Let Us Give Thanks for Our Tribes

Thanksgiving, traditionally, is celebrated with family. But the sentiment of the holidaygratitudeshould not be reserved just for your flesh and blood, but spread around as much as possible.

With only five weeks remaining in 2016, it’s a fine time to get introspective. Who has had your back this year? Who’s introduced you to new ideas and opportunities?

natural looking label with thank you

I got acquainted with the floral industry in 2010, when I accepted an editor position with the Society of American Florists. Within my first week on the job, I had two realizations: 1) the floral supply chain is enormous and 2) flower people are very tight knit.

Given these qualities, the following challenge may seem a bit daunting (sorry!), but I’m confident it will have major benefits:

Make a list of everyone who has positively impacted your business this year.

Do you have an employee who handles disgruntled customers with grace and poise? Who polished his or her sales skills and pitches grand designs (with an add-on!)? Who consistently volunteers to set up and break down event work? Who builds relationships within the community to benefit the shop?

Do you have a wholesale rep who goes the extra mile—finds you great deals, discovers new and exciting products, shows you compassion when you place your order a tad late?

An electrician or IT person who quickly extinguishes your technical glitches?

How about vendors and neighbors? Is there a wedding planner or hairdresser who sends referrals your way?

A reporter who elevates your shop’s prestige with a nicely-worded (and photographed) feature?

How about a fellow florist who volunteers marketing ideas that have panned out at his or her shop that you can copy?

Last but not least, who are your VIP customers (corporate clients with standing orders, long-time flower buyers who never leave you for too-good-to-be-true Internet offers, charities that commission you to decorate for their galas, etc.)?

Hopefully, when all is said and done, you have a very long list and you feel very blessed. Next, make a point to show your appreciation, even if it is just in a brief email message. Most people, I believe, care more about the gesture than the gift. (If you’re stumped, though, click here for some creative and inexpensive ways to say thanks.)