Last week I spoke about how it is important to say thanks to clients but it is also important to say thanks to everyone who helps you in business. Your clients, referrals, employees... Everyone.
I'm not saying buy big gifts and spend a lot of money. The thank you could be as simple as a phone call or just a plain old ‘thank you’. Just make sure you give that recognition when you need to.
Here is the article I came by that talks about thank you in business.
This is the month where everyone reflects on all the people, things, memories to be thankful for. People you don’t want to forget as a business owner is… your clients. Yes, they do pay you for your services but there are many other businesses out there that do the same thing that you do. Basically… you are replaceable. A small token to show appreciation is key.
Now all businesses have different budgets for client appreciation. So I have listed a few ideas that could work with any budget.
- hand written notes: In the world of quick messages, emails, tweets and such it’s always nice to just get a little note in the mail.
- special recognition: Have a client who has been with you for years? Did they do something spectacular that is newsworthy? Then give them a shot out on social media.
- baked goods: Who doesn’t love baked goods? But try to avoid the heavy ‘baked good gift’ times of the year like thanksgiving and Christmas. Make this a ‘just because’ gift and it will be remembered more.
- knowledge: Share ideas or tips. They can be about anything, business, crafts, recipes.
- personal gift for special occasion: The holidays are always a great time to send gifts to clients but everyone is doing that and offices end up with tons of gifts. Send a note during the holidays but maybe send them a small gift on their birthday or any other special occasion.
Sticking to the theme of women small business owners, I wanted to highlight a few of the amazing women owned small businesses that I have had the honor of working with over the years.
J&A Cleaning Services was one of the first start up businesses that I got to work with. I helped Christina Hasegawa create a brand that she has carried on since the start of her business. She started off as just small and now has many employees and has clients all over the bay area.
Venia Spa was another business I had the pleasure of working with when the spa was just an idea in Jessica Berlanga's head. Now it one of the best spas in Monterey County! Both of these women have made something out of just an idea that was sitting in their head. They are not only successful business women but give so much back to the community.
Last, but certainly not least, High Rise Hair Salon is a woman owned business that I have helped since the 'birth' of the business. Jessica Foronda was starting her career as a hair stylist and was eager to have her own space. She's also a mom and wanted to have the flexibility to be able to take part in all the things that come up with their schedule. She has just celebrated her first year in business and Jessica is on the fast track straight to the top!
I am proud to call them clients, colleagues and friends. I am honored to have been apart of their journey as they create their own path and blaze new ones!
With the start of National Women's Small Business Month, I thought this would be a good time to tell my story, the story of rie.design.
I always wanted to own my own design business, one day.
Right out of college I was working at a marketing agency in Rocklin. I was a production artist, a grunt worker as I like to refer to it, and I was loving it. It was hard work some days and there would be times I was working over 24 hours in a row but I was learning so much and I had a manager that was teaching me everything. She didn't just treat me as some minion, she taught me everything.
Then... the economy tanked and so did my job. I was devastated. I had a 2 year old and a spouse who was in college trying to get his degree. What the heck was I going to do? I had been working since I was 13 and for the first time I had no clue where I was going to go. Every other designer was out there looking at the same jobs I was. 100s of people were applying for the same positions. I even started looking at jobs in retail but my husband said I couldn't do that because I was meant for more.
While applying for jobs I was working on my website and making contacts wherever I could. I was even making cold calls to businesses just so I could get a meeting to sell myself. I also created a flyer and walked door to door to 100s of businesses just to get myself out there. One thing people didn't know about me then was, I hated putting myself out there. I was so self concious, I would start to sweat and my heart would race but I did it because I had no other choice. Those early days were hard and mostly filled with rejection but I pushed on. I look back at these days and I am so glad that I never gave up.
Now my daughter is 9 and I haven't worked for anyone else but myself! There are days that are hard, frustrating and I wonder if I should just find a regular 9-5. Then there are days that are absolutely amazing because I get to make my own path and I don't have to answer to anyone but myself and I had control of my success!