The holidays offer an excellent opportunity to reach out with well wishes to prospects and clients alike. And although it can sometimes seem like a drain for small business and entrepreneurs, if done well, it can lead to future business by staying top of mind and affirming any interest.

For charities, it’s an excellent opportunity to share how you’ve made an impact this past year and how their contributions have helped. For consultants it could be a good time to thank clients and stay in touch with prospects.

This doesn’t have to mean an expensive gift. You could do a number of things and keep the budget in-line:

  • Video (staff members or CEO with holiday wishes, walk through office with camcorder)
  • Stop animation video (short holiday scene)
  • Staff holiday photo (goofy hats, ugly sweater, etc)
  • Interactive card (pop-up, fold-along-the-lines, etc)
  • A charitable donation (make sure it’s clear and choose a charity that won’t alienate clients)

And of course there are many others. As long as what you choose is aligned with who you are as a company. I always recommend designing your own card. Holiday cards often go up in a prospect’s or client’s office and a well-designed card can take front and centre. Sometimes, a particularly thoughtful card or token can get a shout out (a public ‘thank-you’) on social media which is always a lovely gesture.

The key is to plan this into your annual marketing plan and budget. Many companies send out a card as an afterthought when it should be seen as a well-planned opportunity.

Carolyn Bergshoeff is the founder of WindWater Marketing, a Toronto-based B-to-B small business marketing firm. Carolyn helps her clients plan effective marketing campaigns that increase leads and grow their business. Visit or email for more information.