Transform Your Small Business with the Power of Appreciation
Gratitude isn't just for Thanksgiving anymore! Uncover the transformative potential of gratitude to boost your business with positivity and growth.
“People will forget what you said,
People will forget what you did,
But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Mayo Angelou
We recently celebrated Thanksgiving, and as I was reflecting on what a wonderful day it was to express gratitude, I also realized that many people don’t extend that gratitude throughout the whole year. Yes, Thanksgiving is that one day of the year to be thankful for all the little things in life. But is one day a year enough to remember to be thankful? I don’t believe so.
I believe in my heart of hearts that gratitude must become a habit. When was the last time you said “thank you” just for the sake of saying it with no expectation of anything in return? I believe that we need to give to give, not give to get. When we give from a place of inspiration and appreciation, inspiration and appreciation will expand and grow. When we use kind words or show kindness and love, we get more of it. When we truly add value, we get even more value in return. By being inspired and giving with no expectation of getting anything back, we can set off a chain of events that can change the world for the better. It is human nature to want to contribute to people who have contributed to us.
As small business owners, sometimes we can get so caught up in everything we have to do that we forget to express gratitude to our customers, employees, and others. Sometimes we think those folks should somehow just know that we are thankful for them. We forget that saying “thank you for that order,” “thank you for your time,” “thank you for your referral,” and most of all, “thank you for being a part of my life,” is something businesses don’t do enough.
When someone has taken time out of their busy schedule to meet with you, don’t you think that thanking them would make them feel special? Oh, I know after the order comes, we might send them a text or email thanking them for the order, and that’s wonderful if you remember to do it. However, even if it may be a while before they need your product and/or service again, if you make them feel that you appreciated them as a client, they will not forget you.
We always say that we want to stay top of mind with our clients and prospects, but is that really what we want? Would we not prefer being memorable, not just top of mind? Kody Bateman, author of “The Power of the Human Connection” says, “Don’t ask for the referral: Deserve it.” You want to be memorable. You want your customers and employees to never forget how you made them feel (in a good way, naturally!).
What about gratitude toward employees? If you think about it from a pure business sense, what is the cost of onboarding a new employee? How much does it cost to appreciate and keep that employee? The cost of retention, if done correctly, is a minor investment. I am sure that most HR managers and owners know that most employees do not leave just because of wage concerns. They leave because they don’t feel appreciated. Think of the small investment you could do just to make them feel special and appreciated. What about celebrating their birthday, work anniversary, when they have a great idea that the company has adopted, or just celebrating the holidays with them by giving them a tangible touch that they can keep, frame, and even show to their family and friends?
I believe that a tangible touch is very important. As a society, we rely on text messages, emails, and social media when we are corresponding with our clients, prospects, and even employees. Unfortunately, those messages can get lost in the noise, sometimes left unread or even unopened. A tangible touch gives the people you care about something that they can touch, keep, and show to others.
When you see all the wonderful photos put on Facebook and LinkedIn celebrating someone’s birthday, anniversary, holiday get-together, or even a special award, wouldn’t it be wonderful to download that photo (which is already been made public) and put it on a card that can be printed, stuffed and mailed to the person who posted it as a keepsake photo to frame or just keep? Think how wonderful this would make them feel. Not only would they know that you have seen their post, but also that you care enough to help them celebrate their special occasion. Appreciation really does appreciate.
Who would like to join me in a 20-day challenge? I invite you to send out 10 cards with a message to 10 people in 20 days for only $20, which includes postage, anywhere in the world. Yes, we will print, stuff, and mail them for you. I am challenging you to end the year in gratitude and to make 11 people feel special. Yes, I said 11. The 10 who you reached out to, and YOU—for helping make those 10 people feel special.
We can make the world a better place by doing one simple thing, creating a chain reaction starting with one person feeling loved, appreciated, and special at a time. Join me on my quest to Make Gratitude a Habit and let’s make a difference together.
By Grace Strachan