The temperature is climbing toward 100 degrees and you just got back from a long 4th of July weekend. The last thing on your mind is the holidays but if you want to succeed in December, you have to start planning now.
I hear you. No Christmas before Halloween. The kids aren't even back in school yet. You’re thinking you have plenty of time.
As of July 2, the year is half over and there’s a weird phenomena that happens in the second half of the year; the last 182 days fly by faster than the first 182 days. You can quote planetary rotation and physics all you like but it will still be true because the second half of the year is filled with holidays and events that distract us from the task ahead. If you have kids, it’s ten times worse; back-to-school, Halloween, Thanksgiving. Factor in the dwindling sunlight hours and you’re already out of time.
You can fight it, but planning for the holidays while it’s still bathing suit weather means you’ll be stressed less and you’ll have fewer sales bumps when Black Friday rolls around.
Ready to get ready? Here we go.
Brainstorm Holiday Stock
Arrange an hour of quiet time this week to think about your store stock.
Will you be making any holiday themed items such as wreaths, ornaments, candy cane soaps or reindeer earrings?
What about gift items? People will spend more for gifts than they spend on themselves, so think about raising your price points or adding higher-end items to the mix.
Once you have a list, make a second list of supplies you’ll need to have on hand to create these items. Then order those items as soon as possible to avoid issues with sold out supplies and delayed shipments.
While you’re ordering, think about packaging. Will you do anything special for the holidays? Do you gift wrap? Will you need larger boxes for those bigger ornaments you plan to make this year?
Even if its business as usual, make sure you have plenty of your normal packing supplies. There’s nothing more aggravating than having to fight the Staples crowd at Christmas because you ran out of packing tape.
Brainstorm Holiday Promotions
You’ll need another hour of quiet time to come up with a holiday marketing plan. Don’t rely on your usual methods of social media and SEO. You need to whip up something special in order to pull shoppers away from the big box stores.
Start with the usual suspects; Black Friday sale, free shipping, free gift with purchase, free gift wrapping
Then take it up a notch:
- Work with other online sellers to create a holiday gift guide. Find collaborators on our IndieMade Facebook group.
- Blog regularly on your IndieMade blog to build excitement (pre-write all the posts so you simply have to load them each week) .
- Post a video of gift suggestions or holiday-themed items on YouTube and Facebook.
- Pay to boost a Facebook post aimed at your target audience. (This is the time of year when it’s most likely to pay off.)
Next. . . . .
That’s up to you.
If you’ve ever come up with a great idea after it was too late to execute it, this exercise is for you. Take the time to brainstorm and prepare now because it’s going to be December before you know it.
Plan now to make 2015 the best, most profitable year you've ever had. It's reachable if you don't wait until it's too late.
Photo by Kaboompics.com