Thursday, November 06, 2008

Let's Just Get Through This Christmas!

Online sellers look forward to the 4th quarter each year, because the sales and profits often make their whole year a success, but this year many are concerned that the traditional bump at Christmas time won't materialize. Many are saying; "if I can just make it through Christmas, I'll be okay".

This is going to be a rough 4th quarter for online sales and if you plan on continuing after the new year, it is time to make hard decisions about your business.
  • Cut overhead costs as much as possible: Small businesses often don't have much room to cut because they are generally very lean, but it will pay to assess your business expenses and make the necessary cuts.
  • Ask yourself if you really need to hire that additional help to get you through the 4th quarter. 
  • Most sellers have already made their inventory purchases for the season, but when it comes time to re-order make sure you have a good idea how fast that product will move.
  • Take a close look at where you sell. If the marketplace you sell on is not profitable or requires more effort that the profit is worth, it is time to look elsewhere.
It was during the 4th quarter of 2005 that I made the decision regarding Glacier Bay. I had restructured the business to make the 4th quarter profitable again, but I needed a sizable profit to give me enough confidence to continue. Unfortunately, I never reached my profit goal and shut the business down in January of 2006.

If you haven't already assessed the health of your business and established some 4th quarter goals, I recommend you do that right away. 

Just my 15%

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