What do small business owners worry about in the run up to Christmas?
Or, here are the things I worry about as the busiest shopping season of the year approaches!
What if no-one buys anything?
I suppose this would be classed as an 'all year round' worry for business owners everywhere, big or small, but it's particularly scary at Christmas. It's one I combat by making sure I've been as organised as possible with my marketing strategy. And when I say 'marketing strategy', I'm using it as an overly fancy way of saying 'making sure that any potential customers know about the awesome stuff I've launched this year'. Because if no-one knows about it, they can't choose it as the perfect gift for their loved ones! Maybe I'll do another post on this as we launch into the festive season - I love thinking up fun ways of getting my ideas out there.
Uh oh! What if I sell out?
Yep, this is in complete contradiction to the previous worry. Living in Paris and working from home also compounds this predicament because it's a fine line between making an optimistic amount of stock without overrunning our lives with boxes of astronomical goodies. On the flip side, I make all my items in-house so even if an item sells out I'll hopefully be able to make more at short notice, unlike the Big Retailers who have to buy all their stock months and months in advance. Small business for the win!
No, I'll never sell out, argh!
What if I end up with loads of unsold stock? It would be so embarrassing! Firstly: unless your accessories are made out of vegetables, they're unlikely to go off. A wooden necklace is just as fabulous in March as it was in December. Secondly: There's nothing embarrassing about a product line that just didn't happen to take off. I once launched a capsule collection of the most gorgeous world map jackets (seriously, they were gorgeous, it's three years later and I'm still wearing the sample one I made for photos), but for one reason or another they just didn't seem to sell. No matter! Onwards and upwards!
What if I get featured somewhere and don't have enough stock?
Well, that would actually be sort of great! Not the running-out-of-stock part, but being featured somewhere that drives loads of interest in my shop? I'll take that! And if the original product they were looking for has sold out, maybe they'll discover something else cool in my shop and buy that instead. Or sign up for my newsletter while they're there, or come and follow me on Instagram. Yippee!
What if no-one buys anything?
And here we are again, back to the start!
So if you haven't noticed yet, these worries are pretty circular...
...and I think they probably apply to most small business owners I've met! I can flip between the two feelings multiple times a day, no matter how much preparation and research I do before deciding on stock levels for winter, so I've learned to let them wash over me while I get on with running my business. A to-do list and a clear head can solve almost any problem!
If you're a small business, do these worries resonate with you? How do you keep them in check during the busiest time of the year? Let me know either in the comments below, or join in the discussion over on Instagram!