It’s only October – but stores nationwide are already preparing for the holidays. It may seem a bit too early… But as a self-employed designer and maker, it’s never too early to set your holiday goals.
In fact, entrepreneurs in the design industry have much to look forward to with the holidays. What’s there to anticipate aside from higher sales and more orders to ship out?
For one thing, you can look forward to building your brand’s awareness. Better website traffic, more social media followers. Not to mention, making great first impressions on prospective customers.
But how do you yield true success during the holidays?
Here’s everything you need to know about creating and achieving your holiday goals!
Analyze Your Success from Last Holiday Season
No holiday season is ever the same. But when setting holiday goals, it helps to look at your performance from the previous year.
You’ll want to pull up your sales sheets and order forms and see how much you actually pulled in. Look to see what you made before business expenses and which items were a hit among your customers.
Take the locations of your holiday customers into consideration. What is the ratio of shipments made out compared to the number of in-house sales you made? Knowing this will not only help you stock up on enough shipping supplies. It’ll help you decide where to focus your marketing efforts.
And speaking of marketing… What was your website traffic like last year in November and December? And what types of marketing techniques did you implement?
Your performance last holiday season is not an indication of how you’ll perform this year. But it can provide a telling forecast of how you’ll perform if you prepare thoroughly.
Set & Prioritize Your Holiday Goals
Not only should you base your goals on last year’s performance. You should also take your current business numbers into account. Chances are you’ve built your customer base since last year… and going into the holidays this year, you’re stronger than ever.
What are your sales-driven goals for the upcoming holiday season? How much more can you realistically make based on last year’s sales? You should also base this off of the customer base you have going into November and December.
The holidays are an opportunity for people to invest in new decor and design pieces. So, it’s important to research what’s currently trending in the industry. You can focus on recreating popular products from the previous year. But now is also a good time to start brainstorming new product ideas!
Going into the holidays with a strong line of products is key. But you may need to prioritize your marketing efforts to really drive interest in your brand.
Once you have envisioned and laid out your goals, it’s time to start working towards them. Don’t procrastinate on designing and building your holiday inventory. Start budgeting and ordering all the materials you’ll need… from the products themselves to your shipping and packing supplies.
Now is also a good time to start mapping out your marketing plan. When will you start to market for the holidays? Which mediums will you use (Instagram, Facebook, blog posts, etc.)?
If you have a brick-and-mortar for your business, will you decorate the storefront? Will you showcase your work in upcoming local festivals or small business days?
If you operate an online store, what will you do to stand out? Not only do you want to outpace your competition online. You’ll also want to compete with local designers and makers in your area.
Lastly, what will you do to leave a lasting impression on this year’s holiday customers? For example, you could offer custom packing and decoration services. That way, your customers don’t have to worry about packing the gifts themselves.
And since the holidays are all about giving, you could also donate your products or raise money for a cause.
Don’t Wait! Start Preparing for the Holidays Now
To consumers, the holidays still feel far within reach. But as an entrepreneur, now is the time to work towards creating and achieving your holiday goals.
We wish you much success this upcoming holiday season! To make this holiday season a successful one, check out our blog for more tips and ideas!