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Customized Calendar Business Idea

The process of starting and running a custom calendar business is much the same as that involved in any other small printing operation. Calendars can be personalized for individual or business use and may incorporate company logos, photographs, abstract designs, or original artwork.

For corporate clients, day planners and desk pads may be in higher demand, while individuals may prefer wall calendars featuring photographs of their family, pets, or other images of importance in their daily lives. In order to operate a successful customized calendar business, it’s essential to market your services appropriately to all your potential customers.

For the custom calendar business, there are primarily two key customer classes: business and consumer. The volume, format and features of calendars for each customer group could vary widely. Let’s discuss briefly the product opportunities for each type of customer.

Corporate Customers

Corporate customers typically purchase custom calendars for two reasons: in-house use and promotional giveaways. It’s wise to market your customized calendars for both purposes in order to achieve the widest possible customer base. Customized calendars can indicate pay dates, scheduled closings, and important corporate events to ensure that this vital information is not overlooked or forgotten.

Custom graphics and corporate logos can make any calendar a useful marketing tool for businesses. By providing graphics design services as part of your overall calendar production company, you can reach a wider audience and develop an established clientele for your services.

Calendar giveaways serve as a constant reminder of a company’s products or services throughout the year and create a favorable impression of the company itself.

Products For Individual Consumers

One of the mainstays of the custom calendar business is the personalized calendar designed for families and individuals. Usually bearing images of family members, beloved pets, or important life events, these calendars are typically small-run print jobs consisting of between one and ten copies and are intended for personal use or as gifts for friends.

Personalized calendars make excellent holiday gifts and can be used as mementos for weddings, anniversaries, or other significant occasions. Advertising for these purposes can often attract additional customers and increase the number of calendars requested per order.

Equipment Needed For A Custom Calendar Business

During the initial stages of setting up a customized calendar business, the main pieces of equipment needed are a high-performance color printer and a binding method.

For smaller operations, an inkjet printer can be surprisingly affordable and produce quality results; some smaller business-class inkjets start at around $200. Refurbished models can be purchased for even less. Laser printers have come down significantly in price in recent years and produce crisp, clear images that last longer than comparable inkjet results. Additionally, laser is usually much faster than inkjet.

Whichever printer type you choose, you’ll need at least 1200×1200 dpi in order to produce clear images. Higher resolutions offer more options and produce a more professional and visually attractive result. Don’t settle for a low-end printer with low resolution.

Another option to consider is a dedicated photo printer. While these tend to be somewhat more expensive, they typically handle different weights of paper and glossy surfaces better than other printers. Photo printers also tend to allow more versatility in paper size as well.

While some calendars can be stapled together, many require spiral or glue binding processes in order to present a professional appearance for the finished product. While staplers may be available for under $10, professional binding machines can cost as much as $10,000, putting them out of reach for many beginning entrepreneurs.

Fortunately, some smaller glue binding machines are available that start at under $100 and can produce adequate results for small-scale operations. It’s important to ensure that the machine you select is large enough to bind the edges of your planned calendars. Some machines only bind six or eight inch long segments at a time, which can result in oddly shaped and less attractive calendars and desk pads.

Spiral binding machines are generally more affordable, starting at around $50 and ranging as high as $5,000 or more for professional high-speed machines. For smaller calendar business operations it’s usually sufficient to purchase entry-level binding machines and work your way up to larger, faster binders when demand requires it.

Marketing Tips

In order to succeed in your custom calendar business you must reach potential customers. This requires a comprehensive online marketing plan incorporating press releases, customer reviews, and articles that will drive customers to your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques are also necessary in order to achieve higher rankings for your online presence.

Front page search engine rankings can provide much needed visibility for your company and attract new customers. The right SEO methods can ensure that your calendar business gets the rankings and views it needs to succeed.

Most of your marketing efforts should be focused towards the end of the calendar year due to increased demand for the next year’s calendars. Demand for wedding and birthday memento calendars may occur at any time, though June is obviously a good month to promote wedding calendars to your customers.

Future Expansion

Even the smallest online custom calendar business can grow into a profitable venture. At some point it may be smart for your company to expand into other personalized products including screen printing of t-shirts, mugs, and other custom items. While these typically require more specialized equipment, the profits for these additional lines may well justify the additional investment.

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