Start Your Own Gift Basket Business


Do you have an eye for complementary colors and patterns? Are you known for your creative ideas or your unique way of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary? Your artistic eye and resourcefulness may be the perfect foundation for a very lucrative career in gift baskets! A booming market, gift baskets are the most convenient yet thoughtful way for busy corporations to thank clients, for on-the-go families to send holiday wishes, or for real estate agents welcoming new homeowners ...
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Do you have an eye for complementary colors and patterns? Are you known for your creative ideas or your unique way of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary? Your artistic eye and resourcefulness may be the perfect foundation for a very lucrative career in gift baskets! A booming market, gift baskets are the most convenient yet thoughtful way for busy corporations to thank clients, for on-the-go families to send holiday wishes, or for real estate agents welcoming new homeowners —the occasions are endless. This hands-on guide takes you step by step into the trendy world of specialty gifts and shows you how to establish and launch your own full- and part-time gift basket business right from your home. Plus, Entrepreneur has scoured the field to interview experts who provide from-the-trenches examples, advice and tips to help you avoid common mistakes and get on your way to success! Learn how to: • Set up your business with minimal startup investment • Buy low-cost materials and supplies • Develop your product list • Build valuable relationships with suppliers • Effectively market yourself and capture new clients • Price your product • Manage operations A world of possibilities and big profits awaits! Get started today!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599181875
  • Publisher: Entrepreneur Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 1,005,085
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
More than One Basket: A Look at the Gift Basket Business     1
It's All in the Presentation     3
From Amateur to Pro     4
What Do You Need to Get Started?     4
Best Practices for Small Businesses     5
Startup Stories     6
Fighting Failure     8
Operations: It's Not Brain Surgery, but It Takes Some Skill     11
Marketing     12
General Management and Administration     12
Production     12
Taking Orders     13
Purchasing     13
Billing     15
The Outsourcing Resource     15
You'll Design More than Baskets     16
Market Details     16
Customer Profile and Order Information     17
Defining Your Market     21
Market Research     22
Individual Buyers     22
Business Customers     23
Getting in the Door     23
The Appointment     23
Phone Sales     24
Avoid Overlap     24
Showcase Your Baskets     24
Choosing a Niche     24
Developing a Product Line     26
Types of Baskets     26
Niche Market Worksheet     27
Know Thy Enemy     28
Are You on a Mission?     29
Market Research Survey     31
Mission Statement Worksheet     32
Structuring Your Business     33
Naming Your Company     34
Trademarks     36
Protect Your Mark     37
Legal Structure     37
Licenses and Permits     38
Business Insurance     40
Professional Services     41
Create Your Own Advisory Board     43
Shipping and Receiving     45
Shipping Supplies     46
Incoming     46
Finances: Keep the Cash Flowing     47
Creating a Business Plan     48
An Overview     48
Business Logistics     49
Market and Marketing     49
Your Background     49
Business Structure     49
The Numbers     50
SWOT Analysis     50
Sources of Startup Funds     51
How Much Do You Need?     52
Turning Pro     54
Estimated Startup Expenses     57
Startup Expenses Worksheet     59
Where Will You Start? Locating and Setting Up Your Business     61
Going Retail     62
Additional Retail Options     67
Playing and Working Fair     68
The Home Advantage     69
Mail Order     70
Your Primary Sales Tool     71
The All-Important Mailing List     71
Packing and Shipping Tips     72
The Useful Website     72
Nonretail Commercial Space     73
Consignment Sales     73
Displaying Merchandise     74
Getting Ready to Work     75
Should You Buy an Existing Operation?     76
Business Opportunity or Franchise     77
What Is a Franchise?     77
Franchise Pros     78
Franchise Cons     79
What Is a Business Opportunity?     80
Human Resources: The People Side of Your Company     81
Look in the Right Places     83
Evaluating Applicants     84
Once They're on Board     85
Employee Benefits     87
The Legal Side of Employees     87
Equipping Your Business     89
Basic Office Equipment      90
Telecommunications     92
Other Equipment     94
Basket-Assembling Equipment     95
Equipment Checklist     96
Inventory     98
Sample: Cost of Goods Sold-Merchandiser     99
Trade Show Tips     102
Inventory Checklist     103
Inventory Control     103
Basic Stock     104
Lead Times     104
Excess Inventory     105
Tracking Inventory     105
Vehicles     106
Security     107
Marketing Your Business     109
The Marketing Plan     110
Make Customer Service a Marketing Tool     111
Get Lost     111
Give Baskets Away     111
Reward Referrals     112
Cold Call     112
Market to Basket Recipients     113
Make Yourself Visible     114
Target Lesser-Known Holidays     115
Advertising     115
Trade Shows     116
Public Relations and Promotions     119
Selling in Cyberspace     121
Setting Up a Website     122
Website Design     123
Your Homepage     123
Drilling Down     124
The Rest of the Site     124
Selling from a Website     125
Shopping Cart     125
Payment Options     126
Other Ways to Sell Online     126
eBay     126
Other Sites     127
Trades     127
Marketing Your Website     127
E-Newsletters     128
Keep 'Em Interested     129
Don't Avoid Cyberspace     130
Financial Management     131
Key Financial Statements     132
Profit and Loss Statement     132
Balance Sheet     132
Cash-Flow Statement     133
Record Keeping     133
Billing     133
Setting Credit Policies     134
Red Flags     135
Accepting Credit and Debit Cards     136
Dealing with Your Own Creditors     137
Income Statement     138
Sample Credit Application     139
Tales from the Trenches     141
Take Yourself and Your Business Seriously     142
Give Yourself a Boost When You Need It     142
Keep Learning      142
Be Accessible     143
Take Their Breath Away     143
Market Your Business Constantly     144
Don't Market by Price     144
Stay Focused and Organized     144
Enhance Your Gift Basket Service with Extras     144
Guarantee Your Work     145
Get Feedback     145
Establish and Maintain Flawless Credit     145
Trade and Barter Whenever Possible     145
Play by the Rules     145
Gift Basket Business Resources     147
Naming Worksheet     151
Checklists     153
Financial Worksheets     165
Business Strategy Forms     175
Self-Assessment     179
Glossary     183
Index     189
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