Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Business Chat - It's a holiday!

At my last show (the One of a Kind spring show April 2011) several people came in looking for “teacher gifts” for June. This is a phenomena that I’m not that familiar with as I don’t have little kids and my school days are way behind me. It was one of those “Aha!” moments for me. Marketing is easy when it’s Christmas, or Valentines Day or Mother's Day.

It’s all those in-between times that can lead to a sales drought. Now I’m going to find something interesting, I’m going to give my customers a reason to shop, I’m going to make every month a holiday somehow. More importantly I’m going to let my customers know about this.

You should too.
First find something to celebrate and shop for. There’s St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, all sorts of holidays. A big seller for many is wedding season. Just because you don’t make anything white or pearl-based doesn’t exclude you from this. You’d be amazed what you can call bridal, so long as you can make a set of something it can be used in a wedding. If it’s appropriate, stock up on products that fit the holiday.

Can you offer products that are appropriate for men and women? Father's Day is a tough one for jewelry designers - how about key chains or money clips? You may not have to make new items, just put signs on your existing ones, like “makes a great Dad gift.”


Next, let your customers know about your upcoming holiday event. Facebook, Twitter, and of course, your newsletter, work well. If you have a craft show, make a sign. You can bet I’ll have signs about “Great Teacher Gifts” this June.

People love convenience, if you can remind them that they’ll need to shop for a gift soon and then present an option, you’re doing the work for them.
Remember that in addition to seasonal gift giving, people have to get gifts for birthdays, bar mitzvahs, new babies, housewarmings, thank-yous, get-well-soon, congratulations, and just because they want to say "I love you" to some one in their lives. Maintaining a product line that serves all of these different occasions and using signs that help shoppers is essential to making your shop the go-to place all year long.

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