I received an email today from one of my readers who is
open with his first holiday cart. He said he did about
$1000 in sales yesterday, on Friday.
And it was clear that he thought his sales should have
been higher for the day...
His email reminded me of a conversation I had earlier this
week with a woman about her first experience with a cart.
This woman I spoke with told me that when she opened
her first cart, during her first few weeks in November,
she had a number of $200 and $300 dollar sales days.
Now she was like many people, and had heard all the hype
about how big the day after Thanksgiving was supposed to
be. And she geared up for it.
Then the 'big' day hit.
She did just over $1000 in sales.
She told me that she thought to herself, "That's all?".
If this is your first time with a holiday cart, it's pretty
normal to have some pretty lofty expectations for sales on the
day after Thanksgiving.
We hear all the hype about how busy the day after Thanksgiving
should be... and gear up for a 'big day.'
Often it IS our best sales day... to date
However a lot of folks get disappointed when their 'Black
Friday' sales aren't as high as they thought they'd be.
It's important to know this: The vast majority of your sales
are still yet to come. That's not hype. That's how it is.
It's typical for a cart operator to do between 75% and 80% of their holiday sales in December. Or more.
And to do 50% of their sales in the last ten days to two weeks before Christmas.
The reason it's important to KNOW this, so that you
don't make THIS critical mistake...
The critical mistake I am referring is to downsize your expectations.... just as sales are about to go up.
If you're not aware how sales spike up in December... especially during the last ten days to two weeks... it's
easy to worry that the sales aren't going to materialize.
That's what happened to the woman I was talking to earlier this week. She got really concerned that the sales simply weren't going to happen.
The real problem comes if you start to scale down your expectations, and let those scaled down expectations affect your preparations for December.
For example, if you scale back your projections, and don't hire enough staff... you may not have enough staff to sell to the customers that actually do show up.
If you don't order enough product... you may not have enough product on hand to sell to the customers that actually want your product.
You may find that by scaling back your projections, you unwittingly limit your own ability to make the very sales you've actually been planning for since day one.
The key to avoid making this mistake to, first, know that at this point in the season that the vast majority of your sales are still yet to come.
Expect the sales to come.
Then... represent those expectations in your plans... and act accordingly.
Hire and schedule enough staff, so that you have the staff in place to handle the REAL big sales days.
Order enough product, so you've got the product on hand to SELL on the really big days.
And manage your own beliefs... so you have faith to create these big days that are still yet to come.
What ultimately happened to the woman I was talking to earlier this week?
She was telling me about how concerned she was getting...
"Then... all of sudden, the sales hit... $3000 a day... $5000 a day... $6000 a day."
"THIS is what I'd been waiting for!"
She ultimately sold over $100K for the two month holiday season.
When you approach December, and approach it AS IF you expect to do well... you're a lot more likely to ACTUALLY do well.
Continue to hire and train your staff. Continue to order inventory. Continue to prepare. And continue to believe that things are going to do well!
If you do, it's more likely they will!
Have a great weekend!
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