Tara Swiger is a author, maker and Starship Captain. You can find more creative business help + get a steaming cup of Holiday Sanity on her site.
As a small business owner, the holiday season isn’t just about peppermint mochas and decking the halls. You’ve got to balance holiday sales with your own merry-making. If your business is like Karina’s, you’re also juggling a (fabulous) increase in sales, as your regulars deck themselves for holiday parties, and their boyfriends and husbands buy holiday gifts. So how do you keep those extra sales coming in, while staying merry? I’ve got three tips to help you stay profitable and pretty.
1. List everything.
It’s as simple as it sounds: list absolutely everything you have to do, inside and outside your business. This includes holiday sales specials, fancy gift wrapping for your customers, gift shopping, cookie baking, everything. Then look through your list and split it up: what is a can’t-miss? What can you get help with? Now take your business-related list to your team…
2. Get help.
If you’ve got a great team – make them part of your holiday planning! Communicate everything you hope to do for the holidays, including how an increase will affect every area (your shipping department needs to know about gift wrapping, production needs to know about the expected increase, etc).
“For the busy Fall/Winter season each member of the Karina Dresses team is focused on generating more holiday sales: Karina is arranging dress parties and trunkshows; Hilarylise is in constant contact with our 50+ stores about new inventory; and I’m busy spreading the word on our social media channels.”
– Garnet Heraman, Director of Strategy & Finance
Even if you don’t already have a team in place, this might be the season to bring in someone – a VA to help you manage orders, a copywriter to write that sales page, or a college student to wrap up packages or wait in line at the Post Office.
Remember: a lot of your sales increase will come from new-to-you customers. Even though you might feel swamped, it’s vital that that you delight every buyer. Assure a consistent experience by communicating clearly with your customer and your team. Make your ordering deadline (for a holiday delivery) obvious on your website, and send your customers an email warning. Automate post-sales communication to include shipping information. Check every point of communication with a customer (social media, answering emails, automated messages) and make sure it’s holiday-ready.
What are your tips for juggling a rockin’ business during the busy season?