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Start Your Own Gift Basket Business From Home

The gift basket service business is one of the fastest growing home businesses in North America. In this business, the more creative you are, the more you prosper.

Space: The ideal place to start your gift basket service business is your home. It allows you to start your business with a small amount of capital, save commuting expenses and operate part-time or full-time. However, to operate from home you need a decent sized room with display facility.

If your home is not suitable for this business, you may rent or lease a separate location, which may be costly. When doing so, you should look for a location that is in a high traffic area, and has parking facility. It should have enough inventory storage capacity and a customer friendly layout so that customers can easily view all products without tripping or squeezing themselves through narrow corridors.

Inventory: The items for gift basket service business may be purchased through both wholesale and retail channels. The items that should be bought through wholesale channels are baskets, 'filler' items such as tissue paper, brown paper, string, tape etc.

You may also build your inventory by:

Attending gift shows to get crafts and "hard to find" gifts
Joining supplier mailing lists
Buying your items in bulk thus getting quantity discounts

However, initially you must limit your inventory to a manageable level. It is bad business practice to block capital.

Skills: You can run your business on your own but may need to hire employees in the peak season, like Christmas, when the orders are more than you can handle alone. Thus you need to know how to recruit, interview, motivate, train and develop personnel. With this, you should also be familiar with skills like bookkeeping, purchasing and advertising basics

Product: Some of the standard baskets that you may offer are:

Gourmet⁄Food Baskets: These are great gifts for friends and families. They can be thematic like chocolate baskets, wine and cheese baskets, etc.
Toiletry Baskets: These can include items such as oils, lotions, scented soaps, fragrances, etc. When making such a basket please make sure that these supplies should last a family for a month.
Shower Baskets: These are perfect gifts for wedding and baby showers, and are usually stocked with a variety of every day necessities.
Customized Baskets: These are baskets that are packed with items selected by customers. They are more expensive as you have to create a made-to-order basket so the price should be negotiated with the customer before you begin your shopping.

Pricing: You need to consider the following factors while pricing your baskets:

The labour, materials and time required by you to assemble the basket
The cost of merchandise in the basket
The delivery charges for delivering the basket to its destination
The overhead operating expenses associated with your location and business
The profit percentage you want to earn from each basket
Your competitor's price so that you can price your ownbaskets competitively

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