|The wonderful thing about the gift basket industry is that there is no wrong way and no right way to create and grow your business.
Creativity and uniqueness is what makes each business successful. We all have different life circumstances, live in different parts of the world, and enter the industry with different knowledge and experiences.
That is one reason why I love having the opportunity to show different viewpoints in our magazine and here on our Success Express website.
Below, you’ll find two different viewpoints about choosing a business model. Neither option is right or wrong for the industry as a whole. What works for one business may not work for another. And there are good reasons for this.
I invite you to read both viewpoints and then decide which model is best for you and your company.
The Business to Business Model
By Diane Campbell – Owner of Gratitude Goodies
Does your business get pulled in a million different directions?
The difference is a major one. One you shouldn’t ignore.
I’m doing a podcast where I talk to business owners and my most recent guest, Andy Leonard from Accel Financial Services had some wise things to say. His business is focused on helping develop businesses financially, and to get their quick books in
When starting a gift basket business, you can easily get pulled in seasonal directions that may not make you enough money to shake a stick at.
For Gratitude Goodies, we focus on corporate gifts. We do have a modest amount of baby stuff on hand but that’s it. Any requests for all the other seasons throughout the year, we design with colorful ribbons and adornments.
Here’s what we’re not. A butcher, baker, or candlestick maker. That’s a cliche for saying you won’t find designs with Hello Kitty, Ninja Turtles, leopard prints with romantic elements, in our lineup.
We also are not a florist, promotional company, fresh fruit design company, soap
When we try to go outside our element, it typically doesn’t work.
You must be strong about who you are and even stronger about who you’re not. It’s so easy to get scattered and smothered by too many things that can easily distract you and take you away from who and what you do best. It also will cost you a lot more money to be everything to everybody.
I keep hearing in seminars, podcasts, and blogs to niche it down. That’s our goal for 2017. Wishing you a blessed Holiday Season.
Diane’s podcast can be found at www.PodcastForBusiness.com
Combination Model — B2B and B2C
By Joyce Reid – Creative Gifts to Go LLC
I’m not a whole lot different than most of you. My favorite pastime has never been work.
Now don’t get me wrong. I like money as much as the rest of you and, as a true entrepreneur, I enjoy the challenges of building a successful business. I even love designing and creating new gift baskets.
I admit it. I’m basically lazy and prefer having the extra time to spend with my husband and grandchildren or even reading a good mystery novel. I didn’t get into this business to be a work horse. I got into it because I enjoy it and working dawn to dusk is not my idea of enjoyment.
I’ve always known that selling gifts to the corporate market is the best way to be profitable. This is what is commonly referred to as B2B (Business to Business). But I prefer to think of my business as B2P (Business to People).
Business customers are important to my bottom line but I remember that businesses are made up of people. People — whether corporate or individuals — all need gifts and these gifts aren’t just what we think of as “corporate gifts.” I sell birthday gifts, get well gifts, thank you gifts, welcome to your new home gifts, college student gifts, and more.
But increasing the amount of labor required to double or even triple the number of gift baskets that I would have to produce to grow my business into a profitable one has
I decided that the easiest and most profitable way to accomplish this purpose is to use the labor of others who were already producing products that could meet the needs of my customers who are both businesses and individuals.
I also don’t like the idea of hiring other people to do the work for me. To me, employees mean added work, cost, problems and headaches.
I can hear some of you now. “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” “You have to work at it if you want to grow your business.” “There are things you have to give up if you want to have a successful business.”
Believe it or not, I couldn’t agree more.
That is the very reason that I have decided to work smarter and not harder and have searched for other avenues that require less time and money spent networking as well as less labor and inventory storage than multiplying the number of gift baskets I would have to create to push the profits upward.
I was very much aware of this “weakness of mine” when I first started the business. I
Of course, I sell gift baskets (lots of them) but I also sell birthday cakes, giant decorated cookies, coffee cakes, cookie gifts of all kinds, promotional products, care packages, fortune cookies, among other things.
For me, diversification means more profits without more labor, more inventory, or even more intensive networking. If you are just starting out, you wouldn’t want to add all these things at once. Start with a specific niche and build it. It could even be corporate food gifts if you live in an area large enough to support this niche. If you want to add other “people” to your customer list or even additional niches, break them down into segments, building each segment to the point that you feel that you are ready to add another.
Diversification isn’t for everyone but, for me, it means more money in my bank account and more time to do the things I love to do.
If you have an interest in this business model, I’ve even written an ebook about it. You can find it at http://giftbasketnetwork.com/ebook-year-round-business
Each of us is different. We live in different size and kinds of communities. Some prefer Internet marketing while others choose local networking. Build your business based on what works best for you and your circumstances. That’s the key to success.