I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Malcolm and I are empty-nesters — with our kids being gone or celebrating Thanksgiving elsewhere. Rather than eating alone, we typically attend our town’s community dinner on Thanksgiving. Of course, we miss being with family, but it is nice to catch up with the friends we see at the community dinner.
This year we sat with the new library director who is busy with an expansion program for the library. They currently have the new extension’s outside frame built and are waiting for the funding to finish the inside. I find this project particularly interesting as they tore down a house I lived in between my marriages in order to build the extension!
Thankfully, Thanksgiving is early this year, giving us an extra long holiday selling season. With the official start as the infamous Black Friday, the season is over 30 days long! We have found that the longer the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the more sales we make! Go figure!!
And of course, this is time to finish off the last of our re-organization of our products, gift supplies, and shipping materials as the biggest sales season of the year begins.
Today (Friday), is a good day to check and double check your inventory and supplies to make sure everything is ready to go! Since so many people are at the Black Friday sales at the various retail outlets, online sales are typically slow until Saturday or even the following week.
Enjoy your weekend! From this moment forward, we might all be too busy to think of anything other than filling orders!!
Inspiration about …
Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It originated as a harvest festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by George Washington after a request by Congress. The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days, and—as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow—it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims.
“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.”
~ Joyce Giraud — a Puerto Rican actress, model, philanthropist, film and television producer.
Despite all the wonderful food most of us enjoy, Thanksgiving is the time of year when we express gratitude for all the great family and friends, and the many blessing we receive every day.
Just like the first Pilgrim’s and Indian’s Thanksgiving meal, we share our bountiful food with our family and/or friends in celebration of all that we are thankful for the year.
I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving by closing this section with one final inspirational quote:
“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
~Henry Van Dyke — an American author, educator, and clergyman.
I was gone most of last week taking care of my daughter and her 5-year-old son after my daughter underwent a minor surgery. One thing I noticed very quickly is how much energy a 5-year-old has pent up, just waiting to get out!
I wish I could capture all his energy and use it for myself. His show of energy reminded me of all the things I knew needed my focus as soon as I got back home. Busy, busy, busy getting the last of our holiday products in stock and on the website.
Over 2/3 of our Tastes of Idaho sales happen between now and the end of the year. We frequently get additional ‘corporate orders’ which consists of large amounts of products and/or baskets sent out for customer and employee gifts. Counting all of the orders, phone, website, and corporate, we are usually too busy to do focus on anything else!
So about now, I need to make sure that everything is accurately lined out on the website BEFORE the big rush hits!
In order to make sure all of my last minute website tweaks are taken care of, I formulated this quick checklist:
- Check all of my products (192 of them this year), making sure those items that are in stock are listed as available and those that are not (didn’t make the sales last season) are removed or hidden.
- Update any price increases since the last time I ordered the product (we typically take the wholesale price per item, add a pro-rated shipping amount and double it — rounding to an acceptable retail price)
- We track inventory, so I update all the inventory amounts to make sure they reflect what you currently have in stock.
- Check all the photos to make sure the product is clearly represented.
- Rework any verbiage — especially on the home page and terms pages — for accuracy and ease. (I don’t want your customers to be confused)
- Check shipping rates and update where necessary.
- Check all supplies needed such as shipping boxes, tape, bubble wrap and/or peanuts, labels (if needed), and organized these in a streamline fashion (think assembly line).
By this time, your marketing plan should be in place and new product emails are sent to your customers/subscribers at least once a week. And if you are featuring a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale, make sure you announce it and repeated the announcement several times.
Anything else? Did I forget anything?
Today’s Business Tip from …
Neale Donald Walsch
Neale Donald Walsch (born September 10, 1943) is an American author of the series Conversations with God. He is also an actor, screenwriter, and speaker. Before writing the Conversations With God series, Walsch worked variously as a radio station program director, newspaper managing editor, and in marketing and public relations.
“And we’re seeing a higher level of consciousness and many more opportunities for people to challenge their present ways of thinking and move into a grander and larger experience of who they really are.”
One of the ways I learn to grow is when my current paradigm is challenged. In other words, I change my thinking because of something new I discovered or experienced that is vastly different than my past beliefs.
I am sure you’ve had similar experiences in your life when you’ve excelled because you found something beyond yourself. This often happens when circumstances dictate some needed changes in the way you think, feel and act about a particular situation.
These can be times of great challenges which make you recognize something bigger than what you typically see or feel in your life.
Neale’s words about discovering a “higher level of consciousness” describes this process beautifully.
I want to close this section with this one reassuring thought:
“Glorify who you are today, do not condemn who you were yesterday, and dream of who you can be tomorrow.”
Today’s Business Tip from …
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis July 28, 1929 – May 19, 1994) was an American book editor and socialite who was First Lady of the United States during the presidency of her husband, John F. Kennedy, from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. Even after her death, she ranks as one of the most popular and recognizable First Ladies and was listed as one of Gallup’s Most-Admired Men and Women of the 20th century in 1999
“What is sad for women of my generation is that they weren’t supposed to work if they had families. What were they going to do when the children are grown – watch the raindrops coming down the window pane?”
Jackie Kennedy is probably one of the most popular and well-known female icons of the latter part of the 20th century.
Her style, elegance and grace made her a notable wife, mother, first lady and woman. So many young girls, like myself, grew up wanting to look like her and be like her. She was a hero in her own rights.
I wanted to share her quote above as it represents the beginning of the change for the role of women during her (and our) lifetime. She was the role model of a modern woman as she was more than just a mother and wife but as someone with strength, grace and poise.
If there is one woman that is worthy of recognition for dealing with trials during her life, Jackie has earned our respect.
I want to close this section by one final and memorable quote:
“Even though people may be well known, they hold in their hearts the emotions of a simple person for the moments that are the most important of those we know on earth: birth, marriage and death.”