Right now, many of you are receiving or shipping final orders before you start to hunker down for a well-deserved hibernation for a few weeks. And let me be the first to say: PRIORITIZE HIBERNATION. Sink into it with all the cookies and family and naps you couldn’t possibly make time for over recent months.
But once you’ve semi-recovered and you’re starting to think about next year, I wanted to share some small, simple things you can do or reflect on now to have the most powerful possible 2019.
7 Simple Things to Do Now, for Wholesale Growth Next Year
Take time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not in your business. This higher level analysis lets your brain slip out of today’s concerns and rest in a calmer observation of the whole picture. If you can take even 15 minutes to jot down successes, failures, and questions from 2018, it will give you a much stronger foundation for next year.
2. Build on bright spots
One outcome of the reflection process in #1 is that you’ll notice that 2018 was a mix of things that worked (bright spots) and things that didn’t. Once you have a sense of that, my suggestion is to build on bright spots. Don’t invest tens of thousands of dollars on ideas you’ve never experimented with… and don’t abandon channels that have already worked. Instead, try to identify small things that gone well -- and think of ways to move more in those directions. Did you get a few local wholesale accounts by pounding the pavement? Then investing in a few months of Wholesale In a Box could be wise. Or, let’s say you had an incredible response to a flash sale you did of a new kind of painting -- think of ways you might do more of those this year.
3. Set some darn goals.
In the last year, I’ve started setting a yearly goal, as well as creating a quarterly list of projects that I stick to, come hell or highwater. Each quarter, I reassess and choose the next list of projects. This structure has been really helpful for me, both in terms of outcomes and in terms of the peace I feel in carrying out a plan each quarter, rather than constantly second-guessing myself. You can use whatever structure you want, but consider setting some quarterly or yearly goals and sticking to them for the whole time.
4. Turn pro.
In the spring, I shared a blog post talking about the idea, and importance, of “turning pro” when it comes to your dreams and your business. It’s about identifying the ways you could add structure, seriousness, or intention to your work -- and taking action. As Steven Pressfield says:
“What we get when we turn pro is, we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and to live out.”
Only you know what this might look like in your business -- hiring a photographer; staying on top of Quickbooks; getting a part-time helper; or planning your production schedule more carefully. You don’t have to do everything at once, but choosing even one thing can start a snowball.
5. Make it the default.
One of the biggest reasons makers find Wholesale In a Box so helpful is that we provide the handholding, accountability, and structure to make wholesale growth the default rather than the exception. Whatever your biggest business focus this year, find ways to put progress in that area “on autopilot.” For instance, if growing Instagram is a goal, don’t leave it up to daily inspiration -- schedule out your posts months in advance. If wholesale is your jam, consider working with us so you know it will happen. Even asking a friend to check in with you on a big goal can be a simple way to make progress the default.
6. Get help.
This might be production help or it might be help from us. It might be guidance of mentors or the guidance of a friend. It might be signing up for our wholesale ecourse or delving into our free Training Center. Planners are help. Software is help. Tools are help.
7. Just start. But refine and iterate as you go.
A few months back, we asked a bunch of inspiring makers for their advice on what they wish they knew about wholesale when they started. Lydia from Argaman&Defiance emphasized the importance of starting with what you have and not delaying until things are “perfect.” But then, also be sure to make space to refine as you go. She shares:
“Getting started is not and shouldn't be the hardest part. Starting becomes the focus because it’s so uncomfortable. What we should be focusing on is the editing process and how we can become sharper, more decisive and recover quickly from mistakes and failure. If we can become stronger editors (in the creative process and beyond) you can communicate your brand, aesthetic, and process that much better.”
Is getting your beautiful work on more store shelves one of your big 2019 goals? Well, we’re REALLY excited to announce a free program that we’re putting finishing touches on and we’ll announce next week. It’s a simple way to give yourself a huge, inspiring, practical boost for wholesale in 2019, especially if you’re really ready to hit the ground running next year. Keep your eye on your inbox next week for details!