Do you love to meet new people and have a flair for hospitality? Then learn how to start a welcome wagon business! The purpose of a welcome wagon business is to welcome new people into your neighborhood or town by giving them a welcome basket of great stuff, provided by local businesses.
New people receiving baskets pay nothing for your service, but local store and service business owners will pay either a flat fee or commission for being included in your welcome baskets. It is a true win-win business, as new residents feel welcomed, local merchants get to advertise their businesses inexpensively, and you make a very nice profit.
What You’ll Need to Succeed
In addition to coupons and merchandise from local businesses, your baskets will contain valuable information for those moving to your area. This includes police and fire department information, local government contact info, and guides to local tourist sites. Some who learn how to start a welcome wagon business are also sure to include neighborhood association information, parks and recreation details, hospital doctor’s office locations, utility company phone numbers and web sites, nearby restaurants and theatres, and other information that will help a new resident acclimate more easily.
Providing relevant, useful information and fun, valuable offers and merchandise in your baskets will be important for merchant participation as well as creating buzz about your service.
Marketing Your Welcome Wagon Business
When you learn how to start a welcome wagon business, you quickly realize you have two sets of “customers.” The new residents who receive you baskets must be cared for, and the merchants who are placing discounts or items in your baskets are the clients who are providing your revenue.
Your marketing efforts will primarily be aimed at local merchants. The best way to reach these business owners is to go and talk with them. If you are not comfortable cold calling, this might not be the business for you – unless you have the resources to hire a sales person.
In addition to going to places of business to speak with business owners, you can also attend local networking events where business owners go to mingle with other like minded people. These events are a good opportunity to meet the right people and begin a dialog, but don’t try to sell anything at the event. Simply meet as many members of your target audience as possible, impress them with how professional and polite you are, then follow up in the days after the networking event.
Many welcome wagon businesses also create a website where they have valuable information and coupons for new residents, and merchants pay to advertise on the site. In fact, some welcome wagon services are completely online. If you decide to run your welcome wagon business with a website component, the key to success is making the site attractive, easy to navigate, and relevant. Make sure all the information on the site is up to date and accurate.
Once you have realized success with your welcome wagon business, it’s time to think about expanding into other nearby communities. You could even consider franchising your model and selling franchise licenses throughout the country. When you learn how to start a welcome wagon business, the sky is the limit!