Today is the day! If you’re signed up for the Etsy Success Newsletter, you’ll soon receive all of your instructions for week one of this year’s Holiday Boot Camp. If you follow along with me, we’ll work together to have the most fruitful holiday ever and hone the small business skills that will bring us success in 2012.
Let’s start off by making a promise and a plan. I encourage you to use your social networks (like Twitter or Facebook) or your personal blog to share a promise with your friends, fans and buyers. How do you want to use your Etsy offerings to contribute to their holiday happiness? Are you dedicated to launching new products that would make wonderful gifts? Are you dedicated to providing the best customer service this season? Let them know how you plan to rock the holidays and ask them for their support!
And now for the plan! I’ve teamed up with Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears from The Boss of You (one of my favorite small business books) to come up with a holiday budget worksheet. The budget has been organized to help you determine the overall costs and income opportunities for increased sales during the holiday season. Lauren and Emira want to help you manage and rein in some increased holiday costs by making sure you account for a few things like:
- Offering customers express shipping options at higher rates so you aren’t left paying for rush shipping/mailing.
- Being clear about order cut-off dates so that you aren’t paying too much for help to rush through last-minute orders to meet the demand.
- Offering custom wrapping as a separately paid add-on to help cover some of your costs.
Next, I’d love to hear your personal and professional goals for growth this season. It’s important to set more than just financial goals! This is an exciting time in a small business’s year, and we should use it to develop skills that will strengthen our sales all year round. I’ve started a thread in the Etsy Success Team, so chime in and let’s share and support one another.
Last year many of you found support through your boot camp buddy, so this is one element I definitely wanted to bring back. I encourage you to connect with an Etsy seller you’ve already met (virtually or in person) or to reach out to a member of an Etsy Team. If you’re new or just not connected yet, I’ve started another forum thread for Etsy sellers looking for the right buddy.
Your first buddy task is to give your buddy an idea of where your business is and where you see yourself headed. Get to know each other.
There are a few other tasks I’ve asked you to complete this week. I encourage you to print out this to-do list and check them off as you go.
I’ll be hanging out in the Etsy Success Forum, so feel free to let us all know if you need a hand. We’re in this boot camp together!