How to Start a Gift Personalizing Business

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Personalized gifts are a popular choice for anyone who is looking for creative ways to express gratitude or love. Whether engraved or embroidered, almost any gift can be personalized. A crafty and creative entrepreneur could do well to start a gift personalizing business. Start your business from home to significantly reduce your expenses and business risk.

Things You'll Need

  • Liability insurance
  • Sales tax permit
  • Supplies
  • Graphics software
  • Laser engraver
  • Embroidery machine
  • Website
  • Find your niche. Dozens of online stores sell a wide variety of personalized gifts. To compete, you'll need to put a personal touch on your gifts. Spruce up the traditional embroidered towel by using leopard print towels or bold embroidery. Personalize picture frames with clever sayings. Personalize kid's books by importing the child's name and personal information into the story. Use customer-submitted photos to personalize calendars, kid's toys, bags, playing cards or magnets. Design clever aprons, baby clothes, bibs and diaper bags.

    Consider your potential clientele's hobbies, interests and occupations. Think of ways to spruce up practical gifts. Think up outrageous or tacky gifts. Run your ideas past family members and friends and ask for honest feedback.

  • Find suppliers for your products. Buy conservatively until you know your products will sell.

  • Purchase equipment to personalize your gifts. If you enjoy sewing or embroidery, invest in a commercial embroidery machine, which you can use to embroider t-shirts, bags, jackets, wraps, blankets, aprons, jeans, bibs, holiday stockings and towels. Many embroidery machines come equipped with hundreds of built-in designs. Purchase a laser engraver which can import your designs onto wood, acrylic, coated metals, plastic, glass and other materials.

  • Select a graphic software package to create designs for your custom gifts. CorelDRAW is a vector-based program that is good for beginners and those who draw using curves and shapes. Photoshop is a raster or pixel-based program and a more popular option among professionals working with images and pictures. If you don't want to avoid the hefty price tags on most software programs, consider free graphics programs like Gimp and Paint.

  • Buy a website for your engraved and embroidered gifts. Then, design your site with your business information, customer satisfaction and return policy, shipping details and images of your custom gifts.

Tips & Warnings

  • Learn all there is to know about search engine optimization (SEO) to get your website as much visibility as possible.
  • Sell your custom gifts at fairs, festivals and local events.
  • Post business fliers or coupons at baby and bridal stores.
  • Register your business with your Chamber of Commerce to begin networking with other businesses and establish yourself in your community.

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