- Personal Finance
How to Make Money With Christmas Hampers and Start a home Business
Make Your Own Christmas Hampers
Make Money with Christmas Hampers; Start a home Business
Once again here we are, it's that time of the year, Christmas is fast approaching, and for most of us this is the time of the year for making an extra special effort to get together with friends and loved one's to celebrate the holidays.
We eat too much, drink too much and swear never again. Yeah, right! The fact is, it's Christmas, and we're all hoping to have a jolly good time.
Unfortunately, for many, this can also be a time of dread and worry. Even as I write this article, the number of families needing help this Christmas is increasing, A news item today is about teachers who are so affected by their student's lack of concentration due to hunger, they are buying food for the children with money from their own pockets.
Food banks in the UK have grown six-fold in just a few years, not only do people who are out of work depending on this charity run handouts, but an increasing number of workers, who have had their working hours cut, are joining the ever increasing queues.
Christmas can place extra pressure on families already struggling to make ends meet; they are already watching every penny.
Through no fault of their own, people are suffering, they must find other ways to supplement their income, ways to earn extra money to provide for their families, and not only for Christmas but beyond.
With this in mind, I decided to look at more ways to earn money for the Christmas season, and other celebrations.
This hub is about something I have done in the past, and may well be doing again in the future. How to start a small home based business.
Sell Home Made Gift Hampers
We all love receiving hampers, especially on special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays, the large stores do a roaring trade selling them. A hamper doesn't have to be all food and drinks; gift baskets can be for someone special. You can include the things they love, based on their personal taste, and what you think the recipient will most enjoy using. Or, you can aim your product for a particular market.
For example; if you are marketing for someone who loves gardening, you could consider a collection of herbs, flower seeds and bulbs collected from the garden at the end of the season.
Make your own unique hand creams, see how at:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/201538-how-to-make-your-own-hand-cream/ and include them in your hampers. Add a pair of gardening gloves, if you're handy with a knitting needle, knit some warm wool mittens throw in a handy pair of secateurs or other small gardening tools.
If you are a goddess around the kitchen and love cooking, why not try selling what you enjoy making and earn money from them:
Christmas Hamper Ideas (Edible)
Sweet pickled onions,
Traditional pickled onions
Spiced mixed nuts
Infused oils (garlic, lemon grass, chillies)
Homemade chocolate and truffles
Don't forget the Christmas pudding
All of the above will contribute towards a delicious edible hamper; I'm sure that readers will be able to add their personal favourites to this list.
The next step would be to purchase the containers, wicker baskets or for a cheaper alternative, collect some cardboard boxes; your local supermarket is a good place to get free boxes that you can decorate with seasonal wrapping paper.
Cellophane rolls, clear or printed makes beautiful wrapping, take a look online and learn some wrapping techniques.
After producing your edible hampers, you may well find that you want to expand into a full home base business.
However, if you are producing and selling food for public consumption from your home, there are rules and regulations that must be adhered to. These rules can put many people off, but it is usually relatively simple;
Contact local or state regulations for the home base food business. You will need to license your kitchen, or rent a licensed kitchen before you can produce food items for sale. The Business Administration office is a good place to start your research. Follow the instructions you are given to get your kitchen licensed.
Raising finance for you business, is probably the largest hurdle faced by the small business owners. However many do qualify for help from the Government. It is a good idea to make some inquiries about grants and funding initiatives for start-up companies. Despite the current economic gloom, now is apparently a good time to get Government help for small and medium size businesses. For those of us in the UK, Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Regional Growth Fund (RGF) are Government schemes you should take a look at. For our friends across the pond, there is the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) this programme is designed to maintain a low profile to avoid floods of requests from cash-hungry entrepreneurs but is thought to have provided finance for 90,000 small businesses since 1958.
Starting You Business
Make a note of all your key ingredients for all the recipes you're planning to use
Search for wholesale companies for buying in bulk, this will be much cheaper, let your suppliers know that you are a business who will be placing bulk orders. They may be able to set up an account for you, with a bulk discount.
Find suppliers of packaging for your food products such as bottles, boxes, jars, etc. go for packages that will support the longest shelf life and when labelling always includes a use by date, ingredients and where the product is made.
Think about how you are going to sell you product, if selling by mail order, you will need to make up a catalogue or set up a website. If you choose to sell in bulk to local businesses, you will need to approach them with samples of your product and encourage them to buy from you.
- Visit your local craft shows and farmers market, canned goods, baked goods, jam and honey tends to do well there.
- Now that you have done the hard work, you need to promote your business. Decide who are your best prospects and how you can reach them. Be specific. You will need to get the word out to potential customers but on a shoestring budget.
- Set up a free website or blog, use FB and Twitter. Get back links to your site, place ads. Locally, encourage the people who like your stuff to pass the word, word of mouth is one of the best ways to get loyal customers. Set up a free listing for your business in search engine local directories. Do this at Google.com/local, and listing.local.yahoo.com/ remember to include you website link and business description.
Gift hampers for Christmas could be the first steps on the way to starting your own business. Best of luck in your venture.
© 2012 Jo Alexis-Hagues