The holidays are fast approaching and you however big or small your business is – they’re a big deal. This time of the year is the ideal time to be selling as many products as you possibly can, but as a small brand it’s not always easy to keep up with the pace – and it can also be very disappointing if you don’t get as many orders as you hoped for.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Caroline and I run the Swedish jewelry brand Caroline Hjerpe. I’m also Tictail’s new ambassador and here to help all of you out there with online shops! For that reason, I wanted to share some of my learnings from last year. Here goes!
For me, last holiday season was kind of hard to keep up with. My business was still small (I only started my Tictail back in April 2014) and I was not used to getting that many orders, but during December I got a lot more orders than any other time of the year. I was unsure of how to keep up with the orders I got, so here are a few tips if it’s all new to you.
1. Plan your time
Make a schedule on when to do what. For example – all the things that are a part of your packaging – like boxes, bags, business cards etc. – try to get all this ready ahead so that it won’t be an extra thing to do when you feel stressed out.
2. Stock up on materials
Make sure you have enough materials and all the things you might need, so that you won’t have to solve an extra problem of getting everything in time if time is running out. For me – this would probably be a list of silver, gold, solder, gemstones, jars, bags, stickers, business cards, envelopes and so on.
3. Set a “last day to order” date
Set a “last day to order” date and let your customers know about it by sending a newsletter and communicating this on your social media channels. This is important so that you don’t get to much to do last minute (and end up with disappointed customers) – you need time to make/pack/set up your products + time for shipping. My “last day to order” last year was December 15th, but this year it will probably be December 12th – this leaves me 9 days to get the last orders ready and shipped.
4. Start fresh
Ultimately you have to “clean up” your order list in November, so that you have time to make the orders as they get in when it gets busy. December is one of those months that are very stressful for many small businesses and makers, and it’s really important for you that you can keep up (and stay sane) during this time. Think about how awesome it is to have a lot to do but don’t forget to plan your time wisely!
5. Discount and advertise
If you don’t have that many orders but want more – create a discount, or maybe a package deal. You will absolutely get more orders if you have a discount on your products; people are buying lots of gifts during the holidays times and will surely appreciate lower prices. Also – make sure to advertise your products more than usual – Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, maybe even Google AdWords or whatever might work for you. Get your full focus on getting your products out on social media for the world to see them!
6. Spice it up
Think about if there is anything you can do to “spice things up” a bit. Maybe some different color on your box/bag/ribbon? Maybe some extra nice packaging? Maybe you can include a special holiday greeting card? Anything that will make your customers extra happy might actually get you more orders. Last year, the only thing I did was change the ribbon I have on my jars to a red colored one. It looked so much nicer!