Thursday, December 29, 2005

Starting A Baby Bag Business

Babies are big business. In fact, they are a multi-million dollar business, and there is a way that you can get in on the action in your community. One of the simplest baby-oriented businesses that you can start is a baby bag business.

What, you may ask, is a baby bag? Well, baby bags are those little bags that you get from your hospital or doctor's office when you have a baby. While you may not think about it, those bags come from somewhere. Your first task will be to get the bags put together, and then we will worry about where they will be distributed.

First, jot down what new moms and dads need. It can be anything from diapers to bottles to a day of housekeeping or time at the spa. Think of everything you can that may be useful for new parents. Also consider non-profit literature, such as from local government agencies or child abuse prevention societies.

After you have compiled your list, then you should begin to approach these companies. Basically you are asking the non-profit organizations if they would like to include literature in your bags. You should give them this option for free. It makes the bags somewhat of a public service as well, which makes everyone happier. Plus, you can provide good information or safety reminders to new parents who are probably overwhelmed with information and will need the reminders. Many new moms do not know about some government programs, such as WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) that will help pay for products moms need.

Then you approach local businesses. While you will not get coupons from Luvs, you can ask the local grocer to allow a coupon. Offer to make up the coupon yourself if it is a problem although they probably have some type of barcode system in place. Ask for 50 cents or $1 off a pack of diapers. Allow them to include up to one full sheet of information about their store or some advertising in exchange for the coupon. The key here is that they pay for inclusion in the bags. You need to cover the cost of printing the bags (which you will need to have done through a local print shop), the copies, and your time.

Return to your list often. Ask the spa for a free manicure for new moms or some other free or discounted service. Just remember that whatever they include must have something free along with it. Trust me. As a new mom, you relish anything free even if it is $1 off a $50 purchase. You need to save all the money you can!

Okay, once you have the coupons created and have had the bags printed, you need to have places to put them. Have some ideas ready in case a potential advertisers asks you. There are a couple of places to consider. You can approach local medical providers. Ask the hospital if they contract out their bags and if you can include theirs in take-home packets for new moms. My doctor's office gave me three or four bags of goodies, so you should think about them, too. Also look for local churches with lots of young couples or baby groups where they may want to give out information to their members.

Another possibility for a place to give out baby bags is the advertisers themselves. This method works with bridal magazines and other industry-specific places. Ask the advertisers if they will keep a few of the bags on their shelves for their customers. Don't forget to return to those non-profit agencies! Many of them see low-income parents who could really use any financial help they can get.

If you look around, you should find plenty of places to give out the bags. You will need to make the subscription quarterly to make any money with the bags. Once the three-month time is up, then you will need to revisit your advertisers to see if they want to advertise with you again. While the baby bag business may not be incredibly lucrative, you can make a decent wage at it, especially considering the hours you will put in after the initial batch, if you are good at getting exposure for your baby coupons.

By Julia Mercer

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