Do the busy fall/winter seasons sneak up on you year-after-year? It may be simply due to a little lack of preparation on your part.
Ramp up now by getting organized, making decisions and doing a little research. From finding happy solutions for the demands of family, to hiring seasonal help, there are many things you can do now to make this season productive, organized and profitable.
Study the Trends Now.
It’s time to order your supplies, why not try something new this season? Haute holiday hues that are anything but conventional will make your products stand out from the ho-hum typical holiday décor and gift items.
The pros at HGTV suggest that designers and crafters get away from the boring old combos and add a bit of holiday pop to their designs. Try pairing hot pink with lime green, red and white. Customers who need something with a more masculine feel, yet not over-the-top, will enjoy a combination of violet, brown, bronze and white. And work with silver or ivory accents on parchment to add elegance to a simple design.
Get insanely organized on the personal front.
Don’t let your own holiday fun take a backseat to business. Think ahead to determine the things that are most important to you about the fall and winter seasons and prepare what you can now. If you have a tradition of sending out holiday cards, write them out this week. Organize your menus and food shopping lists, and enjoy a bit of holiday cheer in September when you set out to do some of your gift shopping (and wrapping) early.
Speed up production.
Give thought to the past. What interruptions have kept you from achieving a good rhythm as you handcraft your wares or perform other tasks? Do the kids pop in frequently to demand your attention? What about when you’ve just gotten things moving, only to realize that it’s time to go cook dinner?
Remember, there are exceptions to every rule. If you pride yourself on providing a nutritional spread for your family each night, you don’t necessarily have to prepare it yourself. Subscribe to a meal kit delivery service for a couple of months. Think about hiring a high school playmate for the kids a few hours each day after school, and yes, a temporary housecleaning service isn’t out of the question either! Do your research now so you can put your plan into action without breaking a sweat.
Don’t let marketing stand in the way of progress.
Social media posts, updated website content, blog posts, videos, email blasts—marketing must go on! The messages you send out through your different marketing channels will likely change throughout the season. While November might be dedicated to getting people ready for the holidays, December will be your time to remind people about last-minute gift ideas and deadlines for holiday orders.
Spend a couple of hours a day to get your content ready to go now and load it up in your content managers now.
Keep your focus on the money-making activities.
While time spent in social media, answering emails, and picking up the phone is certainly critical to your success, you don’t have to be the one seeing to these details. Ask yourself, is this a money-making activity? If it’s not, then hire someone to do it for you. Even the inventory production can most likely be done by someone other than yourself.
If you believe that you can’t afford help, spend two or three days tracking your time on a notebook or in a spreadsheet. When you take notice of all of the non-revenue producing chores you engage in, it will shock you into action!
Take a break.
If you’ve had a busy summer and feel even the slightest bit worn down, rest up now! Don’t take your fatigue with you into the busy season; it’s counter-productive. Adding more activity and stress on top of your current lack of energy can easily jeopardize your immune system. Arrange a weekend away with no responsibilities attached. Keep it simple, why add the stress of travel? Check into a bed and breakfast just an hour or two away or go visit a friend, asking to use their guestroom as a refuge for peace!