Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Everyone loves getting gift baskets! They are popular gifts and this business has unlimited potential.
An eye for detail and ability to combine objects attractively are good skills for creating baskets. Thinking "outside the box" and combining products into great new baskets will make sure you have an endless supply of new product.
If you would like to start a gift basket business, one of the first things on your list is to choose a target market. The beginner thinks "I can make baskets for anyone, I don't need a target market." But, while you can make baskets for anyone, the better you can focus your marketing efforts, the more money you will make!
A gift basket business can target corporate clients (you would make sales calls on the businesses in your area)or even a specific corporate industry (your target could be car dealerships, or realtors, or hospitals). Or, you could target the children's birthday market, or the new baby market, or the sweetheart (romantic) market, or. . .the list goes on and on!
For more information on target marketing, read my article Find your Target Market and Make More Money.
Next, you need to make a list of essentials for your business. Start by checking with your local government for legal requirements, such as a business license.
Then determine where you will get supplies. Having a target market will help hold down your inventory costs, too. Plus, it will require much less space to keep supplies for making "thank you" baskets than for making any kind of basket one can imagine.
The basic essentials you will need are:
Baskets or Containers
Filler like shredded raffia, newspaper, etc.
Ribbons & Bows
Cellophane, clear or colored
Gift Tags and greeting cards
Tags or stickers with your company logo
And, "stuff" to put in your baskets.
Check out some competitor's gift baskets, both online and in your area to determine price ranges for your baskets before you purchase a lot of inventory. It's okay to make bigger & better baskets than the norm, but do not base your whole business plan on selling them.
Create a few sample baskets and take pictures of them. Make sure they are fabulous and make sure they are in several price points and affordable to your target market. For example, if your target is new babies, keep in mind the average new baby gift in your area. If people routinely spend $20, you will have a hard time selling $50 baskets.
Use your basket pictures on flyers, brochures, even your business card if possible.
Consider creating sample baskets as part of your marketing plan. Sample baskets work well for donating to groups as a door prize, for example. If you can make miniature sizes, they are great as "leave-behinds" on sales calls.
Your gift basket business can be a very lucrative work at home business if you plan carefully before you start. Make sure it is the business you want, and then go for it!
Click Here to Discover How to Become a Gift Basket Business Owner