The last three months of the year are always especially busy for any interior design business’s holiday season. Dealing with other year-end business administration puts an extra strain on your time and resources. When your business is an industry that relies on networking as much as interior design, then you also have a long list of holiday parties and events to prepare for clients or parties to attend yourself.
Yet, this is also the time when we stop and take stock of everything we have and the people who make life special. Despite being spread thinner than usual, you won’t regret making the time to share the warm sentiment of the holidays with your own clients, vendors, friends, and colleagues.
Here are six ways to enjoy this time of year while still networking during the holidays.
- Send a handwritten holiday card with a picture of your team: Take an annual team photo and use it as the holiday card you send to your network between Thanksgiving and New Years. Handwrite the message to each and every recipient! Follow these two steps and your card will not inadvertently end up in the receiver's trash, which would make it a huge waste of your money and time.
- Gifts for VIPs: While current economic conditions mean you should be a prudent spender, if you have a client who spends a significant sum with you, a vendor that works hard to make you a happy customer, or a contractor that refers you a lot of business, gift them with something thoughtful that you know they will love. It’s important to acknowledge people that make a material impact on your business and will result in long-term clients.
- Have a party: Hosting a party is not only a way to make memories with your favorite professional people, but it's also a chance to show what you have to offer in an event format. Everything from the venue decor, to the tablescape, to the food and beverage selections can reflect your talents and aesthetic.
If you think it's too late for you to pull a party together before the end of the year, aim for a “Friends of the Firm Appreciation Party” in late January or early February, which gives everyone a moment of pause after the holiday season madness and truly enjoy your gathering.
- RSVP Yes: Attend as many holiday events as you can- without taking your stress level over the top. Attending others’ events shows you care about them, and they are also great places to meet new people in a social environment. Once you accept an invitation, follow through with attendance. Last minute cancellations or even worse, no-shows, are rude and will make a bad impression.
- Holiday-themed content: Use your social media and blog to put out content centered around preparing for and enjoying holiday celebrations. Decor tips is a fail-safe, but also try to think outside the box to make your holiday-themed content stand out.
- Do charity work with your team: The holiday season isn't just about enjoying time with people who are special to us. It’s about bringing happiness to people in our communities who need a helping hand.
Gather your team to volunteer at a food pantry together, donate your design services to decorate a shelter, or organize a toy drive. Working together to do good things for others will bond you in the most meaningful way.
Networking for interior designers during the holidays can be enjoyable and helpful for your business in the coming year. With the right planning, you can make the most of the holiday season and show the people who make your work worthwhile how much they mean to you while developing better relationships for the new year