Preparing Your Small Business for Fall

All my makers, bakers, movers or shakers know the busiest months of the year are upon us. Like, right on our doorstep, so it's time to get ready!

Here are 5 steps to get your small shop ready for Fall.

1. Get Organized:

Now is the time to order any supplies you need. Get your boxes, ribbon, packaging, cookie cutters, yarn, merchandise, wood, packaging labels, paint….whatever IT is, think it through, write it down and get it NOW. Stay ahead of the game in this one way and you will thank yourself when you are up to your eyeballs making merchandise, sending invoices and selling your product.

2. Identify Your Main Targets:

Are you going to focus on Halloween, Fall themes, or Thanksgiving? Or maybe there’s a big football game, i.e. Georgia vs Notre Dame (Go Dawgs!), that may drive your sales? What about a market, fall bizarre or school festival? Go ahead and decide what your main targets for sales will be this season. For me, I focus on one BIG football game and halloween cookie sets. I usually skip Thanksgiving offerings because I’m too busy preparing for Christmas. As a one woman show, I have to choose my targets wisely.

3. Decide What You Will Offer

What are you going to sell? This part will go hand in hand with point number 2 above. If you are stumped or overwhelmed making that decision, get your social media circle involved; ask them what they want to see. For me, I cut back on cookie sales and ramp up class offerings this time of year. Why? Because I get more in return and that’s a smarter way to work.

4. Develop A Local Presence

This is a great strategy for getting seen by your local community and upping your local sales. It’s also ALWAYS a good idea to tap into your local network. Ask to partner with a local store or venue for a class or pop-up market. Go ahead and sign up for that fall market where you know there will be loads of traffic. The work you do now will pay off greatly in 2-4 months.

5. Set up Efficient Systems and Processes

This is not the time of year you want to be bogged down with inefficient systems and processes. Nope. Automation is KEY.

-Jotform is a great tool for setting up an automated purchase system if you don’t have a website.

-Etsy is also a great platform for creating an online marketplace outside of social media.

-Turn your auto reply on your social media front. I highly suggest funneling people to one preferred method of communication so you’re not constantly checking ALL your platforms and social media accounts.

-If you ship, think about resources and tools to automate printing postage and labels.

-If you’re a blogger, go ahead and type up the topics you want to blog about in the Fall. Heck, go ahead, light your favorite fall scent and write those golden nuggets out.

-You can schedule future social media posts with Tailwind, Later, Hootsuite and Plann.

Thriving during the busiest seasons of the year can be easier than we make it with just a little pre-planning. Set yourself up for success NOW and you will be singing your thankful praises when you are up to your eyeballs in production. You can do this! Work smarter, not harder!


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