Step 1: Make a Plan
Once you have sorted out that you need to do the business and made the necessary amendments to your life, it becomes necessary to sort things out. Like every good business idea, this cannot flourish without a plan either. You need to devise a strategy as to how you will go about making this business reality because you will need to sort out more than one thing to turn this into proper work. Making a list always helps. So, ask yourself questions that will lead you to lay down the solid ground for entrepreneurship. Some of the things to get you started are:
- What will be the cost of your startup?
- Which customer base are you targeting?
- What will your market price be?
- How will you market your business?
- What would be the name of your organization?
Starting with the first question, you will need to make an investment in the necessary materials required for gift wrapping. The first thing you need is a workstation and a stable table that would help you keep things in order. You already know that when it comes to gift wrapping, it is essential to have a balanced surface or your paper would be all crooked. Then. You need a transportation service as well, especially if you are planning to work at different places.
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Many home business owners set up their stalls in malls and markets during the Christmas holidays or other festivals to let people know of their presence. Plus, it is much easier to wrap a gift that people bring to your shop rather than sending everything online. So, combing all the transportation costs as well as the material, you are looking at something around $5000 to $10000 to invest in the business immediately. Of course, you shouldn’t expect the profits at once but once the business is settled, your average cost will lower and you will start making money so this would be instantly covered.
Most gift wrapping services usually target the corporate sector because of the regularity of events. They also order in bulk which means you get to take great orders just at once. But here, the profit margin might be low since they don’t expect you to go over the top with the wrapping. It is supposed to be simple, often going along with the theme of the event or the company colors. However, if you set up your stall in a public place like a shopping mall where people would be bringing gifts to you, your skills would be tested since each present would be personal and you can invest more time in wrapping it and working on the décor.
Step 2: Find the Legal Grounds
It is not wise for small businesses to forego legal entities in favor of other departments. When the time comes and your venture will flourish, you will require a legal expert to sort out all your taxes and give you advice on how to expand more. Therefore, it is better to invest in a proper legal entity as soon as you start working. Whether your entrepreneurship is a sole proprietorship, LLC, or any other, it will need to be drawn properly with a set of rules that will help you understand the boundaries of the business.
Plus, other ventures in the field are quick to respond whenever a small business enters the scene. The legal aspect will cover your back in case of any lawsuits related to branding or copyright issues. You might think you would be spending a lot of money on this but this is rather an easy step. Just go to the official website of the US LLC and read about the laws or you can check out the best LLC services and make your pick from them.
Step 3: Register for Taxes
This is a vital step if you are starting the business to be in the long haul. Before you even begin the operations, no matter if it is a home setup or an office location, you will have to register with the federal and state taxes to ensure you are legally allowed to set up your business. Again, this is not a difficult part. If you have already hired a lawyer, they will take care of the process. Or, you can simply go to the IRS website and email them your details to get the EIN. Now, the type of taxes that will be selected for you depends on the scale of your business. Following are the types you will see while selecting the procedure to file your taxes:
- LLC Taxes
- Sole Proprietorship vs LLC
- LLC vs Corporation
- LLC vs S Corp
- How to Start an S Corp
- S Corp vs C Corp
It is better to consult your lawyer regarding this and discuss all the finances and legalities with them. Of course, this is only possible once you have the entire structure down and have planned the operations.
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Step 4: Acquire a Bank Account
Before you ask, no your personal bank account wouldn’t suffice. We know that a lot of people consider using their own credit cards to run the business but things might get hectic once your venture starts to grow. It becomes difficult to separate your personal finances from the business and instead of doing all the calculations every month, it is better to keep your other account separate. You will also need a credit card to make sure your assets are protected.
Plus, the reason why we suggest that you should have a separate bank account for your business is that the taxes would be different on your personal income and the money you acquire through the gift wrapping service. So, in case your business is sued, your home, car, and other assets will remain safe. So, always think about the long run and don’t take shortcuts because they won’t help you in the future.
Step 5: Keep an Account of Your Business
Again, this may not seem like a necessary step. But trust us, when we say that it is much easier to keep track of all the purchases and costs because, at the end of the month, you will have to do the analysis. This will assist you in determining how much capital you need to invest or where you need to add or cut back on the finances.
We wouldn’t suggest that you get a professional advisor to do the job because that would be just additional money but if you can afford to keep one, that is great. However, for small businesses, it is better than the owner runs the finances personally because it is not just about the money. You also have to track how well your business is doing and what do you need to tweak in the performance to make it flourish more and numbers are a great way of doing so.
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Step 6: Get All the Permits You Need
We are sure you are in no mood to pay the fines and penalties or even visit the court to defend your case. Therefore, before you proceed with your business, get everything in order. See which type of license you require to work in the state and talk to your lawyer about it. They will be able to get it easily but even if they don’t, all you have to do is register with the state body and you will be given the permit after the officials review your business structure.
As far as the gift wrapping service is concerned, your list of permits wouldn’t be very long. The only thing you need to do in order to find more information about how to go about it is to visit the office of the country’s clerk and also ask for assistance from the local US Small Business Associations listed in your area. In fact, if any of your friends are already pursuing the venture, their advice would help you a great deal.
Step 7: Insure Your Business
We cannot emphasize this enough. Many small businesses, especially the ones that are related to arts and crafts think that they are not susceptible to any damage because their work doesn’t involve risk. However, if you are new to the scene, you should always be prepared for everything and insurance is one way to cover all your bases. Not only does it keep you safe but you can also talk more about the licenses and permits when you get insurance for your business.
In this category too, you will find loads of options and you are quite free to choose the one that benefits you the most. We suggest that you go with the one that covers the risk that your business is most susceptible to. Usually, people start with General Liability Insurance because it takes into account the scale of the business as well as the coverage that gives you maximum benefit. Find out which are the best insurance services in your area and book an appointment with one to see where your prospects lie.
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Step 8: Be Clear About Your Brand
Before you even sell one piece of an item or market your service, be extremely clear about what your business is. This will be useful in all the above-mentioned steps because when you know which direction you are headed in, the rest of the decisions become easy. Plus, when it comes to gift wrapping service, you need to separate yourself from the rest of the décor organizations so you can focus on your brand alone. This will strengthen the products and you can improve the quality without having too many things on your hands.
Take time and come up with a logo that specifically speaks to what you are selling. Remember, in the arts and crafts business you are not selling products, but feelings. It is all about how the recipient of the present will feel after they get it and what would be the reaction of your customer after seeing their loved ones happy. This is what you have to focus on and the rest of things will start to fall into place. Always engage with your customers, find out if there is a personal connection to the gift and then reflect it into your wrapping. They will come back to you only if they think you care enough to make their day special.
Step 9: Work on the Website
Nothing can be operated today without the help of the digital. You have to expand your platforms and make sure you are acquiring the maximum audience by working on the user interface of the site. A lot of arts and crafts small businesses now operate on Instagram and while that is one excellent channel to promote your brand, we would advise you to have a website where the customers can see everything you are selling.
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Not only does it feel more professional, but you are also able to keep a record of all the sales and purchases. Plus, with a website, you can work on keeping in touch with the customers by sending them newsletters and new offers as well. It is a one-time investment and once you work on your landing page and the selling page, things will start falling into perspective as you would be able to monitor how much time is your customer spending on the site.
Step 10: Build a Good Customer Representation
Half the business is about how you deal with the customers. Remaining polite and cordial always works well in your favor, even when there is a crisis situation. Remember there are lots of review groups now that keep a check and balance on everything and you could very well land into hot waters if you don’t work on your customer responsiveness. Always be prompt in answering the queries because a client is more likely to get the job done from you if you instantly reply and while their interest is still high. Get a separate business phone so you are able to differentiate between your work and personal life and you can keep a record of all the purchases as well.
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Once you have all the steps down, you have to work on the marketing. People buy what they see and if you are not visible, there is a good chance you will end up as just another website. Run promotional offers, do something different and become the center of attention via the right means and efforts so people are impressed with the reviews. When they search for gift wrapping near me, yours should be the first name to pop up.