Free Gift Basket Business Online Learning Guide

New Home Business Equipment and Resources Needed

New Home Business Equipment and Resources you’ll need for starting a gift basket business.

 

Essential items you should have in place prior to opening your business. These are guidelines and your choices should be made based upon your own situation.

 

Phone Services

One of the most important elements a small business or home business needs is a good reliable phone system that allows you to present you company / business as professional. Be sure to read their FAQ area and the Features. You can get an 800 number, receive incoming calls and faxes (and more) from anywhere.

Mail Services

If you’ll be running your small business from your home, you should rent a post office box from a private mailbox rental facility that offers a street address with a suite number. They are worth the cost, even if you only utilize the address, which lends to a more professional image. Many provide an array of services such as:

  • 24 hour mailbox service with street number and suite number
  • Mail receiving/forwarding
  • Stamps and metered mail
  • Packing, shipping and supplies
  • All forms of shipping – overnight, second day air and ground
  • Fax service
  • Photocopies
  • Money transfer
  • Money orders
  • Telephone messaging/voice mail
  • Business cards and stationary

 

Shipping

Resources and equipment you'll need for starting a gift basket business.There are several companies to choose from in this area – UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc – and you should meet with or telephone a representative and determine which company will best suit your needs. You want to be able to provide out of state shipping to your customers. Shipping International is rather involved, and you’ll want to determine if you’ll be shipping International or just offering shipping within the continental USA during your startup phase.

If you contract with one company exclusively, they should be able to give you a better rate, which will be determined by you shipping volumes. Use a company that picks up on a daily basis, and has complete service options: overnight air, second-day air, Saturday delivery, ground service, etc. UPS is a good place to start, they invoice on a monthly basis, have an automated tracking service and provide a fully automated phone-in pick up service. Whatever company you decide to use, they should provide you with a listing of all shipping charges, usually by weight and they should show you how to calculate for different zip codes. They will also provide instructions on packing specifics. You will want to keep this listing handy, to quote shipping charges for your customers.

Local Delivery

If you don’t plan to make local deliveries yourself, contract with a courier service or a local delivery company.

For small orders, a courier service is a good choice. Pass on the exact rate to your customers as the courier service is charging you. Inflating this charge to your customer is not appropriate. For larger orders, utilize a local delivery company. This option would be for orders too large for the courier service to handle.

If you do plan on using your own vehicle to make local deliveries, any charges incurred while using your own vehicle for deliveries can be used as a tax deduction.

Office Equipment

If you don’t already have the basic items needed to set up an office, shop around. Almost everything can be obtained from garage sales, swap meets, second hand stores or through the classified ads in your area. There is no need to purchase everything “new”.

  • Desk (L shaped if possible to allow space for computer and printer)
  • Chair (one that’s good quality and on casters)
  • Filing Cabinets (one for customer files and company information and one for product information)
  • Bookcase (office supplies, large catalogs, stationary, business cards, etc)

Electronic Equipment

  • Computer – be sure to use a bookkeeping software program such as Quickbooks to keep track of daily receipts and expenses
  • Printer
  • Fax Machine
  • Calculator

Office Supplies

By this time, you should have decided on your company name and have your logo ready. If you can’t afford to have a professional firm design your layout for stationary, business cards, etc, an option is to have them printed at a local Office Depot or Office Max. Another option is to barter with a local business for professional design and printing services, in exchange for a predetermined number of your Gift Baskets.

What you should have on hand:

  • Business Cards
  • Stationary and Envelopes
  • Gift Tags
  • Company Information Insert Card or Brochure
  • High Gloss Adhesive Labels Invoice Forms, 2 or 3 part (may customize stock forms with a rubber stamp or use your high gloss stickers)
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Markers
  • Post-it Notes
  • Pads of Paper
  • Paper Clips
  • Functional Calendar
  • Receipt Book or Log
  • File Folders
  • Large Mailing Envelopes
  • Cellophane Tape
  • Packing Tape
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Three Hole Punch
  • Binders
  • Computer and Fax Supplies: paper, ink cartridges, etc

Gift Basket Making Supplies

  • Worktable (higher than a normal table, can place each leg on 12″x12″ bricks if necessary)
  • Shelving or containers for supplies and inventory (should be easily accessible to worktable)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Cellophane tape and dispenser
  • Stapler
  • Variety of baskets and containers
  • Sizzle (basket stuffing material)
  • Ribbon and raffia
  • Clear or Printed Cello
  • Shrink Wrap System (shrink wrap film, by the roll or bags and a heat gun/blower)
  • Gift Tags
  • High Gloss Stickers
  • Gift Basket Inventory (products you will place in the baskets)

 

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