Get the Lay of the Land
First things first, carefully survey the Christmas ornament landscape and familiarize yourself with the major players and most popular products. Start by going on Amazon and finding the best sellers in a variety of categories. Pinterest is an excellent research resource thanks to its visual nature and heavily female membership. After all, women tend to make most of the buying decisions when it comes to household items. This is particularly true in the Christmas ornament department.
Focus on a Specific Ornament Niche
While it’s possible to make or sell a broad array of Christmas ornaments, choosing a wheelhouse is the best idea for beginners. There’s always the classic mainstays like snowman or snowflake ornaments, candles or wreaths to choose from just for starters. Also, you could choose to zero in on Christmas-specific items with a religious theme. Decide whether or not your ornaments and decorations will be powered by electricity to make product development easier in the future.
Come Up with a Solid Business Model
There are many ways to make a bundle on Christmas ornaments. The obvious route is to create custom ornaments yourself and ship them either directly or indirectly to customers. Of course, you could always mass-produce the merchandise and hand it off to a major third-party vendor. Finally, you might consider simply marketing and drop-shipping ornaments created by other companies using an affiliate site. Try to settle on one method before branching out into other areas.
Address Financing Issues Early On
A Christmas ornament business can be launched for anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the approach in question. If you have a solid business plan and a little collateral, a standard credit union or Small Business Administration loan should supply the necessary funds. If you have a novel idea for a single ornament that can be pre-sold to buyers, a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign might be a better way to go.
Sort Out the Operational Details
Regardless of the exact shape and form that your side business takes, many back-end administrative details will always be more or less the same. At a minimum, you’ll need a well-equipped home office with a decent printer, a conference phone and a quality laptop or PC. Sign up with a service like LegalZoom to help you sort out contracts quickly at a reasonable price. Stock up on bulk amounts of paper and shipping envelopes while you’re at it.
Solve the R&D Aspect of the Equation
Even if you have a great idea for one or more topnotch ornaments, you’ll need to iron out the kinks prior to production time. A great home lab or workshop is the best way to get the job done. If your ornaments are highly ornate, a CNC machine that can craft a plastic prototype makes a lot of sense. Otherwise, stocking up on craft supplies like fabrics, tassels and metals is a wise move.
Nail Down the Production Problem
Eventually, you’ll have to figure out how best to produce physical nutcrackers, wreaths and snowman figurines for your customers. Crafting each and every ornament by hand will require a sizable workshop and bulk amounts of raw materials. If you’re outsourcing production, finding a local manufacturer in your area will allow you to check in on operations in person. While finding a third-party craft manufacturer on the web is fairly easy, controlling quality from afar will often be more difficult.
Devise a Distribution Strategy
Unless they’re particularly bulky or expensive, your Christmas ornaments can be sold through nearly any channel imaginable. At the very least, you’ll need a flagship site for the purposes of branding, marketing and possibly distribution. Shopify and BigCommerce can be used to convert any WordPress site into a full-fledged e-commerce portal. Offline avenues for distribution include local craft shops, conventions and community markets. You might even set up a kiosk outside of a busy store during the holiday season.
Make a Name for Yourself via Marketing
When it comes to selling luxury consumer goods, branding is half the battle. The best way to make your ornaments must-have items is to secure the endorsements of high-profile authorities in niches like housekeeping and home decoration. Viral marketing via platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest is always a good way to get started. Content marketing can be a productive strategy if you’re willing to consistently crank out compelling articles for your site’s blog.
Grow the Business Once It’s Stabilized
As soon as your Christmas ornament concern is bringing in a reliable income, it’s time to consider the next step. You may find that your original production method isn’t cutting it anymore and that a bigger manufacturer is needed. You may also wish to expand your product line to encompass new niches. Whether you’re branching out vertically or horizontally, it’s important to avoid overextending yourself. Slow, steady growth is far more sustainable in the long run.
Staying on the Cutting Edge
Christmas ornaments and decorations are a fluid business that can change quickly. Keeping abreast of those changes will ensure that your hard work isn’t for naught. Selling Christmas Decorations is one of the premier industry publications covering every aspect of the holiday economy. Statista is another great way to keep an eye on trends. If you can anticipate shifts in the industry before they occur, your business will last as long as you’d like it to.