This Thanksgiving, reach out to people in your business community to let them know how much you appreciate their continued support.
There was no "business as usual" in 2020. From government-mandated shutdowns to shortages of critical supplies (including toiler paper, of all things), this was a year of continual disruption. And unlike previous years, when Thanksgiving gave us a chance to pause and share our good fortune with friends and family, most of us will be forced to keep our distance as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues through the 2020 holidays.
Such hardships are all the more reason to reach out (virtually) to those in our lives and business communities, near and far, to thank them for all they've done to help us get through this trying year.
No Business Is an Island
Even if you're a sole proprietorship, you're not in business alone. You rely on a network of suppliers, vendors and service providers to bring your products and/or services to market and generate income.
Operating under the same constraints as you, this support network found ways to deliver your business what it needed during a worldwide pandemic. From suppliers who willingly steered you to alternate sources to overcome backlogs and shortages, to bankers who had to process a flood of COVID-related disaster loan applications while working remotely, many in your business community went above and beyond to help you stay up and running despite all the challenges. Be sure to show your appreciation directly, through small gifts or messages of thanks, as well as indirectly by providing recommendations and referrals.
Every Customer and Employee Counts
Even the best support network would be for naught if you didn't have dedicated employees to help you make it all work — and customers willing to overcome inconveniences such as mask wearing, social distancing, reduced hours and limited supplies. While client delight might seem like an unrealistic goal in the midst of such restrictions, it's actually more important than ever.
Small businesses have been reinventing client delight in a variety of creative ways during the pandemic. Take the jewelry store that switched to a weekly livestreamed gem show and online ordering after being forced to close its doors. Or the shop that donated ice cream to first responders and healthcare workers. That shop also boosted its hourly workers' pay by 25% — reinforcing the simple idea that delighted employees are often the most direct route to delighted customers. Keep that in mind this holiday season.
Gratitude Across the Board
Last, but certainly not least, be sure to express your gratitude to every member of your leadership team, and to your network of advisors — including those serving in an unpaid capacity. Think of everyone who made a useful suggestion as you pivoted or adapted your business, or simply sent a word of encouragement just when you needed a boost to get through a difficult day. Return those good wishes this holiday season, and you might provide the inspiration a member of your unofficial support team needs just when they need it most.
Time for a Special Holiday Display
With a difficult year winding down, and another potentially difficult year just ahead, you might not feel much like celebrating this holiday season. That's understandable. Still, take a moment to reflect on how fortunate you are to still be in business — and how many people helped you accomplish that. You can put the giving in Thanksgiving this year by proactively letting everyone in your business community know how much you appreciate their ongoing support.
At Supporting Strategies, our experienced, U.S.-based professionals use secure, best-of-breed technology and a proven process to provide a full suite of bookkeeping and controller services. Are you ready to learn how you can move your business forward? Contact Supporting Strategies today.