How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business

Front Cover
Rowman & Littlefield
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Contents

Understanding Your Target Market
1
Defining the Market
4
Who Is the Typical Gift Basket Buyer?
5
Guarantee Their Satisfaction
14
Customer Service That Keeps Them Buying
16
What It Takes to Succeed
21
Honestly Assessing Your Abilities
50
Love and Support from Family and Friends
52
Selectively Spreading the Good News
150
Meeting New and Interesting People
159
Selling on Consignment
160
Advertising on the Internet
162
Preparing for SlowSelling Seasons
169
Establishing a ToilFree Number
170
Delivery Methods
173
The Basics for a Smooth Delivery
177

A Winning Attitude
55
Home Office and Workspace Setup and Structure
59
Should You Consider a Trademark?
60
Local Name Registration
62
Employer Identification Number
64
Zoning Issues
65
Working with an Accountant
66
Choosing a Business Structure
67
Choosing an Attorney
69
Insurance Needs
70
Finding Space in Your Home
71
Maintaining Product Catalogs
74
Projecting Your Best Professional Image
75
Selecting Your Inventory
85
Profitable Occasions and Events
86
A Shopping List for Success
87
Where to Buy Products
92
Buying in Bulk Versus Retail
95
Obtaining Credit
98
Understanding Buying Terms
100
Free Samples for the Asking
101
HomeBased Holds on Wines and Alcohol
102
Gift Basket Design Tips and Techniques
105
Filling the Basket
106
Product Anchoring
107
Add Dazzle and Decoration
108
Wrapping the Creation
109
Finishing Touches
111
Design and Construction Changes
113
A Word about ShrinkWrap
114
Style by Trial and Error
115
Maintaining BugFree Baskets
117
Pricing Your Baskets for Profit
118
Tracking Production Time
122
The Elusive Corporate Market
125
Who Makes the Decision to Buy?
126
Choosing the BestSelling Themes and Products
130
Techniques and Key Words That Sell
132
Getting Past the Gatekeeper
135
Theyve Responded Now What?
136
Getting Down to Business
138
Discounts Deposits and Collecting Payment
142
What to Do after the Sale
145
Asking for Referral Business
147
Advertising and Promotion
149
Securing Baskets in the Car
178
Keeping Your Car in Good Condition
179
Finding a Reliable Courier
180
Choosing a Shipping Service
182
Protecting the Cargo
184
Proper Attire for the Traveling Basket
187
Charging Your Customers Appropriately
188
Checks Balances and Payments
191
Records You Need for Business and Taxes
193
Keeping Everything in Order
198
Opening a Business Checking Account
204
Accepting Checks and Credit Cards
206
Installing a Merchant Credit Card Account
210
Withdrawing Money for Personal Use
211
Competition
215
Spying on the Competition
218
Competitive Advantages
220
Compiling Your Competitors List
222
Rating Your Own Service
224
When and When Not to Compete
226
Keeping Customers for Life
229
Traditional Tactics
230
Family Matters
231
Professional Contact
232
Combining Contests with Newsletters
234
Growth Opportunities
241
Recruiting Help
242
Buying a Business in Whole or Pieces
246
Showing Baskets on Television
247
Preparing a Media Kit
250
Getting Attention with News Releases
254
Working with Department Stores
257
You Can Do It
260
Appendix
261
Associations
265
Gift Basket Trade Shows
267
Gift Industry Permanent Showrooms
268
Magazines
269
Videos
270
Gift Basket Business Web Sites Blogs Classes and Message Boards
274
Glossary
275
Index
277
About the Author
282
Copyright

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