In this occasional series we share business ideas that we think could do well and offer some tips for positioning in the market. We are also willing to offer any Catholic working on these ideas a free 30-minute coaching session (click here). The previous article in the series looked at rosaries and veils. Now we want to look at another underserved market.
Day by Day
Products: physical calendars
Why: there are so many thoughtful ways to complement the Traditional Catholic calendars that are on the market. Your goal probably shouldn’t be to replace them (unless you have a priest at your disposal to cross-check all the feast rankings and placements) but to offer other types of calendars. After all, there’s room for more than one calendar in a home, and more than one way to remember feast days.
How: a simple photo/quote for each day of the year would be an excellent start. Look at this beautiful example from Social Print Studio. The obvious choice for a saint’s feast day would be an image of that saint with a watermarked quote. Different choices can be made for the temporal cycle, with the beauty of the liturgy saving you time: just pick from Introits, Postcommunions, or Vespers Antiphons for your quotes.
Once the photo of the day is torn off, it can serve as a bookmark or as something you can send in the mail to a loved one. The images and quotes could change per year, keeping your product fresh (and recurring).
Here the focus would be on 3D printing and a single beautiful product at the end of the year. Imagine a Sacred or Immaculate Heart! Or perhaps a Holy Family image…just in time to be revealed in December. The possibilities within the enchanted universe of Catholicism are endless.
Where: as with rosaries and veils, you can make these from the comfort of your own home, though you might partner with a 3rd party in the beginning, whether that’s for printing or tooling purposes.
Because it’s a seasonal business, you have all year to prepare for a sprint that will probably be 12 weeks long, kicking off in October and running through the end of the year. You’ll also be able to sell off any remaining overstock at clearance prices as the new year starts rolling. You can mitigate your risk here by offering discounts for pre-orders which will also help you gauge demand and plan appropriately.
Because these calendars are so visually captivating, your biggest sales funnel will come from well-executed short videos that can live in multiple social media channels.
Both of the above concepts are simple and can be illustrated within a 60-second video, but you can execute those videos many different ways in many different settings.
Sure, you could hire an expensive marketing agency, but why would you when you could, with minimum investment, put the ads together yourself. If you are clueless you can use YouTube tutorials to help you learn best practices, focusing on solid voice-over and video that can be shot on something as “basic” as a decent smartphone.
In fact, to save yourself on time and money, you don’t even have to have a website. You can allow the store to live on platforms like Instagram that offer checkout, tracking, and even delivery confirmation. Ink+Volt is a perfect example of a company that has a beautiful website already, but has enough of a focus on mobile that they are drawing in customers right in Instagram such that the customer sees a compelling ad and moments later is checking out.
If you don’t have Ink+Volt’s resources, go the other way first: build on a platform and use success and growth to add products and perhaps, in time, a website.