One of the easiest and most affordable home based businesses ever revealed, the gift basket service!
Gift baskets are always in demand, regardless of the season and this business requires very little start up costs and absolutely no experience.
To begin, you will want to evaluate the different gift basket services in your local area to get an idea as to what they offer as well as their overall pricing. Since gift baskets can be aimed towards a variety of audiences and special occasions, you will want to create a gift basket service that encompasses the most important holidays and events.
Consider the different baskets that you could create and develop a "service theme" that offers a wide variety of baskets for all lifestyles, personal moments, holidays and special occasions.
For example, you could create gift baskets themed towards:
- New Baby & Baby Showers
- Major Holidays (Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day
- Just Married
- Get Well
- Love Affair
- Green Thumb Baskets
- Sports Fanatics
- Gourmet Baskets
Each basket would include items focusing on the theme. For example, if you were to offer a "Private Moments" gift basket for lovers, you could fill it with heart candies, a teddy bear or chocolates.
Many of the items used in specialized baskets can be used across the board with just a few special items or trinkets included to symbolize the specific event or occasion.
This will also help you save money, as you can purchase a base "stock" of items and then customize each basket according to the event.
Creating a gift basket business takes a bit of creativity but if you're up for the challenge, it can be one of the most enjoyable businesses to create!
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- You need to be willing to work closely with clients. Since people have their own ideas as to what should be in their gift basket, you want to be willing to customize their baskets based on the recipient's personal tastes and lifestyle. One basket doesn't fit all!
- You need to be creative. You want your gift baskets to stand out from the competition so think of ways that you can really add a personal touch to your baskets, such as including free gift cards, extensive wrapping with ribbons and bows, and if you are catering only to local customers, you could even offer a gift basket delivery service as part of the package or as an upgrade option!
- You need to refresh your themes. While you always want to cover the popular holidays and regular events and occasions, consider expanding your basket collection to include other ways that your customers can present your baskets to loved ones. Remember, in the gift basket industry no occasion or event is too small for a love-filled basket!
Birthday baskets based on specific ages (outside of the traditional 16, 21, 40 and "over the hill".)
Baskets aimed towards specific fan bases! Look for areas where segments of the market may be overlooked including baskets for 'gamers', 'single moms or dads', movie lovers, and sporting events.
Baskets aimed towards those with allergies. You want to make sure that your basket items are purchased separately from your usual stock so that there is no 'cross-over'. By offering gift baskets that include items safe for those who suffer from specific allergies, you're including a demographic that is usually left out of the gift basket industry!
Start off small and simple. Cater to local residents who are always looking for that perfect gift, and then later you can expand your gift basket business by expanding to include corporate clients.
Local businesses have lengthy lists of events where gift baskets could easily be included, and not just during traditional holidays either. Businesses often offer employee reward programs as well as promotional events, retirements and staff birthdays.
And finally, keep on top of your stock! It's important that you buy in bulk to save money, and so you'll want to define a list of "base stock' that can be used throughout many different baskets.
Variety of candy and chocolate
Teddy bears and trinkets
Sugar free candy
Wine and Champagne
Also keep in mind that you will want to make sure that you properly store specific items like wines and gourmet foods. Remember to keep an eye on expiration dates so that your items are always fresh.
Consider presentation items as well, such as gift boxes, shopping bags, sales tags and a variety of stock cards that can be included as an upsell or bonus item with the gift baskets.
You will need shipping boxes, shipping labels, tape, cushioned mailers and other packing supplies to get started, but these are all very affordable and by developing an online gift basket business you can easily cut the costs by purchasing your gift basket items on demand, as each sale comes in rather than having to stock items or worry about inventory.
Your revenue will be limited only by how hard you want to work and how much you want your business to grow. Home based gift basket businesses can make as much as $150,000 a year by offering local businesses and customers with specialized gift baskets or by developing an online presence.
And to make sure your business is profitable, choose a niche market
While everyone is potentially your customer, in order to communicate with your customer base and be able to build a brand as a quality gift basket provider, you need to evaluate the market, research ideas and choose a segment of your market! You can always expand your gift basket business later on to include additional markets and niches.
Keep in mind that most gift basket business operators expect to net 15 to 30 percent of their gross revenue, and they typically reach this goal by applying a 100-percent markup to the cost of the items in the basket.
Research industry standard pricing for the gift basket business in your local area and expand your business by developing an online gift basket service where you handle fulfillment and shipping!
The costs to advertise your business online are reasonable and you'll be able to maximize your outreach and profits, instantly.
by: Frank Breinling
About the Author:
Frank Breinling is the founder of http://newprofitablestartups.com/ , check out the site and grab a FREE chapter of his ebook