August 27, 2013

3 Things to Do Now to Prep for Holiday Selling

This guest post is brought to you by Outright, the simplest way to manage your small business finances. Sign up today for a less frantic holiday selling season!

It’s nice and hot outside, school has just started back, and there’s still time to run to the beach for the weekend – yep, it’s almost time for the holidays!

If you think that’s a tad premature, then it may be your first year selling online! Each year the selling season creeps further and further into the rest of the year and the sooner you have to be prepared to figure out how to maximize your profits from the gift-happy public. To help you get ready, try the following tips.

1. Figure Out Your Best Sales Day/Week From 2012

Typically sellers make a lot of money during the holidays. While the whole “Black Friday is the most profitable day ever” is a bit of an exaggeration, the time surrounding that fateful day is incredibly important to businesses everywhere. There’s simply a massive amount of money to be made with everyone buying gifts.

Instead of focusing on the entire holiday season, though, try to figure out when you made your most money. Again, it may not be Black Friday or anywhere near then. Many online businesses report that their top sales day is actually the second or third week in December… right before shipping cutoff dates. I guess everybody is a procrastinator, huh? After you figure out your most profitable sales time, focus your marketing and promotion efforts around that day or week. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every holiday shopping season!

2. Unveil New Products

While other shops are focusing on making money off the stock they already have, you’re still in creative mode. You’ve got a thousand ideas up your sleeve and want to get them all done and unveil them to the public at the right time.

This is a great idea, because now you’ve got two modes of attack: a great holiday strategy as well as the “new car” smell. People will want to check out your new items as well as your deals and sales you’ve got going on for the holidays.

This way you can keep a nice steady rotation of new clicks coming in. Try to place your posts and advertisements about new products and your winter deals separately so you can capitalize on the most traffic and so you can judge which effort is garnering you the best ROI.

3. Put Your Shop on Auto-Pilot

Once sales really heat up the last thing you want to do is worry about maintenance. If you see you’ve got thirty orders to ship out, fifty more items to make, and ten customer service questions to answer, you don’t want to suddenly wonder if you paid all your bills.

Before the holiday season ramps up go ahead and put as many bills as possible on automatic payment. If you have to choose between them, go for the ones that will affect your business the most if they don’t get paid like electricity, Internet, etc. (After all, if your Netflix account gets deactivated it most likely won’t hurt sales!)

Also, instead of worrying about tracking sales, sign up for an account at Outright. There you’ll see all your sales as well as expenses as they automatically update as they happen. No more wondering how much money you have in the bank or made this month. This frees you up to run your business and gear up for a profitable holiday season.  

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