A home-based business selling gift baskets is one that appeals to many people. It allows them to explore their creative side in building gift baskets that appeal to specific kinds of people, occasions, or markets, whilst also bringing joy to the recipient.
There are many things to think about, however. From the kind of products that will be put in the baskets, to the pure business side of research and accounting. It can be a daunting, but also very rewarding way to turn a hobby or interest into a home-based business.
The Gift Basket Business Checklist
The following is a checklist of things that need to be addressed when building the gift basket business plan. There might be additional items that come to mind as the checklist is addressed, but it should give a useful starting point.
- Product – arguably the most important part, and one of the biggest decisions: make original products, or resell existing gift baskets?
- Market – there are many ways that the gift baskets can be sold (direct, Internet, corporate, catalog, stores, etc.), and choosing the right one is vital.
- Supplier – a list of suppliers and their prices needs to be drawn up; the kind of suppliers will change depending on whether the end product is created or brought in and resold.
- Marketing plan – how does the business intend to get its message out to the customers?
- Financial plan – the key question here is: how many gift baskets must be sold to cover all the costs — heat and light, mortgage, supplies, staff, and so on.
If answers to all of the above can be found, then the business start-up plan can be created and analyzed with the help of an accountant, or good business banker.
Case Study: Organic Fruit Baskets
One of the thriving sectors is supplying business gift baskets to corporate clients, and one of the most popular kinds of baskets are organic fruit baskets. Putting together an organic fruit gift basket for sale to corporate clients illustrates some key points that need to be addressed when creating baskets:
- What kind of basket sends the right message?
- What kind of basket will protect the fruit in transit?
- Are there any local organic fruit suppliers?
- Are there any local corporate clients?
- What kind of organic fruit will satisfy the above?
- What do corporate clients expect from the whole package (i.e. inserts, cards, wrapping, etc.)
The above process can be applied to any gift basket idea – but above all, it must be proved to be viable following the checklist!
Simple Google AdSense research throws up many untapped markets for gift baskets. For example, one of the highest rated buying keyword phrases is the phrase ‘gourmet coffee gift baskets’, swiftly followed by ‘gourmet chocolate gift baskets’.
Using AdSense and keyword research in this way to find new markets is a vital part of the gift basket business owner’s product planning. Even if the decision is taken to specialize in a certain market or product line, researching variations of different gift basket business ideas is what will keep the business fresh and