So your holiday season was a huge success. You were so busy your head was spinning, orders were coming in fast and furious, Stitch was by your side helping you keep it together, and you got that kick ass gift you really wanted. (In case you were wondering I'll take anything that sparkles). It's now January 4, and you pretty much feel like you might just crawl into a cave and hibernate. The office is a mess, there is a trail of paperwork a mile long and all of this mess is even less interesting than it was a few weeks ago. Bah! Before you decide to run away and live with the bears, take a look at my tips to help get you back on track.
- Take a break. Pleeeeease! We all need a rest and if you were burning the midnight oil right up until the holidays, give yourself some time to decompress. If you go back at it burnt out, your customers will sense it and I can pretty much guarantee that you will be unpleasant to be around. Plus, stress ages us, so if being unpleasant doesn't scare you, maybe wrinkles will. Do something you love and do it now.
- Start small. Don't think you have to pull the office back together in a single superhero bound. It took a few weeks for it to turn to chaos, so it can take a few weeks for things to be ship shape. Start in one area, like organizing your shipping supplies, taking stock of inventory, or cleaning up your desktop. Trying to get it all done at once is overwhelming and also long, tedious, and boring! Set aside some time each day for one thing and knock them out bit by bit.
- Reflect. Take a look at your Stitch Reports. Ahhh aren't you glad you have them? Add in a few minutes to jot down any thoughts regarding holiday promotions, sales, craft shows, new designs, anything new you tried, or that surprised you about the season. Get it all down while it is fresh in your head and cross reference your memories and feelings with your numbers. Maybe a show seemed slow, but you actually made more than you did last year. Maybe customers were excited about a promotion but you ended up not meeting your goal. Take stock to help you plan for next year.
- Be gracious. Take a look at your sales and your contacts. Who were your biggest accounts? Were they different than last year? Luckily all of this is a cinch to see in Stitch. If you haven't already, send out some New Years greeting thanks. Nothing makes people come back like great customer service, and nothing makes us feel better than saying thank you for supporting our dream.
And remember, you miss out on a lot living in a cave and hibernating all winter.
Happy New Year!