This article highlights how you can launch a successful stationery business in Dubai. According to reports issued by the Emirates Industrial Bank (EIB) Journal, demand for stationery in the United Arab Emirates has seen double-digit growth for several years.
From birthday cards, wedding invitations to corporate marketing material, your stationery business can take several routes to profitability and growth. Research should be the first critical step in your journey.
Starting Stationery Business on the Right Foot
The needs of clients drive a stationery business. Creating, printing and fulfilling customer orders are the core activities of this sector. Before you jump in, you will need to consider the following:
- Research emerging design trends in the UAE and the broader GCC market.
- Establish contacts with wholesalers who supply paper, pens, and assorted bulk stationery products.
- If you are not printing in-house, you will need contacts with local print houses for ongoing discounted services.
- Create an online shop where you can showcase your creativity and designs.
- Network with professionals that have ongoing stationary needs.
- You ought to have a background in visual arts or have a person who has the requisite skills as a partner.
With the growth of internet technology, many stationary businesses have ditched the traditional brick and mortar model and operate exclusively only. This allows them to have lower costs and can continuously adjust the designs on offer.
Also, if you are thinking of going down the digital download path of premade designs, consider looking into Etsy. Many stationery entrepreneurs start here by gauging consumer feedback for their designs. Etsy comes with its own set of challenges as it can be incredibly competitive, but it is also a great way to get traffic because the site has a solid reputation and easy to use interface.
Stationery Business License
Your business model will have an impact on the type of license you obtain. For example, if you are running an online shop and channel orders through a local distributor, an inexpensive free zone license is the way to go. Places such as Creative City are popular destinations for incorporation due to their ease of set up and low incorporation costs.
However, if you opt for a local license, you can set up a shop anywhere in Dubai. This gives you the flexibility to have a kiosk in a commercial center or a shop in a busy business district. While start-up and operational costs are higher, having a physical site has its benefits. You can have clients touch and feel your products before placing an order. Interact with them face to face to get a better idea of their tastes and requirements.
Many stationery shops in Dubai expand into additional added service such as photocopy and printing, or advertising services. Also, some have expanded their business into custom t-shirts and a variety of bespoke design services. Keep in mind that there is a delicate balance of adding services that add value to your clients and expanding into too broad a reach with a detriment in the quality you offer.
Marketing and Networking of Your Business
Marketing and networking will play an essential role in the fate of your business. You will need to showcase your creativity and character to your target audience. Dubai is the home to numerous conventions for weddings, corporate event planning, and has conglomerates with huge corporate stationery budgets. Your job should be to establish a relationship with key contacts to benefit from repeat business.
However, marketing plays a crucial role in expanding your business to new audiences. Many designers have successfully leveraged tools such as Pinterest or Instagram to showcase their portfolio directly to consumers. On the other hand, many provide pro-bono services to local charities and leverage the exposure that comes from their good deeds to create awareness.
Free Consultation for Your Business Setup
To sum up, our consultants have assisted several stationery businesses in Dubai and will be happy to introduce you to our extensive network of professionals to steer you in the right direction. Find out today how a free consultation with us can put you on the path to fulfilling your dreams of owning a stationery business.