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Santa Claus in Summer: Are You Ready for Holiday?

7 Ways to Prepare for the Holiday Season

Do you realize that Christmas is just a little over 4 months away and Hanukkah is less than 4 months away? If you sell creative products either retail or wholesale you know that the Fall/Holiday season can be a make or break season for many businesses.

But are you ready?

Here are 7 ways to get yourself prepared this summer so you are not scrambling when it comes time to market, sell and ship whether you sell wholesale, retail or both:

1.  1.[Retail & Wholesale] Overhaul your website NOW. Get it ready with photos of your new products and a layout ready to go for when you want to start the HOLIDAY season. Jazz it up so people will want to see what you have AND place an order. With the economy the way it is and people wanting to spread out their paychecks you can start the HOLIDAY season early with a “Christmas in August” promotion so orders come in early. I have a site where I am taking orders NOW for delivery starting in October – they are lining up, paying in advance and know they will receive the merchandise in plenty of time before Christmas.

2.   2.[Wholesale] By August you should already have the Holiday line complete and already shown it to your wholesale accounts. If they have not placed their orders yet, now is the time to follow up with them. Make sure you have line sheets and order forms that are easy to follow and are worded correctly so your sales are higher – this is a critical part of your wholesale selling process. Create a Marketing Plan so your goods are in front of buyers. TIP: Set up a wholesale password protected page for wholesale only so they can have easy access and place wholesale orders online FAST! 

 

     [Retail] By the end of August you should have your line’s decisions made for the season with prototypes complete and photographed for your website and marketing materials. Obviously things can change but you will want to have a plan put together so you can start your early bird marketing plan.

3.  3.[Retail & Wholesale] Place orders for raw materials and component parts such as yarn, fabrics, buttons, notions, trims etc. for manufacturing your products, if you have not already. You will never be taken seriously in business again if you burn bridges by not being able to deliver goods ordered by stores. Remember that manufacturers will not even start a project unless all the materials are in. So if you are missing buttons or zippers – your order is held up – period.

4.  4.[Retail & Wholesale] Order shipping supplies or at least take an inventory of what you have on hand. If you ship via USPS they frequently run out of shipping supplies so place your order early. And in general manufacturers are not making up as large quantities as they have in the past – so you want to make sure your order is in. The last thing you want to have happen is run out of packaging materials and have to scramble at the last minute.

5.  5.[Retail & Wholesale] Are your systems in place? I cannot stress this enough – the key to your business is in your systems – Regardless of whether you are a one man show or a big company. Building your systems is critical to your success as a company. Systems can change, but you must have a platform from which to build. Put together your holiday system NOW with all your steps from product development; manufacturing; inventory; picking & packing; shipping & receiving – you will thank your lucky stars that you did it! Systems over everything else will give you the freedom to grow, create and thrive!

6.   6.[Retail & Wholesale] Schedule your manufacturing:  Make sure you a time line and put together a Schedule for everything that needs to be completed. If you manufacture your own products you will need to carefully schedule your time for doing production. If you outsource you need to inspect what you expect with manufacturers making sure they are on schedule with their completion of your goods and have followed your specifications correctly. Do not leave this to chance.

7.  7.[Retail & Wholesale] Put together a Holiday Mini Business Plan with your estimated sales projections, cash flow, marketing plan, pricing spread sheets and schedule. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you may have to adapt for today’s market. When you write out a plan it forces you to think things through. Remember one thought leads to another

 

For More information about this subject and much more about creating your Design 2 Market Success business we invite you to join our INNER CIRCLE which you can test drive for $1 or $7. To take a look at all the help for your creative business click here: Design2Market Success Inner Circle

 

 


  

© 2009 Jane Button International Design2Market Success

 

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Online creative product mentor Jane Button publishes "Design 2 Market News" weekly ezine packed full of with tips to help make you money from your Sewn or Knit Product, Design, Gift, or Craft Business. If you're ready to take off the training wheels and turn your creative passion into a profitable business, get your FREE tips now at www.Design2MarketSuccess.com

 

 

 

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