This is the second in an ongoing series about planning (your business and your life!) for the holidays. If you want to keep your Holiday Sanity this year, join a group of crafters + artists in our accountability fun.
One of the vital parts of keeping your business thriving during this busy season is to plan for money-making.
A lot of holiday-money-talk revolves around budgeting, but an equally important part is planning to keep making money, even when the holidays throw your schedule into the blender.
Of course, the holidays are often a time of increased sales for some businesses (mine included), so you'll want to plan for keeping things stable and/or increasing your sales.
There are several puzzle pieces that can fit together to make a financially healthy holiday
- Offer something new for the holidays
- Make it easy for your people to buy gifts
- Keep income stable through the holidays
- Maintain (and improve) your marketing
Offer something new
Can you do something holiday-themed in your shop?
Can you offer them in a new way or a new place?
I do this with a line of Christmas-y yarns, red + green + gold with jingle bells or sparkley stuff and a few yarn-themed ornaments.
I bring these yarns to Urban Craft Uprising (where they sell out, every year), which is a new venue (new compared to other months).
Make it easy to be a gift
The simplest way to do this is to offer gift certificates or gift baskets.
Your past customers can both GIVE them to their friends and REQUEST them from their loved ones.
- Make it easy for your people to ASK for your thing as a gift. Last year I sent a special email that was actually addressed to husbands. The top of the email said, “Want to be SURE to get yarn for Christmas, forward this to your family!”.
- Make it easy for your people to GIVE your thing as a gift.
You could write gift guides (answer the question: What kind of person would this be perfect for?), make it even easier (gift wrapping? last minute help?)
Last year I kept selling gift certificates until the very last minute (Christmas Eve), for people who would print the cards from home.
Know what you need to make each month.
Even if you don't do ANYthing different for the holidays, you'll want to keep everything from falling apart. Whether your business is your full-time income or not, it'll be helpful to have a real, number goal in mind.
Once you have a number in mind, you can break this down into when/how that money needs to come in. (Ex. If you're doing your christmas shopping at the beginning of December, it might be nice to have a little cushion for that).
After having soft deadlines for when you want the money, you can break that into individual products (if that makes sense for what you make). If you don't already have that many things in your shop, when you will you make them? How many per day or per week?
Improve that marketing.
I had all sorts of things to say about this, but then I read Diane's fabulous post about marketing during these marketing-drenched times, and I realized she said it all. So go read that. And do exactly what she says!
Putting it all together
Ok, so we have ideas for new products, production planned, marketing planned and now, how the heck do we have TIME for it?
The final step is to fit it all together.
For that, I made a little booklet that will walk you through the steps of making sure everything fits on your calendar, along with a handdrawn planning calendars and lists.
You can download it for completely free, right here (right click…save as…).
Plan a Sane Holiday mini-guide
And if you need some gentle accountability and little help focusing? Join us for Holiday Sanity.
How do you do it?
Is this how you plan for the holidays? If not, are you going to try it?
Tell me in the comments.