How to make the most of holiday sales
The holidays are coming! Although It is solidly summer in my corner of the world–hot, humid weather, gardening, picnics, swimming, vacation, and flowers. The holidays seem so far off. I find it hard to think about red and green soap or even autumn scents.
No matter where you live, or what July holds for you, the holidays probably seem far off. Nevertheless, they are approaching and if you don’t plan, you will not be ready.
How do you decide when is the right time to start? You’ll know by first deciding on your product line. Next, think about how much you have to make and when you have to be ready to sell it. If you sell wholesale, you have to be ready at least two months earlier. In fact, you are probably well into your production schedule.
Get out your calendar and work backwards from your first sell date. How long will it take you to build up your supply and allow items to cure? I begin with cold process soap because it takes the longest to cure and cannot be made with little notice. In addition, if you sell candle, you know that they should cure for a minimum of two weeks. Most products you make however, require no cure time at all, so move them to later in the schedule.
Don’t forget to include ordering time in your calculations. Supplies and equipment take time to order and receive, so allowing yourself a couple of weeks will ensure that your production time is as efficient as possible. It also prevents those inevitable delays from throwing you completely off-schedule. Waiting until the end of November to order, in a panic, that special scent and red mica is too likely to result in difficulties, including the likelihood that your supplier is sold out.
If you find you are already behind, create a strategy for catching up and get to work! Use strategies that reduce cure time or rally the troops, aka friends and family, to help.
It is important to be realistic in your planning, though. It does no good to optimistically plan on producing more than you are able to actually accomplish or products you do not have time for. Instead, plan for what you can do and make it fabulous.
Yes, the holidays are coming. Beat them; don’t let them beat you.
Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.
Beth Byrne, for Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles