Jan 19, 2012 Prepping for the Holidays And no I don't just mean Christmas. In retail you've got to be 5 or 6 months ahead of every coming holiday to prepare on time. Think about this. If you buy your supplies, get them mailed to yourself, make something, photo it or send it to be photo'd, that could all take a month! If you just thought about it the month before a holiday you are WAY behind the ball. I started buying Valentines and St. Pattys stuff in OCTOBER last year! And I felt I was leaving it a little late! I already have all my easter stuff out, even the rosettes: In fact this week I've already sold THREE "Make This Headband" sets of this beauty: The reality is you've got to be READY for the holidays-are you? Here are the steps I take to make sure our shop is ready and waiting for EVERY holiday that comes around. 1) Take a look at your customer base. I realized this year that I have a LOT of Canadian and Australian customers. I'm taking stock in January of major holidays in those two countries so I can add them to my list. 2) Get a wall calendar, or desk calendar, or SOME kind of calendar where you can post each holiday. 3) Four months or even five BEFORE that holiday make a note on your calendar to list items for that holiday. I even go one step further and make a note beside each holiday about the types of items I think people would want to see (rosettes, appliques, certain color flowers etc). 4) Begin talks with your suppliers about stock. For example I have people asking me NOW what I plan to carry for summer and fourth of July and back to school. Yes people I've already thought about it and you should too! I have all my back to school fabrics picked out, yay!!! Hopefully these posts will help you think of ways to grow your business. At the end of the day, whether you're doing this for a little extra income or starting an empire, you need to plan REALLY well to make it happen. Any other topics you'd like to see me cover? Let me know!