The opportunity to design and construct your own building for your business is rare. So when a client/friend was fortunate enough to have this happen, I sent her an email with congratulations and a piece of advice. “Before your doors open to the public and staff starts to fill the hallways, take a moment when you are the only one in your new building. Stand in the quietness and look at the scope of what you have accomplished.”
While many of us may never be in that position, as business owners, we should still find the time to take stock of what we have achieved. Instead, we are too often locked in the vicious cycle of worry about marketing, an upcoming sale, a complaint or a staff problem.
For those of you with a brick-and-mortar store, when was the last time you opened up and then just stood for a moment, taking in all you have accomplished? Of course, visual rewards are less tangible for those who offer services, but they are there in a grateful email or a heartfelt recommendation from a client.
The New Year will bring the inevitable analysis of one’s business; those accomplishments and how you can subsequently expand on them are as significant as examining mistakes and missteps.
Appreciation can be a small gesture
While you are contemplating, also consider what you can do for your customers/clients during the cold and often slow months of January and February.
Some mornings have hot coffee in your store, with to-go cups, so that customers can head back out into the cold with a hot drink.
Giving away gift certificates to another local business is a win on many levels.
eGift cards work well for online businesses.
Around Valentine’s Day, a free little gift for regular customers – candle, soap, fair trade chocolate bar.
Discounts on popular inventory or services are always well received. I’ll be creating some client specials for January and February so keep an eye on my business Facebook page.
Some quiet time
My office will be closed from December 22 – January 2. Time to eat seasonal baking, catch up on my reading, as well as reflect. The quiet week between Christmas and the New Year provides the perfect oasis to reassess and ensure services continue to meet the changing needs of the business world and clients.
Professionally I am thankful to have a business I love, my clients, plus an outstanding behind-the-scenes support team. One personal highlight of 2022 was adopting Dylan (a bull terrier lab mix) from the Calgary Humane Society. He is now eleven months old, that growth stage between a puppy and young adult. He still thinks running around with one of his dad’s sneakers in his mouth (with me in pursuit) is hilarious, yet there are those moments when I find him lying quietly beside me as I work. He makes me laugh, keeps me busy and is slowly learning the duties of an ‘entrepreneurial’ dog
Wishing everyone a Happy 2023
Jill Crossland is a business and marketing consultant who can take your business and social media to the next level.