Every entrepreneur and business owner wants to look after their staff members, their clients and suppliers. Keeping these people happy is a great way to keep your business ticking along and even growing. There are many ‘festive’ opportunities throughout the year to provide these people with a little of your generosity- a clients birthday, Christmas, New Years, even Valentines Day!
For example, at the end of the year, any entrepreneur worth his or her salt will take the opportunity to say thank you for all that’s been achieved the past 12 months and to wish all of their contacts well for the next 12 months. It’s a perfect marketing opportunity. This doesn’t have to be branded as part of Christmas (as not everyone celebrates Christmas), it is just a perfect opportunity to thank people. In terms of wording, ‘Happy Holidays’ is perhaps the most inclusive.
You want your employees to feel appreciated and to feel part of the company – a member of your team, their team. You want your clients to remain loyal and to appreciate the goods or services you supply. You want your suppliers to know you’re grateful for their support.
There are several ways to do this such as the giving of gifts. But certain rules apply. Cheap and tacky gifts have the reverse effect of what you are hoping for. Yes it shows you have thought about your employees, clients and suppliers but you’re likely to get short shrift if you think that something cheap and tacky will suffice.
Practical gifts are really appreciated
The more practical the gift you provide the greater the pleasure for the receiver. It need not be expensive but it really helps if it’s useful. How many times have people received something and wanted to say something like, ‘What on earth am I going to do with this?’ Avoid that situation. So what are some practical ideas for these practical gifts?
- Personalised cards.
- Personalised calendars.
- Samples from the merchandise you produce.
- Vouchers to spend at stores.
- Prepaid gift cards.
It’s easy to obtain personalized cards for any occasion, as many printing companies offer that particular service. If you have a printer you already use for your business printing, then approach them first. If not, one of the biggest online printing companies is vistaprint. One tip however is that you want to avoid the lack of a personal touch. Having a stamped signature or having a printed message inside the card and that’s all is not a good look.
You might say that you have hundreds or even thousands of these cards to send. Well that’s a different matter but the more personal you can make your greeting card the better. Remember people may get many cards and one which specifically mentions them by name or some aspect of their life gives your card an extra bit of meaning.
Most people put a calendar on the wall of their home or office and if you can come up with one which reminds them of your business so much the better. Making it a practical calendar is obviously worthwhile but one with either a comic touch or some picture or work of art which is stunning or quite beautiful is also a good idea. Like the cards it’s possible to find any number of printers who deal specifically with this type of merchandise.
Some of your products
Of course this depends on the type of business you are operating but if you do produce merchandise which is practical, then giving small gifts from your catalogue can also be a smart move. If what you produce is considerably expensive then consider purchasing promotional gifts from a promotional company (you’ll find these are a dime a dozen, so ask around for a few quotes and make sure you price match to get the best price).
Not sure what kind of gift to give? A voucher to spend at a store is always a good idea. If your employees receive a gift voucher to a well-known department store, you will almost certainly win their approval. You’re not telling them what type of gift they can choose. You’re sending them to an outlet which has a vast range of items and in this case it’s a win-win situation.
Along the same lines there are pre-paid gift cards which many businesses provide. Again it’s a matter of you choosing the level of gift you wish to provide and the person to whom you are giving it. A long serving employee would not necessarily receive the same gift as a brand-new supplier.
Above all be sincere and not too serious. Show off your caring but humorous personality. And don’t forget to say thank you and that you look forward to continued business!
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