Preparing for summer camp is a lot like planning your biz

summercamp

As a kid, I just loved going to camp. My parents sent me away for the summer and as I grew older, I even became a camp counselor. The beginning of summer always reminds me of my time in camp.

A few weeks ago, I was helping my nieces plan for summer camp. We packed trunks, made a list of everything, and had all the goods shipped way in advance. Now that’s what I call good planning. At Flourish & Thrive Academy, we teach our jewelry designers the importance of planning and preparing in advance. The summertime (or camp season) is just the time to do that!

Because….Preparing for summer camp is a lot like planning your biz

Planning is Key: When I was helping my nieces pack for camp, wow, it took some serious planning, organizing and skill to get it all done! Their trunks needed to be packed and shipped a whole month before the girls actually left to go to camp.

I loved the entire process because this is how I like to work with my jewelry clients on their business by planning and organizing so they can be prepared for a month, two months, even 6 months to a year in advance.

By planning out your business – be it launching a new collection or preparing for an event like a trunk show or the upcoming holiday season (where over 50% of yearly sales happen)  – one is able to easily prepare and be ready for whatever is next. PLUS, as a designer you can then focus on other things like creating your product or designing a new product.

Developing and following a plan helps keep you on track and ensures things don’t get lost.

Checklists are a must: The wonderful camp that my nieces attend is known for providing the parents with a detailed camp checklist. They make the tedious task of packing so much easier!

That checklist was very thorough. It had everything each camper needed for their time at camp. More importantly, it was specific to the needs of the camper whether the camper was going for 1 week or for 2 months (like my nieces).

Having a detailed checklist takes the guessing out of a project. It’s that one extra step to ensure everything is getting done (or rather packed in the case of camp). A detailed checklist in your biz can save you time and energy and prevent you from forgetting or missing a step.

A checklist is also a great tool you can provide to your customer. For example if you have a client who is a bride, think about providing her with a checklist of gifts she needs to give – from everyone starting with her soon to be husband, to the flower girl, parents, mother-in-law, hostess gifts, wedding party, etc.

For your wholesale buyer, a checklist of what they should buy and when is something you may want to give to them. This checklist will require some extra work on your part (researching past buys), but the payoff can be great!  You know the song, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

camp

 Systems are necessary: In addition to the checklist, the camp requires all campers have their name in every item of clothing. Parents could write the name of their children with a permanent marker or choose to put tags in the clothing. No matter how they did it, it had to be done. Just the thought of doing laundry for a whole camp full of girls … well, putting their names in their every garment made perfect sense!

The putting of names in every garment makes me think of having systems in business. Systems are necessary and it is important to make sure the systems you come up with work.

It may make sense to you, but remember your are not your team or your client. You need to make sure it makes sense to your team (contractors, employees or interns). If the system is developed for client relations or for your client use, it should make sense to them.

The key to creating successful systems starts by asking for feedback, listening and taking to heart what you hear. Business is always changing and listening to feedback is one of your greatest tools.

Running a camp is like running any business. It takes planning, checklists, systems and listening to customers. So what are you waiting for? Get packing!

 Just to recap:

  • Plan in Advance

  • Have a checklist (or many)

  • Make sure systems are in place

  • Listen to your team and your customers

We want to hear from you! In the comments below tell us:

  1. What are you going to do to plan for the 2013 holiday season?

  2. Are you listening to your team and your customers?

If you are a jewelry designer who is ready to have your best Holiday Season, check out our FREE training series:: Ramp up your holiday jewelry sales.

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