. Further, you can choose from a variety of color combinations using your Web-to-Print Software.
Find a suitable printing service provider for your printing business. Make sure that they provide fine quality prints. Also, upgrade your offices and hire professionals to complement your business as it grows.
Managing deliveries by yourself can be possible when orders are few. However, when your business expands, find a reliable delivery company to collaborate with. This collaboration will streamline your delivery process.
8. Launching and Marketing
After all the steps comes the time of launching your business. It is better to start marketing about your launch in advance. This will build up curiosity among people.
After launching your business, market it through:
- Optimizing your website for SEO
- Making YouTube videos and vlogs
- Using referral programs
- Social Media Marketing
- Offline Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing (if you have surplus budget), etc.
So, a photo book business is always a good business idea. You’ll be helping people relive their favorite moments. Just take care of every step and you’ll soon ace in this vogue business.
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