For small businesses, the holidays can be an overwhelming, stressful time. It’s often the biggest sales opportunity of the year for retail-based businesses, and there is a lot of pressure to capitalise on the season under normal circumstances.
Add to that you’re running a resin business, so you’re also creating all of the pieces you’re selling - wow that’s a lot of pressure and extra workload!
Of course, in 2021 this is magnified significantly as businesses have persevered through a challenging year due to the Coronavirus pandemic including forced store closures and mass uncertainty. Now the world is opening back up, Christmas is set to be busier than ever before.
What can – and should – small businesses do to survive the 2021 Festive season and thrive?
Here are some tips to help…
Be patient with customers new and old:
New customers might not understand that creating with resin takes time. You can set their expectations by creating some social media posts which explain this to add into the mix of your Festive content. Explaining the effort and time that can go into your work will not only set their expectations with how long their orders will take to make and then be with them, but will also help explain the pricing you set.
People who have purchased from you in the past may not factor in how much extra work you may have on at this time of year. You can set their expectations with order time frame posts, explain to your audience that you will be experiencing higher numbers of orders before Christmas and so to make sure they allow for this extra time when ordering.
Bespoke or pre-made stock:
During the year you might run a business that relies on individual personal orders that you make bespoke to your customers needs, which is great. But to save time when the rush hits, maybe you could also include some Festive inspired lines that you can make in bulk, which you can then advertise to your audience.
You’ll then cut down on the time it takes to make bulk orders, the different materials you need to buy in for this and also you’ll have some stock ready to go and post out to people at a moments notice, making the shopping experience quicker for them.
The great thing about resin is your work isn’t perishable, if you don’t sell it this Christmas, maybe do a special sale on Boxing Day, or save it to sell again next year.
Set an end date for Christmas deliveries:
Work out, and then let your audience know when the last date for orders will be in advance, keep sharing this up till this date. Share it on your feed, grid, stories, basically shout it from the rooftops and try to make it as obvious as possible. This will then help to avoid the messages two days before Christmas Day, when you might actually get to put your feet up, asking if you can make an order in time for Christmas!
Embrace your online presence:
We know the world is opening back up, and Christmas Fairs, Gift fairs and other events are shooting up again. But be realistic with yourself, your capabilities and your stock levels. Just because they are back on, doesn’t mean it’s the only way to sell your work, online still plays a huge role in Christmas sales, and people who are returning to normal life are finding they are busier than ever ,maybe even too busy to hit the shops, but not too busy to scroll through social media!
Offer these busy people who haven’t got time to shop in person bespoke personal shopping experiences, try to make it easy, quick and simple for them to order online from you and then let people know you have the key to save busy people this Christmas and help them shop in less time but still get the perfect gifts for their loved ones.
Watch out for burnout:
The holidays are a busy and stressful time. Go into the season with realistic goals and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Set yourself an order limit, and be realistic with that limit and most importantly - stick to it!
It can be too easy to go past these limits for friends, family or special customers who always buy from you, but don’t. They might miss out this year, you might miss out on that sale, but when next year comes they will be the first to contact you about Christmas orders and they will do this well ahead of time.
A little bit of being oversubscribed is actually a good thing, if you have a limit and you stick to this, the customers that miss out on orders because of this limit will definitely get FOMO and potentially think more highly of your work than they might otherwise do.
Also you’ll create better work if you don’t reach burnout. Holding back like this will give you the space to put more energy into the work you have to create, it will turn out better and you’ll be able to truly give the customers that have ordered in time the best service ever.
Take regular breaks:
Being creative is a great trait to have, but it can sometimes be all consuming! You know what we mean, you start creating in the morning, then when you look up at the clock it’s suddenly dark outside and you haven’t even stopped to eat!
Owning your own small business often also means working every day of the week, especially at this time of year. You need to take breaks, you need to get outside in the daylight.
Set a timer, or in-between starting a new project, step away from your work table, go outside into the garden, outside for a 10 minute walk and while you do, while your respirator is off your face have a drink and try to get plenty of fluids throughout the day.
Being in your craft room/workshop for 12+ hours a day is not healthy and will sap your energy, you need your energy high to work as hard as you have to.
Leverage Your Network:
During stressful times, it’s important to know you’re a part of a community. Spend time out of your Craft Room with other people, if that’s having dinner with your family do it, going for a coffee break with a friend go for it, even just pop onto the Craft Resin Facebook Community group for 10 minutes and talk to others.
There’s power in connecting and talking to others that will give you increased energy again to face your workload.
In summary, you are running a small business and it’s great to be busy as a business at this time of year, but you’re also a human being, and you need to look after yourself while you do.
The more you look after yourself this festive Season, the better your work and customer experience will be, no one wants to order from a burned out, tired, angry business owner, so don’t become one!
BTW, if this is your first Christmas period as a small business owner, you’ve got this, you can do this, don’t be so hard on yourself - you’re doing a great job! Use your first Festive season as a steep learning curve, take notes and factor in the learning curves into next years season.
There are always lessons to learn in business, you’re not failing this Festive season, you’re growing!
Team Craft Resin