Starting a planner business can be an exciting undertaking for anyone passionate about organization, design, and creativity. With the rise in popularity of bullet journaling, digital planners, and paper planners, there is a growing demand for unique and personalized planning tools.
However, launching a successful planner business requires more than just an innovative idea and artistic skills. In this guide, we will explore the essential steps to starting a planner business, from identifying your target market and creating a brand to sourcing materials, designing products, and marketing your business effectively.
Whether you are a seasoned planner enthusiast or a budding entrepreneur, we’ll provide you with the foundational knowledge and resources to turn your planner business dreams into a reality.
Why Start a Planner Business
There are several reasons why someone might choose to start a planner business. Here are the most common motivations:
Passion for Planner Books
Starting a planner business is a way to share your passion with others and potentially make a career out of something you enjoy doing. Running a planner business allows you to immerse yourself in the world of planners, explore new planning techniques and tools, and help others achieve their organizational goals.
A planner business can provide a great deal of flexibility, especially if you run it from home. You can set your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want, depending on your other commitments. This flexibility is especially attractive to those who want to balance their work with their personal life, such as parents with young children or individuals with other part-time jobs.
Designing and developing planner products can be a fun and rewarding creative outlet. As a planner business owner, you have the opportunity to create unique and personalized planner books that can help people achieve their goals and express their individuality. This creativity can extend beyond just the design of the planner itself, but also to the packaging, branding, and marketing of your products.
Demand for Planners
With the rise of digital tools and the constant distractions of modern life, many people are looking for ways to simplify their lives and improve their productivity. This has resulted in a growing demand for planners, both paper and digital. The planner market is diverse and offers many opportunities to cater to specific niches, such as academic planners, fitness planners, or wedding planners.
When starting a planner business, it can be a challenging but rewarding entrepreneurial venture. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance, but it can also offer great rewards. You get to be your own boss, make your own decisions, and potentially make a significant impact in this industry. With the right mindset, skills, and resources, you can turn your passion for planning into a successful and fulfilling career.
10 Steps to Starting a Planner Business
With the increasing popularity of planners, it is no wonder that many people are considering developing their own planner business. However, you’ll need the right guidance if you’re going to make an impact. Take a look at the following steps to starting a planner business.
1. Identify Your Target Market
Before you start designing your planner, you need to determine who your target market is. Who will be using your planner? Is it for busy professionals, college students, or stay-at-home parents?
Your target market is the group of people who are most likely to buy your planner. It’s important to identify your target market early on, as it will guide your product design, marketing strategy, and overall business plan. Consider factors such as age, gender, occupation, lifestyle, and purchasing behavior when identifying your target market.
2. Conduct Market Research
You’ll need to conduct market research to ensure that there is demand for your product and to identify any gaps in the market. Research your competitors and the broader planner market to understand what products are already available and what unique features you can offer. Look for opportunities to differentiate yourself from the competition and provide value to your target market.
Another important aspect of researching the planner market is understanding pricing strategies. Take a look at how much similar planners are selling for, and determine whether you want to position your product as a budget option, a premium choice, or somewhere in between.
3. Create a Brand
Your brand is the face of your business, and it’s essential to create a strong and memorable brand that resonates with your target audience. Choose a business name, logo, and color scheme that aligns with your brand values and reflects the personality of your business. Your brand should be consistent across all of your marketing materials, including your website, social media profiles, and packaging.
4. Develop a Business Plan
Developing a business plan is an essential step when starting a planner business. Your business plan will serve as a roadmap for your business, outlining your goals, marketing strategy, financial projections, and other important details.
When developing your business plan, it’s important to consider the following:
Your business plan should include specific, measurable goals for your planner business. This can include revenue targets, customer acquisition goals, and other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with your overall business objectives.
Your business plan should outline your marketing strategy, including how you plan to reach your target market, the channels you will use, and the budget you have allocated for marketing. Your marketing strategy should be based on research and data and should be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the market.
Your business plan should include financial projections for your planner business, including revenue, expenses, and profit margins. This will help you understand the financial feasibility of your business and make informed decisions about pricing, production costs, and other key financial considerations.
Your business plan should also include operational details, such as production processes, distribution channels, and staffing needs. It’s important to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the logistics involved in producing and selling your planner, and that you have a plan in place to manage these processes effectively.
5. Source Materials
You’ll need to source materials for your planner, such as paper, binding, covers, and inserts. Look for high-quality materials that align with your brand values and budget.
6. Design your Planner
Create a planner design that meets the needs of your target market and aligns with your brand values. This can include everything from page layouts to covers and color schemes.
Your planner design should also be functional, aesthetically pleasing, and aligned with the needs and preferences of your target market. Consider factors such as page layouts, covers, and color schemes when designing your planner. It’s also important to ensure that your planner is easy to use and provides value to your customers.
7. Set Up Your Website and E-Commerce Platform
Your website is your online storefront, and it’s essential to create a professional and user-friendly website that reflects your brand and makes it easy for customers to purchase your planner. Choose an e-commerce platform that suits your needs and budget, such as Shopify or Squarespace, and ensure that your website is optimized for search engines and mobile devices.
You’ll also want to explore and compare various e-commerce platforms to sell your new planners. Amazon, Etsy, Walmart, eBay, and more are just a few potential ideas.
8. Decide on Your Business Structure
When starting your planner business, one of the most important decisions you will make is determining the legal structure. Your choice of business structure can impact everything from taxes to legal liability, and ownership structure. The type of structure you choose should fit your vision and long-term goals for your business.
This is the simplest form of business ownership. As a sole proprietor, you own and manage the business yourself. You’re responsible for paying taxes on all profits that the business earns. While it may seem easier and less expensive to start as a sole proprietorship, take into consideration that you will be personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
A partnership is similar in structure to a sole proprietorship. However, instead of one owner, there are two or more partners who share in the profits and losses of the business. Partnerships can be split equally, or they can be split according to a predetermined agreement. While partnerships can be a great way to forge a business relationship and split responsibilities, you are still responsible for each other’s actions.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
An LLC offers members the protection of personal assets from business debts or liability. It is a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership. The members of an LLC are not responsible for the debts or obligations of the company. It is a popular choice for small business owners who want the protection and tax benefits of a corporation but still want the flexibility of a partnership.
A corporation is an independent legal entity separate from its owners. It’s the most complex business structure, but it also offers the most protection. Corporations can be made up of multiple shareholders and offer the ability to sell stock to raise capital. However, corporations are also subject to more regulation and higher taxes and can be more expensive to manage.
Open a Business Bank Account
Opening a business bank account is an essential step for any entrepreneur starting a new business. A business bank account is a separate account from your personal bank account that is used exclusively for your business finances. This helps to keep your personal and business finances separate and makes it easier to track your business expenses and revenue. When opening a business bank account, you will typically need to provide proof of identity and business registration documents, such as your business license or Articles of Incorporation. You will also need to choose a bank that offers the features and services you need, such as online banking, mobile check deposit, and merchant services.
9. Market Your Business
Marketing is essential for getting your planner business in front of your target audience. Some effective marketing tactics for a planner business may include social media marketing, influencer marketing, email marketing, and content marketing. It may also be worthwhile to consider attending trade shows, hosting events, and collaborating with other businesses to reach new audiences.
Remember, you’ll want to continuously track your marketing efforts and measure the effectiveness of each tactic so that you can make informed decisions about where to focus your marketing budget and resources. With a strategic and targeted marketing plan, you can increase brand awareness, attract new customers, and build a loyal following for your planner business.
Creating Your Own Planner Business
With a clear vision, a solid business plan, and a commitment to providing high-quality products and exceptional customer service, you can create a successful planner business that meets the needs of your target market.
By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the various stages of starting a planner business, from market research and product development to marketing and sales. With perseverance and a willingness to adapt and innovate, you can build a thriving planner business that helps people stay organized, focused, and inspired.
For help along the way, turn to doola for small business resources. Get help with banking, bookkeeping, entity formation, taxes, and more. Explore how doola can help you launch your planner business toward success.
How can I attract customers to my planner business?
You can attract customers by offering unique designs, marketing your business on social media, offering promotions or sales, collaborating with other businesses or influencers, and providing top-notch customer service.
What kind of planners should I create?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as everyone’s planning needs and preferences are different. Consider creating a range of planners, including daily, weekly, and monthly options, as well as specialized planners for goal setting, meal planning, fitness tracking, and more.
How should I price my planners?
When pricing your planners, it’s important to factor in the cost of materials, printing, and shipping, as well as your time and labor. Research your competition and consider what your target market is willing to pay.
How can I market my planner business?
There are many ways to market your planner business, including social media advertising, influencer partnerships, and attending trade shows and events. You can also reach out to bloggers and media outlets to request reviews and features.
Do I need to have a website to sell my planners?
While having a website can help sell your planners and reach a wider market, it’s not necessary. You can also sell your planners through social media platforms like Instagram and Etsy, or in person at markets and events.