What to do when your handmade sales are slow

Jul 11, 2018 | Handmade Business Tips

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It is a known fact in that sales tend to drop in the summer months. There are many reasons why: people are outside enjoying their holidays, busy with kids all day, not as often in front of their computers. So what should you do during the slow summer months?

You can watch the video, or read the post below.

First of all, don’t panic. It’s normal that sales are seasonal. That gives you time to work on other aspects of your handmade business. If you have something else to do or want to go on holiday – by all means, do! It’s not a list of things you HAVE to do. Treat it like a list of suggestions. Ready?

Work on your products

It means everything that relates to how you interact with your customers and visitors from the moment they see your products (photography) through the moment they learn more (descriptions) to the moment they receive it (packaging). Is there anything that you know you can improve on?

Think about your production process. Look at your suppliers and supplies cost. Do you have a plan B if your suppliers don’t produce the product you’re buying? Can you lower the production or supplies costs? Can you improve your production process: learn a new technique, make it quicker etc.?

Slow summer is also a great time to restock your bestsellers.

Marketing and sales

Slow summer is a great time to work on your marketing and sales. I know it sounds weird because I just told you people are not on their computers as much, but it’s not necessarily about getting them to buy now. It’s all about working in advance. You can:

  • batch product photography. It could be your regular product pictures, but they could also be styled and lifestyle shots that you’ll be using during the next months. It’s a great time to get this box of Halloween or Christmas decorations and batch photos for those occasions.
  • batch your social media. Once you batch your photography, you can crop those photos into correct sizes for the platforms you’re using: square for Instagram, long for Pinterest etc. Think on how good would it feel to know that it’s October and most of your work promoting for Halloween is already done.
  • go into a project mode. Think about something that you don’t necessarily have to do every day. What’s the one thing you know you need to improve but never seem to have time? A few examples:
    • Email marketing
    • Pinterest
    • SEO
    • Learn something new (take a course, read up on stuff you put aside).

Office, admin and backend

  • Clean up things that are cluttering your workflow and workspace: office, emails, supplies, files…
  • Create systems for things you find yourself doing all the time (social posts, order management, finances, etc.). I know “system” sounds scary but it can help you save so much time and trouble when it’s done! Think of how would you train someone if you had to hire tomorrow and create your lovely systems with that in mind. Don’t forget to write them down or put them into Asana or whatever software you’re using. It will clear so much space in your head!
  • Work on your numbers. Catch up on your bookkeeping and work your numbers:
    • is your pricing strategy still right?
    • what is your profit margin?
    • can you improve your pricing strategy to make more $, or find a way to decrease costs?

Thinking ahead

What can you do now to get work done for upcoming holidays and promotions? Think about:

  • Christmas collections and promotions;
  • Back to school collections and promotions;
  • Halloween collections and promotions;
  • New collections.

Summer can be a blessing! Don’t forget to grab the free PDF list here.

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