When we were only on the consumer’s side, the holidays were easy. We just had to remember a few days or weeks ahead of any given holiday, shop online, and boom! Mother’s Day, Halloween, or Christmas are taken care of.
But as a small business owner, you’re on a different timeline. You’ll need to:
- Account for when shoppers begin browsing for holiday deals (which can sometimes be months ahead of a given holiday!)
- Understand that shipping delays and supply shortages can impact when you have the supplies you need so order them as soon as you can!
- Ensure all of your holiday content – deals, photographs, sample or finished pieces – are ready for your customers’ shopping season!
Here are some general rules as you plan for your holiday content.
The 2-3 Month Rule
If there’s nothing else you take away from this blog, remember that most holidays operate on a 2-3 month rule. Here’s what this means:
- You should begin designing your content: 2-3 months prior
- You should start promoting your content: 1-2 months prior
Customers will start shopping: 1-2 months prior
Again, while that’s a general rule and is enough to get you by for most holidays, there are some exceptions:
Exception 1 & 2: Valentine’s Day and Mother's Day
Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are typically the busiest holidays for florists. They are also typically last minute order holidays. Thankfully, with sola wood flowers you can do prep for Valentine's Day (dyeing and stemming flowers, making greenery bases for bouquets, gathering vases, etc.) so when orders come in 2 weeks or less from the big day, your assembly time is drastically cut down and you can turn it around in 24 hours or less.
Exception 3: Christmas in July
There's a pretty famous movie channel that creates Christmas movies (with predictable plot lines but in an "I can't stop watching" kind of way) that has helped amplify the retail side of Christmas in July over the years. Many stores have Christmas in July sales so many consumers start thinking about Christmas shopping that early.
This is a good time to create some samples of items you want to test in the market before the winter holiday rush! You can also pull out items that didn't sell the year before and have a clearance sale.
Follow Your Craft Stores
If your favorite big box craft store has started putting out fall items in the summer, chances are it is time to start prepping your fall crafts. The same goes for any seasonal or holiday decor!
Look at Last Year's Orders
Pull up a spreadsheet of your orders from previous years. If you label each item by holiday (ie - Mother's Day bouquet, Fall wreath, Christmas wreath), you can start to see trends as to when items for each season/holiday have been ordered. It can also help you see which holidays to focus more marketing on (if sales weren't where you wanted them to be) or where more prep is needed (we all remember those crazy busy periods of time!). Use this as another guideline to plan your crafting calendar for the year.
With a little planning, you can make sure you’re ready and prepared for a productive, crafty year!
If you are more of a visual person, check these links out for downloadable graphics/calendars:
When to Make Seasonal and Holiday Crafts to Sell (by Southern Charm Wreaths)
When to List Your Holiday Craft Products for Sale (by Cutting for Business)