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C&T Recommended Reads ~ Week 43, 2014

From Megan:

From Jess:

3 Business-Boosting Tips for the Upcoming Holidays





It’s almost November… so welcome to the busiest season for all retail businesses – both big and small!

It’s such an exciting time, and today I’d like to share some ways to encourage more sales and gifting.


1. Always keep the gift recipient in mind.

As we head into the gift-giving holidays, it’s important to remember that your customers aren’t always buying for themselves at this time of year. They’re buying for friends, family, party hostesses, etc., and they’re looking for unique gifts. Encouraging customers to gift your product is a great strategy during the holidays because when your customer gives your items to friends and family, the gift introduces you to a new customer. It’s the best possible form of recommendation!

As you plan for the holiday shopping season, try and imagine who your customers might be buying for:

  • Female friends
  • Husbands, boyfriends or partners
  • Parents
  • In-Laws
  • Grandparents
  • Teenagers
  • Children
  • Babies
  • Party Hostesses
  • Coworkers and managers
  • White elephant gift exchanges/Kris Kringles

What items in your inventory can be presented as gifts for any or all of the above recipients?


2. Cross-promote with other artists.

One of my favorite Etsy sellers sent an email last year that I thought was simply brilliant.

She contacted her customer list with a list of handmade gifts from various sellers that she was giving to her friends and family.  Just imagine if you collected a handful of your favorite sellers and introduced your favorite shops and they agreed to return the favor? How many new customers might you share and gain?


3. Offer free shipping.

Free shipping has tested as one of the very best sales you can offer your customers. People simply don’t like the added amount at check-out; it’s not a fun surprise!

I always offer free domestic shipping in December, and my products already come gift-wrapped. If you want to ship 5 bracelets to 5 of your friends, I’m happy to eat the shipping costs!

Calculate what this would really cost your business, and see if you can swing it. Because of the price and light weight of my products, free shipping only equals a 10% discount off every order … completely doable! How much would free shipping cost you?


Here’s to a happy, healthy and fruitful holiday season for us all!

Ask the Makers ~ What Do You Leave Off Your To-Do List?

It’s officially the start of the crazy season for makers and while this month has been all about how we can’t do everything at once, I thought it would be insightful to see what each of us doesn’t do. So I asked the contributing writers what they leave off their to-do list when the orders come hard and fast.

Danielle’s Answer:

I get a lot of borderline spammy emails – requests for free product, invites to things I’m not interested in, etc – I tend to ignore and delete these especially during busy times. I also tend to skip things like, grocery shopping, so if anyone wants to eat-in, they *ahem, husband* will need to work that into their schedule haha.

Eleanor’s Answer:

When things get crazy my motto becomes: ‘Good Enough is Fine.’ For example, my in laws are coming to town and I’m not going to drive myself nuts trying to home cook everything. I plan on being like the Grandma in Sixteen Candles, opening the pack of doughnuts with a knife and a announcing ‘Breakfast is Served!’.  I also tend to do inbox triage, ignoring non-urgent mails until after the storm is passed.

Megan’s Answer:

October through December a lot of stuff falls off my to-do list. Cleaning waits till the new year as does any shopping just for ‘fun’. A few years back I wised up and began donating to charities for all of my friends’ and family’s holiday gifts. This saves me the time of going out to shops when they’re crazy busy and it gives money to the people and organizations who really need it. I also have to put aside fun reading of books until the middle of December, which is the hardest thing to take off my to-do list when the holiday season hits.

Cat’s Answer:

I hate to admit it but what I always let go is all the stuff I do just for me! So at exactly the time of year I need to take care of myself the most – I don’t! Ugh! I was a little better last year and am resolved to not put myself on the bottom of the list this year. I skip my walks, my books, acupuncture, healthful cooking and especially sleep. I have been known to just get up at 3am and work. Then I collapse when it gets too late to ship. I wouldn’t recommend this!

What about you? What gets pushed off your to-do list when the holiday season comes round?

C&T Recommended Reads ~ Week 42, 2014

From Megan:

From Jess:

Like what you're reading? Awesomesauce. Want more?

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