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How to Choose Your Specialty Gift Baskets for a Gift Basket Business, Gift Shop, or Sideline

Aug 17, 2007
If you have an existing gift basket business, or are planning to start up a gift basket business or home based gift basket business or just add a sideline to a business you have now, one of the most important things to consider is the type of gift baskets you'll offer.

You can offer a wide range of gift baskets, focus on a unique specialty gift basket or do a combination of both. I recommend doing both.

For the newbie, start out with a focus on one type of gift basket, and then later add a strong line of gift baskets, after you get your foot in the door. This is often the best approach when you're new. You'll be tying up less money in inventory too.

Here are two possible specialty gift baskets to consider. The first is a gift basket for nurses. Make up a demo gift basket. I know marketing. For marketing your specialty gift basket you may have to get really creative. Take your demo to one of the local hospitals and wander though the cafeteria and set it down on a table while you have a beverage. People will assume you are delivering it to a patient.

Take plenty of business cards. Ask administration if you can post your business card on the hospital message board. Stop at the gift shop, show the demo gift basket and ask if they would take any on consignment. If they do and get enough orders, they'll probably start ordering regularly from you without consignment. If you know of any health professionals, show them your demo baskets or even give them one and ask for referrals in exchange.

Nurses don't have time to shop. They love to get and give gifts. They can't get out of the hospital for breaks or at lunchtime because it's usually against hospital policy to leave the premises. I know. I used to be a nurse. They are prime candidates for your baskets. You can have gift baskets that are full of nurse specialty and other medical items, a nurse's relaxation gift basket and so on. They like the medical theme baskets because they can use the items or give some of the items in the gift basket to other nurses and other health professionals they work with or know.

Once you get a few nurses buying you'll find they are good repeat customers. Plus they have plenty of associates they can recommend you to. Make sure you supply them with business cards. Fliers get lost or thrown away. Business cards are easier to keep track of. Business cards are cheap or you can make your own. They don't have to be fancy but make them a little appealing. Your business is going to be judged by your baskets though, not the cards.

Another idea would be to approach brew pub and tavern owners. You could provide an endless supply of gift baskets for them to use for their giveaways to customers. They usually have contests and various kinds of drawings for their customers. I know a lot of restaurant and tavern owners. I used to list and sell restaurants and taverns when I had my real estate company. I know how they think and work.

Just make up two or three or more good demos for them to choose from. Have different price ranges from less to more expensive and two or three differently filled baskets. Have two or three different types of containers if possible. Traditional wicker baskets are good. Try a totally different kind of USEABLE container if you can think of something appropriate.

For this crowd make your gift baskets humorous, not serious. Include things you think brewpub or tavern patrons might like. Specialty cheeses, crackers, pretzels, chips, nuts, other food items. Unfortunately they probably don't want healthy snacks. Maybe specialty beers, specialty coffees, hot chocolate mixes, t-shirts, baseball caps, coffee mugs, corkscrews, bar items, playing cards, auto-related items and small auto safety items. These are just a few of the items to consider.

Magic shop items will make your baskets unique and lots of FUN. Make sure you get some of these in every basket. Visit your local magic shop, usually found in the larger cities. If you don't have a magic shop try to find a magic catalog. You should be able to find some on the Internet. Even retail prices are usually cheap for these items if you can't arrange wholesale. You may not be buying enough wholesale in the beginning to warrant a wholesale account. Often minimum orders may be too high to make sense.

There are dozens of other specialty baskets you can make of course. But for the other gift baskets in your gift basket business you will want to focus on gourmet food gift baskets, fruit baskets if you come from an area that has plenty of fruit all year, corporate gift baskets which are real money-makers, but competitive, and bath and body gift baskets. Custom or personalized gift baskets are another option too.

With these tips, ideas and suggestions, you should be well on your way to choosing a specialty gift basket line for your new, existing, or work-at-home or home based gift basket business, gift shop or as a sideline to another business.
About the Author
Helen Hecker heads Twin Peaks Press since 1982. Help publishers. Online marketing, mailing lists,press releases, Helen Hecker's Biz Hotline, How to Make Gift Baskets DVD. http://www.TwinPeaksPress.com http://www.HowToMakeBeautifulGiftBaskets.com http://www.SellCookbooks.com
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