Start Your Own Gift Basket Business

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Description

About This Course

Take your first step toward a career as a gift basket designer! This course will tell you everything you need to know about starting a gift basket business and running it successfully.

First, you’ll learn how to make gift baskets that stand out from everyone else’s. You’ll discover where to find foods, products, and supplies to make your baskets, and you’ll find out how to set up your own design studio. In addition, you’ll explore the requirements and guidelines for running a home-based business. You’ll also get the inside story on finding customers and marketing your gift baskets online and offline.

Next, you'll learn how to maximize your profits by pricing your gift baske…

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About This Course

Take your first step toward a career as a gift basket designer! This course will tell you everything you need to know about starting a gift basket business and running it successfully.

First, you’ll learn how to make gift baskets that stand out from everyone else’s. You’ll discover where to find foods, products, and supplies to make your baskets, and you’ll find out how to set up your own design studio. In addition, you’ll explore the requirements and guidelines for running a home-based business. You’ll also get the inside story on finding customers and marketing your gift baskets online and offline.

Next, you'll learn how to maximize your profits by pricing your gift baskets correctly. You’ll also see how to collect payments involving cash, checks, and credit cards. After that, you’ll investigate cost-effective ways to ship and deliver the gorgeous gift baskets you create.

And of course, you’ll want a Web site—so this course will teach you how to create an attractive, professional-looking site that entices customers to buy your baskets. In addition, you’ll find out the sales secrets that most long-time designers won't reveal, such as standalone gift sales and drop shipping. Finally, and best of all, you'll follow step-by-step instructions to make your very first professionally-styled gift basket!

By the end of this course, you’ll be ready to start your own business as a gift basket designer—and you’ll have the confidence you need to excel in this fun and profitable career.

About The Instructor

This course includes a knowledgeable and caring instructor who will guide you through your lessons, facilitate discussions, and answer your questions. The instructor for this course will be Shirley George Frazier.

Shirley George Frazier is one of the world’s leading authorities on the gift basket industry. In business since 1990, Shirley is the founder of GiftBasketBusiness.com and the author of the industry’s best-selling books, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business and The Gift Basket Design Book. Shirley’s mission is to provide business and marketing support to home-based entrepreneurs, specialty store owners, and related professionals worldwide through in-person training, live seminar conferences, and articles written for consumer and business publications. Her clients include Macy's, Barnes & Noble, Total Wine, and Hallmark stores.

Syllabus

A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week 1

Wednesday - Lesson 01

You've made a great decision to start a gift basket business! Create a firm foundation for your soon-to-be successful enterprise with the help of this lesson. You'll learn what to expect from this course, and you’ll meet a new designer, just like you, and discover how she plans her daily schedule. We’ll cover what it takes to be successful, too, and we'll also find out how much money you'll need to start your business. You'll also follow a ten-step tutorial using items around your home to make your first gift basket. At the end of this first lesson, you'll be ready to set up your business!

Friday - Lesson 02

Ready to start designing? This lesson will masterfully explain how to create a professionally styled gift basket, just like the pros make. You’ll learn about the essential materials you’ll need, and you’ll follow photographs showing each design step, from basket bottom to bow. We'll discuss how efficient use of your basket-making time ensures that you make as much money as possible. Finally, we'll go over design and product changes that make each gift basket stand out.

Week 2

Wednesday - Lesson 03

Let’s go shopping! To create beautiful baskets, you’ll need basket-making supplies, as well as products like snacks and gifts to put inside your designs. But how do you decide what and how much to buy? Lesson 3 is full of smart shopping tips that will help you save money and make the right decisions about what to purchase and where. You'll also learn about registering your business so that companies selling merchandise identify you as a bona fide retailer—which means you’ll be able to shop and save!

Friday - Lesson 04

Will you set up shop in a garage, basement, or spare room? This lesson explains the advantages of a home-based workspace and provides tips to set it up. You'll also learn about the downside of working at home and explore other options so you can determine what will work best for your business. We'll review an equipment list to ensure you have everything you need, and you’ll learn the secrets of creatively organizing your office and design area.

Week 3

Wednesday - Lesson 05

Without sales, you don’t have a business, so it’s time to meet your customers. We'll review the top ten reasons why individuals buy gift baskets, look at five steps that convince corporations to become customers, and identify professional business owners you know right now who may become your top buyers. You'll come away with a basket full of ideas on how to approach businesses and organizations in your hometown, and you’ll learn how to make sales without being pushy.

Friday - Lesson 06

Baskets full of goodies are a popular gift choice, so you expect a little competition, right? The good news is that your competitor list may be smaller than you imagine. Now you’ll discover how to separate the real competition from every business in your area that sells gift baskets. We'll reveal who isn’t your competitor, and some of them will surprise you. Then we’ll take a look at your actual competitors and assess their strengths and weaknesses. You’ll learn how you can use this information to build your own business. Believe it or not, your competitors may lead you to your next customer!

Week 4

Wednesday - Lesson 07

Grab your calculator . . . Lesson 7 is all about money! Success depends on knowing what to charge for each gift basket design, and you’re going to learn the formulas to keep you profitable. You’ll be introduced to three distinct methods to calculate your prices, and you’ll see a sample chart that will help you easily apply that method to all your future designs. We'll also go over the costs that go into each price calculation—it's much more than adding up the snacks and gifts you’re putting into the basket. Knowing how much you spend is just as important as how much you charge, so you'll see a quick and easy way to keep track of your expenses. Finally, you'll learn how to increase each sale with a little-known technique that gets customers to say "yes."

Friday - Lesson 08

Opportunities to let customers know about your gift baskets are all around you. Which will you choose? First we’ll cover the difference between marketing and advertising. Next we’ll look at marketing techniques, from printing business cards to creating an online marketing campaign. You can spend a lot of money to promote your business, but the good news is: you don’t have to. You’ll learn to create a marketing plan and advertising strategy that work for you and your budget.

Week 5

Wednesday - Lesson 09

Let’s face it: you’re in business to make money. This lesson unveils how to get paid. You’ll discover the methods to collect payments by cash, check, and credit cards, plus how to process payments online. We’ll also talk about the importance of creating a business account and how critical—but easy—it is to establish systems to handle different types of payment.

Friday - Lesson 10

Getting your completed gift baskets from point A to point B requires planning and additional supplies. Delivering each gift basket on your own may be an option for local orders, but as you get busy, you’ll need other ways to get your designs to customers. You’ll discover which delivery systems you can use to ship baskets across the country and around the world. You'll find out which equipment and supplies are required for proper packaging and review a tutorial in packing a ship-shape basket.

Week 6

Wednesday - Lesson 11

This lesson reveals the steps to creating a Web site for your business. Understanding what you want to accomplish on the Web is key, along with choosing a company to keep your site up and running 24 hours a day. You’ll unlock tricks to creating a site that’s attractive and user friendly—even if you don’t know a thing about Web design. You’ll also learn the secrets of search engines to make your site easy to find. Best of all, you’ll find out who’s visiting your site, which of your designs are most popular, and ways to increase online sales.

Friday - Lesson 12

Now you know all the basics to start and support a gift basket business. What's next? This lesson reveals the tactics that top designers worldwide have mastered to keep their businesses going and growing. You'll learn how to recognize growth potential and begin to plan for new opportunities, looking ahead six months to ten years. Whatever your ultimate vision is for your business’s future, this lesson will show you how to make it a reality.


Requirements

Internet access, e-mail, the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser, and the Adobe Flash and PDF plug-ins (two free and simple downloads you obtain at http://www.adobe.com/downloads by clicking Get Adobe Flash Player and Get Adobe Reader).

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