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The Simple Secrets to Exploding Profits and Products for Gift Basket Businesses

Aug 17, 2007
If you want to pump life into your gift basket business follow these simple tips. Put into action the following ideas, secrets, publicity and marketing tips to get good results for your home based gift basket business. It's a good way to end up with increased profits and in-demand proven products for gift basket businesses and save money.

If you need to kickstart your current business or if you're just starting out, focus on putting together and marketing JUST ONE stunning, unusual, specialty, theme gift basket. You'll be testing the market without a huge investment in inventory, get tremendous exposure and virtually be eliminating the competition. Pick something unusual, unique, even off the wall -- not traditional basket themes like birthday, sympathy, get well, thank you, etc. Everybody does those.

For a specialty basket theme, just for example, let's pick one that is medical-related. Nurses and doctors are a busy bunch. They are usually overworked and can't seem to ever get enough time off to recuperate or shop. They'll love being the buyer of or the recipient of your medical-theme gift basket. We'll call it the "Nurses' Gift Basket" or "Nurses' Appreciation Gift Basket".

Because you're focusing on one basket theme it'll be a lot easier to pick your products or items. Besides poring through directories and catalogs of gift basket supplies (wholesale for good discounts), browse through nurses' uniform and supply catalogs. Make arrangements to buy your smaller items wholesale. You may have to buy directly from the manufacturer or distributor.

If you know any nurses, ask them what kind of items they might like to get in a gift basket? You'll want to think fun and luxury and maybe a couple of small useable medical items. Also include some fruit, chocolate, specialty tea or coffee foil packets, cinnamon sticks, etc., if it works with your other items.

If possible try to buy most of your items though one or two suppliers with a wide variety of merchandise. You'll save on shipping. Keep in mind they often require minimum orders. It's so much easier and cheaper than multiple accounts through several suppliers of individual items. Once you've decided on the products or items, set up an account through the wholesale order department. Order in small quantities in the beginning so you're not tying up cash, or maxing out credit cards. Also you need time to decide on whether you picked a good theme or not. Test the waters with a couple of baskets first.

Magic catalogs always have a wide variety of hilarious medical items. Including some funny items in your inventory is a good idea. Order these through the wholesale department, if they have one. If you live in or near a large city you should be able to find a good magic store to browse through. You may find items cheap enough to use for your gift baskets and save on large orders and shipping. Ask for a quantity discount - 5%-20%. You can negotiate prices even in retail stores. They want to move inventory.

In some cases you'll need to order directly from the manufacturer. You can easily find contact information on the Internet. But rather than sending an email, it's better to call them directly. When introducing yourself to a new wholesale supplier for the first time, by phone is best.

Now that you know what theme you're going to start with and know where you're going to get your products and items, the next step is working up your marketing plan. I recommend drawing up the plan before you do any ordering of products. You can also query the nurses in your local hospital to see if they would be interested in ordering your gift baskets. They'd be good customers because of their contact with many co-workers and friends in the medical field.

As part of your marketing plan you can make up some business cards cheaply that focus on the medical or chosen theme. Because of the nature of your basket -- it's uniqueness and because medical personnel are revered in the community, you should be able to get good media (print and broadcast) exposure - you've got a 'hook'.

A press release is easy to write. Draw up something simple that announces your business. Focus on your basket medical theme or whatever theme you've picked. Write out answers to who, what, where, when and why to make sure you include all the important information. Keep it simple. Type it on letterhead, white paper and one side, one page only. Double-space if possible, but single space is fine. Keep it short. No flowery adjectives. Just state the facts. No pitching or selling. Call to get the correct mailing addresses of your local daily AND weekly newspapers. They often have post office boxes because they get so much mail.

It'll be well worth the time and effort in wide exposure and increased sales. Because your theme is so unusual they may want to do a story or feature on you. Editors are inundated with email. Direct mailing is best. Send out the two releases, each in it's own envelope to every newspaper on your list. Address one envelope to 'Editor' and the other to 'Lifestyle Editor', but not in quotes.

You can also follow up by faxing a copy of each but first you'll need to call and get the fax number for the 'newsroom'. Newspapers have dozens of fax machines and you'll want it to go to the right one.

Another marketing tool you may want to consider -- giving some baskets away free by auctioning off a basket or two for charity and sending out a press release to the media to announce the event. The media loves anything free and combined with a charitable event may insure good coverage. Pick a good local charity, perhaps one involving children. You may be able to auction your gift baskets off during one of their large events or regional meetings. The charity volunteers may help by contacting the press and mentioning your medical-theme gift baskets as auction items.

Once you've tested your market locally and have enjoyed a certain amount of success with your new products for your gift basket business, then it's time to set up a website and to add another specialty gift basket to your line.

Adding the right new products to your gift basket business and having a good marketing plan are an important part of your gift basket business. With good free media exposure your sales will soar and your profits will explode! Guaranteed!
About the Author
Helen Hecker heads Twin Peaks Press a 25-year-old PR, marketing, publishing co., publishes "Helen's Hecker's Biz Hotline" for small/home biz/entrepreneurs, publishes books, gift basket DVDs, "Helen Hecker's Health Secrets Hotline," websites include: http://www.howtomakebeautifulgiftbaskets.com
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