Learn Exactly How To Start A Gift Basket Business - No Crafting Experience Neccesary
Starting a gift basket business will be one of the most exciting things that you ever do. Few other businesses allow for as much creativity, ingenuity or spontaneity as running a gift basket company. Although you may have already scoped out the competition there are a few things that you should do before you begin to print off business cards and purchase supplies.
The first thing that you should decide is what direction that you want to go into. Gift baskets can consist of food, bath and beauty, baby gifts or any combination of items that you choose. You may want to specialize in them all, but this may be an overwhelming understanding. Consider who your target audience is, and then think about how easy it will be for you to find whole vendors that sell the types of products that you need.
After you have selected an area of focus you can begin to think about branding. Many business owners skip over this step and assume that they will be able to create a memorable logo with clipart. If your budget will not allow you to hire a graphic designer try to get in contact with some art or marketing students at a local college that will commission a logo for you that in exchange for a gift basket or a nominal fee.
Even if you plan on drumming up most of your business locally a well designed company website is essential. Local customers will be able to find out more about your company and locate your hours of operation if you have a storefront while online consumers will have the ability to view what types of gift baskets that you have in stock. Along with detailed product descriptions you should also upload a good assortment of your gift baskets. Make sure that your potential customers can see exactly what is contained in each basket.
How you choose to decorate and secure your gift baskets is nearly as important as what you decide to put in them. Bows and shrink wrap will help to add a delicate touch to your baskets but remember that you will be catering to a wide array of audiences. Men won't necessary want to receive a gift basket that is adorned in lace and sparkles, so start to research gift baskets designs and put your new ideas into practice.
The single most important thing that you must consider when starting a gift basket is demand versus supply. Throughout the year you will have peak seasons when your gift baskets will be flying off of the shelves while other times will be noticeably more slow. Run promotions and feature new designs and products whenever a major holiday approaches, but most importantly make sure that you keep in contact with past customers. Develop a mailing list to encourage your consumers to purchase birthday gift baskets, romantic presents and even get well good gifts so that you can begin to generate a more dependable source of income.
If you don't sell as many gift baskets in the beginning try not to worry. It will take some time before people come to know about your gift basket business and even then it will take them more time to start to trust your brand. As long as you deliver the goods in a timely basis the word will start to get out, positive reviews will begin to appear on the Internet and you may even be pleasantly surprised when your business is featured in a publication.
Different types of gift baskets will appeal to different types of people. This means that you will need to start learning about your target audience's buying patterns, especially when it comes to non-essential purchases. If you find that your your customer base uses the Internet heavily to purchase gifts then you will want to focus your efforts on link building and SEO to help your website get to the top of the search results. Alternatively, some customers are more inclined to make a purchase when they are able to see products in person. If this is the case then you may want to start attending craft shows or get a booth at a local farmers market.
Before you go off and start to work on your gift basket business plan, take note of these three pitfalls and make sure that you don't inadvertently fall into them:
1. Never Buy Too Much Stock â€“ Although it is more cost effective to purchase 1,000 decorative teddy bears for your gift basket business, it may be years before you are able to get rid of them. Work out a budget and purchase smaller quantities in the beginning until you are able to tell which products are the biggest sellers.
2. Don't Buy The Wrong Products â€“ Speaking of buying items in bulk, make sure that your customers will actually want to use the items that you are selling in your gift baskets. You may find a company that is willing to sell you chocolate candies at a steal, but if they taste like chalk there is probably a reason that they are so inexpensive. Take the time to try out your products yourself and take customer feedback into consideration before you go to reorder stock.
3. Avoid Undervaluing Your Gift Baskets â€“ Consumers love deals, but your gift basket business will never get off the ground if you are only making a marginal profit. This also includes offering discounts that are so steep that you will be left in the red. Consider the prices of your competitors and focus on marketing.
Ultimately, you will want to spend as much time as you possibly can on research as you can before you start to assemble your gift baskets. Start planning at least a season before you plan on launching so that you can see how just how popular gift baskets are locally. Banks are much less likely to lend money to a business owner these days than ever before so there is a good chance you are going to have to fund your project yourself. Take it slow, look for dependable wholesale vendors, and most of all have fun with your new gift basket venture.