Craft Venture: not stressing the holidays

wood ornaments by sub-studio

Anyone who knows me well would laugh out loud reading the title of this week’s Craft Venture.  Who me?  Stress?  Truth be told, I’m a major stresser.  Which means I have tried and true tips to help you with this coming holiday season!

If you’ve read Craft Venture’s entire series about preparing for the holidays – and even followed a few tips – you may have already reduced some of your potential stress!

Thanksgiving, a major holiday in U.S. (for our non-American readers) is this week!  Thursday!  Black Friday is the next morning, starting as early as 4:00 a.m. for hardcore shoppers looking for great deals.  When does an online sale start?  Whenever you want it to.  I guarantee you that I will not be up at 4:00 a.m. to start up a sale; instead, my own shop specials will start the night before.  When will you start your specials?

I’m all about making my life easier.  For instance, shipping is a challenge for me, because I don’t have space dedicated to shipping … yet!  I’m setting up a shipping area early this week, with tissue already prefolded, mailers organized, printer loaded with labels, etc.  This will serve me well through the holidays and beyond.  Do you have a shipping station?

a handcrafted autumn postcards by lil fish studios

Last year, I continually ran out of mailers, tissue paper, ribbons, packaging tape, you name it.  This year, I am over-stocked!  Are you fully stocked with everything you need, including extra toner for your printer?

Do you have family and friends to make sure you eat well?  If you’re anticipating a very busy Black Friday and weekend, stock up your freezer with some healthy frozen meals (freeze your own!).  Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.  What are some of your favorite quick, easy and healthy meals to make?  I love to throw together a big bowl of leafie greens and veggies.  I’ll be eating salads all week!

A common area of stressis how to handle returns and exchanges.  If you don’t have a clearly stated policy on your site(s), can you add that today or tomorrow?  Do you require your customers to pay the return postage?  Do you charge a restocking fee?  Do you have a set time limit for returns and exchanges?  Make sure you include those details in your policy.

I think my number one holiday stress is worrying about gifts arriving on time.  Do you have realistic order deadlines clearly posted for your customers?  Remembering that posting in one spot is likely not sufficient, you might put the dates in your item descriptions, policies, announcement, order confirmation, etc.  If you normally ship first class, will you offer expedited shipping at some point?  If so, include those dates with your deadlines!

noel by spread the love

This may seem obvious, but … do you actually have in stock the item(s) you have listed for sale?  If your items are made on order, is this clear in your descriptions?  Do you have the supplies necessary to make those items?

Also, how will you keep your orders straight?  Some sellers use hardcopy checklists, others spreadsheets – what do you use?  Is it working for you?  You don’t want to send the wrong items to customers!  I download my sales data into a spreadsheet and work from that.  What is your system and how does it work for you?

Even if you work a fulltime day job in addition to your online business, organizing and preparing yourself early this week will help you live a less stressed holiday season.  Even if you’re not anticipating a very busy holiday season, being a little more organized will give you more time to be creative and even start planning for after the holidays.

Share with us some of your own organization, anticipation and stress reduction tips and tricks!

A very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  BrendaPhydeaux at Etsy and 1000 Markets

Images:  Wood ornaments, variety pack, by Sub-Studio; A handcrafted autumn postcards, set of four, by Lil Fish Studios; Noel, by spread the love

3 comments | Click here to reply

These are all great questions that you are asking Brenda. I find that having a space somewhere in your home dedicated to your work helps keep some sanity- whether its a room, a corner, a table, whatever. Trying to keep most, if not all, of the items you make and your shipping items in one spot is definitely handy. And can save you some brain power, when you are desperately trying to figure out what you did with the packing tape at 11 o’clock at night.
-Brittni

papernstitch

Saving brain power is key! 🙂 I definitely agree with you, Brittni – I’ve seen even the tiniest apartments make great use of space for their businesses for a dedicated business area!

Brenda

Advantageously, the post is actually the best on this noteworthy topic. I agree with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your future updates. Saying thanks will not just be adequate, for the great clarity in your writing. I will at once grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates. Gratifying work and much success in your business dealings!

Patty
Leave a reply