Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Say what?!?!

72 Days!! You’ve got to be kidding me!! 72 days to Christmas?!?!

How has that happened? That’s just slightly over 10 weeks!!

I already feel the pressure. I’m rushing to get my shop ready, get my own shopping and gift making started and get all the other things that happen this month and next together, too. My life is further complicated by a two week vacation which starts in just over a week. I need to gather and pack for that, hopefully have some great goodies baked up to take with us for the family, get things together here at home for those that aren’t going with us and prep some birthday gifts we’ll need within the next three weeks, too.

So, what needs to be done to get my online shop ready? Silly question. Everything!

As always, I am frantically trying to get more stock done and listed between working on orders and making for our personal gift needs. It’s also not too early to start an online promotional push. Folks have begun to do their holiday shopping. I can tell because I already have a number of Christmas orders coming in.

I’m trying to be prepared for a sales onslaught. (Keeping my fingers crossed for one, at least!) Since my most popular items are infant through size 2 onesie-style infant bodysuits, I’ve set in a full stock of each size in that range. As many of my items are hand-dyed, I’ve also stocked up on my dye supplies and pre-washed a number of the bodysuits so they are ready to dip as ordered. I usually maintain a reasonable stock of my fabric paints at all times but I have doubled my extra bottles as I have found they are not always available in the most popular colors as the holidays get closer.

As the holidays approach, I’ve also found the shipping materials are not always as easy to obtain. Most of my merchandise ships in the free Priority Mail envelopes and boxes available at the Post Office. My normal routine is to grab replacement envelopes and boxes as I mail shipments so that I always have a few on hand as orders come in. This time of year, I try to pick up extras on each trip to the Post Office as I have found in the past that they often run out of the most popular sizes very quickly as the general public begins shipping gifts. I’ve already purchased a healthy supply of tissue paper and ziplock bags that I use in my shipping.

I’m taking time now to print extra large supplies of my garment hang tags, cards and inserts that go in every package. I do thank you notes to each customer on special paper featuring designs compatible with my product. I have stocked up on several more packs of that paper than I normally keep on hand. I generally enclose a thank you gift with my larger orders so I have prepared a fair amount of these so I can simply grab an appropriate one and drop it in as I pack. (These are “bread & butter” items that are generally available for sale at my live shows so I need a large stock on hand anyway.)

Now, all I need is the customers! If you find any wandering around in search of something to buy, please send them my way.

I’ll leave the light on.

3 comments:

Christina of Akane Designs said...

thanks for posting this. It's a great reminder of how much time and effort it takes to get ready for the busy season!

www.akanedesigns.blogspot.com

Chrisy said...

Yes honey think they've got lost...good idea to leave the light on...hope the holiday is lovely...

RhiannonSTR said...

Ok - nothing like giving me heartburn. Ugh. The day after Christmas I say to myself - only 364 days until Christmas. I have a big family filled with little ones - makes for a 'fun' holiday season.
Rhiannon
Daily Paint Journal