The Gift of Gratitude: The More You Give, the More You Get
As Thanksgiving approaches, we (in the United States, at least) tend to keep gratitude in our thoughts a little more than usual. That’s great! One of the many awesome things about giving thanks is what we think of as the “boomerang effect.” When you send some appreciation out into the world, more often than not, a little appreciation will come right back atcha’.
With this in mind, here are some ideas to noodle over this November – and beyond. Don’t be fooled into thinking only big gestures matter when it comes to giving thanks. A little effort really does go a long way.
Thank your customers!
Plenty of our community members have shared tips for reminding customers how much you value them (this post has lots of great ideas). Here are eight ways entrepreneurs can say, Thanks for your business!
Offer a surprise gift with a minimum purchase
Provide no-charge delivery for a minimum order or for any referral
Create a challenge or contest and reward the winner with a goodie bag packed with your products
Give loyalty cards for repeat purchases. Ten stamps, and your next purchase is free!
Hand out in-store taste tests and free samples
Share valuable information for free (post an instructional video or helpful blog post)
Create a “Wall of Fame” on your site and post photos of your most loyal customers (with permission, of course)
Send a thank-you note (bonus points if you snail-mail it, the good ol’ fashioned way)
QB Community senior member Pascal Depuhl breaks down his approach to appreciation in more basic terms. When it comes to showing customers how much they mean to him, this photographer and videographer focuses on two goals: be nice – and do better than expected.
Pascal points out that satisfied customers are likely to refer you to others and may want to share a rave review, too. Which leads us to this important reminder …
Thank your favorite brands!
T’is the season to let your go-to businesses know how much you appreciate them. (This list definitely includes the vendors and suppliers who keep you stocked with packaging and products, too.) Perhaps they woo you with some of the generous gestures we mention above. Maybe they go the extra mile every time, making sure you always enjoy even-better-than-expected service or products.
Whatever your #1 business does to make you their #1 fan, here are five ways you can say thanks:
Share a glowing testimonial on a website or social channel
Be specific! Do you love their free shipping? Fast delivery? Great customer service? Easy-to-navigate website? You know every business decision is significant, so be detailed in your praise!
Refer friends and family (make sure they let the owner know you sent them)
Let your clients and customers know this is a great business to work with
Deliver a gift – something from your own product line, perhaps, or a batch of homemade cookies for employees to enjoy
Thank your employees
If you rely on employees to make your business work, now is a good time to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts. We’ve already mentioned that even a small gesture packs a powerful appreciation punch, so let’s always remember the importance of simply saying thank you. Now, consider these short-term and long-range ideas from QB Community members about appreciating your employees (and then read even more suggestions here).
“Offer a mentorship program or professional training opportunities.”
“Make employees feel like they are a part of a family, not some random digit picking up a paycheck.”
“Throw a BBQ or have a beer with the crew. Simply sitting down and getting acquainted is important.”
“Be flexible with folks who have a family. Things pop up left and right with kids.” “Don't flaunt raises, but don't dangle the carrot either. Give people raises when you feel their value exceeds their pay. Don’t set expectations and then fail to follow through.”
“I keep my people happy by giving support, a compensation that incentivizes them and just random ‘thanks.’”
“It's amazing how little things like company get-togethers or a free lunch can boost your team’s morale, passion and enthusiasm about what they do.It's also important to request and value employee feedback about their work.”
“We pay 65% of our full-timers health and dental coverage. We also do fun events every quarter. Our staff work hard, and we want to make sure we have a fun place to work.”
This may sound like a bit on an aw, shucks moment – but we mean it. We know (firsthand!) how much work it takes to turn an entrepreneurial dream into an actual business. Whether you’re juggling a day job while tending to your side-gig or you’ve swapped your 9-5 for a 24/7/365 commitment, we know you’re giving your all every day.
We hope you’ll take a moment to appreciate the determination, persistence, creativity and effort it takes to work for yourself. At some point – maybe today, tomorrow, next week or next month – we encourage you to pause before you get caught up in another crazy-busy day. Take a nice, slow, deep breath in. Slowly exhale. Now, give yourself the gift of some heartfelt appreciation – for everything you’ve already done, and all you continue to do.
Before you go
Gratitude comes in so many forms. Read this post to find out what one community member deeply appreciates about having her own home-office – and meet her favorite whiskered “assistant!”
QB Community members, what are your favorite ways to show gratitude to the people who help keep your business humming? Please share in the comments below!
The Gift of Gratitude: The More You Give, the More You Get
My 9YO brought home a drawing she made at school this week. It says, "It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy." Truth.
This year, I'm thankful for much: my health, my girl, my team, my friends and this community. The holidays are not an easy time for me since losing my husband to cancer two years ago - but they are always a reminder of today, of who loves me and of who I love. And that's much of what matters.
Happy Thankful Day to you all. May this season bring you peace, joy and love.