4 tips on handling your artwork shipping easily this holiday season

Artwork by Chantal Lesley

Holidays are a pretty busy time of the year, and while holiday season brings with it a boost in your art sales, it also means that your workload will increased as well. A lot of people place order due to the holiday deals and discounts, and you will be swamped with more work than ever. As you get done with the holiday marketing and promotional content, now you must make sure that all those orders are processed smoothly and reach their rightful owners.

It’s okay if so far you’ve been preoccupied with the ‘selling part’ of your art, but now it’s time to think of the next step, and make some arrangements. For someone with an art business, holiday season does not come to its completion until that last holiday order reaches its destination. As the orders pile up, you may have to work twice as before to make sure everything is process smoothly and swiftly. This means streamlining your work and making some changes in the way you run your business, such as getting help, preparing inventory etc. We are here with some handy tips that will help you navigate this busy time of the year!

Artwork by Marjorie Hellman

Don’t be afraid to get help

Firstly, you need to accept that you are going to need assistance at this time of the year, and so, you must not underestimate the power your workers have. In case you are a small team, and the workload is much more than you can handle, you always have the option to hire contract workers that can help you out at this time.

For artists with a limited budget, a great idea for managing the workload is by getting help from your friends and family. This always helps, as ultimately, the people close to you have your best interest at heart. You can divide responsibilities among them, and create an environment where you can also have fun as you work. For example, you can make one person in-charge of invoices, one or two people should look over the shipping process, and someone should handle the packaging of your artworks. You will be the one managing everything else and making sure that they don’t experience any hiccup in their tasks. And after you are done with all the holiday workload, don’t forget to give your friends a token of appreciation by making some personal artworks for them or taking them out for lunch!

The 80/20 Rule

The coming weeks are going to get hectic, and there are going to be times when you’ll feel like you are on the brink of losing your focus. A great strategy during such times is to follow the 80/20 rule. This rule entails that you focus you attention on 20% of those tasks that will deliver 80% of the results. Essentially, you will need to compartmentalize your tasks according to their preference. For example, you may have to choose between answering order confirmation emails and setting up the orders for shipping. There will come a time where you will need to decide whether packaging your artworks and getting them ready for delivery is more urgent or creating packaging that is aesthetically pleasing to look at. In an ideal world, you will be able to do everything on your to-do list without making any hard decisions. But for now, we realize that as an artist with a small business, you will need to decide which one of these tasks can wait without any repercussions, and which of the other tasks need to get done at the earliest.

Artwork by Odeta Xheka

Prepare your inventory beforehand

However you used to manage your orders and shipments before the holidays, now you need to make a few changes, such as preparing your inventory. If you have already done that, then well done to you. If not, then it’s no biggie as this task is very easy and manageable.

Preparing inventory means that you are making sure that all your artworks are stocked, organized and labelled. During the holidays, artists often have deals going are where they offer discounts or gift bundles. Due to this reason, it’s important that you organize your holiday sale items separately. If these are allowed to mix up with the rest of your artworks, it can become very difficult very quickly. Use technology to organize and label your stock, and if you can, make a list of all these items as well so there is no confusion for you or any of your team members.

During the holidays, delivery times may also lag because there is an increased pressure on postal services. Another good idea would be to stock up on essentials you will need for the coming weeks. For example, get extra packaging materials, so if you run out of it, you don’t have to think about it in the thick of it. With everything on hand, you will be able to keep the system running without worrying about the supplies.

Be ready for any unexpected delays

In the end, no matter how much you plan, you must also accept the fact that sometimes you will encounter unexpected challenges. Acknowledging this unpredictability is essential, as it will remove the element of surprise. As you brace yourself for any such changes, it will be easier for you to navigate them as well.

The best way to be prepared for such surprises is by creating schedules that are flexible and can be altered accordingly. Sometimes, orders can get delayed or there can be hold-up in the shipping process. At times wrong orders get processed accidently, and as an artist you will have to manage all that along with rest of the workload. However, having a positive mindset, and the resilience to face anything that comes in your way, may prove to be a vital element that will help you pivot swiftly.

Artwork by Laura Radwell

Holidays are an exciting time, and so you must not lose any opportunity that can help your business at this time. Whether you are a team of two people or ten people, streamlining the order processing and shipment is always a good idea. Not only does it make life easier, but it is also a great way to make sure that your art collectors are satisfied and keep coming back for more. We hope that these useful tricks will help your organize some of your work and make the incoming holiday season a truly festive affair!

Want to know more about managing your art business during the holidays? Here are some similar articles.

8 easy tips for small art businesses to flourish during the festive season

How to position your art as the ideal holiday present

5 creative tips to prepare your art studio for Black Friday sale

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