The Art of Running a Gift Basket Company
10 Do’s and Don’ts of running a gift basket company
I read these do’s and don’ts and they are dumbed down to the point of being worthless.
Over the years I have casually glanced upon “how to guidebooks” for my industry that were so banal as to be worthless. Rather cheekily most of them were not free. So just like our gift baskets let us provide in this article far greater value than what you were asked to pay for it.
Call your gift basket or hamper company something generic and make it appropriate to what you want it to be. Do not personalise it with your name in some sort of clever word play. It will only be clever to you, not the customer. It panders to your ego, not your desire to serve.
2) Market: Customer
Identify your customer and provide a product and service that will exceed their expectations. Do not sell what you think they want, but what they tell you they want even if it’s not what you really want to hear.
3) Product offer
Specialise in a product and become an authority on it. Drive costs down relentlessly through greater efficiencies in your operation rather than merely pass costs on. Do not copy what you perceive to be competitors. If you offer the same product, the customer will choose the established company. You must offer something different and better.
Set your prices fairly. You must make a profit otherwise you are not a business. Instead you are a life style operation indulging your fantasy. However do not price for your time in the first 5 years of business. You have no experience, how can you determine your value? You can’t, this is an experiment, do not charge people for your experiment. After 5 years, you can determine if you want to continue. Set your salary at minimum wage. It is only after this that, you can choose to increase your salary. Your time will have proven to have been well spent. Its logical!
Do not use old money to subsidise your whims, passion or indulgence. Keep asking questions of what you are doing, keep referring to that bottom line.
Choose marketing mediums which are appropriate for your company’s stage of evolution. You cannot afford traditional advertising, you must be innovative. Set strict parameters regarding what constitutes success and failure. Laugh at others who think that money is the key to success for they think that their money will buy them success, it will only buy them experience.
Your geographical location greatly impacts upon your company. In high population density areas you want to serve the local community, in low density areas you must look beyond and offer a superior service which is conduicive to the national interest.
7) People: Staff/Suppliers
Your business cannot operate without people. Be truthful and honest. Create an atmosphere which is happy and cordial. Understand their concerns, their fears, be a force of optimism in your future. You will be repaid 10 fold in years to come.
8) Ethics/Social Responsibility
As a business you have responsibilities to wider society. No matter how small you are, never forget that. Give what you can as a priority directly without thinking, then give what you can, whether that be a local fundraising event or local people supporting a national organisation such as help for heroes. Pay this before you pay yourself. You will be rewarded 10 fold over. May-be not in financial terms, but definitely in spiritual terms.
Money is the grease which drives business, but community is for your soul. Always think locally but act nationally. Do not do anything, which brings you into disrepute with your local community as by default you are harming the collective nation.
Rejoice in competition as it provides you with the problems which you need to overcome to succeed as an individual.
Do not denigrate the competition, compete with them, banter with them and let the best man/woman win.
If you think you can do it better then you must know how and why. If you don’t then you are doomed to fail.
That is why in spite of what conventional wisdom on the internet recommends, the cardinal rule of all is do not, whatever you do, do not COPY. For you do not know what you copy. You are ignorant of the market and have a different set of core competencies.
Instead lead a business which you have a pride in leading, surround yourself with people you have a pride to work with and no matter what problems afflict your business, you will eventually prevail against all others. Never give up.
If this is not you, then you will only ever be the bitter No2.
There is an art to every business. The science is easy to imitate, the art of success lies within the individual and there is no business more individual than the gift basket business.
This may go viral, if not it doesn’t matter, it is right and those that read it will know that it is right whatever you do in life, no matter how cryptic it may originally appear.
Good luck to anybody who chooses to run a gift basket business wherever you are in the world.