How to Start a Gift Basket Business From Home

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Even thought I’ve never personally started or owned a gift basket business, I like the concept and believe it has a lot of potential as a viable home-based enterprise. Here are a few reasons why this business idea appeals to me — and to many others:

  •  Gift basket services provide a valuable solution to many people’s gift-giving problems.
  • Consumer demand: While the demand for high-quality, reasonably priced gift baskets will vary from one location to the next, the availability of a gift basket service can be a real “life saver” for people who need either a last-minute gift or a personalized gift.
  • Almost everyone enjoys receiving a basketful of edible, drinkable, or otherwise useful gifts that are geared to their tastes, gender, a milestone, a special occasion, a holiday, a celebration, or even a personal hardship. Gift baskets make people feel special, supported, and appreciated. It can be the perfect way to acknowledge someone, provided it’s customized and appropriate to their situation, needs, and personal preferences.
  • Gift baskets are versatile and can be used for almost any occasion. Some examples include birthdays, Hanukkah, graduation, Easter gift baskets, Purim, Thanksgiving gift baskets, baby gift baskets, new mom gift baskets, pregnancy gift baskets, get well gift baskets, valentine gift baskets, corporate/executive gift baskets, retirement gifts, thank you gift baskets, Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day gift baskets, housewarming gift baskets, Wedding gift baskets, and condolence/sympathy gift baskets.
  • The startup costs for starting a gift basket business from home are relatively low
  • The complexity of running a gift basket business is less than many other home-based business ideas.
  • There’s an element of fun and satisfaction in preparing custom gift baskets that you know will be appreciated by both your customer and the person they’re buying the gift basket for.

Two of the main challenges of starting a successful gift basket business — whether it’s from home or rented office space — is effectively marketing your business and establishing a reputation as a company that provides quality products, great customer service, and prompt delivery.

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While you will be competing against well-known national gift-basket websites and mail-order companies, you can carve a niche for yourself by being unique, competitively priced, locally based, and/or distinctively branded. There are dozens of ways you can stand out from the competition — even the large, well-established companies.

Gift Basket Ideas

While you can’t be “all things to all people,” you can offer specialty products, unique combinations of gift items, and food baskets that appeal to specific groups. Here are a couple dozen popular (and specialty) items that are often searched for online by gift basket customers

  1. Chocolate
  2. Cookies
  3. Coffee
  4. Tea
  5. Fruit
  6. Cheese
  7. Candy
  8. Popcorn
  9. Nuts
  10. Meat, sausage
  11. Seafood
  12. Vegan gift baskets
  13. Kosher gift baskets
  14. Healthy gift baskets
  15. Sugar-free gift baskets
  16. Gluten-free gift basket
  17. Organic gift baskets
  18. Candle gift baskets
  19. Spa products
  20. Bath gift baskets
  21. Relaxation gift basket
  22. Beach gift baskets
  23. Golf gift baskets
  24. High end gift baskets
  25. Local gift baskets (some customers prefer buying local)
  26. Vermont gift baskets

So with some basic supplies, a good marketing strategy, and the determination to succeed in your own home-based business, you can start creating, promoting, and selling customized gift baskets, candy bouquets, crafts, spa products, and much more. All it takes is a little knowledge, a bit of creativity, and the mental focus to create a plan and follow though with it!

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Info on Starting a Home-based Business

Thanks for checking out my latest thoughts on starting a business, being your own boss, and finding legitimate ways to generate additional income from home. If you found this blog post to be helpful, inspirational, or useful, please follow, like, link to, or recommend this blog to others.

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

–Joel

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*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of the e-books, business startup manuals, courses, marketing tools, software, websites, and other products and services featured on this blog.

How to Start a Cleaning Business

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Starting a cleaning business is one of the most popular ideas among people looking for ways to make money, generate a steady income, and be their own boss. Although it’s not exactly a “glamorous business,” there is almost always a high demand for cleaning services — both residential and commercial. Nearly everyone needs their businesses or homes cleaned on a regular basis, and most people are willing to pay for it.

Two other reasons so many people consider starting a cleaning business are the relatively low startup costs and the fact that you generally do not need college degrees, professional certification, or specialized training.

That being said, I believe successful business owners always look for ways to expand their knowledge, discover more efficient ways of doing things, and learn how to implement cost-effective marketing strategies. Although a general business education would be helpful in running a cleaning business, it’s not a prerequisite for starting a profitable cleaning business. If you are considering starting any kind of cleaning business, it does help to have some sort of business background or at least work experience in small business management, customer service, human resources, bookkeeping, accounting, and/or marketing.

Other requirements for being able to launch and operate a profitable cleaning service include a strong work ethic, problem-solving abilities, and tenacity. If you’re the kind of person who gives up easily, doesn’t get along well with people, or loses their patience when things don’t go smoothly, then a cleaning business may not be the right type of business for you. Although it can be both profitable and personally satisfying, owning a cleaning business is definitely not easy; I have yet to discover any legitimate, feasible business idea that doesn’t involve planning, hard work, and commitment.

If you do possess people skills, business management experience, and organizational skills needed to succeed in this kind of business, then a cleaning business may be an affordable and practical way to become your own boss.

Whether you decide to start a specialized cleaning service or multi-faceted cleaning business, there are quite a few different options to choose from:

  • Carpet cleaning
  • Commercial cleaning (janitorial services/office cleaning)
  • Window cleaning
  • Home cleaning (residential house cleaning /housekeeping services)
  • Rain gutter cleaning
  • Foreclosure cleaning business, which may include junk hauling
  • Parking lot cleaning
  • Pressure wash cleaning
  • Roof cleaning
  • Drain cleaning
  • Construction cleaning
  • Boat cleaning
  • Vehicle cleaning: cars, trucks, RVs, etc.
  • Swimming pool cleaning

Like any business, one of the secrets to success is to identify a need — especially one that’s not being adequately served in your community or target market — and fill it to the best of your ability. To be competitive and generate repeat business and referrals, it’s also necessary to continually focus on customer satisfaction, quality improvement, marketing, your bottom line, and plans for future growth.

How to Start a Cleaning Business

If you need information on how to start a cleaning business, obtain lucrative office cleaning contracts, and price your cleaning contracts, then the following information/training package* will help you learn what you need to know to get started and hit the ground running!

Find out today how to effectively start, manage, and grow your own cleaning business.

starting-a-cleaning-businessThis cleaning business startup kit* includes ten audio tutorial lessons that teach you how to grow your cleaning business, how to present your cleaning proposal to prospective clients, how to get free advertising, and what kinds of people you should talk to for referrals. The kit also features a janitorial software package that enables you to generate invoices, purchase orders, business plans, marketing plans, and price quotes.

The benefit of ordering the Ultimate Cleaning Business Package* is that it provides you with tools, techniques, and forms you need to get started correctly and on the right foot. You don’t have “reinvent the wheel” or make avoidable mistakes on your way to building a profitable cleaning business.

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Thanks for checking out my latest blog post on business ideas and tools for entrepreneurs. I invite you to “follow” this blog if you’d like to be notified of future blog posts.

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

–Joel

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*I am a compensated affiliate of the cleaning business startup kit referenced in this blog post.

Work at Home Business Ideas List

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As I see it, there are two kinds of work-at-home businesses.

In a home-based business, your office is in your home, but you generally meet with clients or customers at their place of business, in their home, or at another location.

In the other type of home business, everything you do takes place in your home — often in front of your computer and on the phone. For people who consider themselves to be introverts, that can be the ideal way to make a living. Working at home can also be a good career path for professionals who are tired of commuting, being limited by the constraints of their job, and dealing with office politics.

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At any rate, being a home-based entrepreneur can be a rewarding way to make money and take charge of your economic destiny.

Starting your own business or being self employed is certainly not a guaranteed ticket to financial security, but it does open doors and create possibilities. How you develop those potential opportunities is up to you.

Probably the two biggest challenges to launching an at-home business (or any business) is to first come up with a viable business idea and then implement an effective marketing plan to attract and retain clients. Without a steady stream of prospective and actual customers, even “the best laid plans of mice and men” will be doomed to failure!

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50 Ideas For Starting Your Own Business

If you’re interested in starting a business but are still looking for ideas of what business to start, here’s a list of possibilities to consider. Many of them can be run out of your home.

  1. Commercial or residential cleaning services
  2. Photography
  3. Catering
  4. Landscaping
  5.  Lawn care
  6. Real estate business
  7. Academic tutoring, voice lessons, teaching guitar or piano
  8. Construction, home improvement, remodeling
  9. Making and selling jewelry
  10. Vending machine business
  11. Interior and exterior house painting
  12. Baking and selling cupcakes, cookies, muffins
  13. Clothing and/or fashion business
  14. Carpet cleaning
  15. Party planning, event planning, wedding planning
  16. Bookkeeping
  17. Medical billing
  18. Daycare/ child care service
  19. Web design, graphic design, Internet marketing
  20. Handyman business
  21. Craft business
  22. Pressure washing
  23. Limousine service
  24. eBay business
  25. Gift baskets
  26. Tax preparation
  27. DJ business
  28. Junk removal
  29. Swimming pool cleaning and maintenance
  30. Life coaching
  31. Dropship business
  32. Resale business (buying stuff and selling it for a profit)
  33. Property management
  34. Sewing business
  35. Locksmith business
  36. House flipping business
  37. Window washing
  38. Consulting
  39. Flea market business
  40. Freight brokerage
  41. Hauling services
  42. Financial planning
  43. Decorating business
  44. Staffing services
  45. Professional organizing
  46. T-shirt business
  47. Pottery business
  48. Telephone answering service
  49. Mortgage or loan brokerage
  50. Home party business

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Below, I’ve listed some informative articles, online guides, and free tools from Shopify* to help get you started in your own home-based business:

BTW… I’m always looking for new, unique, and viable business ideas to add to the list, so feel free to post a comment if you’d like to share your entrepreneurial success and experience with others. I also invite you to follow this blog to be notified when I post new home business ideas and self employment opportunities.

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post!

–Joel
*Freelance writer, blogger, compensated affiliate

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Business Ideas and What’s Trending

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If you’re looking for good business ideas for creating a full-time income or making extra money on the side, here’s a recent list of what other entrepreneurs are searching for online. Hopefully, it will provide you with the inspiration to clarify your goals, create a proactive marketing plan, and get started in your own business.

  1. Photography business
  2. Consulting
  3. Cleaning business (house cleaning, office cleaning, or janitorial services)
  4. Lawn care business
  5. Landscaping
  6. Construction
  7. T-shirt business
  8. Real estate business
  9. Catering business
  10. Retail business
  11. Jewelry business
  12. Event planning
  13. Pet sitting
  14. Franchise business
  15. Web hosting business
  16. Ebay business
  17. Computer repair
  18. Trucking
  19. Clothing business
  20. Home health care
  21. Tutoring service
  22. Personal training
  23. Web design business
  24. Carpentry business
  25. Interior design
  26. Medical billing
  27. Cupcake business
  28. Vending machine business
  29. Painting
  30. Greeting card business
  31. Marketing services
  32. Party bus business
  33. Carpet cleaning
  34. Child daycare
  35. Craft business
  36. Recycling business
  37. Wholesale business
  38. Cake business (wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cake decorating)
  39. Graphic design
  40. Transportation
  41. Party business
  42. Property preservation services
  43. Online retail business (ecommerce)
  44. Junk removal
  45. Silk screening
  46. Dog walking
  47. Paintball business
  48. Import/export
  49. Baking
  50. Food truck business
  51. Clothing line business
  52. Gym business
  53. Tax preparation
  54. Security guard business
  55. Medical transportation
  56. Bail bonds business
  57. Wedding planning business
  58. Flea market business
  59. Window cleaning
  60. Rental business
  61. Pressure washing
  62. Coaching business
  63. Computer business
  64. Party planning
  65. Delivery services
  66. Fitness business
  67. Art business
  68. Real estate investment
  69. Swimming pool cleaning/maintenance
  70. Taxicab service
  71. Photo booth business
  72. Virtual assistant business
  73. Locksmith services
  74. Cookie business
  75. Roadside assistant services
  76. Restaurant
  77. Wine business
  78. Spa business
  79. Background checking services
  80. Recruiting business
  81. Moving services
  82. Home inspection business
  83. Manufacturing
  84. Social media marketing
  85. Cell phone business
  86. Dog breeding
  87. Personal chef service
  88. Property management
  89. Boat charter business
  90. Furniture business (woodworking, retail, wholesale, buying and selling antiques)
  91. Welding business
  92. HVAC services (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)
  93. Massage therapy
  94. Distribution business
  95. Blogging
  96. Shoe business
  97. Plumbing services
  98. Floral business (flower shop, delivery, arranging, consulting)
  99. Home remodeling (kitchens, bathrooms, etc.)
  100. Financial planning services
  101. Answering service
  102. Snow removal
  103. Pest control
  104. Gymnastics business
  105. Resume writing
  106. Makeup artist services
  107. Cell phone repair
  108. Handyman business
  109. Horse training business
  110. Bakery business
  111. Wedding photography
  112. Sewing business
  113. Tour business
  114. Candle business

That’s just a small sampling of the many legitimate business ideas that are available to ambitious entrepreneurs. One thing many people lose sight of, though, when starting their own business is that it’s not easy to create a profitable business, and not everyone can do it. Success takes tenacity, a positive attitude, and a plan. It also requires self discipline, marketing skills, and an unwavering belief in yourself.

 

Before plunging into a new business, it’s necessary to do an honest self-assessment and determine whether you possess the motivation, the resourcefulness, the knowledge, and the “people skills” to acquire customers or clients, provide them with outstanding service and product quality, and stay motivated throughout the process — especially when the going gets tough.

I sincerely hope that this blog post has provided you with some worthwhile ideas, inspiration, motivation, and resources to start your own profitable small business.

While none of these business ideas, plans, or startup manuals should be viewed as your “guaranteed ticket to success,” they can be used as a starting point on your journey to a profitable business and, hopefully, financial independence.

I wish you the best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits, and I invite you to follow this blog for new business ideas, inspiration, and updates.

–Joel
Blogger, Business Writer, Online Marketer
Marketing Survival Kit
Visit my new blog: Mastering Life Takes Time
email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com

Small business advisory: All business, including the ones mentioned above, entail an element of risk, both financial and otherwise. To increase the chances of starting your business on the right foot and reduce risks associated with starting your own business, it’s always advisable to consult an experienced CPA, business insurance specialist, and small business attorney.

The concept of a “get rich quick” scheme that works is a pipe dream. Getting rich quickly, legally, and ethically may occasionally happen, but the chances of that actually happening are similar to winning a multi-million dollar lottery jackpot (The chances are infinitesimal, at best).

For more information, guidance, and authoritative advice on starting your own business, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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Things to Consider When Starting a Business

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The idea of starting your own business and being your own boss is immensely appealing to a lot of people because it’s often equated with freedom, unlimited potential, and the ability to control your own destiny.

The reality of being successful in your own business is a lot different the fantasy, however. I’m reminded of a musical line from the 2003 movie School of Rock:

“It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll!”

(It’s actually a classic rock song from the band AC/DC, but I associate it with School of Rock.)

But whether you want to be a rock star, a published author, or a successful small business owner, you need to be willing to work hard, believe in yourself, and keep trying until you succeed.

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Read the biography of almost any successful musician, actor, entrepreneur, or business mogul, and you’ll notice several qualities and characteristics being described which average people don’t seem to possess:

  • Successful people view setbacks and “failure” as a temporary detour on the way to achieving their goals.
  • They recognize the fact that they’re not the only talented, ambitious, goal-oriented individual in the world, and that they need to continually find ways to improve, ferret out opportunities, create opportunities, and market themselves more effectively.
  • They don’t wonder IF they’ll be successful, they focus on WHEN.

So what are the main things to consider when starting a business? That’s actually a question I’ve given a lot of thought to since starting this blog, and have devoted several blog posts to the subject. I think you’ll find some helpful ideas and insights in these posts:

If you’re serious about starting a business, I believe you have to approach it with a sense of purpose and commitment.

As the character Yoda famously said in the movie Star Wars…

“Do or do not. There is no ‘try’.”

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post on starting a business.

As you pursue your goals and dreams, keep this one thought in mind: “Persistence breaks down resistance!” (My father passed that along to me years ago, and I think it’s a great core thought to instill in your mind and reflect on whenever you’re tempted to get discouraged and quit.)

Best of luck!

—Joel
Freelance writer, blogger, compensated affiliate marketer
Website: Marketing Survival Kit

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Self Employment Ideas for Entrepreneurs

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The formula for small business success is relatively simple, but applying those steps and having the ability to follow through (over and over again) is the part that trips most people up!

The first step to starting a business or making extra money involves coming up with a viable idea. If you’re stuck at the starting gate when it comes to narrowing down the choices, here’s a list of some of the most popular business ideas to consider. Hopefully, the following list of entrepreneurial ideas will provide you with the inspiration and clarity to become gainfully self employed — either on a part-time or full-time basis.

  1. Photography
  2. Consulting
  3. Cleaning (commercial and/or residential cleaning)
  4. Lawn care
  5. Non-emergency medical transportation
  6. Landscaping
  7. Construction
  8. Graphic design and/or Website deign
  9. Real estate
  10. Property preservation services
  11. T-shirt business
  12. Tutoring
  13. Catering
  14. Retail shop
  15. Event planning
  16. Computer repair
  17. eCommerce business (online retail business*)
  18. eBay business
  19. Jewelry business
  20. Pet-related businesses:  Examples: pet sitting, pet boarding, dog walking, dog training, dog breeding, making and selling dog treats*
  21. Franchise business
  22. Trucking
  23. Food business, which could run the gamut from a food truck to a restaurant
  24. Home health care
  25. Personal training
  26. Carpentry/handyman services/contracting
  27. Interior design
  28. Interior/exterior house painting
  29. Payroll services/bookkeeping/accounting
  30. Tax services
  31. Medical billing and coding
  32. Vending machines
  33. Gym/health club/fitness facility
  34. Greeting cards
  35. Craft business
  36. Party bus business
  37. Carpet cleaning
  38. Daycare center
  39. Recycling
  40. Wholesale business
  41. Manufacturing
  42. Cake business/bakery/cookies/cupcakes
  43. Mobile oil change service
  44. Advertising/marketing services
  45. Junk removal
  46. Plumbing
  47. Silk screening
  48. Import export business
  49. Security guard service
  50. Wedding planning

The good news about starting your own business is that there are countless business ideas from which to choose — many of which can be started for a few hundred dollars or less. The caveat that sometimes prevents would-be entrepreneurs from launching a great business idea is that success is never guaranteed and there’s always an element of risk in any business venture.

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The best business ideas are based on a variety of factors, including how competitive the business environment is, the demand for the product or service you’re thinking of offering, your financial resources, business management ability, customer service skills, persistence, positivity, marketing knowledge, and a little bit of luck!

It also helps to get the advice and guidance of a trusted accountant, business insurance advisor, and business attorney.

The Right Marketing Tools* Can Make a Difference

Business Proposal Software – Accurately quote your business proposals, multiply your profitability, brand yourself as a top professional and close the sale. Proposal Kit helps you demonstrate that you are the right professional for your customers. Proposal Kit* has been proven for two decades as the mission-critical, easy, customizable and accurate solution for how to write a proposal.
New to the idea of proposal writing? Learn how it can work in your favor.

To explore additional self employment options and business startup materials, check out my  list of 250 business ideas

Stay tuned for more entrepreneurial insights.

Thanks!

–Joel
Freelance writer, entrepreneur, business blogger
Contact me if you have any questions!

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*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the entrepreneurial products, services, software, marketing tools, and websites featured in this blog.

FAQ: What is a Good Business to Start?

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A frequently asked question on the Internet is “What is a good business to start?”

My short answer to that question is: “It depends.”

Here are ten variables (in the form of questions) that could impact your ability to start and succeed in your own business:

  1. Do you possess marketable skills, experience, degrees, certifications, training, and strengths?
  2. Do you have passions, interests, talents, and abilities that could be applied to a business?
  3. What is the competitive environment in your local area?
  4. Is there capital and other resources you have access to (or can get access to)?
  5. How much time, energy, and attention are you willing to devote to a business?
  6. What previous business management skills and experience do you have?
  7. Do you possess any sales and marketing experience or ability? (Most businesses require it.)
  8. How much savings or other income do you have to meet your needs until you’re able to generate enough income from a business to cover your expenses, personal requirements, and business development goals?
  9. What is your tolerance for financial risk? All businesses entail a degree of risk.
  10. Do you possess a strong work ethic and the ability to consistently motivate yourself and others to take action, follow through, and provide superior customer service?

The above list contains many of the requirements and conditions needed to launch, sustain, and build a small business. It can also be used as a self-assessment checklist to see if you have the basic traits and characteristics to be your own boss.

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Finding Good Business Ideas

Once you’ve determined your strengths, weaknesses, and potential opportunities, the next step in finding a good business idea is to peruse money-making ideas that have worked for others.

One of my earlier blog posts features a list of 250 businesses that may help you discover the best entrepreneurial ideas for your personality, level of ambition, skills, talents, startup funds, tolerance for risk, and competitive environment.

I also invite you to visit my website, Marketing Survival Kit, for more information on how to start, run, and market your own business.

Stay tuned to this blog for more business startup ideas, marketing tactics, and resources.

–Joel
Business blogger, Internet marketer, Freelance writer
email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com

Marketing Tools…

Software for Writing Persuasive Business Proposals*:

Accurately quote your projects, create winning proposals, negotiate your contracts, multiply your profitability, brand yourself as a top professional and close the sale. Proposal Kit helps you demonstrate that you are the right professional for your customers. It’s the mission-critical tool for how to write a proposal on a moments notice. Proven for two decades to be fast, easy, customizable and accurate.

Order and download Proposal Kit business proposal software here.*

 

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Thanks for checking out my entrepreneurial blog. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

*FYI: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the websites, products, and services I link to on this blog, as well as on Marketing Survival Kit.com