Every entrepreneur knows how lucky she is to find the best partners, employees and customers, but how often do we thank these fine folks wholeheartedly for putting their faith behind us?
Your employees, in particular, have dedicated a large percentage of their day to your vision. It’s important to remind every aspect of your company’s DNA that they are valued. Turkey or not, an entrepreneur’s Thanksgiving should go beyond a single day of family, football and gluttony.
Here's how to show them you care:
Make them part of your story.
If nothing else, Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity for reflection. Outline the story of your company so far, and highlight the arrival and impact of individual employees on your most important projects. Enlist a crafty teammate to beautify your outline. Include pictures, mockups and emphasize exactly how important each staff member has been to the growth of the company. Present your 'story so far' at a free lunch that honors the unique group dynamic that makes your company great.
Reach out to your network.
You’ve likely worked with companies, consultants and mentors that have helped shape you and your company. Now is the perfect time to update them on how their influence helped you realize your dreams. Not only will this possibly renew some important relationships that may have been forgotten, it may also connect you with new business opportunities. Your success is a product of every connection you’ve established, so why not share some Thanksgiving spirit with the minds that inspired you most?
Give your team the gift of flexibility.
The holiday creep begins with Thanksgiving, and your employees will be thankful if you acknowledge their imminent gift hunt. Work and family obligations can sometimes clash, so why not lighten workloads during the week of Thanksgiving? Encourage your team to take the extra time to get their shopping done in advance. They’ll thank you later. More importantly, they’ll be able to focus themselves on what exactly is needed to ring in the New Year at maximum productivity.
Acknowledge your customer.
Keeping your company fresh in the minds of the people that keep the doors open is the most important way to maintain the momentum you’ve spent the past year building. Give thanks to your customers with a note or, potentially, a special offer that might encourage repeat business. First and foremost, though, remind the customer that you exist thanks to their support. Highlight any changes to your business and credit how the customers themselves influenced these changes.
Thanksgiving is a time for entrepreneurs to acknowledge how far they’ve come and the people who helped them get there. Acknowledging talent revitalizes it, and can even rekindle some relationships that might have fallen to the wayside.
How will you be celebrating your entrepreneurial Thanksgiving? Leave a comment below.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.