Plan-it Cards is a privately owned, independent family business based in Hampshire. It is owned and operated by Jonathan Waterson, his wife Irene and their son David.
With over two decades of experience, Plan-it Cards has built a strong reputation for providing high-quality and creative cards for all occasions. From humble beginnings in 2000, with just one range of 66 everyday greeting cards designs, the company now has a UK network of franchisees as well as distribution in Ireland, Portugal, and Spain.
Our first franchisee joined the business in March 2002 and today several of our franchisees in the network have been with us for well over 10 years. We are a people business and so we like to think this says a lot about our ethos.
Plan-it Cards offers individuals the opportunity to own and operate their own exclusive Plan-it Cards territory, benefiting from a well-established brand, comprehensive training, ongoing support, and access to an exclusive range of card designs.
Everyday is a Birthday so why not consider bring part of a £1.5 billion annual greetings cards market?
Over 90% of greetings cards are still bought in physical bricks and mortar shops. Despite growth in digital forms of communication such as text, social media or emails greetings cards remain the preferred choice when it comes to expressing a heartfelt personal message and making someone feel extra special.
The focus for our franchisees is to target independent stores and national symbol groups to distribute our cards and build proactive business relationships and sales with their retailers in their own exclusive territories.
Our Franchisees benefit from a proven business model that has been refined over the years, comprehensive training programs, ongoing support, and access to marketing materials and regular new designs This enables franchisees to benefit from the established Plan-it Cards brand and reputation to open up, establish and grow new business.
Plan-it Cards has a set of long-term objectives that continue to guide our operations and growth:
We aim to expand our franchise network by attracting more franchisees in new territories. This will enable us to reach a wider customer base and increase sales.
We are committed to on-going product innovation and development, ensuring that our card designs remain fresh, unique, and aligned with changing customer preferences and trends.
We continue to strengthen our brand name and reputation by consistently delivering high-quality cards and exceptional customer service.
We acknowledge the importance of environmental sustainability and intend to integrate eco-friendly practices throughout our operations. This includes sourcing materials from sustainable suppliers, reducing waste, and promoting recycling.
We deliver a full and comprehensive training programme, so no previous greetings card, sales, or business experience is required.
Our training covers all the elements of starting, running, and growing a greetings cards Franchise.
More specifically training will include the following:
Introduction to Plan-it Cards: An Overview of our history, values, and mission statement.
Familiarization with the company’s product range and target market: Comprehensive training on the entire range of Plan-it Cards products, fixtures, and other necessary equipment. Understanding the market its breakdown, the different card categories, occasions, and seasons.
Sales and Customer Service: Training on effective sales techniques, including up-selling and cross-selling strategies. Strategies to manage seasonal demands and introduce new product lines. Customer service best practices, emphasizing the importance of building relationships and delivering exceptional experiences. Handling customer inquiries, complaints, and special requests. Why are we called Plan-it Cards? Guidance on Display layout and design recommendations to create an attractive and customer-friendly environment.
Inventory Management: Understanding inventory control and management processes. Guidance on stock ordering, replenishment, and maintaining optimal inventory levels.
Operations and Administration: Assistance to set-up and layout your storeroom with racking, cards, and stock. Detailed training on day-to-day operational tasks, such as opening and closing procedures, cash handling, and record-keeping. Introduction to our operating system and software used for inventory management and sales tracking.
Handling financial aspects of your business: How to invoice, receive payments, use accounting software. Business planning, setting, monitoring, and achieving sales and profit targets.
Marketing and Promotions: Developing a marketing plan tailored to the franchisee’s local market. Utilizing digital marketing channels, including social media.
Franchisee Support and Ongoing Learning: Introduction to the franchisee support team and their roles. ‘’Handholding” support for your pre-launch and territory launch and access to ongoing training resources, including online portals, webinars, and our online operation manuals.
Business Support: Opportunities for networking and learning from other franchisees through conferences and meetings. Feedback and performance reviews to identify areas of improvement and provide support where needed.
We pass on to the prospective franchisee all the knowledge and experience we have gained over the years for best practice.
The role of our franchisees is to build proactive business relationships and sales with retailers in their exclusive territory.
A Plan-it Cards franchisee has a wide variety of activities every day. Depending on how well established the territory is, a franchisee’s day can vary between the following three key elements:
1) Looking for new opportunities.
With Plan-it Cards the retailer only pays for what they sell. For the retailer there is no stock write off, no initial outlay and an immediate profit with no financial risk. Following our system our Franchisees are able to open up, establish and grow new business more quickly
Part of your day typically will be to follow up on leads generated through your own site visits, enquiries via our website, through customer referrals and by networking with existing customers and symbol group area managers etc.
2) Growing existing business.
Things never stand still in-store. So, an important part of the franchisee’s day is business development with existing customers. Discussing on-going plans, talking through each season, analyzing their figures, trying things out and helping them to grow their greetings card sales which in turn helps grow the business.
Typically, many of our franchisees start their day with the preparation of displays at home (or at their small storage unit) to a specific and optimum journey plan.
Using our proven business model franchisees visit between 8-10 retail customers a day merchandising the greetings cards displays.
Our accounts are mainly in the convenience market, and we work with a number of well-established independent and symbol group customers.
Franchisees visit their customers within their exclusive territory on a monthly basis to replenish stock.
They strip down the remaining stock in store and supply a fresh new display. With new designs released monthly there is always something new to add to ensuring that the displays are always fresh clean and up to date.
On each visit customers pay for what they have sold in the previous month. There is minimal paperwork, and most shops pay on the day of visit.
The up-lifted stock is returned to their storeroom so that the franchisee is ready to prepare for the next day’s calls.
One of the benefits of investing in a Plan-it Cards franchise is that your time is your own. The opening and trading hours of convenience stores, means that Plan-it Cards franchisees can work flexible hours to suit themselves and their customers to enjoy a better work/life balance.