Craft Focus - October/November 2022 (Issue 93)

82 Festive sales If you have a small business that sells products – either online, offline or a mixture of both, this is the time of year that you’ve been waiting for. However, with the cost of living crisis squarely on everyone’s mind, you may be wondering how you can sell to today’s customer. The key with the final quarter of the year (October to December) is that the focus must be squarely on growing sales, and nothing else. If there’s a long awaited website overhaul to undertake, a brand refresh or even a change of shipping partner – park that until the New Year and focus entirely on customers’ needs for a magical Christmas. If you’ve had a turbulent summer and autumn and have begun to lose motivation, remember that there’s still everything left to play for. Many product businesses receive over 50 per cent of their entire year’s sales in the final six weeks in the run up to Christmas. Preparation is always important for ensuring a successful festive selling season but even more so this year. Start your preparation now by following these tips below to ensure that your Christmas sales take off with a bang. MAKE A PLAN Preparation means planning and a sales plan is the foundation to growing sales during the festive season. Don’t have a sales plan? Now is the time to sit down and decide what you want to aim for in this all-important quarter. Once you have an overall target, break it down by month, or even week. Look at how you expect your sales to be split by sales channel. The more that you can set yourself clear, attainable goals, the more you and your team will be motivated to hit them. Not only that, but having a clear plan will allow you to check your capacity and the support you have in your team. It’s far better to figure out now that you’ll need extra people, or space, or packaging than to realise that in the middle of the rush. In terms of how you set your targets, my advice is to be conservative. I don’t believe that this is the year to be bullish when it comes to sales targets. With the customer thinking carefully about all non-essential spending, it’s hard to see a scenario where Christmas spending is up on last year. You want to set a realistic target based on how you are currently trading against last year. If in doubt, keep your sales targets on the lower side to avoid over committing to stock or staff. KNOW YOUR HERO PRODUCTS Know your heroes – your best sellers, your most giftable products and remember Wondering how to sell more at Christmas in 2022? Catherine Erdly, founder of The Resilient Retail Club shares her inside knowledge