Thanksgiving is an annual holiday for celebrating the harvest and blessings of the past year. For families, now is the time to help one another feel positive emotions and build stronger relationships.
What about businesses?
It’s time to set yourself apart from the rest through a simple act of gratitude to the most important people to your business. While it might cost you something, the benefits you can get from being appreciative to your main stakeholder can go a long way in taking your business to the next level.
So how can you go about it and what benefits will each strategy bring to your business?
1. Show gratitude to employees to build better relationships.
Employees are the most important assets in a business. Without them, your business cannot run. It’s only fair that you appreciate them during the Thanksgiving season. So how do you show gratitude?
A simple “thank you” note indicating that you appreciate them and all they contribute to your organization can suffice. Or you can go an extra step and surprise them with a gift, if your budget allows. And how about a surprise lunch? This would be a perfect avenue for sharing food, fun, and laughter; a time for bonding.
What your business gains from these acts of gratitude might not be felt immediately. But once you notice your employees sticking around for years in an era characterized by low staff retention rates, you’ll know.
2. Appreciate your customers to drive customer loyalty.
Small businesses often serve customers from a given locality. So their sustainability depends heavily on returning customers. What better time to appreciate these customers than during Thanksgiving?
You can start by surprising the most loyal customers with gifts and personal notes written by you. You can also offer services or donate your expertise and time. This would include developing an online seminar, e-book, or informational lunch-and-learn session. Through these avenues, your regular customers will connect with you on a deeper level, and potential customers will discover you.
As a result, you’ll strengthen customers’ relationships with your business and guarantee new and returning customers as long as your services are great.
3. Acknowledge your business partners to get better deals.
Often, small businesses fail to recognize how much their partners contribute to their success. When you’re so focused on making your customers happy, your partners might not get the attention they deserve. Thanksgiving is the time to connect with your partners and hopefully open up new opportunities in the form of better deals.
Again, simple gratitude gestures such as thank you notes and gift packs will go a long way toward warming the hearts of your partners. But your creativity is not limited. You can do more to stand out. For instance, you can share industry-specific information and resources they’d find useful. Or you can ask a partner’s input on a new product launch or upgrade. A request for their feedback shows you value their insight and experience.
What comes after these interactions with your partners is their willingness to offer you better deals through their products and services. This translates to high value accrued from your partnerships.
4. Give back to society and build your company’s reputation.
Being a good corporate citizen should be part of every business’s DNA. There’s no doubt about how much a business can benefit from taking social responsibility seriously. But often, small businesses might think they’re too small to have a meaningful impact, or they are just ignorant.
The Thanksgiving season gives businesses the opportunity to benefit society around them. Whether it’s through donating to a charitable organization, taking part in a charity event, or visiting the homes of orphans, people with disabilities, the sick, and the elderly, a good business needs to show compassion to others. A business can also give their employees charity stipends to donate to whichever cause they support. Businesses that do so have higher productivity, profitability, and customer loyalty.
A 2019 study by Aflac found that 77% of consumers are motivated to purchase from companies committed to making the world better. As a small business, you’d significantly improve the reputation of your business if you took up the responsibility to make your community better.
5. Get a Jump on Black Friday to stand out early.
Thanksgiving comes right before Black Friday, a time when every business will be offering crazy discounts to attract customers and take advantage of the buying frenzy. That’s the best time for you to set the pace for the rest, especially your competitors.
Stand out by offering pre-Thanksgiving sales that are competitive with Black Friday prices. Consider giving free shipping offers and other incentives to your customers. This will capture customers that are eager for deals, and if they buy from you, they will quench their thirst even before they discover other businesses’ offers. In addition to setting yourself apart from the competition, you’ll be in a strong position once the holiday shopping season begins.
From here, you can make huge sales if you price your offers well. The challenge is making offers that your competitors won’t match come Black Friday. If your stock is huge and you want to offload items that have been in your store for months, now is the best time to do so. It’s also a perfect time to introduce yourself to new clients if you are a service provider.