If you know me at all, you know I am a planner and this post is a reminder for all my small-business friends to start planning your holiday promotions and activities now! I know we’re still in August, but as of today, 8/25/23, there are only 122 days until Christmas! I want us all to be successful and doing some planning will help you achieve this as the seasons comes up quickly. Most of you have likely already started thinking about this, but if not, take some time and do it today!

I’ve outlined several key things to do now and included ideas of how to make your holiday season fun, less stressful and easy to manage!

New Products and Merchandising

Hopefully, you’ve already placed orders for new products or restocks in your shops for the fall. If not, get them in NOW! If you are a hand-dyer, reach out to your wholesale customers and remind them to get their orders in so they have new and fun things in their shops to sell during the holidays.

If you plan to offer special holiday-themed products, they should start to arrive soon (if you ordered them already), or you are beginning to create them now. Remember, in the yarn world, starting your holiday gifting projects early is best to relieve stress as we get closer to the events. Create some kits with holiday gift ideas.

The holiday season is also a great time to upsell your customers, and an easy way to do this is by having smaller items available. Many yarny customers are in knit and crochet groups and have gift exchanges around the holidays. If you have something small they can buy in multiples to give to their group members, I know they will be forever grateful! Plus, you should have some items that can be used as Stocking Stuffers, too! For the LYS, display these smaller gifty items at your cash wrap to encourage impulse buying.

For those with online businesses, be sure you are utilizing your shop’s “recommended products” feature so customers can add these items to their carts at checkout. If you have a specific dollar amount customers need to spend to qualify for free shipping, these can be the perfect add-ons to hit that amount. 

Window Displays – Not Just for Brick & Mortar Businesses

Will you update your window displays to include something themed for the holiday season? Maybe showcase a new yarn line you are bringing in.
It’s a great time to start thinking about what items you’ll need to update and theme product and window your displays.

This is something that online shops should be doing, too! Consider swapping out some of your home page graphics for images tied to the holiday. I had a version of the Yarnover Truck logo with a holiday wreath surrounding it. I used this everywhere for November and December – even in my emails.

Sales

How and when to hold a sale in your yarn-based business is a big topic – especially in our world where turnkey markups don’t leave us with much room in our margins to offer during sales. I’ll be exploring the topic of sales in more depth in an upcoming marketing & business insights email.
For now, if you decide to run sales in your business, the holiday push around Thanksgiving with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday can be an excellent time to implement them.

Start planning for your sale now. You can create your marketing graphics and even start your emails well before you need them. Doing it now, when things are still quiet in our shops before the holiday push, can help your stress level as the sale dates get closer.

Marketing

Now is a great time to plan any events you will hold as you lead up to the holidays. This is our busy season, so give your customers a reason to come by and shop from you! I know many festivals and yarn events are coming up for my indie dyers. Create a marketing plan/schedule for what to say and when to your customers. This way, you can ensure all your events get equal mentions, and your customers will know when and where they get to see you and what new products they will see. Summer is a great time to create these marketing plans when things are still a bit slow.

If you are having a sale, include this in your marketing plans. As I mentioned, create those sale graphics now to have them done. If you decide not to have a sale, plan something special for Small Business Saturday. This is a great day to make your loyal customers feel appreciated, as they are doing the same for you by coming in to shop! Bring in a special yarn trunk show or local designer for the day. Or you can offer a small gift with purchase (branded notions are great for this) or a bounce-back coupon they need to use before the end of the year. This will get shoppers in your store for that day, plus at least one more time before the holidays start.

Holiday Theme Ideas

12 Days or 12 Weeks of Christmas (or Holidays)

Pick a different product or project to highlight in your emails and social media. Use this in both your emails and your social media for added content.

If you decide to do 12 days, I recommend you start on December 2nd. December 1st is Cyber Monday, and you don’t want to compete with that, so I suggest starting on December 2nd. Send one short email highlighting the product of the day for 12 days. Include pretty pictures, how to use it (if it’s a notion), and anything else that makes it stand out!

For 12 weeks, pick a different project or product to highlight each week. Start your emails the first week of October, so your 12th email will go the week of December 17th. (See, this is why starting to plan now is key).

After Hours New Product Party

If you have a new line of yarn arriving, create an event around it. Sell advance tickets to an after-hours shopping party and have the amount paid to attend applied to their purchase. This way, they get first dibs at sweater quantities of all the colors of this new yarn line.

Gifts You Buy For Yourself

Create a care package of notions and yarn that customers can buy for themselves. Add some tea or chocolates. Make it so they can treat themselves during the busy holiday season with something special from your shop.

Gift Card Extravaganza

Have a gift card sale. These are great, especially in December when time is running out before families gather to exchange gifts. Give anyone who purchases a card for a certain amount on an additional card. The easiest offer is to give a $25 gift card free when someone buys a $100 gift card. This is great for partners looking for gift ideas for their significant other who knits and crochets.

Create a Gift Giving Guide for Fiber Lovers

Create collections that make ideal gifts for Knitters, Crocheters, Weavers, or any other fiber lover who uses the products you sell. Many items can be similar between the groups. Still, you can focus on the different fiber-loving groups in your emails and posts.

Let’s Work Together

I hope this helps all of you, but if you need more help creating your plans for this upcoming holiday season, please reach out! I’d love to help you create a plan that works for you and your unique business and will help alleviate stress for you during the season!

Head over to the Consulting page to learn about my experience. Then use the Contact form to reach out!

We’ll chat (virtually) one-on-one where we’ll work on this or any other area where you might need some help!

Following our session, you’ll receive an email with a recording, a detailed summary of our conversation, and any resources you need to get your marketing plans off the ground.

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