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Tips for Keeping Business Outreach Organized When You're Busy

Posted By TNNA HQ, Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Updated: Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tips for Keeping Business Outreach Organized When You're Busy

 By Stephanie Shiman

As the summer ends and the weather gets cooler, we enter into what is, for most, the busiest time of year in the needle industry. Add that to school starting, weather changing and holidays on the horizon; so much to keep up with! A little planning now can save you a lot of headache later when it comes to keeping marketing and customer relations organized during this busy season. Here are a few tips to help you manage your customer outreach.

Plan.  Make a calendar and map out the coming months.  Fill in holidays, special events, festivals, shows, sales and important shopping days, such as the three below:

Black Friday – November 24th

Small Business Saturday – November 25th

Cyber Monday – November 27th

Think about what you’d like focus on between now and your “end date”.  For example, using the winter holidays as the end date, September and October could be spent working on larger gift projects, November finishing last minute quick-knits and December choosing gifts for crafters—such as project bags, gift cards or other ideas that take little time to prepare.  What can be planned alongside the themes you choose -  classes?  Sales?  Webcasts? Pattern promotions?

Set realistic goals.  What goals do you have that you’d like to accomplish this busy season - better attendance at classes?  More sales from your website?  Research has shown that setting yourself two to three goals a day is more productive than giving yourself a long list for the week.  A short list helps keep goals manageable instead of overwhelming.  One acronym used in goal-setting is S.M.A.R.T.

Specific:  Be clear on what you want to accomplish.
Measurable:  How will you know when you’ve accomplished it?
Attainable:  Don’t set yourself up for failure by aiming too high.
Realistic:  Is what you’re working toward truly possible?
Time:  Attach a time frame, breaking bigger jobs into smaller tasks if necessary.

Keep this acronym in mind when planning.  Everyone loves that empowering feeling that comes with checking things off the to-do list; a carefully thought out list makes that easy! 

Schedule.  With most social media marketing platforms you can create posts in the present that can be scheduled to automatically post in the future.  This can help you stay currant with your customers even when you are at your busiest.  Set up as many of these as you can, saving time for on-the-fly posts as they occur.  The same can be done for email newsletters.  Even if you don’t have all of the details now, fill in as much as you can and save the drafts for later.

Divide and conquer! For larger projects and events, share the load with other members of your team!  Assigning tasks makes sure everything is dealt with and eliminates confusion regarding responsibility.  Whether you like pen and paper or project management apps such as Asana, it’s helpful to take the guesswork out of what needs to be done and who will be doing it.  

Ideally, applying any one (or more) of these tips will help you make it through the busy season with enough time to get to your own holiday craft projects!

About Stephanie Shiman

Stephanie Shiman (www.frabjousfibers.comstarted frabjous fibers and Wonderland Yarns in 2004 with a box of yarn stashed under her dining room table.  Now, with a team of a dozen or so creative people, FF&WY hand-dyes fabulous yarns and fibers that make their way to LYS all over the world.

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