Gratitude Should Be a Year-Long Habit for Your Small Business

Small business owners have plenty of reasons to be thankful. And the Thanksgiving season is a great opportunity to express gratitude to the people who help your business succeed and improve and enrich your daily work life.

That said, it’s important to make thankfulness a genuine, continual (even daily!) habit. As you decide how best to communicate your gratitude over the coming year, consider the many individuals who contribute to your success.

None of us have gotten where we are without the assistance and advice of others. Gratitude is an essential part of staying positive, motivated, and productive as an entrepreneur.

Here are some ideas for expressing gratitude to some of the most important people to your small business:

Your Employees

Charles Schwab said, “The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”

Recognition is a powerful tool for building up your employees and investing in their professional growth. Verbal, in-person support goes a long way in improving your employees’ day and motivating them to perform well for your company. Consistent, meaningful recognition has been proven to positively impact employee productivity, retention, job satisfaction, and engagement.

16692227Gratitude should be an important part of your company culture, starting with your example and leading to expressions of appreciation shared by employees at all levels. Consider rewarding your employees for a job well done and expressing your gratitude in a public way.

If you want a high-performing team of employees, celebrate and acknowledge both their small and large successes. Recognize their value and focus on their strengths and positive contributions. Set the example as their leader by noticing and showing appreciation for their performance and loyalty, and watch your team’s morale and motivation increase.

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Your Customers

Your commitment to customer relations should show in the form of gratitude. Maybe this is the year when your small business gets more creative when it comes to thanking clients and customers.

Handwritten, personalized holiday greetings can be more engaging for your customers than a form email message or pre-printed card.

Or, consider conducting a gratitude campaign over social media to strengthen your relationships with not only customers but also the entire public. Post a graphic or video featuring interviews with your employees, explaining their roles and thanking customers.

Consider loyalty programs that reward long-time customers with exclusive sales, promotions, and even customer appreciation events. Show sincere, heartfelt gratitude and communicate how much you value and care for your customers. It’ll be appreciated and pay off in the form of stronger relationships and loyalty.

Your Professional Network

We can’t forget the mentors–both professional and academic–who helped us get where we are today. They gave advice and encouragement, helped with your job search, or suggested new opportunities.

Those mentors and others in your personal and professional network have provided guidance and helped you overcome challenges. Don’t miss an opportunity to thank them for all they’ve done to support you through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and help you and your business grow and thrive.


A simple thank-you card, email message, or gift can go a long way to showing your appreciation to the people who contribute to your small business’s success. Be specific, personal, and authentic with your acknowledgements. Prioritize thankfulness on a regular basis–during the holiday season and beyond. It’s the right thing to do and will boost your business in ways you may not expect.

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