In my last update, I told you about one of my salespeople,
Vitaly (at the time also a college student), that went to open
his own profitable cart the following holiday season.
Because he was tight on money, he opened his first cart in
October, when the rent was cheaper, so he could earn enough
money to cover his first holiday rent payment.
It worked out so well, that the following season, our product
supplier suggested to all their new distributors that they open
After each holiday season, my supplier sent us a list with
the contact information for each of their dealers. And every
season called each one to hear about their experience.
The season in question I was particularly interested in hearing
from the folks that opened in October, and hearing about their
This is what I found out, when I finally got a chance to talk
The returning dealers tended to do well... whether they opened
October 1st or November 1st.
Now... it was a different story with the new dealers.
It turned out that the ones that opened in October did a LOT
better than the ones that opened only for Nov. and Dec.
Not only did they have an extra month to make sales, but they
tended to make better sales in Nov. and Dec. as well. And that
was only part of the story...
On the whole, the dealers that opened in October reported
being a lot LESS stressed and frazzled... than the ones that
were only open for two months.
See... when you open up November 1st, you've really only got
about three full weeks before Thanksgiving hits to get your
staff up and trained... if... you want to fully take advantage
of the holiday selling season.
If you are selling a demonstration product, like we were, it
can take a salesperson seven to ten days of actual selling
time in order to feel comfortable with a script or pitch.
That means if you are using part-time people, you've got no
room for error when hiring and training. Salespeople have to
work out right away... if your going to be be ready for
On the other hand, the dealers that opened in October had an
entire extra month to get their staff hired and trained.
If they made a mistake in hiring, or somebody didn't work out,
they had plenty time to bring in someone new.
And because they were paying lower rent for October, the
pressure to have everything 'work out' right away wasn't
quite as high.
Many of the dealers that opened in October made good sales,
and a really solid profit.
However, even the ones that didn't do skyrocket numbers in
October, tended to have better sales for the actual November
and December season.
That's because they had more time to get ready. They were
better prepared to deal with the holiday crowds, once those
crowds started to roll in.
Not only did they make more money, but on a whole seemed
to have a better and less stressful experience.
The following season, a number of dealers opened in
mid-September and had even better results.
Now opening in October or earlier might not be appropriate
for every product, or for every situation.
However, you might seriously consider opening in October,
or even earlier... especially if you are selling a product
It will give you more time to hire and train a staff.
It will give you more time to learn the business.
And while you learn... you'll do so while paying the lower
October rent to the mall.
Higher sales, higher profits and less stress.... that sounds
like a winning combination to me.
P.S. Are you thinking of opening a holiday cart or
kiosk, but don't know what's involved?
Register for my free, seven day mini e-course on
'How to Open Your Own Mall Cart or Kiosk Business.'
It'll cover some of the basic issues you need to
take into account when starting your first cart or
kiosk. You can register here: