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9 Tips for Starting a Successful Gift Basket Business

Like to create? Then a gift-basket service is the perfect homebased business for you. In today’s fast-paced world, few people have time to find that gift that’s just right. Both corporate customers and individuals have found gift baskets to be the ideal solution, creating a rapidly growing market that could mean big profits for you.

Start-up is easy. There are few equipment requirements, and no need for a retail store, so a home site is ideal. You can work part or full time. And you set your own hours and workload.

Best of all, gift baskets are fun to create and practically sell themselves. The gift basket business is ideal as a homebased business. Learn how to take your business online.

Having a home-based business is never easy. From advertising to zoning, there is always something that will require your attention. I get asked a lot of questions from people who are just starting up so I thought I'd put together a quick 10 point list of tips. These are ten tips to help keep you focused on your quest to make your home-based gift basket business a success.

1. Set a schedule and keep it.
The allure of working from home is powerful -- but so is the appeal of spending more time with your family or taking a nap in the middle of the day. Set a schedule for your workday and sticking to it is critical.

Q: Does your schedule have equal portions of "working IN your business" and "working ON your business"?

2. Set up a dedicated office area. You can't effectively run a business from your kitchen table. A successful business requires a fully equipped home office. If you have an extra bedroom, consider converting it into office space. If you do not have an extra room in your home, try setting up a partition to create an office area. Q: Is your work space creating a relaxed, energetic area from you to work from, or is it Clutter-city USA ?

3. Be professional. One of the perks of running a business from home is having the option of working in your pajamas, but your customers should not be able to tell that you just rolled out of bed. Maintain normal office hours and a professional demeanor when answering your phone or dealing with customers. Q: Are you answering your phone with a well scripted greeting for your business?

4. Advertise. Just because "if you build it" doesn't necessarily mean they will come. To succeed, you will need to advertise your new business. Advertising and marketing doesn't have to be expensive, but they have to be done. Best places to advertise are highly targeted people or business, like Corporate Business, Women Magazine, Family magazines or local newspapers.

Q: Does your advertising focus on YOU or on the solution your prospective
customers are looking for?

5. Familiarize yourself with tax laws. You are about to enter a whole new world of taxation. To avoid ending up frazzled on April 15th, take the time now to discuss your options with your accountant or another qualified professional who can advise you about your tax situation. Q: Do you have an effective process for keeping up with your tax obligations on a monthly basis?

6. Create a business plan. Where do you want your business to be in six months? How about in five years? Many Gift basket business owners mistakenly think that a business plan is only necessary if they are going to have to get a loan. But businesses of all sizes can use a business/marketing plan as a roadmap to success.

Q: Have you updated your business plan with your goals for the next 90 days?

7. Get on the Web. The Internet is the single best way for your business to reach out to prospective customers. Even if your business isn't "e-" anything, you need to be on the web with a website that can function as an online brochure or, even easier, join the www.gbexchange.net website for great exposure. Q: Have you purchased your business name as a dot com domain? Q: Have you joined gbexchange?

8. Do your research. You may think that your idea for your entertainment business is unique. But unless you do some market research, you won't know whether or not your area is already saturated. Market research can help you find a special angle for your service, giving you an edge over your competitors. Q: Have you developed a USP (unique selling proposition)?

9. Don't get discouraged. Many businesses fail simply because their owners got discouraged after a disappointing trial period. You will have toshow grit and determination to make your business succeed. Hang in there and do all that you can to make your business the success you know it can be. Q: Don't be a Lone Ranger...even the Lone Ranger had Tonto! Do you have a business coach?

Entrepreneur Joyce O. Oladipo, "The Giftpreneur Queen," publishes the award-winning 'Gift Basket Success' ezine. If you're ready to jump-start your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your Gift Basket business, get your FREE tips now at www.GiftBasketQueenSecrets.com

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