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.

    1. The start-up cost is minimal. The equipment is pen, ink, and paper.
    2. It is a skill that practically anyone who has patience can learn. If you can already write, you're already half way there!
    3. Once you've mastered the skill, you only need a pen and paper, and you're ready to take orders!
    4. You can work from your home.
    5. Calligraphy is a skill that will always be in demand.
Click here to find out about learning calligraphy.

Starting your own successful calligraphy business

  1. 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 for it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Contact clubs, civic groups, schools, churches, libraries, and any other organizations that might want to have certificates and/or special awards created.
  8. Contact restaurants to see if they would like a special custom-designed menu.
  9. You may want to create a set of note cards that you can wholesale to card and gift shops.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?"
  13. 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?"
  14. 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.
  15. I also recommend that you guarantee that people will be satisfied with your work or you will do it over.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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 discount prices.

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