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BUSINESS: Preparing Your Business for Christmas - Part 4
Dan Goode at Seek & Adore continues to offer his Christmas pearls of wisdom for a successful festive season...
Christmas Baubles by Timea Sido and Sarah Lock. Photographer: Ben Yacobi
The Final Push
I hate to tempt fate, we haven’t reached the final moments of Christmas Eve after all, but I think we can tentatively say that you’ve done it, you have survived the ‘Golden Quarter’ and the end is well and truly in sight. Well done! It must be without doubt the most frenetic time of the year but also, hopefully the most fruitful. The moment has nearly arrived when you can throw off the shackles of making and selling and take that well-deserved and well-earned break.
So what is there to do in December other than sell, sell, sell? Not a great deal more than you are doing already to be honest but as we reach the final throws of the festive season I would split December into two very distinct sections:
Section One (before Christmas): Continue to care for yourself in the midst of the Christmas frenzy
Section Two (after Christmas): Take a few moments to look back and to look ahead.
Cosy mug and teapot by Linda Bloomfield, Handmade Christmas Card by Claire Lovett and Wooden Table Lamp by Sarah Lock. Photographer: Ben Yacobi
Caring for yourself
I have touched on this before of course. Be sure to eat well and keep yourself dosed up while the madness endures. Christmas really doesn’t have to be accompanied by a cold or by flu if you take precautions now. After all the energy and effort you have committed to the last few months – and the year as a whole – you too deserve a pleasant and relaxing Christmas break and not one blighted by illness.
Looking back and looking ahead
The break between Christmas and New Year affords you the opportunity to take a few minutes to cast your mind over the previous twelve months as you relax and wind down. While you can sit in an office or studio and pore over what worked and what didn’t in minute detail, I find it more beneficial to let the events of the past months percolate gently through the brain in a calm, unharried way. A light and effortless glance over what you feel worked, what didn’t and what you might take into the New Year. There is no need to write things down or to desperately commit them to memory, just let the thoughts take shape and settle where they please.
There will be plenty of time to dissect the months in more detail and of course you will need to see how successful the period has been financially, but for now take the time to ponder and to gently explore what has taken place. By viewing the preceding months in this way you will be able to observe them uncritically and with an open mind. You will also exercise your creative and intuitive brain rather than the part that thinks and acts in an entirely businesslike way. What are you doing well and what could you do better? Where might you want to be a year hence? Visualise what you would like to be doing most and see how you might factor this into your making and into your life. If you do this while there is no pressure you will embark on the New Year with a renewed and unfettered purpose.
Cake stand and tealights by Timea Sido and Large and Small Dimple Jugs by Tanya Gomez. Photographer Ben Yacobi
At Seek & Adore we find the New Year a great time to touch base with makers while the normal threat of impending fairs and events is thankfully absent and for the makers themselves January is the perfect time to take the plunge and to do something new, take a risk and dip a toe into different and exciting waters!
2012 has undoubtedly been a tough year, it is on everyone’s lips as I stroll around the many fairs and open studios I attend, but now as it comes to a welcome close, it is time to look ahead to all the exciting things that 2013 has to offer! May the New Year be a successful one for you and in the meantime I wish you a very happy Christmas.
Dan Goode is 'Chief Seeker' for http://seekandadore.com which brings together the work of designer makers with people looking to discover and buy unique and beautiful things.
Read the previous three articles in the series...