It’s part of my particular version of the holiday spirit. I may not celebrate Christmas, but November and December at my house are plenty of fun.
Plenty of business gets done, too.
Now, I’ve always been one of those people who happily mixes business with every other part of my life. Both my parents have been on my client list at various points. I can’t go to a party with friends without coming up with an idea for a new business — at the last get-together of all my friends from college, I talked one friend into starting a consulting business, so that I could hire her.
But the holidays let me put things into over-drive. Holiday cards are a way, for me at least, to touch base with clients and contractors alike. I get to share the big ideas I’m thinking about for the new year and, if they follow up with me, get some ideas about what they have in mind for the next twelve months. It’s a way to deepen relationships and build some closer ties.
For those business contacts who live nearby, I often issue an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. This year, plenty of people I’ve done business with came to my home over the course of the day (for me, Thanksgiving really is an all day affair), along with friends, family and a few new folks we’d never met before.
It’s hard not to see a business acquaintance as a real person when they’re trying to choose between pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake, or both. That’s something that is important all year round: when you know that the contractor you’re working with is expecting a baby six months out, you can figure out a better schedule. When you know your client well enough, you can remind them to pay an invoice without any hard feelings. Deep connections make business go just a little smoother.
I’m aware that not everyone is quite so comfortable with mixing business with the holidays — or any other part of their life. That’s fine. If you want to keep a line of demarcation between personal and professional, I’m not about to tell you otherwise. But it’s worth your while to find another way to build those stronger connections, just the same.
Image courtesy of ssteinbr
Thursday Bram offers content marketing through Hyper Modern Consulting, as well as more traditional writing services. She’s also the co-creator of Constructively Productive, the blog that’s bringing perspective to productivity. You can find Thursday on Twitter.Google+