“Gift­ing prod­ucts will not only give Christ­mas a boost but Jan­uary, too.”

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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!

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