planning for holiday production

Planning for Holiday Production

Robin Kavanagh is the global public relations manager for Sawgrass Technologies’ Consumer Division. Sawgrass provides digital printing technologies to support any size business—from desktop systems to wide-format commercial and industrial systems for production environments.   

The winter holidays are still a few months away, but now is the time to build out your sublimation business plans for this major production season. We are familiar with the times when customers are clamoring for certain products and there isn’t enough stock to go around. There's also the issue of having too much business for your current system or worse, experiencing equipment failure during the busiest time of the year.

The good news: planning, preparation, and investment— now—can prevent these unfortunate situations and keep your business running smooth. 

Start checking these items off your list and get things in motion today: 

 Stock up on supplies

Ink, paper, substrates, adhesive spray, heat tape. These are sublimation essentials that prove difficult to find in a moment’s notice. Take advantage of promotions and special offers such as bulk pricing and free shipping and stock up on these staples now. This will help keep your shop in shape and ready to take on any order at any time.

 Assess your system

If you’ve been thinking about expanding your capabilities with an additional printer, now is the time to take the leap. If the thought of replacing a printer has ever crossed your mind, it is a good idea to get that done well before the holiday flood comes through the door. Again, replacing a sublimation printer takes some time, and you can’t afford to spend it waiting when there’s money to be made.

If your printer is doing a fantastic job, ask yourself if it can handle the upswing in orders or if it would make your business more efficient to add another printer to the mix or even upgrade to a larger size. Think about what demand was like last year and what you anticipate this year based on the growth of your business. If you’re not sure, talk to a dealer about your options. 

 Build a sales plan

All year you’ve been doing market research, checking trends, and seeing what your markets are looking for from your business. It's time to refocus all that information on the holidays. What are you going to offer this year that will make your profits soar? Building a set product list now allows you to focus on one strategy during the holiday rush and keep your sales on track. Also, estimate how much product you need to keep up with demand and start stocking up.

 Work out the kinks

Did you wish you offered a specific product but didn’t have the time to test it out last year? Or your idea didn't sell how you thought it would? Maybe you couldn’t keep a new product in stock because it was so popular? If you start working on those products in September, you will have enough time to make a better assessment of success come the holidays. Use the time you have now to try new products and stock up on the ones that have done well all year, or your customers could not get enough of last year.

You may not quite be in the holiday spirit, but it’s time to do some planning and investing in your sublimation business. Ring those cash-register bells all winter long!