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8 Steps To Become a Gift Shop

Starting a Gift Shop – Sample Business Plan Template

1. Choose a Niche-: Although there is the temptation to try to cater to the needs of every group of customers, you would not achieve much by doing so. You have to choose a niche. There are lots of interesting niches that you could pick from; some of which include-:
  • Artisan gift shops-: This type of gift shop stocks mainly art and crafts. This is where you would find interesting art pieces like wood carvings, portraits, images, baskets and all other interesting art works.
  • Personalized Gift shops-: This can be in any category. For instance, you could have a gift store for children; this means that you would stock only items that could be presented to kids. You could also go for other categories like weddings or even a gender-specific store that caters to a specific gender.
  • Souvenir Shops-: You could opt for a store that only stocks items that could be presented as souvenirs.
  • Sports Gift Store-: A sports-themed store is also a very interesting niche that you could consider. This would involve selling sports collectibles and gadgets which could be presented as gifts.
I could go on and on about the various niches that you could pick from but it is left to you to consider the area where you want to site your gift store and find out which category would bring you the highest turnover and profit.
2. Define who your customers would be-: The next step to take is to determine who you would be selling your stuffs to. There are two categories of buyers that you could sell to; the individual buyers and the corporate clients. The individual buyers are regular people like you and I who could just walk into the store at anytime to purchase whatever gift item they desire. You could choose to sell to this group of people or to corporate clients instead. Corporate clients are companies that purchase gift items to be given to their staff or customers during birthday, anniversaries, festive periods or as the case may be. You may choose to sell to either category or sell to both depending on the amount of capital you have. However, before you can sell to corporate clients, you may have to be registered with some of them and have a standing agreement/relationship with them.
3. Find out what Your Start-Up Costs would be-: The next step would be to find out what it would cost you to start the type of gift shop you want. Starting an online gift shop would cost you less because then, you wouldn’t have to worry about rents and overheads. You can even start with a gift basket delivery service which would not cost you much; you can start a gift basket delivery service with as little as $200. But if you want a brick and mortar store; then you have to set aside at least $10,000 as start-up capital.
4. Purchase Equipment-: Next, you have to purchase all equipments that you would need for this business. You would need furniture and fittings like display shelves, work tables, cash registers, shipping supplies, office supplies, a website, wrappers, decorative materials and several other supplies that you would need in order to satisfy your customers.
5. Decide on your operational strategy-: At this stage, you would really have to sit down to decide how you would like to operate your business. For instance, you have to decide on where you would locate your business if you have chosen to start a brick and mortar gift shop. You would also need to decide on the strategies you would adopt in order to drive sales like starting a mobile gift shop, gift basket delivery service, mail order service etc. You also need to decide on whether you want to hire employees to manage the business for you or if you would prefer to run it yourself.
6. Sourcing For Inventory-: This is the most important aspect of your business. After all, this is what would keep your customers coming back or make them stay away. You must always stock interesting and unique pieces that would be worth gifting out. Your creative skills must be applied here. The internet is a very good place to search for wholesalers of gift items that you can buy from and resell at your store. You can also consider importing from other countries where you can get cheaper items.
7. Decide on your prices-: Another factor you must give consideration to is the price that you would sell your items for. You must always set competitive prices and endeavor to reward your customers with discounts from time to time.
8. Marketing and Advertising-: This aspect of your business should not be neglected too. There are very cheap ways to advertise your business both online and offline. Try to use some of these methods to create the necessary publicity for your business and your goods.

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