The holidays can be a frantic time for most businesses. Heck, they are a frantic time for EVERYONE, but especially business owners. And MOST ESPECIALLY product-based business owners. (You know, those of us who are actually producing and selling the presents and stocking stuffers that get passed around, re-gifted, then passed around again in late December.)
It helps to be be prepared.
And the best time to get your ducks in a row? You guessed it: YESTERDAY.
But don’t worry, right now will work just fine.
Use this checklist to make sure your business is holiday-ready.
Because, better late than never, right?
___1. Inventory is stocked and organized.
If you create made-to-order items, this is the time to make sure you have enough supplies on hand to meet the demand of orders, or at least make sure you can quickly and easily access additional materials from your suppliers. If you lean towards finished pieces, now is a great time to stock up on your best sellers and holiday-themed items.
___2. Packing materials–once again–stocked and organized.
You do not want to run out of bubble mailers or packing tape mid-December. Paying retail is expensive, and the post office is basically the worst place on earth to be that time of year. Do yourself a favor, and make sure you’ve got enough to “last the winter” before the madness hits.
___3. Plan upcoming sales and marketing.
Having your editorial and marketing calendars filled out NOW prevents you from scrambling when, Oh, crap! It’s Black Friday and we don’t have anything scheduled! When you set date for major business events, then you can work backwards and plan what content to use in your e-mail marketing, social media, blog, and so on.
___4. Complete, photograph, and list holiday collections.
If you have any lines that you haven’t completed yet, now is the time to get ‘er done. (You may virtually smack me for writing those words. I completely understand.) You will be too busy marketing, shipping, and handling customer service come November to be designing holiday sets. Besides, December is when you ought to be getting your Spring collections ready anyway (oh dear, I think I just overwhelmed myself.)
*Whew* Deep breath… onward!
___5. Sign up for Craft Shows.
Planning on joining the craft show circuit? Most holiday shows have hit their sign-up deadlines, but there may still be some local school or church fairs looking for vendors. Most of these are first-come-first serve, so you don’t want to dawdle much longer.
___6. Check your shipping dates.
It’s best to know ahead of time when it’ll be the last day to order to get guaranteed-shipping-by-Christmas is. Most people shopping online during that time of year will be looking for gifts, and you’ll save yourself many a customer-service headache if you can clearly communicate their receive-by dates before they hit the buy button.
All checked? Yippie! That means you are ready and rearing for the holiday season!
Unless I missed something? If so, please let me know in the comments below so we can all add it to our checklists.