I know, I know - it's the end of June. You have to start planning your holiday selling season now.
I'm serious. Really, I am.
Here are some things to think about:photo © 2007 christina rutz | more info (via: Wylio)
1) What are your core product and service offerings going to be? If you haven't ordered what you need, get on that right away. Are your purveyors going to have to make something new for you? It should already be in development or you'll likely miss your deadline.
2) How are you going to promote those offerings? Via catalog? On your web site? Online ads? Social media? In-store display? Print advertising? Billboards? You need to order outdoor and print advertising now and look into which web sites to target for online ads. Now is also a good time to start design concepts for your catalog or other mail promotions. If you're brick-and-mortar, you need to start designing in-store display. If you need anything special - like new hardware for special banners or custom-made decor, you'll need to get to ordering now.
3) What's your launch date? Holiday is starting earlier and earlier - last year, we saw Christmas decorations in stores right around Halloween! This seemed a bit early to me - most businesses will need to be ready in early November. If your business does layaway, compute the average number of weeks customers do layaway, and plan to announce your holiday layaway specials somewhere in that timeframe. Figure out your launch date and then design your project plan working backwards.
4) How are you going to be celebrating with your customers? If you're sending them cards, you need to order them this summer if you want them imprinted with your brand. If you're planning on doing a special loyalty promotion, price it out now as you're ordering product.
Did you find this blog post completely alarming? No worries - I can help you with all of this.