Now that we’ve successfully made it through the holidays and into the new year, many soapmakers now have a brief slow-down in orders, which is the perfect time to work on other business activities that tend to take a back burner during the holiday rush. Before the Valentine’s and spring orders tart to kick in, here are 10 suggestions for your business to focus on:
- Review your business and marketing plans: Business and marketing plans are living documents. While things are quiet, review the plans to make sure they still accurately reflect your business direction.
- Update your mailing list: Add those new contacts that you’ve been collecting, but haven’t made it into your database
- Create your tentative show calendar: Block out dates of shows and application deadlines
- Prepare for seasonal events: Create a schedule of when supplies must be ordered and production windows to prepare for seasonal products.
- Check your supplies: Do you need to order business cards, labels, oils, fragrances, or other supplies that you use in your business?
- Do a complete inventory: After the the holidays, it is easy to lose track of what products need replenishing. When production slows down, it is an ideal time to inventory what you have in stock.
- During slow times offer specials: Make your valued customers feel appreciated by offering them an exclusive special. Its a great reason to keep in touch with customers and boost sales.
- Send a newsletter out to your customers: Feature news about your products, tips, post-holiday specials, and anything else that helps them feel connected to your business.
- Develop new products: This is the ideal time to refresh your product offering or experiment with new fragrances.
- Have fun and remember to celebrate your products and soapmaking creativity!
Business Focus articles are written by Monique Hodgkinson, a member of the HSMG’s Social Media Committee. For over five years she successfully marketed her handcrafted soap at small regional and large wholesale shows across the country.When not making soap, Monique spends her time as a marketing consultant serving small and medium sized businesses.