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Things to Keep in Mind When Sending Business Christmas Cards

Things to Keep in Mind When Sending Business Christmas Cards

It’s almost “that” time of year again: the Christmas holidays. Will you see this as an opportunity to reach out in a special way to your business associates—employees, co-workers, collaborators, investors, clients and customers? What might be the payoff in terms of the cost in time and money spent? If you decide to send out holiday greetings, you’ll need to make many decisions. Will you send real mailed cards, ecards, or both? Can you present yourself and your company in a positive way without being impersonal or spammy? What would be the most effective design, format, etc? If you are sending business holiday cards, but are not sure how to proceed with all of the above choices, you are not alone.

These are guidelines that will help you.

Appropriate or inappropriate? Businesses have been sending out Christmas cards for a long time. Often, they were sent to promote a brand. When sent correctly, they can augment your brand. But there are errors that could be fatal, actually making your business look less favorable. Over the years some etiquette and “do’s” and “don’t’s” have been developed. A few items are controversial, but at least the following list of considerations will provide you with confidence that all of the bases have been covered.

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Primary considerations

1. Your purpose

You first need to decide what is your purpose of sending a greeting. It’s best to just send a warm personal greeting and not include copy or advertising. Everyone wants to be appreciated. There might be an occasional instance where you would combine the greeting with a campaign or use it to show off a newly developed software.

2. Your recipient

Who will be receiving your greeting? Will it be a millennial or a more traditional person? The traditional person will appreciate a mailed card. The millennial an ecard. Usually your message and design should be non-denominational—a “season’s” greetings.

3. Your business card

Should you include a business card? Most experts say “no,” but advise a hand-written company name or company stamp after your hand-written signature.

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4. Timing and address

It’s best to mail early—a week before Thanksgiving, but definitely not after December 15. Send the card to the colleague’s business address, unless you are also intimate out-of-the-office friends.

5. Personalize

Hand write your signature, add a hand-written personalized message, and hand write the address on the envelope. Check for proper spelling. Include your hand-written return address so that the recipients know right away who it’s from and to be sure they have your most current address.

6. Ecards

These are more environmentally friendly and less costly, but not as permanent and for some not personal. On the other hand, ecards are more sharable (over social networks), can contain a click thorough or call to action, contain associated metrics and are more readily customizable. There are plenty of sites to obtain stock photography, vector illustrations, clipart, audio files, video and animation. Ecards allow your company to try something that has more style and pop. With animation you can show more by telling a story.

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You could choose to see this as an opportunity to not just remind your clients of who you are, but also remind them of how good you are at what you do. Homemade ecards showcase the web designer, image software expert and an email application or code. Personalize your corporate holiday e-cards as much as humanly possible, remembering to remain as inclusive as you can be, while still sticking to your corporate culture and personality. Keep things simple, fun and cheerful. Put the ecard on your own site and send out links to it in a personal email, or you could send it as an email itself as an attachment or URL.

Some other design and content considerations

1. Include assistants in your greetings list.

They are important people who deserve recognition and influence what their bosses see.

2. Stick to ‘Season’s Greetings’ and ‘Happy Holidays’ type sentiments.

You should also be very careful with humor making your greeting tasteful and of high quality.

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3. You could try something experimental perhaps . . .

. . . like some really great code trick that you haven’t found a use for. But don’t let yourself get carried away—too many bells and whistles will start to look tacky.

4. Incorporate a donation to charity.

So that sending an ecard doesn’t look like you are trying to be cheap. The ecard modernizes a time honored tradition of sending cheerful season’s greetings to those who matter to us the most. And don’t forget that there are other holidays with possibilities to reach out with appropriate greetings.

Featured photo credit: http://www.shutterstock.com via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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