Episode 060: How to Achieve the Ideal December in your Handmade Business

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I know how awesome it is to have a handmade business holiday season that is as stress-free as possible but also highly, highly profitable because you were prepared. I'm going to help you accomplish that ideal December through my unSLUMP guide. | The Merriweather Council Blog

handmade business holiday seasons tips

AHH it’s my favorite time of year! The time of year when we get to start strategizing for the holiday season!

In this episode, we are going to chat about your ideal December as a handmade business owner. What does that look like and how do you get there?

As you know, December is full of gift-giving holidays. December can be a hugely profitable time for product sellers. It can be hugely profitable for you as well, if you know how to prepare for it and how to take advantage of it.

the ideal situation

Basically, in December your ideal situation is that you’re making several sales a day. You’re hitting your goals and you are making the sales you want to make. You are working out orders with customers quickly, closing deals quickly, and once you get those orders you’re able to turn them around fast and with ease. You have your work space very nicely organized. Things are streamlined in your process online and offline. You have your social media accounts working for you with content going out daily. You are still able to interact with people as you see fit. You are able to send emails to your customers through your email list without a lot of struggle.

Everything is working rather nicely. Things are streamlined and things are going off without a hitch. Customers are communicating important details about their orders with you without you having to follow-up with them a hundred times. Things are just looking really, really good. Things are feeling really good. Your process is down. Your space is as organized as it could possibly be. Your turnaround times are solid. You’re getting orders out in time. Things are arriving as they should be, on schedule.

I believe that that is what your ideal situation looks like as a maker in business in December.

You’re making the sales you want to make and you’re hitting your sales goals. You’re able to produce those orders and work through that order queue without a lot of struggle. In addition to that, your outbound marketing is trucking along. You know what you’re saying. You have all of your accounts pushing out relevant and seasonal content daily without a lot of struggle day to day, right?

frazzled, stressed, and unplanned

I believe that that is what your ideal situation looks like. That is what mine would look like; rather than being frazzled and stressed out and at the last minute having to call people in to help me. Unplanned this, unplanned that. Missing important dates to send emails to my list, forgetting to update something or whatever. Things happen. My ideal situation looks like those things that happen, happening a lot less. All the things I have control over, I have actual control over. Saying that you have control over something and then actually controlling it are two different things.

enjoy the holiday season

That ideal December is what I want for you, it is what I want for me, it is what I want for all of us this year. Holiday 2018 (whether it’s your first holiday season, your third, fourth, fifth holiday season, whatever the case may be): I want it to be hassle-free and stress-free as much as possible for you as a business owner. I also want you to be able to enjoy your own friends and family, your own life, and the things you personally love about the month of December.

For me, I love to go home to New York and be with my family, visit the Christmas tree in Rockafeller Center and see friends I otherwise don’t see very often. Those are things I love to do. In my ideal December, because I have gotten my business situation to that ideal place I described, I am more able to find the time. Not only time to do those things I love to do in my personal life, but actually enjoy them. To have the presence of mind to be in the moment, doing the things I love, without worrying so much about what’s happening with my orders or whatever in my business. I’ve planned for this and because of that I can do both. I can have my ideal business December and my ideal personal December if I plan for it, which is exactly what I want to help you do.

If you are reading this post today you are very likely a handmade business owner. You likely want that ideal December I described, both personally and professionally. I am going to help you get there.

holidays and shopping

I talk about this every year: If you can use June, July, August, and September to your advantage by prepping for October, November, and December, you can have the ideal personal and professional December, okay?

It’s so, so important that you hear this message now, in June. Black Friday is the day that your average American person begins thinking about buying gifts for holiday for their friends and family. Of course, there are some very well-prepared people who start thinking about this much earlier. But, for most people, the impetus to begin holiday preparation and shopping for the vast majority of people on their list is at least Black Friday. That’s the soonest, okay?

Then of course, Thanksgiving is the most traveled for holiday in America. It’s non-religious, it’s just an American holiday, ALL Americans could be celebrating it so lots of people travel for it. A lot of people are still out and about traveling and celebrating with their family and friends the Saturday following Thanksgiving. That whole weekend, while it is traditionally a very high-volume shopping weekend, people might still be traveling so they’re not at their home computer or in their office. They’re not in their regular schedule, so they might not be doing their online shopping quite as heavily until that Monday or Tuesday. That is why we have that little thing called Cyber Monday. Of course, people shop from their phones. It doesn’t matter where they are geographically but I’m just saying this is the stuff you want to consider. The average person’s not really thinking about it till at least Black Friday. Then they might not even really be thinking about it till the following Monday or Tuesday or even later.

Your very important holiday timeline

Let’s put it this way: the average American buyer does not truly get into purchasing gifts for the vast majority of people on their list until at least Black Friday. This year it is November 23rd.

Add to that then, the average shop owner is probably going to turn off their ordering potential somewhere between the 10th and the 14th of December. You need a couple days at least, right, to make stuff. Then you have to leave a few days to actually have it going through the mail and arriving probably before the holiday, right? Let’s say you want to have all your orders in the mail by the 19th of December. That gives them four-ish, five-ish days to arrive to domestic locations. Let’s say the 18th is the last day we’re shipping.

You need four days or five days to actually turn around the orders you received, which is your processing time. This brings us up to the 11th or the 12th of December, depending on if you include weekends in your processing time. I’m sure at that point of time of the year you do. Let’s say the 12th is the last day that you’ll take orders so that you can turn them around and put them in the mail by the 18th so they can get to their domestic locations by Christmas. That means you’ve got 12 days in December and 7 days in November. That’s a total of 19 days, 19 actual days, not business days. 19 days between when the average American buyer begins thinking about purchasing for Christmas and when you, as a hand-made business owner, likely need to turn off ordering in your shop. This will allow you to turn those orders around, to process them, and then put them in the mail and let the UPS do there job. 19 days. You know how quickly those 19 days are going to go when you’re in them? So quickly.

19 days on auto-pilot

Once those 19 days roll around you’ll want to be on auto-pilot. Make, ship, make, ship. Those are the only things you should be doing in real-time at that particular juncture of the year. Everything else can be done ahead of time. The only things you should be doing during those 19 days are filling orders and putting them in the mail. That is it. If you’re drafting emails on December 9th, you’re doing it wrong, okay?

I’m going to help you figure out exactly what to do, when exactly to do it, and get it done ahead of time so that you can be professionally and personally joyful in December. I am so excited to do that.

That is all going to happen through my unSLUMP guide, my seven-step process for getting you to the holidays through the summer.

The benefits of utilizing the unSLUMP

1. Get fully prepped for your best and most profitable holiday season yet. No stone un-turned. Learn from my wins and losses over the past 7 years.

2. Have positive focus in the summer because it can be really, really stressful. There can be a lot of negative feelings and emotions for sellers in the summertime, because things do tend to slow down a lot. I know, intimately, how difficult it is, and how stressful it is to feel like your business is just shriveling up in the summertime.

On the flip side, I also know how daunting it is when things do start to pick up again and you’re not prepared for it. I know how annoying it is to be like, “I had so much time three months ago that I could have used better to prepare for this now, so that I could do more now, when it matters, when there is a profitable opportunity.” I know how bad that feels, to be sitting in a space where there are opportunities that you can’t take advantage of because you just don’t have the capacity, because you didn’t prepare for it.

Eventually I figured it out.

have a stress-free holiday season with my unslump guide

I know how awesome it is to have a holiday season that is as stress-free as possible but also highly, highly profitable because you were prepared. From all ends of the spectrum, I get this, and I want to help you have that ideal December that we spoke about. That’s going to happen. The way that I’m going to help you accomplish it is through my unSLUMP guide, which is going to help you prep and prepare for your most profitable holiday season that’s possible for you. It’s going to help you avoid a lot of those downfalls that come up for sellers in the summer.

If you really want to be honest about this, the cost of putting off your holiday preparation till September or October is that you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities that come up in the summer relevant to Christmas. You put yourself at risk as a business owner for doom and gloom in the summer. That is probably the most costly thing that could happen to us as a business owner. You are the sole proprietor, most likely, of your business and your business relies on you. If you are not in a positive state, then your business can’t be either. With the unSLUMP, we’re going to have positive focus through the summer and we’re going to get to the holiday season as prepared as possible. It’s going to be magical and amazing. I really hope you’ll gift yourself that opportunity.

the unslump details

I have so many students who love this program. I honestly feel like it’s some of my best work so I’m so excited to share it with you. The updated 2018 version of the unSLUMP is available now for you to download, print out and get working on.

You’re going to use this work and guidebook to get through the summer and through the holidays with ease, less tension, and organization. We’re just going to work through the seven steps of my process, which include promotion, merchandising, logistics, updates and upgrades and many other things. Of course, unSLUMP is an acronym. Get all the details on the full program here.

This, I promise you, is going to make a huge difference to your holiday season if you can start ahead of time.

If you start now, you cannot go wrong. I’m so excited to help you get there, and I’m so excited to see what happens this year, holiday 2018. I feel it’s going to be a good one. It’s going to be a profitable one for all of us. Let’s get started!

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Oh, hi! Welcome to The Merriweather Council. I’m Danielle and I am a maker in business and mentor to other makers in business. I teach you how to turn your crafty tendencies into profits!

Oh, I’m also really into crafts, boy bands + iced coffee. Email me anytime to say hello or send cute Backstreet Boy videos or dog pictures .. or whatever! danielle (at) merriweathercouncil.com Thanks for stopping by.

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