1. What is a sustainable gift basket service ?
As a gift basket service provider, your job is to create charming, innovative, and creative gifts that use healthy products supplied from sustainable sources. You can craft artistic products that differentiate themselves from ‘run of the mill’ gift baskets and use local goods. Combining your passion for food with artisan skills can make for highly customized products with a terrific local ‘flavor’.
There are a wide variety of options for distribution channels and assuring stable sales of your products. However, this business is likely to be as much supply chain management as it is product creation. Some retail outlets will be much more likely to carry your goods than others. Traditionally, larger chain outlets have often excluded locally made goods so that they could standardize their offerings across geographic areas and through centralized distribution warehouses (it was argued that this improved efficiency in supply chain management). Recent trends, however, bode well for this and other businesses that create local goods to be sold through retail outlets. Growing interest in local goods by consumers has caused many retail outlets to change their policies to favor locally produced goods. In addition, growing interest in buying local means many customers are not only shopping at locally owned stores, but looking for locally made products.
You can also market your products more directly, through farmer’s markets and other outlets where you are in direct contact with your customers.
2. What knowledge or skills are necessary?
Starting a gift basket business does not require many formal skills. However, you must be artistic and have a passion for crafting exciting products that your customers will appreciate. You must also know how to estimate your inventory accurately if you are using fresh produce in your gift baskets, and of course, to manage perishables if the gift baskets do not sell quickly.
3. How much money is required to start?
$ (on a scale of $ to $$$$$)
4. What is the income potential?
$$ (on a scale of $ to $$$$$)
5. What is the best location for a gift basket service?
You do not need storefront or office space to start a gift basket service. However, you should ensure that you are close enough to a city or residential space to make pick-up or delivery accessible/affordable. Shipping gift baskets is also an option, but may be less sustainable than other options.
6. Best questions to ask yourself to find out if this business is right for you (if you can answer yes to all three, this business might be for you):
Are you artistic and enjoy making creative products?
Do you have ideas about locally crafted, sustainable goods that would make good gift items coupled with each other?
Are you comfortable working during holiday seasons (e.g., Christmas)?
Interested in starting one in your community? Where do you begin? What permits do you need? Who is your target customer? How do you find them? What is the best use of your limited advertising dollars? What’s the best way to attract a great employee or volunteer? What does an average day look like? What strategic tips do veteran eco-entrepreneurs suggest for startups like you?
There’s a lot to think about. Rest easy. Our mission is to help you succeed, so drop us a line (Info@GreenBusinessVillage.com). We’ll get you a business planning document to get you on your way for ONLY $199! We also guarantee our work, so if you are not satisfied, you get your money back!*
Take a look at a sample table of contents and a few sample excerpts from similar plans here. In essence, we’ll provide you the What, When, Where, and How…you provide the Who!
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