M O N E Y -
M A K I N G - T I P S
(How to start a calligraphy business)
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Yes, you can start your own profitable
calligraphy business. In fact, calligraphy makes a perfect home-based business.
- The start-up cost is minimal. The equipment
is pen, ink, and paper.
- It is a skill that practically anyone who
has patience can learn. If you can already write, you're already half way
- Once you've mastered the skill, you only need
a pen and paper, and you're ready to take orders!
- You can work from your home.
- Calligraphy is a skill that will always be
Starting your own successful calligraphy business
- It almost goes without saying, but the first thing to do is make certain
that your calligraphy is good enough that people will be willing to pay
- It should also go without saying that you should be warm, friendly,
and polite. Always wear a smile and have a positive attitude. Be professional
in your manner and appearance.
- Design your own business card (and make it sizzle!). Don't buy a cheap
pre-designed card. When you do your design, make it 3 times larger than
the actual card will be. The printer can reduce it to the correct size.
- Make a portfolio of several samples of the kinds of calligraphy you
can do. Use your portfolio to show prospects what you can do. Add photos
of new work as you go.
- NEVER do any work for free. Charge people something, even if just a
very little amount. The important thing here is that people understand
from the beginning that you are in business and that your work may be inexpensive
but it's not free. If you do work at no charge for one person, another
person may expect free work also.
- To get started, charge very, very low prices. The point is that you
want to create a reputation for doing good work and you want your work
to be seen. You want the public to learn about you. For that reason, start
cheap! You can tell people that your prices are low at this time only because
you are just starting out. That will encourage them not to wait to order.
- Contact clubs, civic groups, schools, churches, libraries, and any
other organizations that might want to have certificates and/or special
- Contact restaurants to see if they would like a special custom-designed
- You may want to create a set of note cards that you can wholesale to
card and gift shops.
- Every time you complete a job, show the finished work to other people
and, by all means, don't forget to PHOTOGRAPH it for your portfolio.
- Ask people to give you referrals. Ask, "Who do you know that might
also be interested in having me do some calligraphy?" When you call
a referral, begin the conversation by introducing yourself and telling
them that the referring person suggested that you call. When a referral
buys from you, send the referring person a little gift or thank you card.
- To get a prospect to look at your work say, "I am an artist who
specializes in calligraphy, and I'd like for you to take a look at some
of my work. Do you have 2 minutes?"
- While a prospect is looking at your portfolio, you can point to a specific
example and ask, "Have you ever thought that you might like to have
something like this for yourself?"
- I recommend that at the time you take an order, you ask for a deposit.
This encourages people to be prompt in paying you when the work is completed.
- I also recommend that you guarantee that people will be satisfied with
your work or you will do it over.
- When you take an order, make detailed notes and draw a rough sketch
so that the prospect gets an idea of what the finished work will look like.
This will also help you remember.
- Always do your absolutely best work. Don't be sloppy or hasty. When
you are ready to deliver the final product, be confident that you have
done a good job and it's worth the price you are charging.
- Once you are established and want to raise your prices, calculate a
cost per character formula that you can use to give people price quotes.
- When people ask you for a price quote, don't hesitate or try to avoid
answering. You may want to ask for more details before you give them a
price, but when you know what the job is, give them a quote!
- If you provide matting and framing, you can increase your profits.
There are mail-order businesses who will sell mats and frames to you at
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Copyright © 1997 James Bennett