Can you smell that; the familiar scent of cinnamon and cloves wafting through the air? Or maybe for you it’s the distinct smell of spruce and pine that take you back to that familiar place. That familiar place, of course, being the holiday season.
It’s beginning to look a lot like – Before we get to singing our favorite carols, there are some things that need to be discussed. For starters, let’s talk thankfulness. During this entire holiday season (yes even more than just Thanksgiving Day), we look at these couple months as a time to reflect on all the things that we have and all the things we are thankful for.
This season, in my completely unsolicited, yet totally humble opinion, is the best one there is. Not only does the world come alive around you, but it really is the one time of year most of us choose to sit back and genuinely give gratitude for the things we love. Whether those things are our family, our friends, or even our jobs, the one thing we can all agree on is: we are thankful for so many things, but there is more we can do to show that gratitude.
When it comes to being a small business owner, there are probably 1,000 things going on in your mind during this time of year, and we don’t want to add more to your pile, but we do have some great advice: in this season of thanks, show those who matter the most just how thankful you are. When businesses go the extra step to show their appreciation to a customer, a client, or even an employee, that appreciation doesn’t go unnoticed. It is something that that person is going to remember and take with them.
These gestures don’t have to be extravagant by any means! Like I said, we know you are busy, so we thought we’d help you out by outlining a few simple ways that you can show your appreciation this holiday season to all those who have helped make you the success you are.
Ways to Show Your Clients, Customers and/or Employees You’re Thankful
- Send a Handwritten Note – Clients, Customers, and Employees
This could possibly be the simplest task on the list, but it is arguably the most effective. Taking time out of an already jammed pack schedule to write someone a handwritten note shows that you genuinely care about them and are thankful for what they do and how they’ve supported you. For example, there is a local boutique that I have ordered clothes from online. This particular boutique not only completed my order in a timely manner, but they included a little thank you note with my name and a little freebie as well. That, to me, meant more than anything I could have bought off of Amazon or any other large department store’s website. The handwritten note seems simple, but it can go a long way.
- Give Back to Causes Close to the Client – Clients
If you’re a company that works closely with a handful of clients, and you’re looking to give them a gift this holiday season, look no further. Give the gift of giving back. There are a lot of really important charities in the world today that people feel extraordinarily passionate about. Odds are, some of, if not all of, your clients have a charity that they feel that way toward. Maybe instead of giving them a tangible gift this year, you inquire about the causes that mean the most to them, and you make a donation in their name. This is a meaningful way to connect with the community and get a better understanding of who your clients are.
- Personalize Your Service – Customers
Showing that you are present, understanding, and listening go a long way with customers. If you are a business owner, then I’m sure you are all too familiar with this. Take that knowledge and use it as the ultimate thank you this season. Spend time figuring out how you can take little interactions with your customers and make them personal. For example, a restaurant in Chicago is known for making personalized dessert plates based off of small interactions they have with their customers. In one instance, a former Navy SEAL came into the restaurant wearing a SEAL hat. The owner noticed the hat and sent out a special plate inspired by the Navy SEALs. The man was so surprised that he ended up writing a letter of thanks and appreciation to the restaurant after that meal. This interaction alone proves just how much personalization means to your customers. Take this holiday season to try and personalize even the smallest of interactions with your customers, because sometimes even the smallest moment to you, can mean the most to them.
- Notice When Employees Go Above and Beyond – Employees
This time of year can be extraordinarily hectic for everyone. That includes your employees. Sometimes when the outside world is so much louder than you expect, it becomes hard to concentrate and you may check out. That’s not the case for everyone, however, and those employees deserve to be recognized. I’m not suggesting you make a large scene in front of everyone, but an encouraging email or even just stopping by their work space to tell them you’ve noticed the extra work they’ve been putting in can go a long way. For many people, especially in the Millennial and Gen Z generations, words of affirmation are huge. Consider using them to your advantage this holiday season. It won’t cost you anything, but it may gain you a whole lot of respect.
We know you have a lot to think about this holiday season. Odds are your thoughts are on your holiday shopping list and how to stuff a turkey, rather than on how to show your gratitude, and honestly, we get it. There is so much to sort through and figure out this time of year, but if you’re a business owner, don’t forget about the ones who help you all year long. There is a reason this time of year is labeled the “most wonderful”, and with a little grace and a whole lot of gratitude, we can help it live up to that name.
The holidays are officially upon us, and so is the season of thanks and giving. What are you most thankful for this year? Comment it below!