The Ultimate Checklist To Get Your Small Business Holiday Ready

The Ultimate Checklist To Get Your Small Business Holiday Ready

When it comes to holiday planning, you can never be too early. If you're already feeling the stress of the holiday season ahead, enter makesy to the rescue!

We put together important dates, a checklist you can use to stay organized (and sane!), and plenty of ideas to inspire your holiday marketing. 

So, get a cup of hot cocoa, light up your juniper fir & balsam spruce candle, and let's get your small business holiday ready!


important 2023 holi-dates

Mark these dates on your calendar now and prepare your customers for holiday shipping deadlines. Add a banner or pop-up to your website, include messaging in your emails, and update your social media profiles to say "order by 12/16!" 

Black Friday

November 24

Cyber Monday

November 27

Ground Shipping Deadline (most carriers)

December 16

Priority Shipping Deadline (most carriers)

December 21


December 7 - 15

Christmas Eve

December 24

Christmas Day

December 25

Boxing Day

December 26

small business holiday prep guide

how to make the most of the season

The holiday season is around the corner and we know it can be filled with equal parts excitement and overwhelm. This is THE time of year to increase your average order value, attract new customers, launch seasonal products and gift sets, sell gift cards, and so much more. 

Avoid (at least a bit of) stress by thinking about your to-do list in small steps. Focus on one area of your biz at a time and get the biggest tasks done first, the ones that will give you the most bang for your buck. 

We created this checklist, divided into categories, to keep you organized as you prepare your small business for its best year yet.'ve got this, maker!

the get holiday-ready checklist

  • product development
    • Plan out your inventory
    • Create gift sets & product bundles
    • Create gifts at price points, $25, $50, $100
    • Order supplies (regular collection & holiday)
    • Order packaging & boxes
    • Stock up on gift cards (if you do physical cards)
    • Order gift wrapping & gift tags


  • sales & promotions
    • Create a sale & promotion calendar
    • Research & confirm markets
    • Create discount codes or schedule price changes on your site


  • creative
    • Shoot holiday photography
    • Get images of/for:
      • Products & gift guides
      • Website popup
      • Homepage & holiday landing pages
      • Social posts
      • Emails
      • Press coverage


  • marketing & content
    • Create an email & sms calendar
    • Create an abandoned cart email flow or update your existing flow with holiday messaging and imagery
    • Plan out your advertising budget and creative
    • Prepare holiday social media content
    • Submit your business for press in gift guides
    • Plan a holiday giveaway or contest


  • website & operations
    • Consider lengthening or adding flexibility to your return policy
    • Make sure customer service is prominent on your website and social media
    • Create holiday landing pages including gift guide and best sellers collection
    • Update your homepage banner & email pop-up with holiday creative


holiday product photography inspo

Great product photography is an investment of time and money but it drastically improves your marketing performance and sales. When you have great images to work with, putting together emails, social media graphics, and updating your website will all come together with more ease.

We put together some ideas to inspire your next shoot!

product photography product photography product photography


ten sale ideas

'Tis the season to score a deal! It's no secret that come November, shoppers are looking for a sweet incentive to shop their hearts out.

If you're running multiple sales throughout the season, there are plenty of fun ways to keep your customers engaged with unique and creative promotions.

Here are a few of our favorite sale ideas!

  1. Sitewide discount. Common but highly effective!
  2. Buy more, save more. Example: save $20 when you spend $100, save $30 when you spend $150.
  3. Gift with purchase. Example: spend $100, get a free wick trimmer.
  4. Sale on sale, an extra percentage off all reduced items.
  5. Free shipping.
  6. Dollar off with minimum purchase. Example: $10 off purchases of $50 or more.
  7. Mystery sale. Share a code, customers have to enter it at checkout to find out how much they save.
  8. Gift card with purchase. Example: spend $150 now. get a gift card to use in the new year.
  9. Flash sale, a percentage discount valid for 24 hours or less.
  10. VIP sale, offer to your best customers as a thank you for their support.

    five must-send emails

    Email is one of your most valuable sales channels and during the holidays, you'll want to maximize its potential. In addition to sending email campaigns about your new collection, there are six emails we consider to be absolute must-haves!

    sale sample email

    the sale email

    Send out at least one, if not, several emails about your sales. Write a great subject line and include the discount so customers learn instantly about the sale even if they don't fully open.

    holiday email example



    the gift guide email

    Compile your most gift-able products into a collection and create an email around who they are perfect for. Organize by price point, by giftee (mom, sister, boss), or by interest (nature lover, cook, etc.). This is a winning revenue driver every. single. time! 

    abandon cart sample email


    the abandon cart email

    We've all done it, put something in our cart and left it behind! Give your customers the nudge they need to come back and check out. You'll see a huge boost in sales with this email flow in action!

    holiday shipping email

    the shipping reminder

    Remind customers about those holiday shipping deadlines so they order in time to get their gifts by Christmas!

    gift card sample email


    the gift card email

    When the shipping deadlines have passed, you can still bring in sales with gift cards! It's the perfect last-minute push to end your holiday season on a high note!


    Well, there you have it maker! You've got all our tips and tricks for getting your business holiday ready. Tag us on social with #makesymade so we can spotlight your business this season!

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