Have you sent your company holiday card yet? Cards, considered old hat by some, get attention for just that reason. Not everyone sends them anymore. They’re a great way to remind past customers, and future prospects, of what your company does and how well you do it.
Say, for instance, you’re in the roofing business. A dozen reindeer drawing a sleigh across the sky doesn’t exactly speak to that. So step it up and stand out with industry-specific holiday cards. Several companies offer them online. If you plan to send out Christmas cards, then House of Cards, for instance, CardsCheaper.com has a selection of contractor-specific Christmas cards, and you can select among “windows and doors,” “siding,” or “roofing,” if not for this year, then for next. Among the standouts: the card that shows Santa’s booted feet behind an unfurling roll of mod bit while a torch, spurting blue flame, seals it to the roof surface, and the one with Santa wielding a nail gun, an elf right behind with a bundle of shingles on his shoulder.
Actually, if you Google “contractor Christmas cards” you’ll come up with nearly a million search results, not including related search links like “HVAC Christmas cards” and “funny construction cards.” One prominent vendor is Brook Hollow Cards, offering 40 separate “residential roofing Christmas cards.” A potent reminder of a job well done.
And once the cards are taken care of, there’s the holiday party. (Don’t call it a Christmas party, or you may end up in litigation, as one Kansas City law firm site points out “employers, aware of the diversity of employees and clients, must respect and make reasonable accommodations of all religious beliefs.”
If you’ve never had a staff holiday party, but the idea appeals, there’s plenty of information online about how to organize and pull off a successful event. Website AllBusiness.com points out the benefits: “The office holiday party can be a memorable, exciting event that can help boost morale, forge stronger relationships between employees, and help workers feel valued and appreciated. Without the proper planning beforehand, however, the event can be a big dud.” And you definitely don’t want that.
Many companies throw an annual holiday party, and it’s often something the staff look forward to—if only because little if any work gets done that day. Enterprise social networking platform Cooleaf.com provides useful dos and don’ts on its website for throwing an office holiday gig. The site suggests that if you’re going to throw that holiday party, make sure you provide non-meat options, let employees know who they can bring (spouses, significant others), be sure to photograph your event, and then, when all’s said and done, ask for employee feedback. “Even the disengaged workers look forward to it,” the site notes, though it’s possible that disengaged employees will especially be looking forward to it.
If You Do, Then Promote It
The photos, or video, that you take at your party come in handy. Some companies aren’t shy in the least about publicizing their event. For the last several years, for instance, national storm chaser Infinity Roofing & Siding has filmed its holiday party, right down to the dancing, and posted it on YouTube (see Infinity Roofing’s Las Vegas shindig last year and the company’s soiree at the Four Seasons in Houston in 2013).
Infinity spares no expense, but it’s a big operation. If you’re taking the time and trouble to throw a party, why not have someone write it up, like All-American Window & Door, in Germantown, Wis., did or simply post pictures on your blog or on Facebook. Seamless Siding, Roofing and Windows of the Ozarks posted photos from last year’s party and Valentine Roofing, a Seattle-area roofer, threw its first ever holiday party last year as a way to thank employees for a great year. Afterward, it posted the party pictures on its blog.
Siding Job for That Special Someone?
Besides cards and holiday parties, there are lots of ways to make the season generate goodwill and additional business, including seasonal promotions. W.H. Byars Roofing, in Southern California, urges homeowners to get a roof evaluation between now and Christmas to “Get Your Roof Ready for Santa’s Sleigh” and, in addition, so that messy problems such as leaks don’t mar holiday celebrations or gift giving.
And if you’re in Wilmington, Del., and scratching your head about what to give that parent or spouse, how about an attic insulation job, some energy-efficient windows, or a James Hardie re-side? “Your special someone will appreciate the components and features, which culminate in a design, offering superior strength, style and insulation,” notes G. Fedale Roofing & Siding, on its website, about the Simonton windows listed as holiday inspiration idea #2.
Making the Holidays a Group Philanthropic Event
You also have the option of skipping the party and promotions and instead rallying employees for a volunteer philanthropic project tied to the season. For instance, among many such projects it’s involved in, East Coast Roofing, Siding & Windows, in Mays Landing, N.J., has been giving away a free roof at Christmas every year since 2008. Area residents can nominate someone for the annual roof giveaway by phoning or emailing the office (see the downloadable PDF of the nomination). “Just tell us a little about the nominee and something they have done to help others and their community,” says a recent company Facebook post. However, the East Coast Roofing, Siding & Windows website notes that, “every year we find we are torn and we have given away at least two free roofs.”