With the Holidays quickly approaching, we’re seeing more and more of an urgent rush in our soap maker friends than ever before. After months of speculation, soapers are gearing up for what they’re hoping will be a more promising Holiday season than the last few years have proven to be. We’re hearing tales of new soap creations, first-time experiments, and even gaining some insight on what you’re customers are requesting in terms of type of soap, scent, and style/feel.
With so much going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or even feel discouraged at the thought of sky high unemployment rates and a still sub-par economy.
We’ve developed some awesome tips to help our Soap Maker friends survive the Holidays in one piece! Without further ado, here they are!
- Get Organized: If you’re not naturally an organized person, try to resolve to get organized before the New year arrives. Organize everything. Ingredients, recipes, Fragrances, packaging, labels… all of it! If you’re currently organized, take a good look at your ‘system’. Is it working for you? Can it be improved? Utilize online note-taking and organization tools such as Evernote, Google Calendar, and your Outlook Calendar.
-Take Notes: Are you getting various requests for certain soaps at Fairs or trade shows? Are friends or friends of friends asking about certain types of soaps and scents? Take notes, and keep track of what you’re being asked for and what’s selling for your retailers or customers! Keeping mental notes easily makes way for details to slip through the cracks. There’s something about seeing raw numbers in front of you that helps you decide what to make, what will sell, and where to allocate your ingredient budget. Think numbers and pie charts.
- Watch Your Competition: Some of your competitors may be pros at preparing for the Holidays. Keep an eye on what they’re doing! Do they change their packaging for the Holidays? Do they modify their website? Do they send out special newsletters or conduct contests? If they’ve been in the game a long time, chances are they know exactly what will work and what will waste effort. Be sure to document your findings in a special place like a dedicated notebook, excel file, or PDA note-taking app.
- Preparation is Key: Try to plan out your stock a few months in advance, and get all of your regular holiday soap making done as early a you can. On-the-fly orders are sure to come, and you won’t want to have to turn down additional business because you weren’t prepared. Take notes of what you’ve done this year, and see how it all works out. When the next holiday season rolls around, you’ll be able to take a look back, and fine-tune your Holiday practices.
- Learn Where Your time Is Going: Have you ever gone through a day and noticed that you didn’t get done nearly as much as you wanted to? We’ve all wished we could learn to better manage our time. Learning to prioritize is somewhat of an art form that everyone struggles with. We highly recommend reading “Getting Things Done” By David Allen. This book is an amazing guide to help you get things done in an organized, and pain-free fashion!
What kind of strategies have YOU and your business implemented to prepare for the Holidays?