The gift basket business is steadily booming largely because the number of home based businesses is continuously increasing. According to statistics, the industry is worth approximately 3.5 billion dollars a year. Although many traditional flower shops also sell gift baskets and there are many basket shops around the States and Canada, this business is ideally suited as a home-based business. Creating gift baskets is one of the fastest growing types of businesses today that you can start from home. The advantage of starting your business from home is that you can have the freedom to operate as you see fit and design it to flow around your lifestyle and family life. Since the gift baskets will be assembled in and shipped directly out of your home, the space you have and the amount of money you want to make will decide how long you will be able to work out of your home. If you have a large garage to work in versus an 8×10 bedroom, it will make a difference in how much business you will seek out and how long you can remain a home based gift basket business.
To start off your gift basket business from home with a bang, once you have set up your work area, created your marketing tools: your website, your brochures and your business cards; let your creative juices flow to plan a grand opening of your gift basket business from home that will attract everyone`s attention and everyone will know that you are now open for business and eager to make beautiful quality gift baskets for all.
You will get more bang out of your grand opening by positioning it before a major gift basket rush holiday. For example, starting a shop in October would be perfect for a Christmas Rush. Consider your home based business Grand Opening as a gradual process where you will do a series of activities to spark attention in the community.
Kick off the publicity week by sending a press release to all the local media. You need to come up with a newsworthy situation that will be of interest to the media while spreading your name in a positive way. Perhaps you will be visiting people in hospitals and donating holiday gift baskets to bring cheer. Maybe you will be visiting a local old age home to bring gift baskets for the residents who don`t receive any visitors at Christmas…. You get the idea…Use your creativity and come up with something that you would enjoy doing, would be proud of and that will get the word out about your business.
Since you will be in operation out of your home, you probably don`t want swarms of people in your home and don`t necessarily want to have a visit by the mayor and ribbon cutting. But there are other ways to get out into the community and make it your storefront. For starters, I would highly encourage you to be part of your local Chamber of Commerce or local Economic Development Association.
Through the Chamber of Commerce, you will most likely have access to events and occasions such as Business After Five or some other type of members and non-member occasions. There, you can present yourself and your business in motel ballrooms, board rooms or community halls.
Home Shows, Christmas Gift Shows, Flea Markets, Fairs, Home Business Shows, Penny Sales, any kind of local activity that screams community presence….is a perfect occasion to create an attractive display to showcase your goods, show the community what you can do and distribute pamphlets, business cards. This will also allow you to meet countless people and spread the word about your new gift basket business. Bring along an assistant or family member to cut the monotony of being stuck in a gym for 8 hrs and to help you out, especially in moral support.
Demonstrations are another great way to attract a lot of attention to yourself and your business. You can establish yourself as a local expert by doing this at shows, in community halls or in schools. You could do a 30 minute demonstration at a show on how to make a pretty basket for Christmas Gift Giving. Make sure to give out your cards and pamphlets at any event like this..Also make sure to call the media in order to ensure that someone will be there to take a picture. Sooner or later by participating in these type of events, photographers and reporters will be flocking around you and you will be in local newspapers and maybe even local TV and radio programs.
Here are other ideas to get your gift basket business from home off to a remarkable start.
1. Have a contest. People love contests. For Christmas and New Year, you could host a contest that will be well featured in the media. Maybe it will be advertised through a local radio station or through a local newspaper and you will have ballot boxes in many stores around town. Draw a Basket of The Month Package which includes a $40 basket a month for a year. Make sure to have a simultaneous campaign to sell the same monthly basket package where the recipient receives a basket every month for a whole year…whether it be a fruit basket, a fruit and candy basket, a gourmet basket or a health food basket.
2. On your website, you could have a separate contest where you draw a basket a month online so you get people to sign up to your sales and newsletter mailings. Make sure your website is displaying your product line in an attractive manner. Include prices variations of each product in small, medium and large versions of your baskets for increased sales.
3. Place low cost classified ads in your community newspapers, everyone looks at those…or almost.
4. Network with other businesses such as restaurants, hotels, real estate offices, hospitals, schools, daycares, wedding planners and so on, tell them you have gift baskets for any occasion.
5. Distribute pamphlets to local businesses, especially where people will have time on their hand while waiting for their appointment such as at the hairdressers, the doctor`s office, the chiropractors or optometrist.
To find more information on how to start a home based gift basket business check out my Squidoo pages.