business planning
Plan your business for 2012
As a business owner, your days are understandably busy. You bounce between administrative tasks and taking care of the needs of your customers on a regular basis. When September and October roll around, the last thing on your mind is the upcoming holiday season. Yet, this is the exact time you should be thinking about holiday cards. Waiting much longer will spell disaster for this important marketing tool.

The fall is the perfect time to order the cards. You can avoid the mad rush that will hit in November and early December, and have your choice of cards from a variety of printers and online merchants. There is far less of a chance that the perfect card will be backordered or sold out.

Ordering early also gives you more time to think about exactly how you want the card to look. This extra time means a professional, personalized card that fits your business perfectly. It gives you time to think about the best ways to incorporate your brand into the card’s design.

Waiting until the last minute dooms your cards to a stamped greeting rather than a hand written one and addresses on address labels. Personalized greetings and a hand written address are always more effective and give the card a more personal look. This helps ensure that the card is opened and enjoyed, not tossed with the junk mail.

Another disaster that can occur if you wait too long is the inability to mail the cards in a timely manner. You want them to arrive at least a week before the intended holiday, whether you are sending Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s cards. Having the card arrive after the intended holiday is tacky and makes your business look as though it was not well prepared. Because the mail system can get quite clogged with cards and packages during the holidays, plan to mail your card about three weeks before the intended holiday. You cannot do this if you wait until the last minute.

So start thinking about your cards when school starts, order them in the early to middle fall, and start signing and addressing them as soon as they arrive, with the goal of having them done by the first week in December. These goals are attainable if you start early, and the alternative is not pretty, so be proactive in getting everything done on time.

About the Author: Monique Trulson works for eInvite, an online retailer of holiday cards for business, Bar Mitzvah invitations, party invites, stationery and more.