It’s the middle of summer, the last thing you probably want to think about is Christmas. But, if you are a small business owner and you want to have a successful period of selling over the festive season, then being prepared and knowing how best to grow your sales at this time means starting to get organised now, in July, if not earlier.
Last year, we ran an online workshop covering all aspects of this topic, with two fabulous retail experts – Joanne Griffin of the Creative Flow Collective and Catherine Erdly of Resilient Retail Club. The ladies have popped back to share five of their top tips from this session to get you started. If you’d like to dive deeper into this and really get to grips with your Christmas sales planning, then you can still access the full 90 minute workshop here.
TIP 1: Plan ahead
It’s all about planning. Especially in the run up to Christmas. Your planning should start in the summer, or even as early as April. You need to do this to plan your product range but also to reduce stress and to make sure you have all the stock you will need well in advance.
TIP 2: Start by looking backwards
Doing a really thorough review of a previous gift occasion like Christmas will help you to understand what worked well and what you can build on or if there are any areas you need to improve on.
TIP 3: Set a sales goal
It’s really important to set a goal, especially for big occasions like Christmas. You can think about what result you want and what revenue you expect to take and how you will achieve that. The best way to do that is to start with a really good sales plan that you’ve set, looking at past history but also how you are trading right now.
TIP 4: Think about when to start your product development
Again, you want to start product development early – April-June is ideal, but definitely by the summer. This way you will be able to take advantage of long lead press, getting featured in Christmas gift guides and generally feeling calmer and knowing that you’ve got your hero products ready.
TIP 5: Consider your plan for Black Friday
This is a divisive subject and a lot of small businesses hate it, but it is a big date in customers’ calendars these days, so it is best to make a plan ahead of time so you aren’t making snap decisions. In the workshop we talk about how to take part without discounting.
For more in-depth advice and guidance on planning for Christmas and growing your sales, why not check out the full workshop recording with Catherine and Joanne: