Are those jingle bells I hear in the distance? The holiday season is nearly upon us, and as micro-business owners, it's our time to shine. We may not have a battalion of elves at our disposal, but we've got grit, creativity, and a community that supports small. So, dust off your holiday plans and brew a fresh pot of coffee - we're about to deep-dive into holiday ramp-up strategies tailored for us.
Inventory Planning: Take time to analyze the products that performed best during previous holiday seasons. What was it about these products that appealed to your customer base? Was it the price point, the design, or simply the novelty factor? Once you have this information, align it with current market trends. What are consumers buying this year? How can you adapt your products to match these trends? From here, you can create an inventory that's poised to sell. If you're worried about storage, consider drop-shipping or partnering with a fulfillment center to help handle the extra inventory. We are start getting Holiday orders from stockists starting in September. Which means in July we need to make sure we have the inventory for the holidays! Which seems crazy early, but the USPS starts getting holiday delays starting in October! Which means if you're ordering supplies in October for the next two months, its gonna take a while to arrive. Take advantage of July 4th sales and order your inventory early.
Creative Discounts: Traditional discounts can hurt the bottom line of a micro-business, but customers still expect some sort of special deal during the holiday season. I am a staunch believer of never offering discounts or sales. Frankly I just can afford them, the discounts make our business unprofitable and in the long run can cheapen your brand. For markets around the holidays I will offer a by X get X. Usually I offer buy 4 large candles get a few dollars off. I never offer a discount on just one item, always more than 2 items, that way it makes the customer buy more and cut into your profit less.
Shipping: The holiday season is notorious for shipping delays, so it's crucial to manage your customers' expectations from the get-go. Clearly communicate your 'order by' dates to ensure that gifts arrive on time. If possible, offer a variety of shipping options - regular, express, and even local pick-up for customers near your area. Regularly update your customers about the status of their order, and always be transparent about any potential delays.
Online Presence: Your website and social media platforms are extensions of your business. Decorate them with holiday cheer to draw customers in and set the festive mood. You could also use these platforms to share your holiday preparations and recommendations, behind-the-scenes peeks at your product creation process, or even a countdown to your holiday sale. This not only drives engagement but also builds anticipation for your holiday offerings.
Customer Service: Excellent customer service is about building a relationship with your customers. Personalize their shopping experience by offering gift recommendations, answering questions about products promptly, or simply engaging them in light-hearted holiday conversation. Use social media, email, and even old-fashioned phone calls to make your customers feel valued and appreciated.
Self-care: Amid the holiday rush, remember to take care of yourself. Plan your schedule carefully to ensure you have time to relax and enjoy the season. Remember, running a micro-business is a marathon, not a sprint. We are usually working and shipping order up until Christmas Eve! The holidays are a wonderful time for sales and its go-go-go all the time, and it's exhausting trying to keep up. Remember it's okay to take a break, enjoy a hot cocoa by the fireplace, or simply enjoy the festive lights around your neighborhood. You've earned it!
It's our chance to connect with our community, celebrate our achievements, and spread joy through our unique offerings. Take it one day at a time, don't be afraid to get creative, and remember to enjoy the process. Here's to a successful and joyous holiday season.
Please note that the information contained within this blog is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to replace professional counsel. We encourage readers to consult with a qualified professional or legal advisor for specific advice tailored to their unique circumstances. Ghost Poppy assumes no responsibility for any actions taken based on the content of this blog.