Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show some love — to your small business. Owning a small business is a labor of love in many ways. There may be times when you love it more than others, of course. However, to really show that love and passion you have for your biz, you’ll want to demonstrate it to both customers and employees.
1. Find Your Passion
You’ve probably heard it said that before you can love others, you have to love yourself. This is true for your business as well. Before you can show your customers and employees that you adore them, you have to appreciate what you’re doing and remember why you started your business in the first place.
There are things you can do to help you remember why you love your business. Look back and photos and reminisce about the beginning. Find supportive friends and a mentor. And take an occasional break — too much time together can wear you out.
Have you seen the Peloton commercials on TV lately? It is readily apparent to anyone that these people love their business and have a passion for helping people get fit. There is an excitement surrounding the product and about where they are heading in the future.
2. Offer Customers a Discount
Once you remember why you love your business and your purpose for doing what you do, it’s time to let your customers know you love them, too. There are many ways to show your love to your customers. We’ll discuss more in other sections, but one way is by offering them a discount. Everyone likes a gift. It shows that you appreciate the person and what they have to offer. Offer your loyal customers a discount on new items or services.
3. Give Your Employees a Shoutout
Your employees help your business run from day to day. It’s important to show them how valued they are. Your employees don’t just impact your business though. They also impact your customers and any suppliers you do business with, as well as other partners such as delivery service companies.
About 48 percent of employees say they are only somewhat happy or even unhappy at their jobs. Some of the reasons that employees are unhappy are lack of career development, work encroaching on family time and poor treatment by upper-level management. These things are directly under your control, especially showing employees they are appreciated. Think up creative ways to say thanks and give them a shout out.
4. Create New Website Content
It’s never a bad idea to update and/or create new content for your website, and Valentine’s Day is the best time to do so. Consider adding content that provides helpful advice to your target audience that also has visual appeal.
An infographic is the perfect way to display data in an image-friendly format. Take a look at the example above of B-Air and notice how they play on the “cuteness” factor of animals. Not only are most users instantly engaged with the graphic because of the dogs, but they learn the proper ways to drying a dog at the same time.
5. Reinvest in Your Business
Just as you invest in a child both with your time and money to see that child grow and thrive, so should you invest in your business. Love your business, by investing in training and growth. Many experts advise putting as much as half of what you earn back into your business each year. You might choose to spend more on online marketing, training for your workers, a brand redesign or a larger space.
6. Interact with Your Customers
If you want your customers to feel valued, you need to interact with them. When a customer has a poor service experience, that information can reach double the number of people as a positive experience. Your goal is to make every experience amazing for your customers. So, if a customer posts a complaint on social media, reach out and ask to talk with them. Always speak with respect and really listen to the concerns.
JetBlue Airways does an excellent job of reaching out to customers on Twitter, trying to respond quickly, answer questions and resolve issues. In the example above, a customer was upset about a flight and complained, and JetBlue had a quick and friendly response.
7. Create an Open Company Culture
Employees are happiest when they are engaged and involved in the company. If you can bring your employees together and make them feel as though they are part of a family, then they are naturally going to be more engaged. There are many steps you can toward creating an open company culture.
First, have an open door policy where employees can stop by your office and talk to you about ideas or concerns. Second, host quick meetings at the start of every workday. These will allow you to get everyone on the same page and headed in the same direction. Finally, plan company events and teambuilding activities.
8. Get to Know Your Staff
Another idea is to get to know your employees better by interviewing them. You can create videos of these conversations and share them online so that your customers and potential customers can get to know the employees too. This type of storytelling is helpful for showing people what your company is about and who the people behind it are.
Engle Dentistry takes the time to interview their employees and shares the videos on YouTube along with other video clips. The clips share who the person is, what they do at the dentist office and some fun facts about their daily lives.
9. Customer Appreciation Night
Host a night to show your current customers how much you love them. Your current and loyal customers are worth more money in your pocket than new customers. With a new customer, you have to invest in reaching that potential customer and building the relationship. With a current customer, the connection is already there. Your event can be as simple as early peeks at new products along with serving some snacks and playing music. The key is to make it as special as your customers are.
Small Business Love
Running a small business is no easy task, but with some determination and by reminding yourself why you love doing what you do, you can find success. Take the time to invest in yourself, your business, your customers and your employees. You should show the love all year long when it comes to your business, but Valentine’s Day is a perfect reminder of where to focus your efforts.