HERE'S MY POINT: As business owners, we need day-to-day strategies to create business cultures that we can be proud of. We want our employees, collaborators, and customers to feel appreciated, and sending DIY digital notes is one simple way to acknowledge our gratitude to the people we rely on.
A little while ago I received a photo + note from a friend in text form. It consisted of a pretty picture and a sweet message just like a real card, and the simple thoughtfulness of it made my day.
While I've was brought up well enough to know that sending birthday, thank-you and greeting cards over the internet is generally considered second rate (read: a bit lazy), let me make the courteous minimalist's case for DIY digital notes in the small business context.
When I grew my online retail business into my first bricks and mortar store, I took on staff for the first time. Consequently, I started thinking a great deal about my vision for the kind of employer I wanted to be, and what kind of working environment I wanted my employees and me to experience.
I realised that a culture of openness, accountability, and creativity wouldn't happen by accident - it was my responsibility to come up with strategies that would foster it. Equally important, I think, is working out what makes each member of the team feel appreciated, motivated, and inspired. On days that feel like a slog, it's helpful to have tricks up your sleeve that pick up the people you depend on without taking too much time from your own focus.
Here's what I recommend trying in your business:
+ Keep a folder on your phone with cute images from different occasions you've created or sourced (with artist permission) from around the web.
+ People love getting a quick same-day acknowledgment. Whether you've made a great sale, shot a brilliant look book, or just posted something particularly witty to social media, it's nice to get a message straight away that affirms a job well done.
+ Cards are lovely, but once you've opened them, they're clutter. A picture on your phone, ironically, will probably last longer. Email is ok, but as digital cards go, I think text message is even better. Texts are less likely to be mistaken for work!
+ Remember, you're more likely to send a note if you make it easy for yourself. And a sent message, in whatever form, is better than no message at all.