To start a gift basket business is pretty easy if you enjoy being creative and want to bring joy to others. This is one of my work from home business ideas and I actually had a gourmet food business turn into a gift basket business for a couple of years.
This business is awesome for creative individuals who want to provide beautiful gifts and have a knack as a gift shopper as well.
Or you can have your customers provide the “goodies” and you can place them in the baskets. There are a lot of fun ideas for basket gifts -- you can focus on one type of product or multiple products and specialize in baskets for specific types of occasions or provide different types of gifts.
When you start a gift basket business, it’s good to check with local wholesalers for baskets at reduced prices.
Also as I was starting out, I found some terrific, unique "like new" containers at second-hand or thrift stores.
It seemed there were a lot of discarded good quality baskets and unique gift containers (especially from gift and flower shops) that had been discarded and were perfectly good for me to re-use for my gift basket business.
While it may take a little digging at a thrift shop, this can be a good source of supplies while your business is small and your budget is tight.
Do make sure they are in very good shape -- ask yourself if you would want to receive this as a "gift" from someone? If not, it will not be good enough for your business!
As you grow, you’ll need to be able to standardize and work with a wholesaler to provide your supplies/equipment in order to be able to mass produce gift baskets at the least possible cost. I recommend developing relationships with your wholesaler and asking for their recommendations -- they're a wealth of information.
This business can initially be started on a relatively small budget. As you grow (as with most businesses), you’ll want to have the capital to invest in additional tools, supplies, and and equipment to handle large orders. Make sure you're allowing for the time required to put your creations together when charging for your services.
Resources: When you start a gift basket business, consider what types of gifts you’ll
want in your baskets (mine were mostly gourmet food baskets). You’ll need containers, fillers, plastic
cellophane wrap, bows, and a generous workspace.
Time Required: Part Time 8-10 hrs/wk; Full-time 30-40+ hrs/week
Training: Knowledge on how to put gift baskets together (the trick is getting them to stay together!), good gift choices, etc. Attend classes at hobby stores, research the internet, and talk with those in the industry who are a wealth of information.
Gift Basket Business World provides a home study course for the gift basket industry and a FREE pdf entitled "20 Free Tips and Tools to Attract More Clients and Profits".
Market: Business owners, individuals, professional business people, realtors, property managers
Home Based: Yes
Start-Up Costs: $500 - $2,500
Minimizing Start-Up Costs: Choose good
quality gifts and/or ingredients when you start a gift basket business. The quality will speak volumes and provide
you with repeat customers. As I
mentioned, when you’re getting started look for containers in quality condition
at second-hand stores or thrift shops.
Also look for other potential gift items that may be on sale or
close-out to incorporate in your baskets.
While this is the fun part (enjoying all the options), keep in mind your
budget so your costs don’t get out of control.
Know your market and what their end price point is so you’re making
money on each basket.
As I’ve recommended previously, consider asking for at least part of the payment upfront to help you with cashflow and the purchase of special items for your customer’s gifts. Follow-up regularly to help with your customer’s last minute gift needs. Develop a calendar of special dates for each of your customers and follow-up a few weeks ahead of time to determine what type of gifts you may provide for that special someone.