"Giving presents is a talent; to know what a person wants, to know when and how to get it, to give it lovingly and well."
--- Pamela Glenconner
Traditionally, Christmas is celebrated with the giving of gifts. Many of us are still trying to find the gifts that we believe will put a smile on the face of the recipient come Christmas morning. This is the time of the year for most people, when it feels good to give.
But, what about the other 364 days of the year? It is a good point to ponder if you run a business or seek to open one. Although it seems somewhat odd to think that a business can prosper through gift giving, but let's explore just a few gift-giving ideas that will improve your profile, inflate your profits, and increase productivity.
"A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving."
--- Albert Einstein
First, consider giving gifts to your employees and team members year round. These gifts are not ties, umbrellas or Chia Pets, (although those are cool!), but the kind of gifts that will enhance their lives; gifts that help them to become better at their jobs, life, or just better people.
Consider giving a copy of a book that has helped you to overcome obstacles or to learn more in-depth about the trade. Other lasting gifts include classes, seminars, gym memberships, and audio books.
"The joy of giving is indeed a pleasure, especially when you get rid of something you don't want."
--- Frank Butler
Next, practice giving gifts randomly to your customers. They won't expect it, and you will feel good doing it. It doesn't have to be expensive and could probably even be something already in your shop. You may have some material overruns that a particular customer can use. Don't charge them for it. Explain to them that you would like to give them a gift. Be sincere and you will be amazed at their appreciation and future loyalty.
From time to time, we all usually have an outdated piece of equipment sitting in a corner that we are not using. While talking to your customers, you may discover that they have a child in need of a second-hand computer, typewriter or whatever. Don't sell it to them--- give them a gift. You will feel great about it!
"Giving out crowns to everyone will not make a nation of kings."
--- Mason Cooley
We have to be careful not to give gifts with the wrong attitude though. Giving gifts to your employees in an attempt to get something from them does not work and they usually will see right through you. The same holds true with your customers. Honest, sincere gift giving because you value and appreciate them is the only way to give. There is no joy in giving to receive. That just takes all of the fun out of it.
"Gifts must affect the receiver to the point of shock."
--- Walter Benjamin
Finally, give yourself a gift from time to time. Surprise yourself with a special treat such as a lunch at a quiet park to get away from it all or a shopping spree for new clothes, fishing gear or a massage. These little treats, coupled with the good feeling that you get from giving to others, is a refreshing way to renew your energy and revive your attitude toward your business and toward others.
"Many will entreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts."
--- Bible: Hebrew Proverbs 19:6.
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Sign seen in a store:
"Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy"
In a Maine restaurant:
"Open 7 days a week and weekends"
Inside a Bowling Alley:
" Please be quiet, we need to hear a pin drop."
Have you seen any funny signs lately? Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to: firstname.lastname@example.org.