Christmas is on its way.
There. We’ve said it.
Yes, it’s a wonderful, magical time of the year with delicious mulled wine, sparkly lights, Christmas trees, pretty baubles and such (Go on Scrooge, I dare you to disagree…)
As much as we’d like to leave Christmas things till next month when we can properly get into the spirit of the season, we know that for small businesses and makers, a successful holiday season is critical for continued survival.
Many of you get the bulk of your sales during this time of the year and it’s important for you to have all your ducks in a row.
Here are 6 things that you can do to make this season a little easier.
1. Make your list, and check it twice.
Unless you’re a provider of bespoke items, by the time the sales rush hits you’ll need to have adequate supplies of finished products waiting for those orders to come rolling in, plus others in the pipeline.
Make sure you have accurate numbers of what you have at hand, what you still need to make/source and what supplies you need to hit your target.
Make a list of all the other things that need to be done i.e. marketing, events, promotions. That way you will, hopefully, remember to check your list to jog your memory.
2. Put on that sparkly dress.
Give your website a bit of a holiday refresh. Highlight your best-selling products, seasonal items and gift sets. Oh, and make sure that you’ve tidied up all dead links right along with the bestsellers from four years ago.
Nothing is more frustrating than for a customer to find something that they absolutely love with those three dreaded words next to the order button. Out of Stock.
Optimise your website for mobile. Guess what commuters do while riding the train?
Schedule some festive tweets or Facebook posts (note to self, use images – images get more interactions and shares). Besides, a dancing Rudolph or elf will cheer up most people. That, or the annual John Lewis’ Christmas video…
3. Got Plans?
Are you doing a christmas market somewhere? Great, post it on social media. Create an events section on your website and highlight it on your home page.
Are you launching new products in time for the season? Brilliant. Put those on your home page too! Show off the things you’ve made.
Make it easy for people to find you and buy from you.
4. Remember your friends.
Care for your existing clients by giving them a special holiday offer. People LOVE discounts, and it gives them that little extra nudge to buy from you.
Got a new product on the shelves? Give your favourite customers a special introductory price. Remember, a lot of people do their shopping early, so a little timely love will go a long way.
5. Dog team, or carrier pigeon?
On a bad day, logistics are everyone’s nightmare come true.
Allow for extra time for shipping this season. Don’t over-promise on delivery, check in with your supply chain to make sure things are on schedule and always, always, always have a backup plan.
6. Sharing is caring.
A problem shared is a problem halved.
Marketing costs can be shared with other small businesses. Create group flyers or share an advert in a local paper.
Leverage other people’s social media followings by offering cross promotion.
Keep a look out for campaigns that you can partner with over the season. Small Business Saturday is on the 2nd of December this year. That isn’t the only one. There will be several. Choose one that best fits your ethos and join right in!
Got a favourite tip for the holiday season? Share it with us on Twitter.
If you’re a Blue Patch member with a holiday promotion, events coming up or product launches, let us know via email and we’ll be happy to share.
Remember, if you tag us in your posts on social media we’ll share and repost!