Are you about starting a gift shop online? If YES, here is a complete sample gift shop business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE. Businesses that are worth going for are businesses that you are certain people would need your services or products on a regular basis. A business like gift shop falls into this category; you can be certain that there would be occasions of celebration that would warrant a customer to purchase gifts for friends and family members.

One good thing about this type of business is that you don’t need to enroll in a conventional school to learn how to run this type of business; it only requires basic business skills such as customer service, accounting, bargaining, people skills cum networking skills and of course overall business management skills.

If you have decided to start a gift shop business, then you should ensure that you carry out feasibility studies and market survey. Below is a sample gift shop business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no difficulty.

A Sample Gift Shop Business Plan Template

1. Industry Overview

Players in the Gift Shops and Card Stores industry retail a range of gifts, gift wrap, novelty merchandise, souvenirs, greeting cards, party supplies, seasonal and holiday decorations. This industry does not include retailers that operate as used merchandise stores, electronic shopping, mail-order houses and discount retail stores.

If you are close observer of happenings in this industry, you will notice that the Gift Shops and Card Stores industry has displayed signs of contraction as external competition has caused the number of operators to fall over the past five years. On the other hand, industry revenue has continued to rise as consumers have increased their discretionary spending on nonessential items that are predominant in this industry.

Please note that the continued growth of per capita disposable income has also enabled consumers to travel more and purchase items from gift shops and other industry operators. Going forward especially as it relates to projecting for the five years, the industry is anticipated to benefit from rising disposable income levels and tourist activity.

Statistics has it that in the united states alone, the Gift Shops and Card Stores industry generates over $19 billion annually from more than 61,279 bridal shop outlets scattered all around the United States of America. The industry is responsible for the direct employment of over 188,120 people.

Experts project the Gift Shops and Card Stores industry to grow at a 0.2 percent annual rate between 2013 and 2018. American Greetings Corporation and Party City Holdco are the establishments with the lion market share of the industry.

A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that the Gift Shops and Card Stores industry is in the mature stage of its life cycle. The report further revealed that over the 10 years to 2023, industry value added is estimated to increase at an annualized rate of 1.0 percent, whereas US GDP is projected to expand an annualized 2.2 percent during the same period.

This industry is growing at a slightly slower rate than the economy as a whole, but its growth generally mirrors that of the US at large, which is characteristic of a mature industry. Industry revenue is expected to grow relatively consistently over this period however, intensifying competition from alternative retailers will likely mitigate any faster growth.

The market for the gift shop business is also no longer limited to a single customer or to women, especially as women once made up the largest segment of the industry’s market. The market has now expanded to include the corporate client.

The Gift Shops and Card Stores industry has minimal barriers to entry, with low startup capital and no specific licensing requirements. The majority of gift shops operate as a one – outlet business and the capital costs of establishing gift shop outlets are not substantial relative to many other retail industries.

On the other hand, the high level of competition and market saturation in a declining industry can prove challenging to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own gift shop – business. Most players in the industry are small – to medium – establishments that cater to the local community.

If you are contemplating opening a gift shop business in the United States, you should ensure that you carry out a thorough market survey and feasibility studies. The truth is that if you get some key factors wrong before starting out, then you are likely going to struggle to stay afloat.

2. Executive Summary

Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC is a registered gift and card shop business that will be located in one of the busiest market districts in Baton Rouge – Louisiana. We have been able to lease a shop facility along a major road that is big enough to fit into the kind of gift shop that we intend launching.

Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC will be involved in retailing a wide range of gifts, gift wrap, novelty merchandise, souvenirs, greeting cards, party supplies, seasonal and holiday decorations. We will also be involved in helping our clients wrap and deliver their gifts.

We are aware that there are several gift shops all around Baton Rouge – Louisiana, which is why we spent time and resources to conduct thorough feasibility studies and market survey so as to offer much more than our competitors will be offering.

We have delivery service options for our customers, and our outlet has various payment options. We know that our customers are the reason why we are in business which is why we will go the extra mile to get them satisfied when they visit our shop.

Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.

Our plan is to position Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC to become the leading brand in the industry in the whole of Louisiana, and also to be amongst the top 10 gift and card shops in whole of the United States of America within the first 10 years of opening our first gift shop.

This might look too tall a dream but we are optimistic that this will surely come to pass because we have done our research and feasibility studies and we are confident that Baton Rouge – Louisiana is the right place to launch our business before spreading to other parts of the United States.

Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC is owned by Isabella Mrs. Dora Wellington. She has the experience, qualification and skill that will help grow the business to profitability within the shortest time frame. Although the business is launching out with just one outlet in Baton Rouge – Louisiana, but there is a plan to open other outlets all around key cities in the United States of America.

3. Our Products and Services

At Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, we have a wide range of gifts and cards, and we will engage in retailing and wholesale distribution to both individual and corporate clients. As part our strategy to create multiple sources of income in line with our core business concept, we will go into franchising and consultancy services.

Our intention of starting Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC is to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the US to achieve our aim and ambition. Here are some of our products and services;

  • Retailing greeting cards
  • Retailing gifts and gift supplies, i.e. gift wrap
  • Retailing souvenirs and novelty merchandise
  • Retailing party supplies
  • Retailing seasonal and holiday decorations
  • Kitchenware and home furnishings
  • Clothes, jewelry and costumes
  • Customized gifts baskets
  • Sale of franchise and consultancy services

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • To be amongst the top 10 leading gift shops in the United States of America before our 10th anniversary.
  • Our mission is to build a business that will meet the needs of all our customers in the regions / cities where we have our outlets and to sell franchise all across the United States of America.

Our Business Structure

As part of our plan to build a standard gift and card shop in Baton Rouge – Louisiana, we have perfected plans to get it right from the beginning which is why we are going to hire competent and hardworking employees to occupy all the available positions in our organization. Below is the business structure that we will build Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop on;

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Shop Manager
  • Merchandize Manager
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Sales and Marketing Officer
  • Accountants/Cashiers
  • Information Technologist
  • Drivers/Deliverers
  • Customer Service Executives
  • Cleaners

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO (Owner):

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results and developing incentives
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization

Shop Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of the gift shop
  • Part of the team that determines the quantity, types and brands of gifts items to be retailed in our store
  • Maps out strategy that will lead to efficiency amongst workers in the shop
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of the entire workforce
  • Ensures that the shop meets the expected safety and health standard at all times.

Human Resources and Admin Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily office and shop activities.

Merchandize Manager

  • Manage vendor relations, market visits, and the ongoing education and development of the organizations’ buying teams
  • Helps to ensure that quality goods are purchased
  • Responsible for the purchase of goods for the organization
  • Responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory, selecting the merchandise, writing and pricing orders

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding sales
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents the company in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for the company

Information Technologist

  • Manages the organization website
  • Handles ecommerce aspect of the business
  • Responsible for installing and maintenance of computer software and hardware for the organization
  • Manages logistics and supply chain software, Web servers, e-commerce software and POS (point of sale) systems
  • Manages the organization’s CCTV
  • Handles any other technological and IT related duties.

Accountant/Cashier

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the organization
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization

Distribution Van Drivers:

  • Delivers customer’s orders promptly
  • Runs errand for the organization

Client Service Executive

  • Responsible for taking orders from clients when they call or email the organization
  • Ensures that all contacts with customer (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with customers on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the shop manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on our products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to customers when they make inquiries

Cleaners:

  • Responsible for cleaning the entire shop facility at all times
  • Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the manager.

6. SWOT Analysis

Due to our drive for excellence, we were able to engage some of the finest business consultants in Baton Rouge – Louisiana to look through our business concept and together we were able to critically examine the prospect of the business to be sure we have what it takes to run a standard gift shop.

In view of that, we were able to take stock of our strengths, our weakness, our opportunities and also the threats that we are likely going to be exposed to in our business. Here is a of what we got from the SWOT Analysis conducted for Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC;

  • Strength:

Our strength lies in the fact that we have a wide range of gifts and cards that can meet the needs of our customers. Another factor that counts in our advantage is the background of our Chief Executive Office; she has a robust experience in the industry and also a pretty good academic qualification to match the experience acquired which has placed her amongst the top flight professionals in the United States of America.

We are not ignoring the fact that offering consultancy services and running a franchise is definitely going to count as a positive for us.

  • Weakness:

The fact that we are setting up a gift and cards retailing business in a city with other leading gift and card retail outlets might likely pose a challenge for us in breaking into the already saturated market. In essence our chosen location might be our weakness, but nevertheless, we have plans to launch out with a big bang.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities available to us are unlimited. Loads of people and organizations give out gifts during special periods. Americans and foreigners have begun to travel more, boosting demand for industry products. So also, there are also loads of people who would want to buy our franchise and start their gift shop business on a platter of gold; our platform will be ideal for them to fulfill that goal.

  • Threat:

The threat that is likely going to confront us is the fact that we are competing with already established businesses in Baton Rouge – Louisiana and also there are other entrepreneurs that are likely going to launch similar businesses within the location of our business.

Competition from discount retailers will intensify as supercenter and discount store chains expand. Of course, they will compete with us in winning over the available market. Another threat that we are likely going to face, is unfavorable government policies and of course economic downturn.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

The Gift Shops & Card Stores industry has risen slowly over the last five years while combatting lackluster consumer spending and changing preferences pattern. The introduction of technology and subsequently online retail store has indeed helped in reshaping the industry.

It is now a common phenomenon for retail outlets to leverage on technology to effectively predict consumer demand patterns and to strategically position their shop to meet their needs; in essence, the use of technology helps retailers to maximize supply chain efficiencies.

The market for the gift and card shop business is also no longer limited to a single customer or to women. The market has now expanded to include the corporate client. As a matter of fact, external factors such as Domestic trips by US residents and Per capita disposable income in the Gift Shops & Card Stores industry impact the overall performance in this industry.

8. Our Target Market

When it comes to gift and card sales and delivery business, there is indeed a wide range of available customers. In essence, our target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but all those who resides in the location where we intend opening our shops. These are the groups of people we intend marketing our gift items and cards to;

  • Households
  • Corporate Organizations
  • Government Officials
  • Business People
  • Celebrities
  • Students
  • Tourists
  • Everyone who resides in our target locations.

Our competitive advantage

Our aim of starting Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, is to build a business that can grow within the first 10 years of establishing it to be listed amongst the top 10 gift shops in the United States of America. With that in mind, we have been able to come up with competitive strategies that will help us compete favorably in the industry.

Another competitive advantage we have is that we have a wide range of gift items and cards that can meet the needs of a wide range of customers. We have state of the art facility and competent workforce that has positioned us to meet the demand of products even if the demand tripled.

Another factor that counts to our advantage is the background of our Chief Executive Office; she has a robust experience in the industry and also a pretty good academic qualification to match the experience acquired. We are not ignoring the fact that offering consultancy services and running a franchise is definitely going to count as a positive for us.

Lastly, we can boast of having attractive product presentation and effective quality control. We are not taking for granted that our excellent customer service culture, highly competitive prices, reliable and easy to use payment options.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

  • Sources of Income

Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the United States of America and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to sell a wide range of gift items and cards to a wide range of customers. Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC will generate income by offering the following products and services;

  • Retailing greeting cards
  • Retailing gifts and gift supplies, i.e. gift wrap
  • Retailing souvenirs and novelty merchandise
  • Retailing party supplies
  • Retailing seasonal and holiday decorations
  • Kitchenware and home furnishings
  • Clothes, jewelry and costumes
  • Customized gifts baskets
  • Sale of franchise and consultancy services

10. Sales Forecast

We are well positioned to take on the available market in the U.S. and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough profits from our first month of operation and grow the business beyond Baton Rouge – Louisiana to other states in the U.S.

We have been able to critically examine the Gift Shops & Card Stores industry, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we were able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below is the sales projection for Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC. It is based on the location of our business and our competitive advantage;

  • First Fiscal Year: $250,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $600,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $900,000

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same products and services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

Before choosing a location to launch Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop and also the types of gifts items and cards to retail, we conducted a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to be able to penetrate the available market.

We have detailed information and data that we were able to utilize to structure our business to attract the number of customers we want to attract per time and also for our products to favorable compete with other leading gift and card shops in Baton Rouge – Louisiana.

We hired experts who have good understanding of the industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market Baton Rouge – Louisiana. In summary, Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to sell our products;

  • Introduce our gift shop by sending introductory letters to residents, corporate organizations and other stakeholders both in Baton Rouge – Louisiana and in other cities in the United States of America
  • Open our gift shop with a party so as to capture the attention of residents
  • Engage in roadshows in targeted communities from time to time to sell our products
  • Advertise our products in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List our business and products on yellow pages’ ads (local directories)
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our gift and card shop brand
  • Engage in direct marketing and sales
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Despite the fact that our gift and card shop is a standard one with a wide range of products that can favorably compete with other leading brands in the United States, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for all our products.

Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC has a long term plan of opening outlets in various locations all around the United States of America and also to sell our franchise which is why we will purposefully build our brand to be well accepted in Baton Rouge – Louisiana before venturing out to other cities in the United States of America.

As a matter of fact, our publicity and advertising strategy is not solely for selling our products but to also effectively communicate our brand. Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC;

  • Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote our brand
  • Install our billboards in strategic locations all around major cities in the United States of America
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted communities
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where we intend getting customers to start patronizing our products.
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our customized clothes, and all our official cars and distribution vans are customized and well branded.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Generally, the prices for gift items and similar products are relatively affordable hence there is no need to employ any detailed strategy when it comes to pricing.

In view of that, our prices will conform to what is obtainable in the industry but we will ensure that within the first 6 to 12 months, our gift items and cards are sold a little bit below the average prices in the United States of America. We have put in place business strategies that will help us run on low profit margin for a period of 6 months; it is a way of encouraging people to buy into our brand.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America. Here are the payment options that Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our clients make payment for our gift items without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials to clients who may want to deposit cash or make online transfer for gifts purchased.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

When it comes to starting a standard gift shop business, one is expected to spend the bulk of the startup capital on renting a store facility. Aside from that, you are not expected to spend much except for purchasing distribution vans, purchasing commodities, paying your employees and utility bills. These are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;

  • The Total Fee for Registering the Business in Baton Rouge – Louisiana – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $1,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,500.
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
  • The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square feet in the total amount of $55,200.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $50,000
  • The cost for Start-up inventory (gifts, gift wrap, novelty merchandise, souvenirs, greeting cards, party supplies and seasonal and holiday decorations et al) – $80,000
  • Storage hardware (bins, rack, shelves, food case) – $3,720
  • The cost for counter area equipment – $9,500
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
  • The cost of purchase of distribution vans – $20,000
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
  • The cost of launching a Website – $600
  • The cost for our opening party – $10,000
  • Miscellaneous – $5,000

We would need an estimate of $250,000 to successfully set up our gift and card shop business in Baton Rouge – Louisiana.

Generating Startup Capital for Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC

Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC is owned and financed by Mrs. Dora Wellington. She has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sell of stocks
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from the bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $80,000 and soft loan from family members $20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $150,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.

One of our major goals of starting Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to retail our gifts a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

Dora Wellington™ Gifts & Cards Shop will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re – training of our workforce is at the top burner.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing of store facility and re – construction of the store facility: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Packaging and Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Opening party/launching party planning: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – wholesale suppliers / merchants: In Progress
  • Purchase of delivery vans: Completed
Solomon. O'Chucks