Sunday, September 19, 2010

Preparing for the Holidays- H-H is For Christmas

BELLE the PIXIE ELF 5x5 fine art photographic print lustre
BELLE the PIXIE ELF 5x5 fine art photographic print lustre | by: mistflowerphoto

Ah, the leaves are changing! The air smells crisp and clean in the morning. Just a calming time of the year!
Yeah, right!
Have you noticed the frantic and harried appearance of several people at your local craft store? They are the ones covered in speckles of glitter, dried glue all over their hands and random bits of thread stuck to their clothing (this includes me). When you see this phenom combined with nearing the last quarter of the year, it means the Holiday “Rush” is about to spill forth.
Now when I say “rush” with the quotations around it it is subjective. “Rush” is different for everyone who sells their handiwork. It depends on your customer base, how long you have been selling, how you promote, where you are selling, and your advertising.
I am generalizing for this article for ease of explanation.  The following information is put together from my personal experience (or inexperience at the time) and how to be prepared for this upcoming season.
We will start at the beginning because that’s a very nice place to start.
Supplies. Without supplies you cannot make product to sell. If you have a long lead time because you need dinglybobs from someplace in Australia, be sure you order well in advance. Like yesterday.
Have plenty on hand. Always expect that what you need will be out of stock. Order in larger quantities for discounts if you know you will use it eventually. The nice thing about some supplies is they dont expire. If you don’t use them, you can always resell them.  If you have items that are perishable for your craft, be sure you call ahead to your suppliers to see when they will be expecting shipments throughout the season. Ask if you can coordinate a placeholder order for your reorder time so they can get those items in for you in that scheduled shipment. Think ahead. Plan ahead.
Budgeting. Well this also makes ordering far in advance a sticky situation. If you havent budgeted it you are at the mercy of what your suppliers may or may not have in stock. Always order a couple more than you think you need throughout the year and then stockpile. By the time you get to the Holiday season you have spread out the cost of the stocking up in supplies. Plus, you already have it on hand and don’t need to worry about running out!  This is also the time where I tell you to plan realistically. If you have very few sales on Etsy you may not need to order a gross of dinglybobs. Plan for what works for your business. Let it grow and morph. You may not need 144 dinglybobs for next years stock so be realistic.

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