When you present someone with a gift basket you’ve made, do you get a lot of oohs and ahhs? Do you have a knack for finding unique items for your basket that other people would never think of? Consider turning your talent into a business.
- Find inventory. You could search for wholesalers on the internet, but you would have to buy in quantity. Until you get established, don’t go there yet. Who wants to be stuck with a whole bunch of candied yams for a Thanksgiving basket in June? Instead, look for clearance items at stores that have a long shelf life. For instance, a popular gourmet food store may have a fifty-percent-off sale on jars of gourmet pickles. You realize that would make a perfect picnic gift basket during the spring and summer. Scour over-stock sales on the internet as well as department stores and specialty shops.
- Shop off-season. Buy Christmas items on sale in January that you can use the following November. Again, be sure those items have a long shelf life.
- Present your products clearly. Wrap your baskets in clear cellophane instead of colored. You want to focus on what’s inside the basket.
Brain-Storm Gift Basket Themes
Sure, the traditional holiday, birthday and new-baby occasions are popular. But try to come up with original ideas that may draw customers.
- Corporate appreciation. Say you know someone who owns a classic car business. As part of a promotion, suggest giving customers a basket filled with inexpensive car memorabilia. A pet store owner or veterinarian could give away baskets filled with pet toys and treats.
- Non-traditional holidays. Tell bosses to remember their secretaries with personalized gift baskets. Instead of giving the identical basket to each secretary, give each person a unique basket based on his or her interests. Grandparents often don’t get the attention they deserve. A gift basket on grandparents day filled with money saving coupons would delight them!
Market Your Gift Basket Business
- Find craft fairs in your area.
- Create a web site and exchange links with suppliers.
- Start a newsletter filled with recipes and tips.
- Give baskets to as many people as possible and mention your business when those compliments start flooding in!
Finally, the Small Business Association offers free tips on writing a business plan, starting, managing and marketing your business.