Christmas is the biggest occasion at retail. It brings with it challenges and opportunities, stresses and successes. Throw in being a mother and you’re likely to be in for a busy few weeks at the end of each year.
If you are a product-based business, it’s likely that you will really feel the pressure. As a service-based business, it’s totally dependent on that service.
The best thing you can do is PREPARE. As early as possible.
As small business owners and mothers, we are naturally stretched at this time of year and we need to prepare three things:
Here are some tips that will help you to prepare all three areas of your life. It does pay off to be organised and your business, family and sanity will benefit.
If you are a small business owner, juggling many things yourself over Christmas the best thing you can do is be focused. Now is not the time to clear all your old stock. Focus on your best sellers and ideally one product that you would like to sell the most of, or a range.
You are going to be competing for attention against the likes of Amazon Prime, John Lewis, Argos as it is likely that your customers also shop at these places and these places can shout very loudly. You need to work out what your sales strategy is for the festive period.
Some things to think about…
Set yourself a target, what do you want to sell and how many is a good place to start. Can you look at what you sold last year and see if you could increase that by 10%, 20% or even 100%! A target will help you to push yourself.
Now is the time to show your loyal customers and social followers some love. It will be much easier to encourage them to purchase a Christmas gift that it will be to find a new customer. Can you do something special for them?
Get yourself seen in as many places as possible. For example, listing on multiple marketplaces will give your brand visibility and that visibility will hopefully in time convert to purchase. If you can attend local markets, they are a great way to build up a loyal customer base.
Invest in good images of your Christmas products now. It is the one thing that will make you stand out. If you have any opportunities for press, journalists will need high res. images on the day that they ask for them so be prepared.
Set your boundaries
Start by setting boundaries now, what is acceptable for you. Are you prepared to work every weekend in December or not? Do you want to make sure you have every weekend off with your family and friends? This will help you to manage stress nearer the time if you think about it now. It will also help you to manage your expectations.
Create a family tradition
If you know you are going to be busy over November and December, think about creating one family tradition that you do no matter what. Make sure you do that every year as a priority.
Buy gifts for your family from September onwards. This will mean you are more likely to support other small businesses. The cost is also spread across three months and you don’t have a mad panic at the end of the year when you are at your busiest with your business.
Place an order online for Christmas as soon as possible, just add some booze to your basket to secure your delivery slot and then add food as and when you think of it when you find yourself with a spare minute.
If you are planning to do some activities with the kids, book a couple in now. Then you don’t need to feel guilty if you forget in the middle of December because you are knee deep in customer orders and you have something to look forward together as a family.
Ask for help
If you know there will be weekends where you are going to be busy, can you make plans now with family members to help?
With orders to send, friends to see, Nativity plays to watch, plans to be made – sleep can really suffer. Know how much sleep you need to get a night and make sure you get it as a priority.
Drop the guilt. Set your boundaries and expectations and drop the guilt. Make sure you know your priorities and for everything else, just do your best.
You deserve to feel good. Book nails, hair, a swim, or trip to the cinema – something for you. BUT don’t worry if you don’t have the same amount time for yourself in December. You are focusing on business and family – that’s fine.
Like you have time for a journal (!) BUT say to yourself each night and / or morning three things you are grateful for. It will help you gain perspective when you are feeling the pressure.
We would love to know how you get ready for the Christmas season. Please share your tips with us over on our networks @allbymamanetwork on Instagram and ALL by MAMA Network on Facebook.
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