Any holiday period can be an added pressure but for the business crafter wintertime is often the busiest time of year.
However there is no reason why you can’t keep calm this winter with six simple tips on how you might manage your craft business during the holidays.
To start with give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, not everyone can do what you do without their head exploding! Then have a look at our helpful tips to keep you on top of
Start as early as you can to let your fans/customers know that they need to start pre-ordering for Christmas to avoid disappointment. It doesn’t hurt to remind them that quality handmade goods take time to make! An Autumn / Winter sale with a discount incentive can also create a buzz and drive traffic and potential sales over to your page.
Start by working out an ‘end’ date; when you want to have all orders in and finished by. Don’t schedule your deadline too close to the holidays and allow for distractions that holiday periods bring that may reduce your productivity (including what days and times you’ll be shopping, cooking or wrapping presents).
Why not use the last postage date before Christmas and then give yourself a week before that date so that you can be sure that any orders you have will be sent out in time. By setting an end date you can then work out exactly how many hours you will be ABLE to work (in-between juggling other things) so you can start my preparation plans.
3. Preparation and Prioritisation:
Plan out your time carefully! You know how many hours you now have and hopefully you will have begun to get some pre-orders. If you know that it takes you roughly 2-3 hours to make a character hat, 4 hours to make a bag and 3 days to make a blanket and you have 5 hats, 2 bags and 1 blanket to make before your deadline then you can now minus this from your total hours.
Make sure you do not overstretch yourself and remember to CLOSE your order book when you have no time left. It’s not worth running yourself ragged trying to fulfil orders that you might not be able to send out in time because you have taken too much work on. This is where the marketing becomes important, if you have told your fans/customers that they need to start pre-ordering then hopefully no one will end up disappointed. If you do have remaining time after making up all your pre-orders, it doesn’t hurt to make up a bit of stock.
If certain items have been popular this year than make up some stock whenever you get a bit of spare time in the run up to the holidays – you will thank yourself later when you are working on other orders or get a last minute request.
5. Keeping your customers:
It’s tempting when you are busy just to enter into a work frenzied bubble where you just concentrate on getting your products crocheted. Yet it’s important to have an active presence on your social media of choice to keep the interest of your fans/customers. If you can try to set aside at least 30 minutes for social media updates. If not and you know you are going to be busy then why not schedule posts, using social media scheduling apps, so that fans/customers know you are still ‘around’.
Also why not take this opportunity to show your appreciation to customers by sending out online holiday cards with a short holiday blessing or a Christmas newsletter, everyone loves that personal touch! You can also use the opportunity to tell them about January Sales or discounts / new product lines for the following year.
6. Slowing Down:
It’s only natural that when everyone has finished their Christmas shopping that things will begin to slow down a little. This is your chance to switch off from business mode, de-stress, and enjoy some time with family and loved ones! Everyone needs a bit of time to rest and recuperate and when it’s time to start again you will feel refreshed and ready to go!
Do you have any more top tips for managing a crafty business during a holiday season? Let us know below, we'd love to hear from EWE!