Not sure of the steps you need to expand your gift basket business so you sell more and sell often? Here’s how to prepare for business growth.

Broadcast blowup

My telephone system died directly after my first appearance on The Food Network. The show had a registered viewership of 22 million people worldwide, and although I knew that many people may not be watching, I still took the audience for granted.

What was I thinking? The presentation was fun, exciting, and the gifts and baskets I showed to celebrate a new year were items that appealed to viewers. Isn’t that the reason I contacted the producer? Isn’t that why the producer scheduled me to appear?

When I returned to the office, the phone was all but smoking as if caught on fire. There were so many calls with sales and requests for more information that the equipment failed. This taught me a lesson to be better prepared for market expansion.

Prepare before you market

Other “be ready” lessons occurred as I pursued new opportunities.

  • Advertising on a popular radio station
  • Exhibiting at business and consumer shows
  • Feature profiles in magazines and newspapers

It’s gratifying to get this attention, knowing that information about your gifts and baskets is spreading not only locally but also nationally and possibly outside of your country. However, if your business operations are not ready, which is an additional part of gift basket marketing, you will be unable to fulfill orders, address incoming payments, properly hire staff, and get the amount of rest required to be happy with the growth.

Focus on four areas

Business expansion can happen in an instant. You might plan to be larger than a one-person operation, or the change may occur without planning. In either case, certain areas of your business need a good foundation to handle processes automatically. Why? A well-managed business is:

  • Set up to be sold even if you never sell it
  • Knowledgeable about its clients’ needs and habits
  • Marketing consistently in numerous formats
  • Able to access and review internal statistics

There is much more to understand how to prepare for business growth. Start with the four areas mentioned above to build a strong foundation. When that first big order arrives, you will be excited and a bit concerned about your ability to fulfill that order. Then you’ll consult your foundation and realize your concerns are unwarranted.

Seek help for better understanding

I’ve spoken with many designers who are now clients because a sales opportunity arrived and their operation was not ready. For them, it was heartbreaking. It took weeks of discussions for them to understand how to manage their business structure, and guess what? Soon after we concluded, larger sales came their way. That’s what happens when your foundation is strong.

What’s the one problem that keeps you from putting the pieces together for a better run, well-organized enterprise?