2017 has been the “year of the Smartphone.” Thank your entrepreneurial spirit that you realised that mobile phones are a big business – which means cases are a profitable venture, too. In 2016, over $23 billion was spent on phone cases and accessories. Here are 7 steps that will help your phone case business boom.
- Define Your Niche
The first step any business owner needs to consider is: what’s motivating you? Who are the people you’re trying to reach? How are you connected to them? Why should they care about your business and your products? Answering these questions helps you flesh out your “niche” – a buzzword that encompasses your message, culture, brand and content. Developing your niche also separates you from competitors; by developing an actual identity for your phone case business, you’re positioning yourself – being the wheat and not the chaff.
- Develop Visual Style for Brand
Your brand will sink in the water without a “core identity.” Finding this is easy: Pinterest, Google and Go Moodboard provide all types of inspiration. Even more important, though, is these platforms show you what’s been done – so your phone case designs (and brand) are truly different – take Galaxy S8 Cases for example. Look for differences such as colour combinations, typography and illustrations, and other visual styles.
Once you have your designs set, you can either design the actual cases yourself or hire a designer. Dribbble, Upwork and Fiverr are all fantastic resources for hiring people to bring your vision to life.
- Figure Out the Costs
Figuring out the costs of starting—and running—your business is beyond the scope of this article. Luckily, there are a number of cost-calculating resources at your disposal. BusinessKnowHow.com created a Business Startup Calculator, and the Small Business Administration helps you estimate start-up costs.
- Work Your Social Circles
New businesses fail all the time. This is often because the owners/creators didn’t run their business idea through the ringer. Make sure your business doesn’t immediately swim, by getting your friends, family and colleagues in on the game. How? By asking them for feedback.
Ask them if this is something they’d be interested in buying. If so, why? If not, why not? You can also showcase your prototypes/ideas to your friends on social media. Remember: all feedback is good feedback, as you’re right now just getting a feel of whether your idea is worth investing some serious time and effort.
- Make More
Once you feel that enough feedback is positive, it’s time to produce more products. A standard start-up kit may be around $3,500 – but the price depends on your area. For that price, however, these kits usually come with heating presses that imprint your design, onto the case, as well as templates and printers. It is affordable and (almost) hassle-free. However, you must keep a budget that accounts for the following:
- Market research
- Machinery maintenance
- Online sales fees (if selling online)
- Design production
- Distribution Channels
If you don’t want the hassle of creation-and-distribution-logistics, as well as the physical act of distributing your products, dropshipping is a good order fulfillment practice. Alisa Zukova (25 Hour Day Prints) claims that selling her art on Etsy has made her more than $5,000 in a year. It’s also worth considering learning how to sell on Amazon, how to sell on Shopify, and attending local craft fairs and trade shows in your area. (The more ways you make it easier for people to buy your phone cases, the more customers you’ll have, the more profits you’ll see.)
- Get Traffic
Now is the time to hit up your social media circles (again). Don’t exclude Instagram or Pinterest for finding like-minded people who will enjoy what you have to offer. Facebook ads are also a worthy investment for reaching your ideal customer and specific group within your niche.
Yes, businesses that make phone cases are profitable. A lot of work goes into them, however – not to mention they are pricey. On the other hand: once your business is up and running—after a few successful years—you can expand into laptop and tablet cases or other phone accessories.