published Friday, May 11th, 2012

Local company Cards By Teresa helps businesses, customers connect

Teresa Ball, owner of Cards By Teresa, said she has learned to love networking.
Teresa Ball, owner of Cards By Teresa, said she has learned to love networking.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• Name: Cards By Teresa

• Products/services: Customizable, low-priced greeting cards. Cards are sold both to individuals and businesses looking to send cards to customers. Businesses may set up campaigns by entering customer information into a database for automatic mailings.

• Contact information: CardsByTeresa.com

• Age: Started February 2011

• Startup investment: $295 for franchising rights

• Business model: Owner and Rossville resident Teresa Ball acts as a sort of independent contractor for the web service SendOutCards.com. She runs her own website, recruits local businesses and helps customers create their cards and campaigns. Those cards are then printed and shipped by SendOutCards.com.

• Target market: Ball sells to both individuals and businesses, but businesses make up the bulk of her business. “One of the things that is really missing in today’s business world is getting back to that customer appreciation,” she said. “They can go to any insurance agent or any Realtor, but if you are on the top of their mind through personal contact, it’s going to give you an upper hand.”

• Biggest hurdle: Networking. Figuring out how to get in touch with businesses was difficult for Ball when she was getting started. But once she started meeting local business owners, she found the process increasingly easy. “I found out that I loved it,” she said. “I love networking with people and meeting these business people.”

• Five-year goal: Ball only works part-time with her business, but hopes to expand her customer base to the point where Cards By Teresa can generate a full-time income. She has about 45 customers now, and expects to hit between 1,000 and 2,000 by 2017.

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