Who on the earth has not visited a “ Gift Shop “? We all have! Whether it’s for weddings or birthdays, housewarming or anniversary parties, we Indians are bound to carry gifts with us. It has become such a norm in India to gift people on the special occasion in spite of which “Gifting business” is still an underrated way of earning money.
Ever dreamt of starting a “Gift Shop” like the one you buy at? Well, stop dreaming and start doing.
A “Gift Shop” is truly a profitable business to venture into. Of course, there are failures, there are stores that aren’t performing well, mainly because of lack of proper planning or probably there was no planning at all.
Here’s a better way of starting a “Gift Shop”:
# Start Small
Every big business started small. Plan well before you start taking steps.
- Validate your financial plan in the real world.
- Estimate how much does the setting up of the business cost you.
- Apply for the bank loans if necessary.
- Also, try finding private investors.
- Know where you should invest, how much to invest.
- Go where the people are.
- Find a place which a higher chance of selling profitably.
- Higher foot traffic the better it is.
- If it is beyond your reach, settle for a place with a lot of people coming daily, look for communities that are lacking businesses like the one you want.
- It is always advisable to settle down in the lesser competition area.
# Learn from your competition
- Visit gift shops doing well in your area. See their inventory variety and display style.
- Note their business hours, location(s), merchandise and items, and services.
#Be creative, competitive but always original
- Pick out an attractive name for your store.
- Make your store appealing in and out. Spend some time and money on it to make its interior and exterior better. Get some pretty looking shelves attached. Balance between using the space efficiently yet arrange it attractively to get your customers eyeballs over it. Displays inside of the store should also be visually appealing.
- Make sure that the displays in your shop, are appealing. Set up seasonally-appropriate displays with a visual flair that will indicate what’s currently in your inventory. Avoid having a cluttered store.
# Filling Stocks and finding Suppliers
- Have a well-stocked gift shop that appeals to a variety of customers. Acquire enough to fill all of your shelf and display space.
- Obtain inventory from more than one source.
- Visit local craft, art, or trade fairs, and look online on Etsy (or similar websites).
# First Inventory – What to sell?
- First time inventory will cost you at least 40k -50k. Again it depends on your business size.
- Make sure to include Wedding gifts, anniversary gifts, housewarming gifts, birthday gifts, handmade products, trendy gifts, seasonal gifts and other hot selling products.
- Commonly sold items in a gift store:
- Soft Toys
- Greeting Cards
- Photo Frames
- Office Stationery
- Wall Clocks and Wall Decors
- Table Tops and Mementos
- Gift Bags and Packing Sheets
- Coffee Mugs, Ceramic mugs
- Stuffed Animals
- Handmade collections and other souvenirs.
- Trending Copper Products
- Couple Gifts
- Wallets, Purse, Perfumes
Also try including personalised gift products – Personalized mugs, t-shirts, clocks, personalised photo frames.
# Decide if you need to hire additional workers
- When you first open the gift shop, you’ll be on a tight budget and won’t have money to hire help. After several months or a year, though, if your shop is financially stable enough, start thinking about bringing in additional help.
- Think back to the gift shops that you visited. Were most gift shops run by the owners themselves? If not, how many employees worked at the shop?
# Consider Hours
- Choose right hours.
- Keep in mind that gift shops do most of their business on and around holidays.
- Gift-shop owners rarely get holidays off; in fact, they’re the biggest sales days for nearly all gift shops.
- Be ready for such shifts.
# Put items on sale seasonally
- Sales are a great way to draw in customers and acquaint them with parts of your inventory they may not have purchased from before.
# Know how to Book Keep
- Bookkeep the financial expenditures and income of your shop. As a small business owner, you’ll be responsible for keeping track of tax-deductible expenses and paying taxes every year.
- Use Business accounting software like Vyapar to keep track of your business finances, including financial assets, loans (and loan payments), monthly rent payments, and income from sales.
- Run your business wisely. And moreover,
Never find customers for your products. Find products for your customers.
- Pay attention to which items are popular with customers and which items are sitting on the shelves, and mark prices up and down accordingly.
- You could offer gift-wrap services, and charge a small fee (say, Rs. 20 extra) per item wrapped.
- Repeat your small efforts to expand business day in and day out to make it big one day.