Start Your Own Gift Basket Service (Entrepreneur Magazine's Start up Series) / Edition 1

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Turn your creative talents into a great business!

Finding the perfect gift for that special someone or occasion can be a daunting task. Factor in drive time, budgets and multiply recipients and its nearly impossible. That's why many corporate customers and individuals have turned to gift baskets as the ideal solution. If you're creative, have a good eye for color and love to shop, this hot business could be your path to financial independence. Startup is easy: You only need a minimum amount of equipment, and you can work from your home, full or part time. Plus, you get the opportunity to be artistic, creative and entrepreneurial! This guide tells you everything you need to know to start a successful gift basket business.

  • Identify a target market
  • Develop an effective marketing plan
  • Find and build relationships with suppliers
  • Manage the administrative side of the business, include record-keeping, billing, taxes and insurance
  • Find customers, and market your business

With Entrepreneur magazine's Start Your Own Gift Basket Service, you'll learn how to design the business the way you want it, whether it's part time or full time, homebased or in a commercial location, with employees or without. Pick up this book, and get started making your dream a reality.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781891984884
  • Publisher: Entrepreneur Press dba Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Series: Entrepreneur Magazine's Start up Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.29 (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 vii
Chapter 1 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? 5
Start-Up Stories 5
Chapter 2 Operations: It's Not Brain Surgery, but It Takes Some Skill 7
Marketing 8
General Management and Administration 8
Production 9
Taking Orders 9
Purchasing 9
Billing 11
The Outsourcing Resource 11
You'll Design More than Baskets 12
Chapter 3 Defining Your Market 15
Market Research 16
Individual Buyers 16
Business Customers 17
Choosing a Niche 17
Developing a Product Line 18
Types of Baskets 20
Know Thy Enemy 21
Are You on a Mission? 22
Chapter 4 Structuring Your Business 25
Naming Your Company 26
Trademarks 27
Protect Your Mark 28
Legal Structure 28
Licenses and Permits 30
Business Insurance 32
Professional Services 33
Create Your Own Advisory Board 35
Shipping and Receiving 36
Chapter 5 Finances: Keep the Cash Flowing 39
Sources of Start-Up Funds 40
How Much Do You Need? 41
Turning Pro 41
Chapter 6 Where Will You Start? Locating and Setting Up Your Business 49
Going Retail 50
Additional Retail Options 55
Playing and Working Fair 56
The Home Advantage 57
Mail Order 58
Your Primary Sales Tool 58
The All-Important Mailing List 59
Packing and Shipping Tips 60
Nonretail Commercial 60
Consignment Sales 60
Displaying Merchandise 61
Getting Ready to Work 62
Should You Buy an Existing Operation? 63
Business Opportunity or Franchise 64
What Is a Franchise? 64
What Is a Business Opportunity? 66
Chapter 7 Human Resources: The People Side of Your Company 67
Look in the Right Places 70
Evaluating Applicants 70
Once They're on Board 71
Employee Benefits 73
Chapter 8 Equipping Your Business 75
Basic Office Equipment 76
Telecommunications 79
Other Equipment 80
Basket-Related Equipment 81
Inventory 84
Inventory Control 88
Basic Stock 88
Lead Times 89
Excess Inventory 89
Tracking Inventory 89
Vehicles 90
Security 90
Chapter 9 Marketing Your Business 91
Make Customer Service a Marketing Tool 92
Get Lost 92
Give Baskets Away 93
Reward Referrals 93
Cold Call 94
Market to Basket Recipients 95
Make Yourself Visible 96
Target Lesser-Known Holidays 96
Advertising 97
Trade Shows 97
Selling in Cyberspace 100
Public Relations and Promotions 101
Chapter 10 Financial Management 103
Billing 104
Setting Credit Policies 105
Red Flags 106
Accepting Credit and Debit Cards 107
Dealing with Your Own Creditors 108
Chapter 11 Tales from the Trenches 111
Take Yourself and Your Business Seriously 112
Give Yourself a Boost When You Need It 112
Keep Learning 112
Be Accessible 113
Take Their Breath Away 113
Market Your Business Constantly 114
Don't Market by Price 114
Stay Focused and Organized 114
Enhance Your Gift Basket Service with Extras 114
Guarantee Your Work 114
Get Feedback 114
Establish and Maintain Flawless Credit 114
Trade and Barter Whenever Possible 115
Play by the Rules 115
Appendix Gift Basket Resources 117
Glossary 121
Index 123
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