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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Traditional Product > Starting a Gift Basket Business

Make Money from Your Website - Starting a Gift Basket Business

You can sell gift baskets for all different occasions and themes. Gift Baskets are a multi-million dollar industry and baskets can be sold to individuals, to businesses and for fundraisers. They are a gift with a personal touch that people are willing to pay a little extra for.

What you will be doing.  Everyone wants the perfect gift for that friend, loved one, or client.  The problem is what to get them.  Having choices is helpful.  With gift baskets, you have a lot of choices.  Gift baskets offer the personal touch. 

Gift baskets are a popular item these days.  To succeed you need a niche market.  You can specialize in baskets for certain occasions or a particular clientele.  Whatever your market, do your homework.  If there are gift basket creators in the area, find out what kind of baskets they sell.  Use this as a guide for your business plan. 

Offer gift baskets that range in size from small to large.  You want to attract customers across all income levels.  If there is something for everyone, your business will grow.  As soon as you design a line of baskets, take pictures and create a catalogue.  This is a tangible way to advertise your handiwork.  Also, leave the door open for custom made baskets at client request for a higher price. 

How to start.  Check to see what requirements there are for a business where you will be selling edibles.  Any food stored in your home for resale may require a sanitation inspection or a special license.  Filling baskets with liquor or wine may be illegal without a liquor license.  Before you start your business, make sure that all of the proper paperwork has been filled out and licenses applied for. 

You will need ample space to put together and store your finished baskets.  The common items like shrink wrap, pens, markers, baskets, filler, cards, business labels, bows, ribbons, and etcetera can be purchased in bulk from discount stores or a wholesaler.  Specific basket items should be purchased on an as needed basis after the initial catalogue baskets are produced. 

Starting costs.  This is a crafting business and you will have to carry inventory.  Your initial costs can be as high as $2,000-$6,000 with supplies, advertising costs, and equipment.  A computer with Internet capabilities, phone, fax, printer, and necessary software will be needed for bookkeeping and inventory.  If you already own these things, the costs will decrease. 

Skills needed.  Gift baskets require a creative side.  New baskets will spring from your imagination.  Customer service is also a big part of this type of business.  Making deliveries on time and with a smile pleases people.  There will be the inevitable unhappy customer that you will have to deal with.  Having a plan ahead of time gives you something the customer expects but doesn’t believe they will get—answers. 

Marketing.  Gift baskets save people time and money.  They will gladly pay to have someone else do the wrapping for them as long as it is a good quality product.  Color catalogues let the potential customer see a representation of your work before they buy.  As a sign of good marketing, create small sample baskets to give to the bigger businesses along with a mailing.  Cold calling will let you know which companies are more likely to give you a chance.  These are the ones that get the freebies. 

For individual sales, use friends and family to spread word of mouth.  Ask them to host basket parties so that you can showcase your products.  The host could even get a free basket out of it. 

Gift baskets are big business but the competition is stiff.  Know your market and the competition.  Fresh ideas will keep you ahead of the game.

Don't miss InternetBasedMoms.com's informative article on Starting a Gift Basket Business from Home

Resources for Starting Your Own Gift Basket Business

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