My late night visitor

I know it’s a couple days after Christmas and you’re probably exhausted from making, delivering, and shipping all those holiday gift baskets (I am too!) but I HAVE to tell you about this crazy little guy who showed up at my door tonight.

He was short, about 4 feet tall.

He also had weird shoes that curled at the toe.

And even more weird, he had pointy ears.

I asked him who he was and he said he was a messenger from Santa!

Apparently, Santa is getting older and slower, and he’s concerned about his business model now. Even though he is a non-profit, he seems to be having the same questions and concerns that the rest of us are having. After all, he is in the gift industry.

This strange messenger said that he had heard of us and what we were doing to help those in the gift industry communicate with each other and share ideas about growing our businesses.

So he wanted my advice.

Can you believe that?

So here’s what I told this messenger to tell Santa:

1. Review what he did to reach those kids in 2012.

I told the messenger to tell Santa to not wait until December 1st to suddenly appear at the mall. Kids need to be reminded that he’s watching them all year long to see if they are “naughty or nice.” I suggested that he should start a blog and encourage those kids to answer questions about the gifts he and the elves were making and to keep up a steady communication with them. And commenting on all those other social media things that he has heard about, but doesn’t know much about, could be assigned to one of the elves that enjoys building relationships with the kids.

2. Create new products for 2013

Kids get tired of the same old gifts and are always looking for something new. I told him he should get some of his most creative elves busy making some new designs or even revamping the old ones. I told him to look at Apple, Amazon, and some of the other big dudes and see if just looking around at what others were doing would trigger some ideas.

3. Start exercising more and eating better

The messenger didn’t think this had anything to do with Santa’s business model, but I assured him that it certainly did. After all, if Santa doesn’t take care of himself, he’s not going to have the energy to take care of all those gift orders and answer all those letters that suddenly need doing in December. He doesn’t have to huff and puff and sweat and strain, but he should at least take a walk every day. Instead of hitching up the reindeer team to go to the store or run errands, I told the messenger to tell Santa to get off his behind and walk through the snow. And forget all those cookies and milk that the kids put out for him. Tell the kids to leave some fruit instead.

4. Learn what’s going on in the gift industry and trigger his creativity.

Let’s face it.

Santa has been around for a long, long time. Some of his ideas are old-fashioned, like telling kids to hang stockings with care. Most kids don’t even wear stockings and have no place to hang them. Some towns have even outlawed wood-burning fireplaces so he’s got to start giving out Santa keys to get into all those apartments and houses.

He still has some great ideas but he needs to keep up-to-date and see what others in his industry are up to. Fedex and UPS, and even the good old U.S. Post Office, are giving him a run for his money. If he’s not careful, those reindeer are going to be dead weight.

I invited him to join our community at www.giftretailersconnection.ning.com and share all the wonderful stuff that he has learned in all the centuries he’s been in business. I even told him that he might learn something new from a few of us.

And, I told him that if he’s really serious about building his gift business in today’s world and learning something new, he should subscribe to GiftRetailersConnection magazine. After all, it’s only $27.95 a year-a gift for himself that he shouldn’t do without.

Anyway, so that’s that.

This is the plan I have for Santa.

We’ll see if he listens in 2013.

Hope each of you had a GREAT holiday season and, although you didn’t send a strange little man to knock on my door, you might want to consider some of that advice too.

I’ll see you soon! 🙂

Joyce Reid

 

P.S. You’re invited to subscribe to our magazine and join our community too.  After all, aren’t you as important to your  customers as Santa is to his?