The demand for stationery items is forever! Think of a sector that does not require stationery items. Probably none. The scope for a stationery business is evergreen. You can start this business with a small investment.
Also, legally it is not complicated to start a stationery shop in India.
You can own a franchise or start your own shop. Both options have their own pros and cons. Owning a franchise can cut your marketing cost while a shop demands a lower investment.
So, if you are planning to start a stationery shop, then go through this blog as it is encapsulated with every detail associated with how to start a stationery shop in India. You will be finding answers to the questions like how to start a stationery business, the scope of a stationery business, profit margin, license, investment, franchise, etc.
Things to Consider While Starting a Stationery Shop
Before you start a stationery business, consider the following points for sure-
1. Suppliers-Can you run a stationery shop without the inventory? The answer is no. It is not possible to run a shop without inventory. For those purposes, you need to find the suppliers. You can research and choose the best and leave the rest. Compare the timings of various suppliers make sure they comply with your requirements. Choose a cheap supplier as this would cut your cost and you can earn make a profit.
2. Marketing– Marketing is the blood of every business. It is very important to create brand awareness. Along with the traditional methods, you can use digital methods to promote your stationery business. Different digital marketing strategies can be used to reach the target audience. Be clear and creative while conveying your message to the world.
3. Business Plan– A business plan is a backbone. Planning is an unavoidable thing. You need to plan every move. Your investment, customers, suppliers, budget, profit margin, and everything is included in the plan. This will help you in achieving your goals easily. You can also grab investments if the plan is convincing.
4. Location– The location of your shop is going to have a big say in your success. You cannot blindly open your shop anywhere. You should choose the area with high visibility. It should be in the market or at the place where your target audience recites. Choose your location wisely as this can reduce the cost of promotions.
Scope of a stationery business in India
A stationery business has huge scope in India. Both paper and non-paper items never run short of demand. The attractive and eye-catching stationery items are prevailing these days. All you need is a flawless plan and its strict implementation and you become unstoppable.
The profit margin in a stationery business is 30-40%. Earlier urban areas had a friendly and welcoming nature for stationery businesses, but these days rural people are also realizing the importance of education. They have started sending their children to schools, as a result, the demand for stationery items is rising.
The government used to distribute free stationaries under many educational schemes. The only thing you need to keep in mind is the product and the location are complying with each other. You cannot sell premium stationery items in rural areas.
Also, the industry is evolving and by the time demand of the customers has also evolved. They want variety in types of colors, sheets and are constantly eyeing premium products like diary sets, stylish pens, spraying brush, shading pencils, etc.
The main drivers of the growth in stationery markets are higher literacy rates, economic growth, urbanization, government spending on education, lifestyle, and many more. You can safely enter the market with a solid business plan and don’t worry about the demand it is evergreen.
Target markets for a stationery business
- You must be wondering to whom you could sell your stationery items. You can cover the following areas of the market-
- You can make direct sales. All you need to do is open a general stationery shop in the market and sell your products.
- You can make deals with schools, colleges, and small companies and supply them with the required stationery.
- Also, you can make deals with a wedding planner or card specialist and supply them with stationery.
- You can also sell premium products in the areas that demand such products.
- You can make contracts with NGOs as well. Prefer the NGOs that favor the growth of the education sector.
How to Start a Stationery Business in India
Here is a stepwise guide to starting a stationery business in India.
What are you going to sell?– Can you start a business without deciding on the product? Obviously, NO. It is not possible to start a business without deciding on the product. The planning of more aspects can be started only after deciding the products you want to sell. Suppliers, target market even the theme of your website is dependent on what you have to sell.
Here is a list of stationery items that can be sold-
- You can supply pens, notebooks, crayons, globes, charts, paints, markers, and other items in the school. You can make contracts with schools and colleges.
- You can also contact card specialists and provide them with the raw materials.
- You can also sell craft materials like glitter, beads, ribbons, buttons, stickers, glue, and other materials.
- You can open a general stationery shop that sells scissors, pens, pencils, tapes, gift wrappers, sheets, etc.
- You can also deal with schools and sell books to their students. This is a great way of enjoying the benefits of an oligopoly market.
It is advisable to start with a small investment and expand later. Instead of choosing out of these options, you can run these themes and types altogether.
- Research is the key– Just like any other business, you need to research the market when you are planning to start a stationery shop in India. You need to consider the requirements of the customer and then accordingly choose the products.
Also, choose the strategy according to the market. You should use the most effective medium of conveying the message. Your message should be creative, clear, and convincing. Make sure your target audience has received the message.
- Business plan– The success of a business relies on the quality of a business plan. A business plan contains information regarding every move. Your budget, investment, marketing strategies, target audience, Unique Selling Proposition, everything is mentioned in a business plan. A good business plan can help you in pitching investors.
- Location– The next step is to choose the location of your stationery shop. One of the most important factors that should be considered while starting a stationery shop is the location. People should want your items in the area you are selling them. It is not feasible to sell premium products in rural areas.
- Financing your business– You would always require some investment to start a business. The investment could be less or more depending on the size of the business. You need to estimate the requirements of your business before you choose the source of financing.
You can pitch investors or knock on the doors of banks. If you can manage a small amount, it would be advisable, to begin with, it. You can expand after some time. Also, we will be discussing different ways of obtaining finance in the next section.
- Obtain license– Starting a stationery business is not hectic and complicated. You don’t have to obtain a dozen of licenses nor do you have to go through a lengthy legal procedure to start a stationery business.
- Marketing– Now communicate about your business. Narrate your story to the world. Let people know about your business. You can use both digital and traditional methods of marketing to promote our business.
After the stepwise guide to start a stationery shop, the next point is how can you arrange finance for the same. Here we go with the list of different sources through which finance can be obtained for a stationery business.
How can you arrange finance for a stationery business?
- You can always pitch to investors by presenting a solid business plan.
- Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) is also an option.
- Digital Finance platforms– You can get loans from fintech companies that run in collaboration with NBFCs. Small Entrepreneur uses this source to obtain finance.
- Venture Capitalists– If your plan is attractive and unique there are chances you can get funding from venture capitalists. This is a great source of capturing funds.
- Crowdfunding– Unless and until you are not planning to start a business at a bigger level, don’t approach this method. This includes the concept of collecting money from friends, family, associates, or the general public.
The government is also supporting small businesses these days and has offered many schemes for SMEs. Such businesses enjoy exemption from taxes, interest waiver on loans.
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Legal Requirements- License and Registrations
The very first thing you need to know is that you do not require a special license to start a stationery business in India. You just need Shop& Establishment Registration and Business Registration for a sole proprietorship.
- Aadhar Card
- PAN Card
- Bank Account
- Shop Rental Agreement (if any)
You can take help from CA or legal agencies to arrange these documents.
It is not necessary to GST certificate if you are planning to run as a sole proprietor. The basic condition is, if your turnover is lower than 40 lakhs, then you do not require a GST certificate.
A trade license will allow you to start trading your products through a store.
If you are planning to run your business online, then you would require a domain. You can get it by seeking the help of digital marketing agencies.
The legal procedure of starting a stationery business isn’t too complicated. The next point is the profit margin.
You must be selling the stationery items from different brands. Accurately, it is not possible to mention the profit margin. But on average, you can expect a margin of 20% on branded items. While a profit margin of 25% can be expected on non-branded items. Learn to survive in a dynamic and remain updated with the latest trends. You can get a margin of up to 50% by remaining updated with the latest trends.
Segments of Stationery Business
A brief discussion on the two segments of stationery items. You can safely deal in both segments, but if you are starting with a small investment you can go for one-
–Paper– It includes notepads, exercise books, writing sheets, and cards.
–Non-paper– It includes pens, pencils, paints, brushes, colors, decorative items, creative items, technical instrument stationery, adhesives, glue, folders, etc.
Can you imagine running a stationery shop without inventory? If you want to run a stationery business, you would require a strong inventory management system. You should update your stationery timely. Make lists of the products that are available and that are required. Make sure you never fall short of inventory to avoid delays in the delivery of the products.
You can also have a POS (Point of Sale) system. This can help you in keeping the record of items that are out-of-stock and which are in excess.
After getting established, you can also hire an accountant to help you with finances. Maintaining business accounts is as important as managing your inventory.
Grow your sales!
We believe anyone can get a successful business with a strategy.
How can I run my business?
You can run a stationery business in the following ways-
- Retailer– One of the easiest and least expensive types of business is the retailer business. For this purpose, you need to find a wholesale business to collect the inventory.
- Wholesale Business– This is a type of business where the products are sold in bulk. Retailers enter into contracts with wholesale business owners to supply them with the inventory.
- Franchise– You can own a franchise as well. All you need to do is, conduct market research and if a particular franchise is not located nearby, you can go for it with a proper plan.
- Manufacturer– This is a whole different story. You can establish a factory and produce stationery items. This requires a huge investment.
- Online store– Yeah! You heard it right. You can even open an online store. You just need to showcase your products online and sell them as you receive the order.
You can choose any of the above-mentioned options at your convenience and budget. Don’t forget you can always start a stationery business with a small investment and expand later. So, don’t rush for the options that cost too high and are beyond your repaying capacity.
Is hiring a good idea?
The answer to this question comes with a question– Do you need it? Because hiring staff is the decision of the owner. If you are initiating at a small level, you may or may not require staff. But if you are setting your stationery business at a bigger level then you would require staff. You will require an accountant, manager, salesman, watchman to look after the respective matters. This decision lies in the hand of the owner of a stationery business. First, decide the scale and then make this decision accordingly.
Franchise vs Shop-
One of the most prevalent confusions while starting a stationery business is- Franchise or a shop. Both types have pros and cons. If a franchise offers luring profits, it also demands high maintenance. On the other hand, if a shop asks for less investment, it offers less profit comparatively.
Here we go with a small comparison of both types. This could help you in figuring out, what you should go for.
- A franchise requires higher investment when compared to a shop.
- A franchise asks for higher maintenance while a shop can be started with a small investment.
- You can run a shop without any restrictions while a franchise has its own rules and regulations and you have to abide by them.
- You don’t have to spend more on marketing if you are planning to own a franchise. While you have to use innovative marketing techniques to promote a shop.
- You must consider both pros and cons of franchise and shop. Moreover, consider your convenience and budget before choosing between them.
Establishing a business is not enough. You need to communicate about it. People should know about your business. Having a sound marketing strategy is as important as having a good plan. A strong marketing strategy does not only bring new customers but also retain existing customers.
Here is how you can promote your stationery shop effectively and efficiently.
Start Selling Online-
You can sell your stationery items either by setting a website or using other websites like Etsy. Usually, people prefer to sell their stationery items through other websites in the beginning, as it is not possible for them to manage a website. It requires technical knowledge to manage payments or handle other aspects of the website.
But if you are investing on a bigger level you can manage to own a website. Both the methods have their pros and cons. You need to choose wisely after comparing both methods. You can also use Google Analytics to learn more about your customers. You can also resort to Google Ads to generate targeted advertising.
Social media is a great tool for promoting your stationery business. You can get connected to the customers directly. You can communicate with your customers and know about their tastes and preferences. Also, you can build a community of customers around your brand. Now you can sell what they want, not what you want.
Also, you can contact influencers to promote your product. Present your story effectively and in a convincing tone. You can use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to sell your products directly.
If you want to extract the best out of social media, you need a strong social media marketing strategy to promote your stationery business. Also, keep posting regularly instead of posting once in a while.
Digital Marketing Techniques-
You can use different digital marketing techniques to promote your business. Google ads, Facebook ads, and other digital marketing strategies can be used to promote your business online. You can use SEO techniques to promote your stationery business.
You should get your business registered on Google MyBusiness. This is a great way to get noticed by local customers. You must be finding it difficult to choose the right strategy for your business. For those purposes, you can contact digital marketing agencies for help.
We, at Traffic Tail, provide a complete guide to promote your stationery shop at a reasonable price.
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How can I get the attention of local customers?
In this era of digitalization, you can still make money using traditional methods. You can sell directly in the craft fairs or by contracting with local shops. Using shops for selling stationery items has been continued for ages. You can develop rapport with local customers, suppliers, vendors. Also, you can make a contract with event planners, card specialists, small businesses, schools to sell your stationery items.
Local customers offer a reliable customer base. As the owner is in direct contact with the customers. You can also manage to gain loyal customers by using traditional methods of marketing. All you need to do is to provide the best quality services to the customers. By providing the best quality in the market, you can develop an edge over your competitors.
One of the most important things to consider is the competition. You should analyze the behavior and patterns of your competitors. You should always try to offer something unique. Your customer should get attracted to your shop and the quality of services. Make customer satisfaction your primary objective and then see the miracles.
By using these marketing strategies, you can promote your stationery shop and grow your business effectively.
Is it a Profitable Business?
Definitely, yes. This is a profitable business as you can expect a good return on a small investment. Points that justify my claim are-
- The range of items in the stationery is continuously increasing. Every day you will find a new product in your nearby stationery shop.
- With a rise in education level, the demand for stationery items is also rising.
- The industry is expected to grow by 10% in the coming years.
- People enjoy good margins. A wholesale business can get a margin of 5-8% while a retailer can expect a margin of 25-30%.
- The market is dominated by small stationery shops and they are earning pretty well.
Tips to market your stationery business
- The name of your store should be attractive and promising.
- The layout of your store should be appealing. Make sure the store is clean and aromatic.
- You can offer small gifts for free. Small gifts should be your stationery items like pens, notepads.
- If you are running your business online, stay active on social media as well.
- Use different strategies like e-mail marketing to get connected to your customers.
- Go for craft fairs and exhibitions
- Consider giving discounts to your customers to gain loyalty.
Tips to boost sales at your stationery shop
- Try to become a specialist and expand accordingly
- Consider your competition and plan your moves
- Remain updated with the trend
- Use technology to boost your sales
- Make collaborations with related businesses
Do you Know?
- The size of the global stationery market is expected to grow during the period 2020 to 2028
- ODDY earned 100 crores in paperless time
- Cello group re-entered the home market in October 2020
- Skoodle has started offering eco-friendly stationery items
- Linc pen restarted the business in 2020 when schools were closed and got successful
Things to Remember
- Make a strong plan
- Organize your business efficiently
- Deliver your products on-time
- Manage your inventory
- Negotiate with suppliers to lower the cost
- Price your products carefully
The stationery business has a huge scope in India. Many companies managed to swell their wallets even during the lockdown. By using the right strategy, you can make money in this paperless era as well. A stationery business never goes out of trend. No sector can run without the stationery.
If you are ready to spend more, you can own a franchise. You need to abide by the rules of the franchise and maintain the standard. The store should be optimized and descriptive in nature.
You can start your stationery business both online and offline.
All you need is to remain updated with the new developments in the market. Check your competitors. Understand the needs and requirements of customers. Sell what your customers want and keep introducing creative and attractive items as per the buying capacity of your business.
We at Traffic Tail, guide stationery owners to lift their businesses to great heights. We understand the requirements of your business and plan the strategies accordingly. So, don’t waste time and start working on your project now. And get connected with Traffic Tail to grow your business digitally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques. 1 How much does it cost to start a stationery business in India?
Ans. You can start a stationery business with a small investment and can expand accordingly. You can start with an initial investment of INR 10,000-50,000 which is low when compared to other businesses. You can always grow your business by introducing new features.
Ques. 2- How can I sell my stationery items?
Ans. Your stationery items can be sold using both online and offline methods. You can open a shop and collect the inventory and start an offline business. And if you don’t want to spend on the shop or you can open a selling account on Amazon and start selling your products online. You can use other applications as well. You can even sell your products through social media.
Ques. 3 How can I advertise stationery?
Ans. Here is how you can advertisestationery-
• You can use creative digital methods
• Use custom thank you cards
• Get your packets
• Make sure your social media accounts comply with the interior of your shop
Ques.4 – What are some target markets for the stationery items?
Ans. The target markets for the stationery product include students, schools, colleges, big and small companies, business events. You need to choose your market cautiously.
Ques. 5- Is the stationery business profitable?
Ans. The stationery business offers decent profit margins. It has a profit margin of 30-40%. It would be an average of 5 percent.
Ques. 6- What is the difference between Stationary and stationery?
Ans. Stationary refers to an adjective used to describe a person or object that is not moving while stationery is a noun that shows a collection of items such as pens, pencils, books, sheets, cards, etc.
Ques. 7- Which companies showed a leading market report?
Ans. The leading companies are-
- Hallmark cards
- Groupe Hamelin
Ques. 8 Which is the best franchise for stationery in India?
Ans. The best franchise in India-
• INDIA PAPER MART
• OM publishers& Traders
• NxtGen Enterprises
Ques. 9 Can I digitalize my stationery business?
Ans. Yes, you can digitalize your stationery business. Either you can start selling through a third-party website or you can develop your business website. You can also use social media platforms to run your stationery business.
You can also make seller account on renowned applications like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra to sell your products. Make sure you sell the quality product as these companies have a big name and your product should add to the reputation of the company.
Ques. 10 How can I start a stationery shop in India?
Ans. Follow these steps to start a stationery shop in India-
- Choose the product
- Choose the location
- Estimate your finances
- Obtain necessary licenses
- Find suppliers and vendors
- Hire staff (if required)
- Promote your business
- Kickstart the business