As the holiday season rolls around each year, we often take a moment to be thankful for our families, our friends, and the best parts of our lives. What if you took that attitude and applied it to your business year round?
When people feel valued, they are more likely to work with you again or purchase more products. When you’re busy, sending a thank you note can feel like one more item on the never-ending to-do list, but the benefits from creating a culture of gratitude are endless. People will talk about you to their friends and business contacts, and they will be more pleasant to work with because they know you appreciate them. Gratitude will help your business grow.
If you haven’t taken the time for that extra touch this year, the holiday season is the perfect time of year to pause and take a moment to say thank you to people who have helped you in your business this year, purchased from you, or helped spread the word about what you do. It can be something as simple as a short, nice email, or a gesture like a gift or taking someone to coffee or dinner.
There will no doubt be a few people who come to mind first, like clients or employees, but here are some additional ways you can spread gratitude in unexpected places:
Clients or customers you’ve worked with this year.
If you do project work, make a list of your clients this year, then send them a handwritten card wishing them a great holiday and telling them how much you’ve appreciated working with them this year. If they were a big, ongoing client, a small gift would be a lovely gesture. Snail mail can be such an unexpected treat and truly appreciated. If you sell products and can’t possibly send a personalized card to all your purchasers, consider sending an email to them all saying how much you value their patronage.
Collaborators and advocates.
Did you work with another business owner on a project? Did you do a co-promotion with another blogger? Drop those people a note to say how much you loved working together. This could be a great time to set a date to talk about future collaborations! Or, you may have someone who is always referring clients to you or singing your praises in Facebook groups. Send a thank you for their kind words and let them know how much business it has brought you!
Social media followers.
Is there a person who is always retweeting you, or writing meaningful comments on your Instagram posts? Send that person a quick tweet or message saying how much you appreciate their support! They will love knowing that you see and appreciate them and will feel even more engaged in the community you build.
A product or service that you love.
Is there a podcast that you can’t wait to listen to each time a new episode arrives? A blogger that constantly publishes amazing, free content? Let him or her know! Leave an awesome review on iTunes for that podcast, or send a short, sincere email to that blogger. Knowing how much their products have helped you might be just the inspiration they need to keep it going.
Friends and family.
Undoubtedly, there is someone outside of your business supporting you and making it possible for you to do what you do. Maybe your mom watches the kids a few hours every afternoon so you can get things done, or your spouse takes on a few extra hours of work to make some extra income before your business turns a profit. Maybe you have a friend who is a big cheerleader of what you’re trying to accomplish when it feels like everyone else is doubting you. Let that person know how much their support has positively affected what you do in your work!
Once you see how awesome it is to make that extra effort towards people in your business life, you’ll want to continue it year round. Gratitude invites loyalty, and it makes the daily routine of business just a bit brighter for everyone.
Download this free worksheet as a way to keep track of all those people who help you out this year! When people feel valued, they are more likely to work with you again or purchase more products.
About the author: Laura is a graphic designer who loves working with small, creative businesses to build thoughtful brands at her studio, Dotted Design.