Problem: Gift cards are nice, but sometimes people may want to give something a little more thoughtful and may not have the time or patience to find it. Solution: Your gift basket business.
Gift baskets fit most occasions and can be standard or highly customized. You can let your imagination and creativity run wild. They are also very profitable, with high-end custom baskets commanding high prices.
- Endless variety and fun
- No formal training necessary to start
- A good way to learn customer service and marketing skills
- Easy to find your own niche
- Need to source the contents of your baskets. Can you find the right vendors for the right price?
- Need to have space to create the baskets and store them before delivery
- Need to learn sophisticated marketing skills such as photography skills to highlight your creations
- You need substantial funds to get started – you have to buy the baskets and contents for sample baskets before you can start advertising your business.
How to get started:
NOTE: Before you start your business, you should read the page on this website entitled “things to think about before you get started.” After you have taken the preliminary steps for starting any business, you can take the specific steps outlined below.
- Think about your niche: do you want to make and sell birthday baskets? Holiday baskets? Baskets for kids? Baskets for the elderly? Baskets for pets? Or do you want to concentrate on particular basket contents, such as gourmet food, skin care products, art, jewelry, etc?
- Search for demonstrations of how to make gift baskets on YouTube.
- Create free baskets to give to family and friends to generate word-of-mouth buzz. Include a brochure in the free samples with gorgeous pictures of the different lines you are offering.
- Create a handful of the standard baskets you want to offer. You can also come up with ideas for potential custom baskets to offer customers.
- Create brochures showing your standard baskets, pricing and contact information.
How much to charge:
You will need to cover the cost of your standard supplies (baskets, wrapping, ribbons, glue gun, etc) as well as the cost of the goodies in the baskets. Be sure to add in a little extra to cover your labor. Most gift basket business operators expect to net 15 to 30 percent of their gross revenue – meaning that if your costs (including labor) are $50 for a basket, you should charge $57.50 to $65. Don’t forget to give discounts for repeat business and referrals.
Taking it to the next level:
Once you have gained an appreciative customer base and feel that you are ready to expand, here are some steps you can take:
- Create a website with dazzling pictures of your creations and spread the word through social media posts and ads
- Explore adding eCommerce to your website. It is not especially difficult to do, though you will need a parent or adult to set it up for you.
- Add corporate clients to your customer base. Corporations like to gift baskets to their own clients. Visit businesses or cold call them to market your services
- Remember that as you expand sales, you may need to hire helpers