How to Start a Gift Basket Business from Home
We all know that person that shows up to baby showers and bridal showers with the most perfectly arranged gift basket every time.
Not everyone has a knack for building the perfect gift basket but if you do, you may have considered starting a business out of it.
A gift basket business offers customers pre-arranged baskets for various occasions like birthdays, baby showers, house warming parties, and more.
They also make baskets for special occasions and holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, and Easter.
Some businesses focus on only certain types of baskets for limited occasions while others offer more customizable options.
Either way, gift basket businesses offer easy gifting options for any occasion, and that makes them a success.
Now, more than ever before, people are buying online and looking for convenient ways to deliver goods and services.
Gift basket businesses meet this market demand by allowing consumers
to purchase gift baskets online and have them shipped directly to the recipient.
The gift basket business appeals to a wide target market and many different types of buyers from individuals to corporate, so the sky is the limit.
If you’ve been entertaining the idea of starting a gift basket business, today we are going to share what it takes to get your business up and running.
If you are creative, resourceful, have attention to detail and a knowledge of aesthetics, then keep on reading and unlock the potential for a very lucrative business!
How to Start a Gift Basket Business
Select a Business Model
- Start your own company from the ground up– nothing beats being your own boss and if you can make it through the initial growing pains, the reward is great. While the initial startup costs might be higher, you don’t have to share the profits with anyone else.
- Buy an existing Gift Basket Business– if you know someone that is selling their gift basket business, this may be a good option if you have the capital to purchase the business and the business already has an established clientele.
- Franchise – there are franchises in this specific niche that already have a proven business model. Just be sure to do your research and make sure you understand the ins and outs because franchises usually require a large initial investment.
Write a Business Plan
Many small business owners skip this step when starting out but writing a business plan is actually a key component to success.
A business plan helps you narrow in on the focus of your business, your target market, your business strategies, and most importantly – how you plan on being profitable.
If you plan on obtaining any sort of financing, many banks require a business plan for companies that are just starting out.
So take some time to sit down and write a business plan.
Identify how you plan on making money and who your target audience will be.
Also outline how you plan to market yourself and your goals for growth.
Form Your Business Entity
By law you are required to form a legitimate business before you can start selling baskets.
But, before you can form your business you need to come up with a business name.
If you already have a name in mind you will want to do an internet search to make sure you name is not already taken.
You may also want to consider trademarking your business name once you decide on one.
This will prevent anyone from trying to create a business with the same name as your.
Once you have a name, you’ll need to decide on a business structure, also know as a business entity.
There are several business structures to choose from including sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), Corporation, etc.
You will want to consult an attorney if you are not sure which business structure to choose.
You can also use a formation service that will handle the entire process for you.
Many small business owners choose an LLC because it provides limited liability protection to you as the owner and it benefits from pass-through taxation.
Checklist to Complete to Form Your Business:
- Select a business entity type: Sole proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc.
- Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS – once your online application is complete, you will receive an EIN instantly.
- Register your business locally in the State in which you will be conducting business. This is done with the Secretary of State in the State in which you will be doing business.
- Obtain any business licenses or permits required in your State to operate a gift basket business. These can also be found at your local Secretary of State website or by simply doing a Google search.
Set up the Business
The following things will help you finish setting up your business:
- Open a business checking account (you will need an EIN to do this)
- Setup a way to manage your accounting whether it be a software program or spreadsheet to begin. This will help you track your income and expenses.
- Create a “media kit” that outlines your baskets and what they offer. This is something you can hand out or post online and have on your website.
- If you plan on having employees work for you, setup a payroll system or a way to pay your 1099 contractors.
You can learn more about setting up a business in our step-by-step guide here.
Believe it or not, many businesses do not get the proper business insurance coverage.
A business basket business may seem harmless, but you never know what could go wrong and you want to make sure you are covered!
For example, say a child chokes on one of the items in your gift basket. General liability insurance would cover any risks associated with these sort of incidents.
You never know what could happen, it is better to be covered!
The following are the types of insurance a gift basket business should seriously consider:
- General liability insurance – should a customer be injured while on your property, this will cover any costs as a result of that injury. It also covers costs for property damage claims against your business and advertising injury claims as well, among other things.
- Commercial property insurance – if your business inventory or equipment should get damaged or stolen, this will have you covered. If you are working from home or store your gift basket inventory at home, most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover business inventory or equipment, which is why you need this additional coverage.
- Workers compensation insurance – this is only applicable if you plan on hiring employees to work for you. Workers Comp Insurance covers the business should an employee be injured on the job.
If nothing else, we highly recommend general liability insurance at the very least.
Initial Startup Costs
As with any business, there are going to be some initial startup costs to take into consideration, especially with a business that is selling physical goods like gift baskets.
Here are some initial startup costs to anticipate:
- Inventory which includes gift baskets and gift items for inside the baskets – the initial investment will depend on how many options you are going to offer
- Branding items like your company logo and packaging items
- General supplies such as labels, ribbon, gift wrapping, gift cards, bows, etc.
- Working supplies such as a heat gun, scissors, etc.
- Work space equipment such as a work desk, storage shelves, etc.
- Working capital to cover the first few months of salary, rent, utilities, etc.
Other initial costs to consider:
- Forming your business
- Business licenses – usually these have to be renewed annually or every few years
- Marketing costs
- Website development costs
- Insurance costs
- Storage space rental if applicable
You will also want to consider any startup costs for delivery such as shipping supplies or a vehicle for deliveries.
Setup Payment Options
You want to make collecting payment from clients as easy as possible so that customers can easily pay and you don’t have to chase after them or wait for checks to arrive in the mail.
There are a few different ways to collect payments and many customers appreciate having more than one option, especially for these types of services where you are delivering something to their home.
Some suggested payment methods include:
- Venmo – this is nice to offer customers who don’t have cash on hand and the money goes into your account instantly
- CashApp – another great option for electronic payments that can be done on your phone
- Website direct payment option – this is ideal if you are directing customer to order online, they can add products to their cart and pay at checkout.
Just keep in mind that some of these payment methods charge a fee, so you will want to look into that and select one that makes the most sense for you, financially speaking.
In order to get customers, you will need to market yourself.
While word of mouth is great, it can be a slow process for growing.
Common marketing techniques include handing out flyers and business card to local stores, dropping them off in resident mailboxes, and of course, advertising online and on social media.
Also consider attending conferences like wedding conferences (think bridal showers) and conventions, baby conferences and events (think baby showers), and see if any local stores would be willing to keep your information near the checkout area.
You can also create a referral program where a customer can receive a certain discount or reward for referring someone.
Creating a website is key so that you can show customers what gift basket options you have available.
The more you market, the faster you will grow!
Setting up a successful business starts with a solid foundation and this includes checking off the different steps listed here.
Understanding your target market and identifying any gaps in the market will also help give you the upper hand.
Give your consumers an easy, fast gift shopping experience and deliver a superior product and your business is bound for success!
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