Your corporate customers and their clients will gobble this “Thanksgiving Thank You” basket up with gusto. Autumn delights of apple cinnamon cookies, dried fruit platter, coffee and orange-filled chocolate bar are diligently watched over by Tom Turkey filled with pecan shortbread cookies.
LeAnn McGuinness, FL, helps her clients get a jump on the year- end appreciation gifts by sending a basket before all the fall and winter holidays kick off.
“I would use this to thank my clients before the holiday rush with a note that says something like ‘Before we get lost in the holiday rush, I just wanted to send a little something to thank you for your business throughout the year. We truly appreciate you. Have a wonderful holiday season!’”
Thanksgiving Hostess Gift
Melissa Lillard, GA, plucked her Thanksgiving Hostess Gift right out of her backyard at Mercier Orchards. With October and
November being very busy months at the orchard – 1,000 customers a
month, she reports , Lillard plans on selling these Thanksgiving Hostess Gift Baskets right in her store, located on the orchard’s grounds. This cozy little apple basket carries all the comforting tastes of Thanksgiving.
Included in the basket are cranberry-orange preserves, turkey rub, mulling spices for cider or wine, and apple walnut stuffing blend. The Pie Cookbook features a recipe for Pumpkin Praline Pie
|Keepsakes Help Customers Remember
Customers often won’t remember the contents of the basket. They may not be able to tell you which kind of cookies were included but they can easily remember, “It was the basket with the cookie ornaments!” Planning a “hook” in the basket goes beyond initial memory. For years, clients, friends/family will remember the “cookie” basket with the keepsake ornament. In the basket it is packed with themed raspberry cookies, chocolate cookies, and much more. But the memorable part of the basket is the personality created with the red checked ribbon and the cookie ornaments.
Items:Double peanut basket Chocolate Cream Cookies Brent & Sam’s Cookies Cinnamon Honey Biscuits Raspberry Tartlets Candy Canes 3 Snowman Cookie Ornaments
Offer Corporate Gifts for the Office
In recent years, more businesses have elected to send one large gift that will serve an entire small office/department. Instead of a luxury gift for the primary executive, companies are choosing one gift in the same price point that is designed for multiple recipients. Office snack trays serve this function well.
Components for these baskets are often selected to please a variety of palettes. From salty to sweet, meats and cheese, to chocolates and cookies, an office snack basket has something for everyone. Also, instead of individual components, office snack baskets often offer bags of cookies, boxes of nuts/popcorn, and larger serving sizes in all food groups. Also, a larger, after-use item can be used as a raffle or prize drawing. In the Fall Snack Tray, a permanent arrangement of fall flowers can be lifted out of the tray. Later, the tray itself can be used to serve the abundance of snacks.
To fill the tray, keep perceived value high and actual costs lower, the box of popcorn snacks is opened with the decorative box top angled so that the popcorn will show, but the box top used individually fills twice the space that the box would fill unopened.
|Can gift baskets sell well as impulse items? Yes, when the price point is bearable and the design tempts the buyer. Here, a small pumpkin and harvest container is filled with cocoa, fudge and carmels — the perfect pick-up gift for a teacher, friend, colleague or family member.
So many opportunities . . . so much to do! AND SO LITTLE TIME LEFT. Use this handy calendar to check your final readiness for the holiday season!
• Continue making sales and appointment calls for holiday orders (if you’re not already overbooked.)
• Mail all remaining marketing materials to current and targeted corporations. Send first consumer mailings. Set date for follow-up mailings, faxes, e-mail, etc.
• Make arrangements for short-term or part-time temporary help.
• Make arrangements for trucks and/or vans for local deliveries.
• Plan temp training. Gather materials. Set dates for training workshops.
• Contract for short-term additional warehouse and/or packing facilities.
• Begin packing non-perishable orders. Pack in boxes if possible to avoid dust. Or, cover all packed and shelved orders with plastic.
• If you can handle more orders, develop “Last-Minute” marketing and/or advertising program for clients who have not placed orders for holiday Millennium baskets. Schedule the advertising program to begin in mid-November. Develop postcard reminders to send to old and new targeted clients who have not yet placed orders. Hold for printing. (Wait a couple of weeks to see if you’re going to be overbooked before printing last-minute reminders.)
• Check your supplies, equipment and tools. Order more as needed for extra employees. (i.e. scissors, tape dispensers, wire cutters, etc.)
New Year’s Strategic Planning: Don’t Let A Goliath Get In Your Way
One look at the calendar and you know you should be putting the final finish on your Year strategic planning. But, let’s be honest. Most of us are still digging our way out of Christmas shred. I’m a few days behind schedule myself and almost PANICKED. Why? Because I got stuck in annual planning. My mind bogged down on the infinite possibilities for the future and it was overwhelming.
Let me confess: sometimes I don’t plan ahead as I should, because looking into the future can be scary. Ever feel that way? Sometimes it seems as if my little business is like David, in the Bible story, and the business world out there is like Goliath. Viewing it this way, I know there are some things that I should do (join in here if you’re holding a little slingshot and facing a big giant, too).
- Identify whatever fear holds me back
- Check my strengths
- Don’t procrastinate
- BELIEVE and achieve
My fear — or giant — is more like a bundled sack of old faults like: low self-esteem, lack of confidence, fear of failure — stop me if this is sounding familiar to you — family distractions and obligations, and a smack of complacency. If you have identified with one of these, we’re both now one step closer to achieving our goals.
Strengths? Well, let’s see: I’m fairly creative. How about you? Love making other people happy? Enjoy helping people express a special thought? Those things can work to our advantage in a gift business.
Oh . . . but then there’s procrastination. After the holidays, I tend to push off the planning, focusing instead on the after-holiday business wrap-up. However, the David of the Bible story didn’t wait until the next day to meet the giant. When he decided to do face Goliath, he got straight to it! Ouch . . . I stepped on my own toes again!
Finally, you and I have to BELIEVE we can achieve. When we suit up in self-confidence, our minds muscle up for every ‘odds-against-us’ battle. It is amazing, but it’s true: what the mind can conceive, the will can achieve.
Whatever giant faces us can be overcome. Let’s get busy and PROVE it!
Debra Paulk, Editor Gift Basket Review Online