Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Often a small or home-based business needs a bit of extra income, and most of us could use extra money during the holidays. Why not take advantage of everyone’s festive mood and desire to buy gifts? One simple way to do that is to make holiday gift baskets.
Baskets are pretty easy to put together if you have a knack for grouping and displaying items. Plus, you can use the sales and marketing skills, and maybe even your already established customer base. And, depending on the particular products you already sell, you might be able to just package them into a basket for gift-giving!
One thing to be sure you do is tell your customers exactly how to use your baskets. Here are some examples:
Gift Baskets for the Stressed Women on your List (or the New Mother, the Vegan, the Buddhist, the College Student, the Teacher, the Book Lover, the Beer Connoisseur, the Triathlete, the Writer, the Tea Lover, and so on.)
Gift Baskets for the Golfer (and other hobbies/obsessions)
Gift Baskets for 10—14 Year-olds (You can even make this gender-specific, and of course, vary the dates.)
Great Gift Baskets for Grandparents (cute photo frames, greatest Grandma/Grandpa sweatshirt, memory books, disposable cameras, cooking with kids cookbook, and the like.)
Spend a few minutes brainstorming on basket ideas and target markets for them.
Then, go shopping. You should plan to charge double or triple your cost for the baskets, so keep that in mind when shopping.
And, you do not have to use baskets. Almost anything can be a great “basket” container—an ice bucket, a cooler, a toolbox or fishing tackle box, a backpack, a mixing bowl, a flower pot, a small wastebasket, a portable file box, a diaper bag, a pasta pot, --whatever!) Do try to match the “basket” to the contents—office supplies in the file box, bar supplies or cocktail mixes in the ice bucket and so on. You can re-purpose some things, too—give hobby supplies in a fishing tackle box and voila’ –you’ve provided storage! (The tackle box works well for makeup supplies, too!)
Once you have your basket ideas and supplies, make up a few baskets and then take digital photos of them. If you sell on eBay post your baskets there. You could even create an eBay store for them.
And, you can sell them offline, too! Just take your photos and create a sales flyer with ordering and contact information. Then, print off copies (color if possible) and distribute them to places your target market might be.
Plus, put some in your local grocery store—there’s usually an area in the entryway with free magazines, a bulletin board or something where you can leave your flyers. Drop some off at you local community center, day care, school, doctor’s office, --wherever they will let you.
Be sure to email your flyer to your contacts, too, and ask friends/family to help you promote, or even buy your gift baskets.
You can have this project up and running in a day and be taking orders and making money tomorrow! You might find that you love making baskets and decide to turn it into a full-time business, or you might just use the idea to add to your existing arsenal of marketing techniques.
If you would like some more information on gift baskets, I recommend the following resources:
For a great beginner’s how-to book, I suggest The Gift Basket Design Book: Everything You Need to Know to Create Beautiful, Professional-Looking Gift Baskets for All Occasions
And, click here to Open an eBay Store. eBay stores are an easy way to get more customers and sell more stuff without a lot of overhead costs.
Plus, check out the related articles below for similar ideas!