Business Owner Holiday Cheer and Goodwill

Spread Holiday Cheer and Goodwill Starting TODAY.
Now that we have settled in from Thanksgiving, are in the midst of Chanukah and approaching the Christmas holiday, I would like to share some thoughts about how I teach my clients to spread much needed business owner holiday cheer and goodwill this time of year.
Planning, launching, and growing your business is a never-ending grind.  We spend so much time focused on serving others, from our clients to employees, to vendors and suppliers that we often think of ourselves last.
This can have the effect of wearing ourselves down to the point where we crush our spirit, stop focusing on how to grow our business, and lose sight  of what we want to ultimately create to make the world a better place through our offerings.
Now is the perfect time to start focusing on ourselves.  Spend a little time every day to set aside some quality YOU time.  Spoil yourself. Buy yourself special gifts every so often, just because.
Take time out to completely unplug from the multitude of tasks required to run your business so you can recharge your batteries as you rekindle your passion and excitement for being on your own.
Get a manicure/pedicure, treat yourself to a massage. Go to the movies in the middle of the day. also, be sure to spend some much needed time thinking about creative solutions to grow your business.   The act of setting aside quiet alone time  to think in free-form mode is called visualization.
We ALL need quality time to ourselves, so why not make this Holiday Season the start of your practice of treating yourself to time alone, so you can experience the  much needed feel-good moments to rekindle your passions and your sense of personal mission for what you hope to accomplish in 2014 and the years ahead.
For you business owners that have employees, this holiday season spend considerable thought, time, and effort revisiting just HOW VALUABLE your people are.
They are NOT assets to be controlled, managed, reduced, outsourced, contracted, and taken advantage of the way so many employers treat them.
Your employees are people that have made commitments to your business.  They serve your customers.  They promote your business, sell your products and services.
So, use THIS holiday Season to make it your mission to rekindle your employees’ passion for committing to your business.
Build excitement!  Offer holiday parties with themes, just be sure to skip the alcohol.  As a matter of sensitivity, try not to be short-sighted and force Judeo-Christian themes on them.  Some employees that have grown up in other cultures and religions might get offended.  Rather, ask for volunteers to form a Team that plans a holiday party to be as inclusive as possible and have a real sense of purpose to foster greater morale.
Be sensitive, thoughtful, and CREATIVE.  Why not set up a team that decides what community activities and volunteer organizations your business can support?
Happy Holidays1
Have them build a program that you agreed to fund. Set aside a budget just for this program.  Launch the program this holiday season and commit to that social responsibility campaign for the ENTIRE year, from now through next year’s holiday season.
Don’t be a Scrooge!  Open those purse strings.  Give out holiday bonuses as rewards for their significant efforts all year long.  Rather than stock piling cash, be generous and give raises.  ‘Tis the season to award your people with promotions!
As we approach the end of the year it is the perfect time to create employee reviews with performance plans.
Start implementing 360-degree employee reviews. What!?  You don’t have formal reviews?  Well, now is THE PERFECT TIME to create them.
Have your employees review YOU and your MANAGEMENT TEAM.  Tie employee bonuses to serving your clients, and taking calculated risks to grow your business.  Reward them financially for coming up with creative solutions (even if those ideas are not implemented!)
Give them time off to be with family, allow them to set their own work schedules, let them bring their children to the office.  The only limit to how much holiday cheer and employee good will you can create is your own creativity.  But you MUST begin thinking what it takes to excite, encourage, reward and keep your people happy.   A happy workforce is an engaged workforce and engagement leads to profitability through higher employee productivity.
What have you been doing all your to thank you customers for keeping your business in business?  A holiday card or email just doesn’t cut it anymore.  Give them what they want and deserve.
Let them dictate the terms of how they engage with you.  Solicit their input by surveying them.  Ask them what your business is doing that they enjoy, what could you do better.  Make them the valued partners they already are.
Have them customize the offers you make to them.  Rewards them with meaningful gifts that matter to them….do NOT come up with some uncreative GIFT CARD or POINTS program that they don’t want and will NEVER use.
Let them determine your return policy.  Have them  tell you what promotional campaigns they would find valuable.
There is so much to be thankful for, even despite these challenging times.  By nourishing yourself and rekindling the excitement you felt when you first decided to launch your own business you can create enough good will and cheer to fuel continued success in 2014…and beyond.   Start with your employees and customers and build from there.
Happy Holidays from The Chazin Group!
Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Executive Coach and Business Consultant.  Helping you unleash your full potential and plan, launch, and grow a wildly successful business.