The festive season is fast approaching and if you make and sell handmade goods you will likely be in a mad panic right now realizing you will never be ready for Christmas. Don’t fear, as a seasoned designer/maker here are my best tips for how to prepare your handmade business for Christmas:
// Think about what you want to achieve and set smart goals. “To sell as much as possible” is not an effective goal, you need to set goals with a measurable target so you will clearly know if and when it has been achieved. Have a sum of money in mind and work back to how many products that is – great for if you have a business expense you’re saving up for.
// Prepare stock as much as possible for upcoming orders. This works best for sellers with a smaller product range so you can prepare every product ready for sales. If you sell items in special packaging or boxes make sure they’re ready too and you could even make stickers for your boxes so you can wrap them up ready and you know what’s inside. If you have to make your items to order, prepare what you can. Is there a base product you can stock pile or maybe you could cut out templates to make sewing panels easier.
// Keep on top of stock levels. Running out too close to the delivery date is an absolute nightmare for a handmade business and often if you have to order something at the last minute costs will skyrocket. Try ordering in larger quantities that you normally would and/or use transparent storage containers so you can see at a glance when you’re running low.
// Make sure your new products, packaging ideas and any photography and artwork are all ready before the busy period begins. You will not have time to be designing new products during the Christmas shopping period. If you’ve run out of time, set them aside and perfect them earlier for next year.
// Remember to take breaks – you can’t pour from an empty cup so get enough sleep, eat well and look after yourself. Ask family and friends if they might be available to lend a hand during your busiest weeks. Your health is more important than your business.