When it comes to starting up your own gift basket company one of the first steps that you should take before diving in head first is to do some thorough market research. In order to put a business plan together you first need to understand some more about your market, the kind of products that are in demand and the kind of clients that you will have. Only then will you know what products you need to develop to cater to this market and how you should go about marketing effectively.
Market research for the kind of small gift basket business that you are likely to be setting up is best done by you personally as the owner. While you can outsource market research to professionals these days you will get the best understanding by doing it yourself, you will save money and you will likely make some good connections in the process.
The market for gift baskets has traditionally been dominated by women although men are starting to make up an increasing part of the market. Middle class and wealthy customers are more likely to buy this kind of product than consumers from lower socio-economic groups. Try to get some understanding of the demographics of the population in your area as every region and city is different.
The next step is to put together some focus groups or interview people one by one to find out about their experiences with gift basket companies. These people can be friends, associates or anyone else that fits the profile that you have in mind of a possible gift basket buyer. Try to find out about their experiences with other gift basket companies and if they feel that they received the best level of service possible. Ask them how they would look for such a business when they needed one and their reasons for going with a particular business. Ask them if they were satisfied with the product range and if they feel that there are any areas of the market that are not currently being catered to.
Don't forget to take down the contact details of everyone that you meet with so that you can contact them once you have opened for business. You may get your first client from within this group.
Research your competitors thoroughly. Go over their websites and other marketing materials and get a complete understanding about their product range, their advertising and marketing, their ordering process and their delivery service. Look for aspects of their business model that you would like to incorporate into your business model and also try to think of ways how you will differentiate your products and services from theirs.
Even once you have started your business don't forget to do continual research. Getting customers to give you feed back is one great way to get data that you can use to make positive changes.
Market research is an extremely important first step that you should take before taking the plunge into the gift basket industry. Get your business off to the best possible start by giving this area the attention that it deserves.