Start a Corporate Gifting Business

If you’ve ever been an employee of a major corporation then you know what I’m talking about. Corporate gifting is a $17 billion dollar industry based on the rewards of above-average employees. When an employee is honored by a corporation, he or she receives a gift – often personalized bottles of champagne or wine, cigar boxes or fruit baskets. Leading industry sellers make enormous profits off of bulk orders by major corporations and businesses.

What most people do not see is that this is a lucrative and fairly simple start-up business for the right person. If you have always dreamed of starting your own business, but don’t know where to begin, you might want to consider this fast-growing industry.

What is a corporate gift?

Corporate gifts are ordered in mass quantities by companies who want to reward their employees or who give gifts to their staff at Christmas or birthdays. They can also be used for major promotions or as a thank-you to every staff member after a large account is secured. Corporate gifts range from single bottles of wine to enormous baskets filled with champagne, fruits, meats and cheeses.

What is a corporate gift company?

A corporate gift company is a distribution business through which a corporation can order mass quantities of corporate gifts. These businesses are usually run over the Internet or through catalogs, and rarely operate through a “brick and mortar” storefront. Some corporate gift companies have specific products – such as personalized bottles of Merlot or signature cigar boxes – while others provide a vast variety of different gifts through various manufacturers.

What is the difference between B2B, B2S and B2C Corporate Gifts?

Corporations use gifts for three main reasons: to honor employees, to thank customers, and to show appreciation for business partners. For example, if the owner of a corporation wants to thank another business owner for assisting in a transaction, he may send a corporate gift. This would be a B2B (Business-To-Business) corporate gift. On the other hand, if a business owner wants to thank an employee for his hard work on a specific account, he may award the employee with a corporate gift, which be considered B2S (Business-To-Staff). And finally, if a business owner wants to thank a customer for a large order, he may send a corporate gift, which would be a B2C transaction (Business-To-Customer).

Why is this such a lucrative industry?

The fact is that a business is only as successful as its clients. If you cater to an upscale, high-dollar customer, then your return will be much larger than if you sell to middle or lower class customers. As a corporate gift company, you provide your products to extremely high-dollar clients who have money to spend and who need large orders. If you know how to market yourself, then you will always be assured of a high return.

How much do corporate gifts cost?

This depends largely on the size of the gift. Corporate gifts range from $10.00 to well over $500.00, and the extravagance of the gift is usually based upon the achievement of the recipient. If you want to find a niche market, you may want to specialize in high- or low- dollar gifts, depending on who your target market will be.

How do I start a corporate gift company?

The largest part of starting the business will be networking with manufacturers. Finding a manufacturer that will charge you a price that allows you to make a profit will be your utmost challenge. Contact other corporate gift companies and get references for various manufacturers. Usually, you will have to sign a contract that states a minimum amount of product ordered per month.

You will need a website with pictures of your products as well as an online order form for ease of use. You might also want to develop of a paper catalog.

Where can I learn more about the industry?

To see what your competition would be doing, look at these sites to get an idea. These are all Business and Corporate Gift Companies, and researching their websites should give you an understanding of what the business entails.

ArtGeo – Display-Quality Rocks and Minerals
This is a niche market involving natural objects for people to place in their homes or offices.

Ashmont Engraving
This is another niche market for engraved gifts, such as glassware, keychains and golf accessories.
This is a more all-inclusive corporate gifts website. They offer monograms on most of their gifts.

Business Gifts Co
This is another niche market for engraved corporate gifts.

Corporate Gifts Direct
This company advertises the personalization of corporate gifts.

The Printed Candle Company
This is another niche market offering candle gifts and gift baskets.

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