Start and Run a Profitable Gift Basket Business


128 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations
ISBN 0-88908-846-2
DDC 745.594'068





Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



Self-Counsel manuals follow a highly successful formula: cover the
basics; keep it light; make it practical; omit excess detail; include
some reader-involvement exercises. This approach has been applied to
both these “Start and Run” books, making them very useful
introductions for would-be entrepreneurs.

Whether the business under consideration is gift baskets or home
cleaning, the basics are the same. Both are means of self-employment, so
there’s a section in each on determining if the reader has the
characteristics and attitude needed to work alone. Both are businesses;
hence material is included on business and marketing plans, financing,
inventories, and so forth. Both can be run from home, so information on
operating a home-based business is part of the mix. Each book contains
charts, fill-in-the-blanks exercises, checklists, and lots of examples.

The manuals differ in that each is customized to the specific type of
business. Tips on how to clean a house quickly and efficiently are, of
course, absent from the gift-basket book, which instead has lists of
basic stock for filling baskets and ideas for generating more
gift-basket sales. While the manuals are well written, professionally
edited, and nicely designed, they lack excitement or any special spark
that would encourage the reader to enter the field. Of the two, the
gift-basket manual is the more reassuring that the idea being offered is

The manuals are practical but sound a bit tired. Starting a new
business is a risky, exhilarating undertaking; these books provide
information to help minimize the risk, but the excitement got left


Foster-Walker, Mardi., “Start and Run a Profitable Gift Basket Business,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 27, 2024,