Do you want to start an exercise book production business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting an exercise book production business with NO money and no experience.

Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample exercise book production business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample exercise book marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for exercise book production companies. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting an exercise book production business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.

Why Start an Exercise Book Production Business?

Getting it right in business is the uttermost desire of any aspiring entrepreneur and if you want to start a business that needs less stress to market, then you should commence a business whose products can be readily recognized in the market place. One of such businesses is the exercise book production business.

All across the world, school children make use of exercise books for writing. Exercise books are equally produced in the United States and all over the world. As a matter of fact, exercise book production business is not a complicated business to start as it is open to all and sundry.

Essentially, what most standard exercise book production companies leverage on to increase sales cum revenue generation is robust distribution networks within their coverage areas; they ensure that they partner with schools and other organizations that make use of or give out exercise books and that is the key to doing pretty well in this line of business.

If you want to go into the exercise book production business, all you need are some capital to purchase or lease/rent a suitable production facility and then equip the facility with the needed machines and equipment. You would also need some additional capital to purchase papers and other supplies, pay your employees at least for the first 3 months, and also to pay your utility bills.

Below is an article that will give you the needed guide to launching your exercise book manufacturing business.

Starting an Exercise Book Production Business – A Complete Guide

  • Industry Overview

Exercise book production business which is known as note books production in the United States of America belongs to the Paper Stationery Manufacturing industry and businesses in this industry manufacture paper stationery products used in commercial, educational and household applications. This includes ready-to-use office paper, envelopes, folders, binders, diaries and manifold business forms et al.

The Paper Stationery Manufacturing industry has suffered tough conditions over the years due to the rise of electronic communication, data transfer and storage at the expense of traditional paper stationery products. In the meantime, rising imports, dwindling exports and pressure on government spending on education also negatively influenced industry performance.

Industry revenue is estimated to decline at a compound annual rate of 7.2 percent between 2016 and 2017. Revenue generated in the industry is projected to decline over the same period on account of falling demand, strong pricing pressure and rising input costs.

If you study the Paper Stationery Manufacturing industry, you will notice that the industry derives almost half of its revenue from the sale of envelopes, which are cut, gummed, folded and often pre-printed for clients or brand packaged for wholesalers. Paper stationery manufacturers use their proximity to clients and capacity for short production runs to compete against low-cost, high-volume producers in India and China.

Envelope sales are declining in line with the overall industry, because the increasing dependence on e-mail has caused demand to deteriorate. However, the need for envelopes will certainly remain, though dependence on them will continue to decline. This segment’s share of revenue remained relatively stable during the past five years.

The Paper Stationery Manufacturing industry is a thriving sector of the economy of the United States of America and they generate a whooping sum of $5 billion annually from more than 443 registered and licensed exercise book and paper stationary production companies scattered all around the United States of America.

The industry is responsible for the employment of over 17,161 people. Experts project the paper stationery manufacturing industry to grow at 3.4 percent annual rate. The Huhtamaki and Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd. are the market leaders in the Paper Stationery Manufacturing industry; they have the lion market share in the United States of America and in most countries of the world.

A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that the industry has a low level of market share concentration. In 2016, the four-largest companies are estimated to hold 17.9 percent of the market, with the largest industry participant, Huhtamaki, expected to account for 6.6 percent of industry revenue.

The report further shows that market share concentration has remained relatively stable over the five-year period, due to both acquisition activity and overall industry recovery. For example, in May 2011, Reynolds acquired Dopaco Inc. and Dopaco Canada from Cascades Inc. for $395 million, with these companies ultimately integrated in Reynolds’ Pactiv Food service segment. There is sufficient competition in the industry to ensure that no single operator has the ability to take a large share of the market.

Some of the factors that encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to venture into starting an exercise book production company is the fact that the market for exercise books and other paper stationery products is pretty huge and not seasonal. That makes it easier for loads of entrepreneurs who are interested in the business to come into the industry at any time they desire; the entry barriers are quite affordable and any serious – minded entrepreneur can comfortably raise the startup capital without collecting loans from the bank.

Over and above, the Paper Stationery Manufacturing industry is a profitable industry and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you can chose to start on a small scale printing just customized note books for events and occasions or you can chose to start on a large scale with distribution networks and several outlets in key cities all around the United States of America.

Starting an Exercise Book Production Business – Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

Those who make use of note books and other paper stationery products cut across all genders and age groups; hence the demographic composition for an exercise book production company is all encompassing especially when they are also into the production of other paper stationary related products.

So, if you are thinking of going into paper production business, then you should make your target demographics all encompassing. It should include corporate executives, students/schools, trainers/training institutes, applicants and churches amongst others.

List of Niche ideas Within the Exercise Book Production Business That You Can Specialize in

It is difficult to find a note book production company producing only note books (exercise books) because it would be difficult for them to maximize profits in the industry. Even though there is no clear-cut niche area in this line of business, but it is common to find a standard note book production company engage in the manufacturing of all or some of the under listed;

  • Manufacturing envelopes
  • Manufacturing manifold business forms
  • Manufacturing paper notebooks and letter pads
  • Manufacturing diaries, journals and exercise books
  • Manufacturing registers and account books
  • Manufacturing paper binders, folders and file covers
  • Manufacturing blotting paper, pads and book covers
  • Manufacturing carbon paper

The Level of Competition in the Paper Stationery Manufacturing Production Industry

There is hardly any industry or line of business anywhere in the world where there isn’t competition because competition fosters creativity and innovation in the business world. This goes to show that if you want to start an exercise book production company, then you have brace-up for competitions in the industry. The truth is that you are expected to compete with other players in the Paper Stationery

Manufacturing industry that is why most notebook production companies are leveraging on creativity in terms of designs, packaging and marketing to continue to stay afloat in the industry. One creativity approach that is common in the industry is helping schools, organizations and even individuals customize notebooks and other paper stationary to suit their organization.

The fact that there are stiff competitions in the Paper Stationery Manufacturing industry is not hampering the performance of new entrants; most of them know how to recreate and re-strategize to reach out or attract more customers even if it is just people and businesses in their immediate community.

List of Well – Known Brands in the Exercise Book Production Industry

It is the norm that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.

These are some of the leading paper stationery production companies in the United States of America and in the globe;

  • Huhtamaki
  • Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd.
  • Metso Paper USA Inc
  • Jackson Paper Manufacturing Co
  • American Eagle Paper Mills
  • Nakagawa Manufacturing (USA), Inc
  • CTI Paper USA Inc
  • International Paper
  • Nippon Paper Industries USA Co
  • Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc.
  • Catalyst Paper USA Inc
  • BPM Inc. A Specialty Paper Mill
  • Paper Machinery Corporation
  • Sun Paper Company
  • American Forest & Paper Association
  • Gorham Paper & Tissue
  • Acorn Paper Products Co
  • Paper Craft By International Greetings USA
  • Interstate Paper LLC

Economic Analysis

Starting an exercise book production company can’t be said to be a difficult business venture but at the same time, it is a business that requires thorough economic and cost analysis – feasibility studies and market survey if you are looking towards making profits in the industry.

Part of what you need to focus on in this line of business is how to build a standard notebook and paper stationary production and printing plant, a robust distribution network, branding and of course how to maintain your machinery and equipment and to take care of your overhead before your business breaks even. Other costs that should be considered during planning and budgeting are supply of papers, pins, color cartridges, and fuel and maintenance costs et al.

Lastly, in other to play safe with your investment, it is important that you hire the services of experts to help you carry out thorough economic and cost analysis before committing your resourcing to the business.

Starting Your Exercise Book Production Business from Scratch vs Buying a Franchise

There are loads of factors that should be considered before choosing the option to follow. Some of the factors to consider are the cost of starting from the scratch or buying a franchise, your financial capacity, your vision, and your business skills and experience.

If your intention of starting an exercise book production business is to grow beyond one city, if you want to have your presence in key cities in the United States and Canada, then starting your exercise book production company from the scratch is your best option.

But if you want to start a business with the aim of just making profits and you don’t have the required finance and experience to build a business from the scratch, then it will pay you to buy the franchise of a successful brand in the Paper Stationery Manufacturing industry.

Please note that most of the big and successful exercise book production companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success and of course you can build your own exercise book production company – brand to become a successful brand with your distribution network spread throughout the length and breadth of the United States of America and other countries of the world if you decide to go into exporting your note books.

Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting an Exercise Book Production Company

If you decide to go into the exercise book production business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established brands in the Paper Stationery Manufacturing industry both in the United States of America and from other parts of the world. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.

Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn; if the economy is in a bad shape, businesses such as exercise book production companies usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new customers. So also, unfavorable government policies can hamper the growth of your exercise book production company. There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to be positive that things will work well for you.

Starting an Exercise Book Production Business – Legal Matters

  • Best legal entity to use for this type of business

If you have plans to launch an exercise book production business, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some exercise book and paper stationary production companies design their business for neighborhood market, some for city wide market, while others for national and international market by exporting opening chains of distribution network globally.

Generally, can either choose a general partnership, limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or even a sole proprietorship for an exercise book production business.

Catchy Business Name ideas Suitable for an Exercise Book Production Company

When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.

If you are considering starting your own exercise book and paper stationary production business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • School Runs® Exercise Book Production Company, LLC
  • National Note – Book® Paper Mill Company, LLC
  • Tag Team® Paper Mill Company, Inc.
  • Top Grade® Notebook Production Company, Inc.
  • Academic Life® Paper Mill Company, Inc.
  • Patrick™ Paper Mill Company, Inc.
  • Lucky Star© Note Book Production Company, Inc.
  • Executive Brand™ Notebook Production Company, LLC
  • Hello World© Notebook Production Company, Inc.
  • Danny Jordan© Paper Mill Company, Inc.

Insurance Policies

In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your exercise book and paper stationary production company.

Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own exercise book and paper stationary production company in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health/Medical insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Building Insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance

Intellectual Property Protection/Trademark

Unlike the printing press industry, if you are considering starting your own exercise book and paper stationary production company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.

Is Professional Certification Needed to Run an Exercise Book Production Business?

When it comes to the exercise book production business, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you can be allowed to do the business. All you need is informal training that will give you the needed skills coupled with your own inbuilt artistic talents.

List of Legal Documents You Need to Run an Exercise Book and Paper Stationary Production Company

The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching any business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.

These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own exercise book and paper stationary production business in the United States of America;

  • Business and liability insurance
  • Tax Payer’s ID
  • Fire certificate
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Non-disclosure Agreement
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Employee’s Handbook
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Building License
  • Franchise or Trademark License (optional)

Financing Your Exercise Book and Paper Stationary Production Company

It is often said that money is the blood of any business. Raising start-up capital is perhaps one of the major concerns for entrepreneurs as it can be challenging raising capital to launch a business idea. Your idea must be workable and promising for you to secure finance from financial institutions or from angel investors.

The first thing to put in place before sourcing for start-up capital for your exercise book and paper stationary business is to draft a detailed business plan. With a good business plan, you can easily convince investors to invest in your business.

The truth is that no bank can give you a loan if you don’t have a good and workable business plan. Besides, investors will not take you seriously if you don’t have a business plan on ground before launching out to source for start-p capital.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start-up capital for your exercise book and paper stationary production company;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell of shares to interested investors
  • Applying for loan from your bank
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends

Choosing a Suitable Location for an Exercise Book Production Business

When it comes to choosing a location for your exercise book and paper stationary production company, there are key questions you should answer and key factors that must be considered. You are expected to choose a location that is easily accessible especially as it relates to your distribution network and supply of raw materials. Affordability, availability of labor and safety are also some of the factors that you should consider.

Despite the fact that exercise books and other paper stationaries are used by all and sundry, it is important to choose a location that will give your economy of scales; a location that will give you leverage to favorably compete in the industry as a new entrant and also to make reasonable profits.

It cannot be overemphasized that the location you choose to launch your exercise book and paper stationary production company is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people with the required purchasing power and lifestyle

Most importantly, before choosing a location for your exercise book and paper stationary production company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.

Starting an Exercise Book Production Business – Technical and Manpower Details

When it comes to starting an exercise book and paper stationary production company, then you should make plans to build a standard paper production plant. A standard paper production plant includes printers, paper cutters, paper binders and computers and the appropriate software apps (for designing and other graphic works). So, you are expected to put all this equipment and machines in place and also purchase standard distribution trucks.

Although you can get fairly used of the above listed equipment and machines, but it is advisable to go for new and latest machines and equipment that can serve you for a long time most especially if you have the money to make the purchase. Even if you don’t have the required amount, you can enter into an agreement with the suppliers of such machines and equipment and spread the payment over a period of time.

As regards acquiring a facility, if you have the finance, it is to your advantage to acquire a property or lease a facility to be used for your exercise book and paper stationary production plant; it usually gives you the freedom to design the facility the way you want to it to be and install safety gadgets as you desire. But if you are low on cash, then you don’t have any option other than to rent a facility.

When it comes to creating a workforce structure for a standard exercise book and paper stationary production company, then you should look towards getting qualified and competent people to fill the following roles; Chief Executive Officer (Owner), Plant Manager, Human Resources and Admin Manage, Merchandize Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager, Accountants/Cashiers, Production Workers/Machine Operators, Distribution Truck drivers and Cleaners.

Over and above, you will need a minimum of 15 – 20 staff members to successfully run a small scale but standard exercise book and paper stationary production company.

The Business Services Process Involved in Exercise Book and Paper Stationary Production

Basically, the production process of exercise book and paper stationary are usually run on autopilot. It starts with knowing the quantities and size of notebooks and other paper stationaries to be produced. If that is established, then the designs and measurements will be agreed upon, the required materials will be sorted out and finally the process of production will commence. We are not ruling out the fact that quality control is enforced at every stage of the production process.

It is important to state that an exercise book and paper stationary production company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated exercise book production company process is not cast on stone.

Starting an Exercise Book Production Business – The Marketing Plan

  • Marketing ideas and strategies

Running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch an exercise book and paper stationary production company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for paper stationary production industry.

People and organizations will purchase and make use of your exercise books if they know that they are going to get the best value for their money.

As a matter of fact, your marketing strategy will center on quality, pricing, and above all excellent customer service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.

Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet and which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet to market their services or products. In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing effort will be directed to internet users and your website should become your number one marketing tool.

These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your exercise book and paper stationary production company;

  • Introduce your exercise book and paper stationary production company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to books and stationary stores, schools, corporate organizations, training institutes and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your exercise book production company is located
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across, so that those on the social media or those who read blogs will know what exercise book and paper stationaries to purchase within your location
  • Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your products
  • Engage in road shows in targeted communities from time to time to promote your exercise book production company
  • Join local exercise book and paper stationary production company associations for industry trends and tips
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)

Strategies to Boost Your Book Production Business Brand Awareness and Create Your Corporate Identity

If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be. One of the secret of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand and communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them.

If your intention of starting an exercise book and paper stationary production company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by opening chains of distribution network and exporting your products, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.

No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your exercise book and paper stationary production company;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and educational magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your exercise book and paper stationary production company
  • Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your exercise book and paper stationary production company
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Contact books and stationary stores, schools, corporate organizations, training institutes and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your exercise book and paper stationary production company is located informing them about your exercise book and paper stationary production company and the products you sell
  • List your exercise book and paper stationary production company in local directories/yellow pages
  • Advertise your exercise book and paper stationary production company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
  • Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where exercise book and paper stationary production company is located
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo

Joy Nwokoro

Researcher / Senior Writer at Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd
Joy Nwokoro is a Freelance Business Journalist, researcher, translator and sales trainer who have worked with numerous clients amongst which is Women in World Banking, a business research NGO in New york, America. She holds a bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the Abia State University, Nigeria.
Joy Nwokoro