It may seem obvious but as Christmas approaches at an alarming speed remember it is not beneath a shop owner to sell at Christmas Fairs or Parties, both can be incredibly lucrative in respect of revenue and advertising. In these tough financial times, spreading your wings is an absolute necessity for many Gift businesses and done correctly can increase your turnover dramatically.
You can advertise that you do parties in your shop window, in the local media and with the traditional leaflet drop. Keep a diary of when you or a staff member are free and start to fill those slots.
At Christmas we tend to order early so that our shops are brimming with stock to see us through until the 24th of December. But, in reality a massive proportion of these sales happen within the last couple of weeks of December, so on the lead up to that time we are all usually sitting on a mountain of stock – which, despite what our suppliers may like us to believe, can easily be reordered should we be lucky enough to sell it all.
Parties and Fairs tend to happen in the evening, when the shops are closed and can attract a completely new customer base, those with busy jobs, or small children – or who just don’t like trawling round the shopping centres.
Most home parties offer incentives to their host, for instance a percentage of the nights takings to be spent by the host on stock items available that night. By offering the incentives in stock rather than cash the cost to you is far less because it is actually only the wholesale cost of the items they choose, which means that you can appear far more generous than you really are (and will help you to sign up those all important party hosts because, lets face it, who doesn’t like to get something for nothing).
If you do not have time to run the Parties or Stalls yourself (hopefully because you have become inundated with requests and can’t possibly do 2 on the same night) then offering commission to a member of staff to do it for you is a great way forward. Yes, the profit to you is less, but far better to have 70% of something than 100% of nothing.
If you are very organised you can create a catalogue or printed sheets showcasing some of your best sellers. These just need to be items which you have a lot of and know that you can easily obtain more of so that you can take additional orders on the night.
Traditional Christmas Fairs attract a lot of people and a well positioned stall can be extremely lucrative. If you already have a shop then you should have no problem in securing one of the better placed stalls. If you are doing a Christmas Fair see if you can find out in advance what other stalls are going to be there, that way you can try to offer something which isn’t saturated already.
Remember to take plenty of advertising leaflets with you to give out to potential customers – you could even offer a discount voucher to each person who passes to use in your shop during December (or January) to get them through the door and hopefully become a new regular customer.
Enjoy the chaos of Christmas, we’ll miss it in January