Did you know that more people have been turning to jigsaw puzzles as a source of entertainment? 

In 2020, the market grew by 38% in the UK, hitting £100 million. Not only are they a great way to pass the time, but jigsaw puzzles are also a great gift idea. 

So, if you’re thinking about starting a jigsaw business, there are plenty of customers out there for you. Still, companies require a lot of effort and planning. If you’re not sure where to start, we can help.

This guide covers how to start a jigsaw puzzle business, including:

  • Assembling your business
  • Setting up your business
  • Organising your business
  • Marketing your business

How to assemble your jigsaw puzzle business

Before starting a jigsaw puzzle business, you’ll need to plan the details. Let’s go over the main things to consider. 

Market research and target audience 

It’s important to understand the puzzle industry to succeed within it. So, start by researching the market to understand the following:

  • Size – how much money does the market currently earn, and how many sales are there overall?
  • Demand – how popular are jigsaw puzzles? Which types of puzzles often sell out? What sales numbers can you expect?
  • Target audience – what kind of people typically buy jigsaw puzzles, including gender, age range, and family situation? 
  • Competitors – what are the big jigsaw brands and other small jigsaw puzzle businesses you might need to compete with?

To find valuable information on the jigsaw market, look into platforms like:

Your business niche 

As you learn more about the jigsaw puzzle market, you can determine how to set your business apart from the competition. In other words, develop a unique selling point

Establishing a niche for your business allows you to offer something unique and different. For example, you might choose to sell hand-painted jigsaws with your original art. Or you could stick to a specific or popular theme. 

Jigsaw puzzle production

To sell jigsaw puzzles, you’ll also need to plan your production process so you can stock up and start selling. 

You could purchase pre-manufactured jigsaws to sell (such as from Faire). Alternatively, you could create or design your own and use a manufacturer like Trade Jigsaws

Sales format

You’ll also need a place to sell your finished products. Jigsaws are a great product to sell online, meaning you won’t need a physical shop. This decision can cut business costs. 

If you want to sell your jigsaws online, you can design a website that accepts sales and payment. Additionally, you could sell your products through platforms like Amazon or Etsy, which can help you access their audience. 

Business plan 

As you put together the pieces, compile your ideas into a business plan

This document will act as a guide as you start your jigsaw puzzle business. Plus, it’ll show potential investors that you developed a viable venture. Your business plan will outline your:

How to start a jigsaw puzzle business

Once you have a plan for your idea, knowing how to start a jigsaw puzzle business comes down to logistics. There are a few essential steps you’ll need to cover.

Registration

To turn your business into a legal entity, register it with the UK Government. You can register as either a limited company or a sole trader. Here are the main differences: 

  • Sole tradership – you are legally responsible for your business and its finances, but there are fewer taxes and regulations. 
  • Limited company – the business is a separate legal entity, so you only risk what you invest in it. With that said, you’ll have more taxes and responsibilities. 

Depending on the scale of your new jigsaw business, you may want to register as a sole trader. An online business can have lower overhead costs. So, it would be less risky to take on the liability yourself.

Tax management

As a business owner, you’ll need to keep records of your income and report this to HMRC for your taxes. You’ll likely do this by submitting a Self Assessment tax return

There are a few taxes you may need to pay for your business, including:  

  • Income or dividend tax 
  • National Insurance 
  • Corporation tax – limited companies only 
  • VAT – VAT registered companies only, or those who expect to earn more than £85,000 annually.

Aside from understanding your taxes, you may want to learn about the Making Tax Digital (MTD) government initiative. Over time, MTD compliance will become a requirement for most businesses, so it’s smart to think ahead.

Insurance 

With the right insurance coverage, you can protect your business from financial risk. Finding insurance is an essential step to preparing for the unexpected. For example, you might need: 

  • Public liability insurance – protects you from injury, damage, or loss your business is found responsible for. 
  • Product or inventory insurance – protects your inventory from damage, theft, or loss. 
  • Shipping insurance – protects you from the risk of orders being damaged, lost, or stolen in the post. 

You can find some great coverage options for small businesses at Superscript

How to organise each piece of your business

Another major part of how to start a jigsaw puzzle business is organising it to run smoothly. 

Business management 

To organise your business’s day-to-day, you might want to use a management tool like Google Workspace. With this, you can keep your email, documents, and calendar in one place

You could also break up your larger tasks and to-do list with a project management tool like Trello

Inventory

Aside from organising your workday, you’ll need to stay on top of your inventory. It’s important to keep track of how many products you have available, how many you sold, and when you need to order more

To simplify this process, consider using an inventory management system like Netsuite.

Shipping 

Do you plan to sell your products online or offer shipping? If so, it’s crucial to stay on top of what goods you need to mail, are in the post, and have already arrived

It might be hard to juggle your shipping needs as the orders increase. But with a consistent system and checklist, it’ll be far easier to say on top of everything.  

Additionally, you could use a tool like ShipStation to streamline the process and make it more efficient.  

Payment systems

With a good payment system, you can turn your sales into cash. So, you may want to accept credit card payments to make your products more accessible

To do this, you’ll need to open a merchant account to hold your pending credit earnings. Then, connect the merchant account to your bank account.

If you plan to sell your products online, you could use a secure system like PayPal to accept payments. Then, if you’ll accept payments in person, you could use a card machine from SumUp.  

Financial management

Organising your finances is essential because HMRC expects you to record all business transactions. Beyond that, financial accounting can help you track and understand your performance.  

Business current account

The best way to organise your finances is by separating them from your personal transactions. 

To do this, open a business current account, or bank account specifically for your business. This account keeps all your purchases and earnings in one place to avoid confusing them with personal spending.

Modern accounting software

With your bank account, you can update and maintain your books. But, accounting software can further simplify your accounting process. Plus, it’ll help you track your performance and plan for taxes. 

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

The app offers features that automate the process and save you time, including: 

  • Receipt capture and automatic expense categorisation 
  • Unlimited invoicing on the go with automatic transaction matching
  • Ongoing cash flow insights to track your money over time
  • Year-round tax estimates and MTD compliance 

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business. 

Start your three-month free trial today

How to market your jigsaw puzzle business

Now that you know how to start a jigsaw puzzle business, the last thing you’ll need to do is draw in customers. Your marketing and sales strategy will help you earn attention for your brand and win revenue

Business brand

The way you present your business to the public, or your brand, will help you reach your intended audience. Your design, tone, and core values make up your brand identity. 

When planning your brand, consider what might attract puzzlers based on your market research. You might also want to look at other jigsaw brands for ideas. 

Then, think about which colour scheme could represent your business. This scheme can inform your logo and marketing materials, which you could design with a free tool like Canva

Apart from that, you might choose to stick to a formal or informal style with your content. For example, you could use a more intellectual tone if you sell elaborate jigsaws, or simpler language if you sell ones for kids.

Digital marketing 

Website

Your business website acts as the foundation of your marketing. It offers a resource for people to learn more about what your business does and the products it offers. 

So, create a strong website that introduces your business clearly. Your website will likely include: 

  • Your business’s story – who you are and why you started this business.
  • Your products and prices – with a shop if you sell through your website.
  • Contact information – email, phone, address is necessary, and links to other places to find you.
  • Positive customer reviews – with examples of positive feedback, you can build a good reputation. 

Social media 

Social media marketing is a great way to draw people into your business. Regularly posting on these platforms will help you reach and build interest from your target audience

For example, you could post about your new product availability, interesting jigsaw tips, or even hold competitions for your customers. Encourage people to share your jigsaws online and tag you to expand your audience. 

But which social media platforms might be most relevant to this business? You could use: 

  • Facebook – create groups or people interested in jigsaw puzzles.
  • Twitter – tweet riddles, tips, and jokes about jigsaws.
  • Instagram – post pictures of your jigsaws in various degrees of completion.
  • TikTok – create jigsaw tutorial videos or tips.

Sales events and popup shops

If you don’t have a physical shop for your jigsaw puzzle business, you could still get yourself in front of customers by attending events. Doing so lets you showcase the actual jigsaws and win people over. 

Craft markets

Consider searching and signing up for local craft fairs or markets at which you can set up a booth. This way, you’ll display your jigsaws in front of an audience that’s likely interested in what you offer. 

With business cards that have your name and contact information, you can earn attention beyond the event itself. 

Popup shops

Popup shops are another great way to spark sales. Temporarily renting a space or setting up a public shop helps you interact with interested people. 

Plus, the more available you are to customers, the more likely they’ll buy from you. 

Stocking your jigsaw puzzles

Even if you run your business online, you could put your jigsaws in shops. 

Try reaching out to small businesses or boutiques that might sell similar products. Selling your products to other shops is a great way to earn revenue on top of your online sales.

Prepare your jigsaw puzzle business for growth 

Hopefully, this article will show you how to start a jigsaw puzzle business so it’s less work to put together. This venture can succeed if you remember to:

  • Plan things out in advance
  • Set it all up legally
  • Organise each piece for success
  • Market your business to find customers

From there, you’ll have a company ready for the future. Eventually, you may want to start thinking about that future. Why not check out our article on creating a small business growth plan next?