It's September, it's still Summer. I was swimming in the sea and too hot in shorts and a t-shirt just yesterday, but here I am, realising that it's now 100 days until Christmas. On a personal note, this isn't a big deal to me at all. In a business sense, this is a huge deal. I know what's up ahead, and I know I need to start getting my small business ready for the Christmas season. You won't see designing on here, as that has been done for months but I thought I'd share Three Things I'm Doing To Prepare for Christmas.
Creating a calendar of order deadlines for stock.
To help avoid major cashflow issues in my small business, I tend to order my products in waves. I like to know when the last dates are that I can get these orders in to be able to guarantee Christmas delivery. I create a document that lists the products I sell and when I would have to get any last deliveries in so I have it to hand and don't have to dig through supplier info to find their lead times. I also try make sure to take into account any holiday closures with the suppliers I work with. Once I've set these last dates I write prompts in my diary to remind myself of those deadlines so I can check stock and see if I need to reorder or if I've got enough to last me the season.
Finishing off booking any Christmas events.
For anyone who is thinking of applying to sell at any Christmas events now is the time to get your applications in. In fact, for some, applications have already closed and organisers are busy behind the scenes making decisions about who will be selling at their markets. I like to get this all done and confirmed ASAP so I can plan around it. It's also a good excuse to make sure your shop is looking tip top and to give you an opportunity to work on your "elevator pitch".
Updating shop information with last order dates for Christmas delivery.
I always use the Royal Mail last delivery dates as a starting point, but I prefer to add on a few days to that. I have tried before to use the Royal Mail dates but they can sometimes get a little behind during the rush, especially with more and more people shopping online each year. I also don't want to be packing up orders til the very last minute or disappointing customers when their items take longer to arrive. I promised I will give myself a break this Christmas. I'm going to be setting my last delivery dates and making sure to post them up on any sites I sell on.
Do you have a small business? How are you preparing for Christmas?