Original post : 8 Aug 2013

Reindeers in a heat wave - time to think about Christmas

by Bronagh

As the sun beat down over the past couple of weeks and my hands were slipping off the keyboard most of my work (outside pulling content together for the full Planet Handmade site) had a distinctly wintery feel.

Whether I was writing, tech editing or co-ordinating jewellery projects, the focus was on the colder months – there were warm jumpers, fair isle, Halloween themed objects and articles on Christmas sales. But that’s par for the course if you work in the craft sector or journalism (or both) and it serves as a reminder for everyone with a business producing handmade items.

Have you started your Christmas planning yet? Forget the people who moan that Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier each year, planning well ahead is essential. Magazines are already starting to put together holiday season content so you need to be on the look out for opportunities to promote your work.

And that doesn’t just mean novelty Christmas items. Take a good look at what you make and sell – it’s likely that most of it is suitable for gifts. So take the time now to think about how you might edit your product descriptions to make sure you capture the gift market and if you want to do any Christmas specials.

It is also the time to think about whether you want to do gift vouchers and if you are planning to offer a gift wrapping service. You may want to invest in branded vouchers or gift tags which may require printing. If you plan now you can ensure you get the best price for these jobs rather than spending extra for a rush job in November.

If you are offering gift wrapping or even just using your normal packaging, remember that this will be seen by new customers – the recipients of the gifts – so you want any tags, stickers, boxes or bags to be up to date, smart and in keeping with your brand. So make sure you have enough in stock for all the sales you hope to make. You don’t want to be running around one the last day of postage trying to find matching wrapping paper.

And don’t forget to check when the last day you can post items is.

Hopefully you are reading this with the sun blazing down – if you are in the UK and it’s snowing, well either we are having more freak weather or you need to move pretty fast to achieve any of the above.

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