Catalog Start-ups: What You Need to Know
If you want to succeed, you should strike out on new paths rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.
—John D. Rockefeller
Building wealth by starting a catalog is the stuff of legends. The reality, as you know, is much different.
Having inadequate financing from the start is a blueprint for failure. Yet, having adequate financing and deep pockets doesn’t guarantee your success either.
Sure, cataloging is fun and exciting, and it can be rewarding. My intent is not to scare readers away from the prospect of starting a catalog from scratch. Rather, I want to make you aware of what it takes to start a catalog today and what is the best strategy for doing so. I want to give you some idea of what it will cost, and how long it will take to achieve profitability. I’ll also discuss spin-off catalogs and how they can leverage your housefile.
Questions to Answer
It’s difficult to start a catalog from scratch these days because there’s no housefile to leverage, and response rates to outside lists are lower. It takes a long time and a sizeable investment to grow a housefile to the point of breakeven. Most entrepreneurs underestimate how long it will take and how much money they’ll need to reach profitability. I ask would-be entrepreneurs the following questions: