Do you want to start own greeting card business?

Are you planning to start greeting card business? Well, if you are creative and have a passion for designing greeting cards then this is definitely the right business for you.
Greeting card business has undoubtedly a lot of market potential and a need for continuously emerging new and innovative minds. Its market can be estimated by the fact that over 7.4 billion greeting cards were sold in the United States in 2017.
The biggest benefit of starting this business is that it offers an extremely high rate of return on your investment and has the least amount of risk associated with it as compared to other businesses. The second benefit is that its market never gets down because people buy cards for various occasions, events, and festivals throughout the year. Considering these aspects, we can say that this venture can be immensely profitable, provided that you produce quality designs and plan your business effectively.
So, before you move on to starting this business, you will have to prepare a comprehensive business plan which will establish the basis of your company’s future operations and decisions. If you are wondering how to write one then here we are providing you the business plan of a greeting card business startup named ‘KJ Cards’.

Executive Summary

2.1 The Business

KJ Cards will be a licensed American card manufacturing company located in the main commercial market of the Downtown Manhattan. The company will be owned by Kelly Janes, a passionate Graphic Designer. Janes has been associated with greeting card industry for more than 6 years and has served as the Assistant Director of Design Department in Hallmark Cards for the last 3 years.
For the startup, the company will initially procure office furniture including work desks, cabinets, tables, chairs; computers and related devices including printers and scanners; ten card printers; necessary software and other stationery products.

2.2 Management

The success of a startup heavily depends on its staff and management that’s why Janes planned it before starting her greeting card company. The main management of the company will comprise of sales executives, graphic artists, technicians, and customer representatives. The team will be led and managed by Janes herself, who is well experienced with the process of designing and production of greeting cards. The staff will be hired one month before the launch of startup and will be trained by Janes.

2.3 Customers

Our target market is the residential community living nearby at the 10 minutes’ drive from our office. The community has a monthly income ranging from $40k to $50k while nearly 10% people have incomes even around $100,000. We will offer three types of greeting cards; printed cards, hand-made cards, and customized cards, for various occasions and festivals. The hand-made cards will be completely manufactured by Artisans without any machine while the customized cards will be designed according to the customer requirements.
Although we have a tough competition since there are hundreds of established greeting card companies in the New York City, but with the teamwork of our innovative and creative team members, and the leadership of Janes, we will soon excel our competitors.

2.4 Business Target

We aim to become the best greeting card company of the New York City within next five years of our startup. Our target is to balance the initial cost of the startup with earned profits by the end of the first year and to achieve the net profit margin of $10k per month by the end of the first year, $15k per month by the end of the second year and $25k per month by the end of the third year.

Greeting Card Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

3.1 Company Owner

KJ Cards will be owned by Kelly Janes, a passionate Graphic Designer. Kelly did her Masters of Art in Graphic Designing from University of Illinois, Chicago. After completing her studies, Janes remained associated with some of America’s renowned greeting card companies and was the Assistant Director of Design Department in Hallmark Cards for the last 3 years. She is known for her exceptional graphics skills and innovative designs.

3.2 Why the Business is being started

Janes has always been extremely passionate about graphic designing, especially the designing of greeting cards. Her designed cards are praised by all and sundry and it was her exceptional abilities and innovative mind which landed her an executive position in one of the biggest greeting card manufacturers of the United States in a very young age. But this success is nothing more than a part of her career plan, as she has dreamed of much bigger things. From the very beginning of her career, rather her college days, she had thought about starting a greeting card company and her service to this industry was just meant to gather the necessary experience needed for starting her own business.

3.3 How the Business will be started

KJ Cards will be a greeting card company which will produce all sorts of personal and business greeting cards. The business will be located in the main commercial market of the Downtown Manhattan. The company will initially procure following things for the startup.

  • Office furniture including five filing cabinets, five work desks, a round table with chairs for meeting area, couch and chairs for customer waiting area
  • Four computers with color printers and scanners
  • Ten card printers for printing greeting cards
  • Graphic designing and other related software including Illustrator, Freehand, Photoshop, Quark, Traffic Office Manager, Font Management Utilities, and Microsoft Project
  • Assorted office stationary and brochures
  • A strong internet connection and office telecom systems

The financial experts have forecasted following costs for expenses, assets, investment, and loans for the Start-up.

Greeting Card Business Plan - Startup Coast

The detailed start-up requirements, start-up funding, start-up expenses, total assets, total funding required, total liabilities, total planned investment, total capital and liabilities as forecasted by experts, is given below:

Start-up Expenses 
Research and Development$42,750
Expensed Equipment$42,750
Start-up Assets$0
Cash Required$322,500
Start-up Inventory$52,625
Other Current Assets$222,500
Long-term Assets$125,000
Total Requirements$245,000
Start-up Expenses to Fund$121,875
Start-up Assets to Fund$195,000
Non-cash Assets from Start-up$118,750
Cash Requirements from Start-up$0
Additional Cash Raised$118,750
Cash Balance on Starting Date$121,875
Liabilities and Capital$0
Current Borrowing$0
Long-term Liabilities$0
Accounts Payable (Outstanding Bills)$0
Other Current Liabilities (interest-free)$0
Planned Investment$0
Investor 1$312,500
Investor 2$0
Additional Investment Requirement$0
Loss at Start-up (Start-up Expenses)$313,125
Total Funding$265,000

Services for customers

KJ Cards will be a licensed and insured American cards manufacturing company, which will produce a variety of cards for various occasions, festivals, and people. We will produce all types of cards such as holiday, business, birthday greeting cards, and Christmas card for businesses as well as individuals. Our main products include:

1. Printed Cards: Printed cards are our primary products and will form the bulk of our production. They will also contribute the biggest chunk of our revenue. These cards will be printed by the company’s card printers after they have been designed by the graphic designing team. These cards can be further sub-divided into the following three categories.

  • Occasional Cards: Occasional cards include cards for Anniversary, Baptism and Christening, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Birthday, Confirmation, Congratulations, First Communion, Get Well, Graduation, Just Because, New Baby, Promotion, Retirement, Sympathy, Thank You, and Wedding
  • Holidays and Festival Cards: Holidays and Festival cards include cards for Christmas, Easter, New Year, Passover, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day and other local festivals
  • Relational Cards: Relational cards include cards which can be given to relatives like Brother, Daughter, Father, Friend, God-family, Grandma, Grandpa, Husband, Kids, Mother, Partner, Romantic Interest, Sister, Son, Wife

2. Hand-made Cards: Our second category includes hand-made cards. These greeting cards will be completely hand-made and no machines will be used in their manufacturing process. Every such card will be hand cut, hand designed, and hand wrapped before being delivered to the customers. Special artisans will be hired to manufacture this product category. These cards will be costlier than the printed cards due to intensive hard work and expertise needed for their manufacture.

3. Customized Cards: Our final category includes customized cards which will be completely made and designed according to the customer demands. Customers can order for a customized card either online through our official website or by visiting our office in Downtown Manhattan. Customers can describe their requirements, graphics, and text to be written on the cards to a customer representative and can get a customized card either in a printed or a hand-made form.

Marketing Analysis of greeting card business

The most important component of an effective greeting card business plan is its accurate marketing analysis that’s why Janes acquired the services of marketing experts to help her through this phase. It is only after this stage that a good greeting card business plan template could have been developed. After identifying the trends of greeting card business in the New York City, the marketing experts and analysts also helped her to select the best site to start a greeting card company.
The success or failure of a business totally depends upon its marketing strategy which can only be developed on the basis of accurate marketing analysis. There are four main steps to carry out an accurate marketing analysis which are to identify the current market trends, identify your target audience and potential customers, set out the business targets to achieve, and finally set the prices of your products and services. Marketing analysis is extremely important because the planning of many subsequent components depends on it. Therefore, it must be considered before developing the greeting card company business plan.

5.1 Market Trends

According to the Greeting Card Association (GCA), over 7.4 billion greeting cards were manufactured and sold in the United States in 2017. Out of these 7.4 billion cards, approximately 2.5 billion were manufactured and sold by freelances and non-major greeting card distributors while the remaining were manufactured and sold by established companies. Nearly 80% of all greeting cards were bought by women. As of 2017, there were more than 2000 established greeting card companies in the United States which generates more than $7.5 billion every year. The greeting card industry employs more than 35,000 people and provides annual payrolls of over $1.2 billion dollars. This industry is the future growth in it is expected to be equal to that of the general US economy. After identifying these market trends, it is clearly evident that the greeting card industry has a lot of potential and can be immensely profitable provided that you plan your business successfully.

5.2 Marketing Segmentation

Our target market is the residential community living nearby at the 10 minutes’ drive from our office. The community consists of all types of people from varying backgrounds. As per the financial position, nearly half of the community has a monthly income ranging from $40k to $50k while nearly 10% people have incomes even around $100,000.
There are currently more than 738,000 households in Manhattan out of which 17.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 25.2% are married couples living together and 12.6% have a female householder with no husband present. 59.1% are non-families, out of which 48.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older.
It is very important to analyze the market segmentation of the future customers of your services before you start a greeting card business because a successful and efficient marketing strategy can only be developed after we completely know our potential customers. Our experts have identified the following type of target audience which can become our future consumers:

Greeting Card Business Plan - Market Segmentation

The detailed marketing segmentation of our target audience is as follows:

5.1.1 Married Couples & Adults:

Our first target group will be the married couples and the adults aged between 25-50. These people are most likely to buy greeting cards for various purposes since they have the biggest social circle comprising of friends, family, relatives, neighbors, colleagues, etc. as compared to the other target groups. This group buys greeting cards on various occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, festivals and other events of their friends. This group will be the biggest consumer of our products and hence our marketing strategy will be specifically built to attract them.

5.1.2 Children & Teens:

Our second target group comprises of children and teens aged below 25. Children and teens studying in primary, middle, high schools and colleges have a large circle of friends around them and usually buy various cards such as birthday, friendship and festival cards. Teens are the biggest consumer of valentine cards.

5.1.3 Senior Citizens:

Our third group comprises of senior citizens aged above 50. These people will mostly buy anniversary, birthday and festival cards but their contribution to our sales will be less as compared to the other groups, hence they will play no specific role in our marketing strategy.
The detailed market analysis of our potential customers is given in the following table:

Market Analysis
Potential CustomersGrowthYEAR 1YEAR 2YEAR 3YEAR 4YEAR 5CAGR
Couples & Adults53%22,33432,34443,66552,54466,43217.00%
Children & Teens39%11,43313,34416,55318,74520,54513.43%
Senior Citizens7%3224556558674332.32%

5.3 Business Target

We aim to become the best greeting card company of the New York City within next five years of our startup. Our main business targets to be achieved as milestones over the course of next three years are as follows:

  • To achieve the net profit margin of $10k per month by the end of the first year, $15k per month by the end of the second year, and $25k per month by the end of the third year
  • To balance the initial cost of the startup with earned profits by the end of the first year

5.4 Product Pricing

Product pricing is one of the most important factors in deciding the strategy for a greeting card business. After considering the market demands, we have priced all our products in the similar ranges as of our competitors. The reason behind our pricing policy is to achieve the minimum attractive rate of return which would not be possible in case of offering our services at low prices. Our product pricing is as follows:

  • Printed Cards: Prices vary from $4-$15
  • Hand-made Cards: Prices vary from $20-$50
  • Customized Cards: Prices vary from $20-$50


After identifying the market trends, market demand, and the potential customers of the startup, the next step is to define an effective strategy to target the potential customers and attract them towards us. Like marketing analysis, sales strategy is also an important component of a greeting card business. Janes carried out an extensive research about various marketing strategies implemented on large as well as small greeting card companies before she finalized her plan about how to start a greeting card business.
A successful strategy can only be developed after setting specific marketing goals, carrying out a competitive analysis to know what is missing in your competitors and developing a plan for attracting your potential customers.

6.1 Competitive Analysis

Our competitive advantage lies in the power and dedication of our team. We have a team of creative and highly proficient graphic designers, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in various niche areas of greeting card industry. This industry is undoubtedly one of the most competitive industries of the United States and with the increasing number of greeting card startups, the competition is getting stiffer by the day. That’s why one has to be highly creative and come up with innovative designs and concepts so as to survive and grow in this industry. Considering the teamwork of our innovative and creative members, and the leadership of Janes, we hope to excel our competitors.

6.2 Sales Strategy

After carrying out a detailed analysis, our experts came up with the following brilliant ideas to advertise and sell ourselves.

  • Google search ranking is one of the most important factors in deciding the success of a business, especially a startup, that’s why we will put special emphasis on it. We would do our best to get higher rankings in Google search results and a rank on the first page of Google.
  • We will ensure at least a 20% increase in website traffic each month and will ensure at least an 80% conversion rate, i.e. to turn 80% of our website visitors into our customers.
  • We will get featured in the local news or on a certain website by a popular blogger to increase our brand awareness in people.
  • We will advertise our business in relevant business magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and social media.
  • We will offer a 20% discount on our cards for the first three months of our launch.

6.3 Sales Monthly:

Our monthly sales, as forecasted by the company’s financial experts, are as follows:

Greeting Card Business Plan - Sales Monthly

6.5 Sales Yearly:

Our yearly sales, as forecasted by the company’s financial experts, are as follows:

Greeting Card Business Plan - Sales Yearly

6.5 Sales Forecast

Considering the quality of our services and our exceptional marketing strategy, our sales pattern is expected to increase with years. By analyzing our market segmentation strategy, our experts have forecasted the following sales on a yearly basis which are summarized in the column charts.

Greeting Card Business Plan - Unit Sales

The detailed information about sales forecast, total unit sales, total sales is given in the following table:

Sales Forecast
Unit SalesYear 1Year 2Year 3
Printed Occasional Cards232,000243,000265,000
Printed Holidays and Festival Cards112,000123000131,000
Printed Relational Cards145,000149,000152,000
Hand-made Cards83,00092,000104,000
Customized Cards37,00043,00054,000
TOTAL UNIT SALES609,000650,000706,000
Unit PricesYear 1Year 2Year 3
Printed Occasional Cards$140.00$150.00$160.00
Printed Holidays and Festival Cards$600.00$800.00$1,000.00
Printed Relational Cards$700.00$800.00$900.00
Hand-made Cards$650.00$750.00$850.00
Customized Cards$140.00$120.00$100.00
Printed Occasional Cards$214,800$274,000$333,200
Printed Holidays and Festival Cards$120,050$194,500$268,500
Printed Relational Cards$50,110$71,600$93,000
Hand-made Cards$139,350$194,600$249,850
Customized Cards$62,350$72,300$82,250
Direct Unit CostsYear 1Year 2Year 3
Printed Occasional Cards$0.70$0.80$0.90
Printed Holidays and Festival Cards$0.40$0.45$0.50
Printed Relational Cards$0.30$0.35$0.40
Hand-made Cards$3.00$3.50$4.00
Customized Cards$0.70$0.75$0.80
Direct Cost of Sales
Printed Occasional Cards$98,300$183,000$267,700
Printed Holidays and Festival Cards$66,600$119,900$173,200
Printed Relational Cards$17,900$35,000$52,100
Hand-made Cards$19,400$67,600$115,800
Customized Cards$27,700$69,200$110,700
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales$294,100$699,400$1,104,700

Personnel plan

Personnel plan, like all other plans, is an important component of an effective business plan so it must be planned before you even think about how to start your own greeting card business. Janes has developed the following personnel plan for her company.

7.1 Company Staff

Janes will act as the General Manager of the company and will initially hire following people:

  • 1 Accountant to maintain financial and other records
  • 2 Sales Executives responsible for marketing and discovering new ventures
  • 6 Graphic Artists for designing printed cards
  • 4 Artisans for creating hand-made cards
  • 3 Technicians to operate the card printing machines
  • 2 Managing Assistants for managing the company’s official website and social media pages
  • 4 Customer Representatives to interact with customers and record their orders
  • 4 Drivers to transport cards to retail outlets
  • 1 Front Desk Officer to act as a receptionist
  • 1 Security Officer

To ensure the best quality service, all employees will be selected through vigorous testing and will be trained for a month before starting their jobs.

7.2 Average Salary of Employees

The following table shows the data about employees and their salaries for next three years.

 Personnel Plan   
Year 1Year 2Year 3
Sales Executives$85,000$92,000$109,000
Graphic Artists$166,000$173,000$180,000
Managing Assistants$42,000$59,000$76,000
Customer Representatives$63,300$70,000$76,700
Front Desk Officer$20,000$23,300$30,000
Security Officer$40,000$45,000$52,000
Total Salaries$534,600$594,600$677,400

Financial Plan

There are hundreds of greeting card businesses in the New York City and in order to survive in this competitive environment, a startup must develop an impeccable financial plan. The financial plan should craft a detailed map about the cost of inventory, payroll, equipment, rent and utilities needed for the startup and how these costs will be covered by the earned profits.

8.1 Important Assumptions

The company’s financial projections are forecasted on the basis of following assumptions.

 General Assumptions   
Year 1Year 2Year 3
Plan Month123
Current Interest Rate10.00%11.00%12.00%
Long-term Interest Rate10.00%10.00%10.00%
Tax Rate26.42%27.76%28.12%

8.2 Brake-even Analysis

The following graph shows the company’s Brake-even Analysis.

Greeting Card Business Plan - Brake-even Analysis

The following table shows the company’s Brake-even Analysis.

 Brake-Even Analysis 
Monthly Units Break-even5530
Monthly Revenue Break-even$159,740
Average Per-Unit Revenue$260.87
Average Per-Unit Variable Cost$0.89
Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost$196,410

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

The following charts show the company’s expected Profit and Loss situation on the monthly and yearly basis.

 Pro Forma Cash Flow   
Cash ReceivedYear 1Year 2Year 3
Cash from Operations
Cash Sales$40,124$45,046$50,068
Cash from Receivables$7,023$8,610$9,297
SUBTOTAL CASH FROM OPERATIONS$47,143 $53,651 $59,359
Additional Cash Received
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received$0$0$0
New Current Borrowing$0$0$0
New Other Liabilities (interest-free)$0$0$0
New Long-term Liabilities$0$0$0
Sales of Other Current Assets$0$0$0
Sales of Long-term Assets$0$0$0
New Investment Received$0$0$0
SUBTOTAL CASH RECEIVED$47,143 $53,651 $55,359
ExpendituresYear 1Year 2Year 3
Expenditures from Operations
Cash Spending$21,647$24,204$26,951
Bill Payments$13,539$15,385$170,631
SUBTOTAL SPENT ON OPERATIONS$35,296 $39,549 $43,582
Additional Cash Spent
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out$0$0$0
Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing$0$0$0
Other Liabilities Principal Repayment$0$0$0
Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment$0$0$0
Purchase Other Current Assets$0$0$0
Purchase Long-term Assets$0$0$0
SUBTOTAL CASH SPENT$35,296 $35,489 $43,882
Net Cash Flow$11,551$13,167$15,683
Cash Balance$21,823$22,381$28,239

8.3.1 Profit Monthly

The following graph shows the monthly profit, as forecasted by the company’s financial experts.

Greeting Card Business Plan - PROFIT MONTHLY

8.3.2 Profit Yearly

The following graph shows the yearly profit, as forecasted by the company’s financial experts.

Greeting Card Business Plan - PROFIT YEARLY

8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

The following graph shows the monthly gross margin, as forecasted by the company’s financial experts.

Greeting Card Business Plan - GROSS MARGIN MONTHLY

8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

The following graph shows the yearly gross margin, as forecasted by the company’s financial experts.

Greeting Card Business Plan - GROSS MARGIN YEARLY

The following table shows detailed information about profit and loss, and total cost of sales.

 Pro Forma Profit And Loss   
Year 1Year 2Year 3
Direct Cost of Sales$15,100$19,153$23,206
TOTAL COST OF SALES$15,100 $19,153 $23,206
Gross Margin$293,969$366,781$439,593
Gross Margin %94.98%94.72%94.46%
Sales and Marketing and Other Expenses$1,850$2,000$2,150
Leased Equipment$0$0$0
Payroll Taxes$34,510$40,726$46,942
Total Operating Expenses$188,766$220,744$252,722
Profit Before Interest and Taxes$105,205$146,040$186,875
Interest Expense$0$0$0
Taxes Incurred$26,838$37,315$47,792
Net Profit$78,367$108,725$139,083
Net Profit/Sales30.00%39.32%48.64%

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

The following column diagram shows the projected cash flow.

Greeting Card Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow Diagram

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

The following table shows detailed data about pro forma cash flow, subtotal cash from operations, subtotal cash received, sub-total spent on operations, subtotal cash spent.
The following projected balance sheet shows data about total current assets, total long-term assets, total assets, subtotal current liabilities, total liabilities, total capital, total liabilities and capital.

 Pro Forma Balance Sheet   
AssetsYear 1Year 2Year 3
Current Assets
Accounts Receivable$12,613$14,493$16,373
Other Current Assets$1,000$1,000$1,000
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS$201,259 $237,468 $273,677
Long-term Assets
Long-term Assets$10,000$10,000$10,000
Accumulated Depreciation$12,420$14,490$16,560
TOTAL ASSETS$198,839 $232,978 $267,117
Liabilities and CapitalYear 1Year 2Year 3
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable$9,482$10,792$12,102
Current Borrowing$0$0$0
Other Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Long-term Liabilities$0$0$0
TOTAL LIABILITIES$9,482 $10,792 $12,102
Paid-in Capital$30,000$30,000$30,000
Retained Earnings$48,651$72,636$96,621
TOTAL CAPITAL$189,360 $222,190 $255,020
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL$198,839 $232,978 $267,117
Net Worth$182,060$226,240$270,420

8.6 Business Ratios

The following table shows data about business ratios, ratio analysis, total assets, net worth.

 Ratio Analysis    
Sales Growth4.35%30.82%63.29%4.00%
Percent of Total Assets
Accounts Receivable5.61%4.71%3.81%9.70%
Other Current Assets1.75%2.02%2.29%27.40%
Total Current Assets138.53%150.99%163.45%54.60%
Long-term Assets-9.47%-21.01%-32.55%58.40%
TOTAL ASSETS100.00%100.00%100.00%100.00%
Current Liabilities4.68%3.04%2.76%27.30%
Long-term Liabilities0.00%0.00%0.00%25.80%
Total Liabilities4.68%3.04%2.76%54.10%
NET WORTH99.32%101.04%102.76%44.90%
Percent of Sales
Gross Margin94.18%93.85%93.52%0.00%
Selling, General & Administrative Expenses74.29%71.83%69.37%65.20%
Advertising Expenses2.06%1.11%0.28%1.40%
Profit Before Interest and Taxes26.47%29.30%32.13%2.86%
Main Ratios
Total Debt to Total Assets2.68%1.04%0.76%67.10%
Pre-tax Return on Net Worth66.83%71.26%75.69%4.40%
Pre-tax Return on Assets64.88%69.75%74.62%9.00%
Additional RatiosYear 1Year 2Year 3
Net Profit Margin19.20%21.16%23.12%N.A.
Return on Equity47.79%50.53%53.27%N.A.
Activity Ratios
Accounts Receivable Turnover4.564.564.56N.A.
Collection Days9299106N.A.
Inventory Turnover19.722.5525.4N.A.
Accounts Payable Turnover14.1714.6715.17N.A.
Payment Days272727N.A.
Total Asset Turnover1.841.551.26N.A.
Debt Ratios
Debt to Net Worth0-0.02-0.04N.A.
Current Liab. to Liab.111N.A.
Liquidity Ratios
Net Working Capital$120,943$140,664$160,385N.A.
Interest Coverage000N.A.
Additional Ratios
Assets to Sales0.450.480.51N.A.
Current Debt/Total Assets4%3%2%N.A.
Acid Test23.6627.0130.36N.A.
Sales/Net Worth1.681.290.9N.A.
Dividend Payout000N.A.