“Gifting products will not only give Christmas a boost but January, too.”
accept within a given time frame, which is something to consider” explains Michelle.
“Another downside of selling bespoke products is the room for error. Any spelling mistakes or engraving that isn’t of a high enough standard wastes your product. Luckily this isn’t common, but there is still a cost implication when it does happen.”
Be prepared to rope in family and friends to help you get everything done in time. If it’s just you making on your own, it can also be worth taking on staff to help with packing and posting. Remember, while the idea that pops in to your head in December Monique agrees that preparation is key to maximising festive sales. “Adding a personal message to a piece is a relatively simple thing, but creating a whole new design can be a drawn-out process and it’s very hard to price these things correctly. I forever find that I’ve vastly undercharged for the time taken,” she says.
“If, like me, you’re making everything yourself, there’s a finite amount you can produce and rather than try to anticipate what will sell, I just work on each order as it comes in. Last year was my busiest so far. I would set my alarm for 3.30am and work all day, until 8pm at night!”
As more and more shoppers leave it until the last minute to get that perfect present, there’s still time to grab sales even if you’re launching a product later than usual, according to Not On The High Street’s Emma. “Each year we see sales coming later. It isn’t unusual for us to see high sale volumes on the last day for express delivery before Christmas,” she reveals.
While it’s best to start planning your Christmas products as early as August so you can promote and prepare, Michelle insists that if you have a good enough idea, it’s still worth getting it together no matter how close it is to the big day. “If you’re struck by an amazing idea, it can be too tempting to ignore it until next year and you just have to go for it, even though this will probably interfere with allocated sleeping time. However, anyone running a small business will know all about compromising on their sleep!” laughs Michelle.
“Make sure you do something no-one else is doing. We were the first company to laserengrave personalised images and messages on to wooden spoons and our ‘Spoonheads’ are the original and the best! ”
By keeping it out of the ordinary – and with a few late nights under your belt – boosting your Christmas sales can really kick-start your business and, when January is feeling a bit bleak, your bursting bank balance will make it all worth while!