The Holidays are rapidly approaching! For those of us in the handmade world, there's no time to waste! We need to make sure that we are ready for the upcoming rush of buyers who will start shopping with us via our on-line stores or visiting us at a local craft/art shows!
Below are a few tips that I try to do in starting my planning for the upcoming holiday rush. I thought I would pass this info along to you so that you can start your planning as well!
1. Sit down and think about what products you want to offer, especially those in the holiday line (if you offer themed products). If you've offered holiday themed items before and found them to go over well with your customers, be sure to offer those again. Also, be sure to create new holiday items for those who are return customers looking for something new!! Spend time on designing and creating these items...the extra time and attention to details in these items will be important to buyers since many of these items will be given as gifts to friends and family over the next few months!!
2. As always, market and advertise your business!! You can't wait until the middle of November or first part of December and try to get your business noticed for the holiday season. I am already getting requests and orders from people who are starting their buying early to help spread the cost of the holidays out and not get hit real hard with all the buying! START NOW with your holiday advertising and products! I bet if you take a look around at the big retailers, the Christmas sections are already starting to appear!! ;-)
3. If you don't offer gift certificates or gift cards, consider offering these! You can quickly make your own! I have found this to be a great addition to my store since some customers were having a hard time picking just the right jewelry out for their friends and family. The gift certificates allow them to give a gift, but allow the receiver to get something they want!
4. Make sure your store is stocked and ready with a big variety of items. More choices is always best this time of year!! Also, assure your customers that you can work with them to create the best gift and assure them that you can meet deadlines, etc., that they might have or need. Be flexible, patient and understanding of your customers. It will go a long way during the holiday season!! Also be sure to have plenty of shipping supplies on hand. Running out and delaying the shipping process during this time won't be good for your business.
5. Relax, have fun and try not to get overwhelmed and lose the spirit of the holidays! We know it is can be a difficult time of the year trying to keep up with everything and meeting customer demands. It is a stressful time for our customers as well in trying to find the perfect gift. Offering good customer service will no doubt win you a repeat customer.
The items listed above are just a small list of things you can do to get ready for the rush of holiday shoppers that are about to hit us! Getting prepared early will be a good gift to yourself!
Until next time...Blessings! ~ Dawn