Holiday Business Etiquette

Holiday Business Etiquette

It’s this time of the year again… Temperatures are getting lower and yet you’re in a good mood, finishing your business tasks with ease and making room in your mind and heart for the memorable moments you’ll share with your friends and family during the upcoming Christmas holiday.

Don’t get too festive already, though, as there are still some final holiday business tasks to close off before heading to your Christmas shopping!

Here are some useful tips that will help you get the holiday part of your business in full swing:

Sending a holiday card to your business contacts
Whether it is an old-fashioned card you’ll send by post or an e-card you’ll schedule by some fancy email software, a holiday card is not just a nice gesture to your business partners, it is also an integral part of the holiday business etiquette.

Remember that a holiday card is the perfect way to thank your business contacts for their wonderful relationship throughout the passing year and a nice way to put a smile of their face with a carefully written personalized wish.

Be careful with the message, though – it should be personal, positive, and yet generic. E.g. a “Happy Holidays” may be more appropriate than a “Merry Christmas” (especially if you are not sure whether the reader celebrates Christmas or another holiday this time of the year).

Going to the office holiday party
It goes without saying that you should definitely attend the office holiday party if you are the company’s owner. But, even if you are just an employee, it is still obligatory to attend the office holiday party (unless you have a reputable excuse). Think of it as part of your job and show up (even if it is for just half an hour).

Holiday gift-giving
A lot of businesses (regardless of their scale) follow the tradition of gift-giving before the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. There are no strict rules, but, still, you should follow the business gift protocol when looking for the perfect present for a client or an important prospect:

• Ask your client about any gift-related policies their company may have and follow these guidelines strictly as you may end up being accused of corporate misconduct.
• Make it personal – there’s nothing more flattering than giving a client a present that reflects their personality!
• Do not cross the line – sometimes a present can be interpreted in the wrong way (especially if you are giving it to a person from the opposite sex).
• Do your homework – it’s a good idea to ask the recipient’s assistance, for example, about any preferences they have or areas to steer clear of. You don’t want to surprise a vegetarian with a selection of dry Italian sausages, do you?

What are your holiday business etiquette tips?