There were several points over the past couple of weeks where I could have posted this up, but for one reason or another it happened to fall on today, which for many of you out there is the night before Christmas (and all through the house….).

I’ve said before that holidays are of the utmost importance, and that there is quite literally no good reason that you should not enjoy them with all of the 9-5ers out there. Whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or any of the other holidays that fall around this time of year (and as it turns out, there are far more than even I thought), I can’t stress enough that for once, it’s time to put the pen down, step away from the computer, and stop working.

Wait, did I really just say that? Well yes, I did. And there’s a very good reason for it.

While most of the holidays that fall around this time of year started life as religious observances, they have long since grown into something much bigger than that (and I’m not talking about an obligation to spend a chunk of your hard earned PIE buying gifts for people either). The holidays are a time when family and friends come together to talk and laugh and otherwise enjoy each other’s company. While there are people out there who don’t enjoy spending time with their extended family (I know far too many people with a mother-in-law they can’t stand), for the most part, the holidays are a time of celebration and relaxation. A ready made opportunity to sit back, relax, and recharge your batteries (which will work wonders for avoiding burnout). They are the perfect excuse to kick up your feet, relax, and not think about work for a little while, something all of us need to do from time to time.

But in addition to a chance to kick back and recharge, there are some great business opportunities that are unique to this time of year. The holiday sale is something we’re all familiar with, and as I’ve discussed in the past, provides a stellar opportunity to turn the holidays to your advantage and hook new clients. But what about your current client base? Well, you’ve got an excellent chance to grow their loyalty to you and your business even further. A slightly better sale for your loyal clients is a safe bet, though really, the easiest (and perhaps most effective) thing you can do is simply send them a card wishing them happy holidays. Just be careful, as many people celebrate different holidays this time of year, so it’s best to keep them non-denominational. While the average person who celebrates a different holiday won’t be offended by being wished a Merry Christmas (that is mainly the purview of people who like complaining for the sake of complaining), it’s better to err on the side of caution and keep things non-specific. As an added bonus, include a small gift certificate with each card, giving your clients a small discount on your products or services. It’s a small gesture, sure, but it’s one that people will enjoy, and will go a long way towards fostering more company loyalty.

And don’t forget about your team either. Give them a few days off. A small gift. A holiday bonus. Throw them a holiday party. There are a number of things you can do to further cement your reputation as the best person they’ve ever had the opportunity to work with, which will foster company loyalty on their part as well.

There are scores of opportunities this time of year to build a closer bond with your clients, your co-workers, and everyone else around you. Even a small gesture can often be enough to put everyone you work with in a much better mindset to attack all of the new challenges that the new year will bring. And speaking of which, I’ll have a post on that topic on December 31st.

Until then, Happy Holidays everyone!

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