Start & Run a Gift Basket Business

Overview

Learn how to start and operate a gift basket business from a North American leader.• Create unique gifts for a variety of occasions
Work from home or seasonally — and profit
Develop effective marketing tools
Learn the step-by-step basics of running your own business
With little more than some working space and a few basket-making items, an ambitious and creative person can ...
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Overview

Learn how to start and operate a gift basket business from a North American leader.• Create unique gifts for a variety of occasions
Work from home or seasonally — and profit
Develop effective marketing tools
Learn the step-by-step basics of running your own business
With little more than some working space and a few basket-making items, an ambitious and creative person can cash in on the gift basket boom. The potential for unearthing new markets and finding motivated clients is unlimited in this easy-to-run small business. Topics covered include:

Researching the existing market
Finding a suitable work space
Pricing the gift baskets
Creating theme and seasonal baskets
Dealing with wholesalers
Finding clients
Advertising and promotion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551805030
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Series: Start and Run A Series
  • Edition description: 3rd Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 194
  • Product dimensions: 8.39 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Mardi Foster-Walker owns and operates Foster Walker Enterprises, Inc., a successful gift packaging business specializing in the corporate and cruise ship markets. Previously, she developed live cooking shows in the United States and Canada featuring regional cuisines. She is an active member of several business and tourism-oriented organizations as well as charitable groups.

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION xi
1 GETTING STARTED 1
a. Self-Assessment 3
b. Determining Your Market 4
c. Market Research 6
1. Set a time frame for completion 7
2. Define both your primary and secondary needs 7
3. Allocate resources 8
4. Gather the data 8
5. Analyze the information 8
d. Gathering Primary Data 9
e. Gathering Secondary Data 10
f. Your Course of Action 11
2 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION 13
a. Location Considerations 15
b. Demographics of the Area 16
iii
CONTENTS
c. Leasing Office or Studio Space 17
1. Proximity to your potential customers 18
2. Customer parking facilities 18
3. Accessibility to a loading dock or freight elevator 18
4. Storage and work space 18
d. Signing a Lease 19
e. Shared Retail Space 20
f. Seasonal Kiosks 21
g. The Home-Based Business 22
1. The business and your home 22
2. The business and your family 24
3 BUSINESS RESOURCES AND EQUIPMENT 27
a. Business Resources 29
1. Mail services 29
2. Business telephone line and fax line 30
3. Telephone options 31
b. Deliveries and Transportation 33
1. Courier companies 34
2. Freight forwarding companies 34
3. Local delivery companies 34
4. Company vehicle 35
c. Basket-Making Equipment 35
d. Office Equipment 36
e. Electronic Equipment 37
1. Computer and printer 37
2. Facsimile machine 37
3. Answering machine 38
4.Other 38
f. Office Supplies 39
1. Custom printing 39
2. General office supplies 39
iv Start & run a gift basket business
4 YOUR FINANCIAL INVESTMENT AND PLAN 43
a. Financing Your Venture 45
1. Personal savings 45
2. Family and friends 46
3.Banks 46
4. Private investors 47
5.Government 47
b. Your Business Plan 48
1. Executive summary 49
2. Personal experience and background 49
3. Description of product and service 49
4. Sales and marketing strategy 50
5. Forecasts and projections 50
5 FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT 51
a. Forecasting Cash Flow 54
b. Cost of Sales and Inventory 55
c. Fixed Expenses and Overhead 56
d. Marketing Costs 56
e. Start-Up Costs 56
f. Forecasting Sales 56
6 PLANNING AND PRICING YOUR GIFT BASKETS 63
a. Your Gift Basket Designs 65
1. Establish some standard designs 65
2. Custom-made baskets 67
b. Keep Basic Items in Stock 69
c. Buy Packaging Inventory 70
1. Basket or container stuffing 70
2. Cellophane wrap 70
3.Ribbon 71
4.Raffia 71
Contents v
5. Gift tags, gift cards, and gift labels 71
d. Tips for Making Baskets 71
e. Sources of Inventory 72
f. Purchasing Inventory 75
g. Inventory Control 77
h. Establishing Terms and Credit 77
i. Setting a Price for Your Product 78
1. 100% mark-up 79
2. Wholesale costing 80
3. Pricing large volume orders 80
4. Other considerations 81
j. Computing Your Profit Margin 81
7 KEEPING YOUR OPERATIONS IN ORDER 83
a. Striking a Balance 85
b. Hours of Operation 85
c. Sales 86
d. Payment 89
1. Cash on delivery 89
2. Credit cards 89
3.Invoicing 90
e. Keeping Your Nonfinancial Records in Order 92
1.Calendars 92
2. Filing systems 92
3. Billing, credit, and collection 92
4. Personnel records 92
5. Tax records 93
f. Managing Your Time 93
1. The long-term agenda 93
2. The intermediate agenda 94
3. The immediate agenda 94
4. Learning your turnaround time 94
vi Start & run a gift basket business
5. Time management systems 95
g. Consumer Fairs and Trade Shows 95
h. Staying Organized As You Grow 96
8 ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION 97
a. Why You Should Advertise 99
b. Print Media 100
c. Direct Mail 101
d. The Yellow Pages 103
e. Professional Design Services 103
f. Names and Logos 106
1. A name that sells 106
2. A logo that tells 106
g.Image 107
h. Design and Copy 107
i. Color and Photography 107
j. Sales Brochure 109
1. Set up the photography session 109
2. Meet with the graphic designer 113
3.Printing 115
k. Internet Marketing 115
1. Websites 116
2.E-mail 117
3.Costs 117
4. Location, location 118
5. Getting started 118
l. Seasonal Advertising 119
m. Special Promotions 120
1. Open house/grand opening 120
2. Small giveaways 120
3. Fairs and craft shows 120
4. Trade shows 120
5.Displays 121
Contents vii
6.Donations 121
7. Community events and organizations 121
n. Measuring Advertising Effectiveness 121
9 SALES AND MARKETING 125
a. Personal Contacts 127
b.Networking 128
c. Memberships 128
1. Tourism, convention, or visitors’ bureau 129
2. Board of Trade or Chamber of Commerce 129
3. Meeting Professionals International 129
4. International Special Events Society 130
d. Top Down Marketing 130
1. New product launches and company promotions 131
2. Special events 131
3. Noncompeting businesses 131
e. Selling Your Product and Services 132
1. Making the sale by telephone 132
2. Making a sales presentation 133
f. The Importance of Service 134
10 EMPLOYEES AND PERSONNEL 135
a. Being a Sole Owner/Operator 137
b. Casual Labor and Seasonal Helpers 138
c. Hiring an Assistant 139
d. Office Manager/ Bookkeeper 140
e. Hiring and Keeping Good Employees 140
1. Common sense guidelines to hiring employees 141
2. Common sense guidelines to keeping good employees 142
11 MAKING YOUR BUSINESS LEGAL 145
a. Your Legal Structure 147
1. Sole proprietorship 147
2. Partnership 147
viii Start & run a gift basket business
3. Limited partnerships 148
4. Incorporation 148
b. Using the Services of Professionals 150
c. Choosing Your Name — Legally 151
d. Insurance Requirements 152
e. Leases and Rental Agreements 153
f. Zoning Laws and Business Licenses 155
1. Zoning laws 155
2.Licenses 155
g. Sales Taxes 156
h. Employee-Related Regulations 157
i. Miscellaneous Permits 158
j. A Final Word 158
12 BUSINESS ETHICS AND BEST PRACTICES 159
a. Good Business Ethics Make Good Business Sense 163
13 ACCOUNTING, RECORD KEEPING, AND TAXES 167
a. Accounting and Computers 169
b. Bookkeeping 170
c. Sales and Accounts Receivable 171
1. Cash sales 171
2. Credit card sales 173
3. Invoiced sales 173
d. Accounts Payable 174
1. Petty cash 174
2. COD and cash purchases 175
3. Payable invoices 175
4. Company credit cards 175
5. Personally paid company expenses 176
e. Payroll 176
f. Inventory 177
g. Maximizing Deductible Expenses 178
h. Accountants 179
Contents ix
14 A FINAL WORD — GROWTH AND YOUR BUSINESS 181
a. Advertising Specialties or Promotional Merchandise 183
b. Gifts and Awards 184
c. Gift Basket Network 185
APPENDIX 187
GLOSSARY 193
WORKSHEETS
1 Self-assessment test 5
2 Business expenses 58
3 Start-up expenses 60
SAMPLES
1 Business start-up cost 41
2 Overhead and fixed expenses 57
3 Marketing expenses 59
4 Monthly sales forecast 62
5 Tying bows 73
6 Purchase order 76
7 Order form 87
8 Invoice 91
9 Direct mail sales piece 104
10 The five-point design 108
11 Sales brochure 110
12 Gift tag and label 114
13 Advertising and promotions expense breakdown 122
14 Balance sheet 172
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