The busy craft and artisan Christmas shopping season is upon us – hopefully you’re all prepared for the onslaught of orders and have enlisted many elves to help you produce, display, pack and ship your wares…but in case you like to live dangerously down to the last minute (or real life gets in the way of business), I’ve complied a handy checklist to help you get organized.
Preparing Anointment for the Christmas season starts in August when we start producing our seasonal Holiday Soap and Soap bon bons in preparation for the gift giving season. Month by month, here is the prep list I use:
- Begin preparing inventory for the holiday rush. Look at previous third quarter sales records and current growth (if applicable) to help determine current year demand.
- Prepare holiday advertising and budget
- Plan ahead for craft shows and fairs, set your booth budget and plan your displays
- Continue preparing inventory
- Start giving hints on social media sites and blog about what’s new and exciting for the holidays
- Book your holiday advertising
- Ensure your booth display for craft shows and fairs is complete
- Start promoting direct sales via Etsy or your own website
- Ensure you have enough business cards and samples available and printed
- Enlist extra elves (staff, family) to help pack and ship orders or help with craft fairs
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of boxes, envelopes, packaging materials on hand
- Replenish any short inventory items or unanticipated best-sellers
- Offer a shipping deal or customer appreciation incentive
- Participate in Black Friday deals, if applicable
- Replenish your coffee and tea supplies after late nights at craft fairs, packing, shipping and producing
- Pack and ship
- Attend any late and last minute craft fairs
- Remind your customers via social media and blog that time is running out for gift giving, provide cutoff dates for holiday delivery
What are your strategies for preparing for the Holiday rush?