Once your business grows, the way you release your products will organically change and you might feel the need to create items in advance like a nice creative squirrel.
Last year I realised that I desperately need to have a box with products that are not in the shop yet so I can whip them out when I am way too busy to stitch.
Having an actual collection, like Easter for example, that is ready in advance is a dream for me at the moment but I am taking specific steps to make it happen – and I’ll share them with you today.
In the beginning of last year I told myself that I must – yes MUST – start making Christmas items in June.
You know what? It never happened!
I didn’t expect to be as busy as I was. I didn’t know that I will have new ideas rolling in and I had to obey the creative urges!
So, this year I am trying to learn on my experience and figure out the art of making items in advance. Little steps at a time.
This year, I start working on Christmas items this month. It might seam a little overboard and it did take me some time to come to terms with as I felt a little tired of making my Christmas creations. However, I think we can all hugely benefit from having more of ready to sell items so we can take more orders.
I don’t want to make hundreds but at least 2 of each item will be great to have in September to show my customers, and start selling while I work on more.
“How do I make items in advance when I am already busy as it is?”, I hear you ask.
I think you might turn away after I say – planning.
Planning is key!
The art of creating items in advance can only be mastered with planning and practice. Once you get comfortable with it, creating a collection “on the side” along with new stock for the store will feel natural and a part of the routine.
As it is the most important collection and the busiest time of the year, let’s take Christmas as an example.
The preparation will take some time but after it all set up, the idea is to make one or two items a week starting from today.
Get a box and stick a label on it – Christmas collection. Easy!
Now to the being organised part
Do you have Christmas themed items already? Make a list and attach it on the lid so you can mark how many items are in there as you go.- Don’t have Christmas items yet? Start brainstorming ideas! Even if you will have one of each item ready to show so customers can place orders, you are will be ahead.
Get the release schedule ready. There is nothing like a deadline to keep you motivated. Let’s say mid-September you need to have the collection photographed and ready to go. Pencil other dates in your planner like – first sneak preview, pre-release and release date. Also, book special promotions in advance on other websites, organise features and schedule newsletters.
Cut out everything required for a batch so when you have a day when you are not as busy, you can pick something up and make 1 or 2 things. Once the item is finished, pop it in the box and write on the lid what you’ve made.
Take pictures as you got – start, progress, creative space full of green/red supplies…. Every picture will be handy for the pre-release blog post, teaser or Facebook post.
Keep making stock, have prices ready and think about the special Early bird offers to motivate people to order early as there will be plenty of last minute request, trust me.
Christmas is not that far away and, judging from the experience, you will be very grateful for any preparations you will do now. After all, you’ll have more time for eating cake and being jolly once all the items are loaded and there are plenty of stock.