I’m the sort of person who hates to walk into a store and see Christmas items for sale when it’s not even Halloween yet.  However, as a product maker, I know that now is the time when I need to get my holiday game plan all worked out.  Yep, sorry to be the bearer or bad news but it’s that time of year again.  The crazy time.

Today I’m going to share a few of the things I do every year around this time to make sure I can enjoy the holidays with family (and minimal stress) AND pull in the mucho money to ensure a good start to the new year.  Hopefully, this list will get you in the holiday mood too.  But please, don’t play holiday music yet.  Not till December 1st, I beg you!

  • Make a list of blogs to pitch.  Include your pie-in-the-sky blogs that you would love to be featured on and lots of smaller ones that feature gift ideas.
  • If you are an illustrator, it’s time to pump out the holiday cards because you need to have them ready to print ASAP.  This is NOT a task you can leave until October.  Believe me, I did it one year and I ended up with stacks of unsold cards.
  • Figure out if your shop will be open between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  I’m so happy to announce that this will be my first year closing up the shop for this period.  Not only has nothing really sold during that week and a half over the past 2 years but I need a mental vacation so I can be ready to go for 2014.  So, think hard about whether you REALLY need to be open for that period of time or if you’d rather be relaxing and planning out next year.
  • Pull out your calculator and determine how much money you’d like to make.  Having a goal is a great incentive and you’ll make more money if you have something to strive for.  Once you have your big number, start breaking it down strategically to figure out what you need to make where in order to celebrate a job well done.
  • Order your holiday wrapping supplies.  If you usually change up your packaging for the holiday season, it’s best to get it now so that you’re not rushing off to Target at the last minute.
  • Start sprucing up your shop descriptions and photos to be sure you can convert online lookers to buyers and also better your chances of getting into a juried holiday show.
  • Decide on your celebratory gift for surviving another crazy shopping season.  Will you take a getaway trip?  Buy yourself a new piece of equipment?  Indulge in a day at the spa?  If you don’t reward yourself in some way for all the hard work you’re going to put in over the next few months, then you’re up there for earning a ‘worst boss of the year’ award.  Remember, you started your own business because you love what you do.  Make sure you continue to love doing it by rewarding yourself for a job well done.

Got any tips of your own that you employ this time of year?  I’d love to hear!  Share them below in the comment section.

{Featured image via Eva’s Photogarden}