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Putting Labor Day to Work

Labor Day is the third most popular American holiday, trailing only Christmas/Chanukah and Memorial Day in the national consciousness. For small business—the backbone of the American economy—it’s more than the end of summer: it’s a holiday filled with opportunity.

Whether your doors are open or closed, Labor Day is a time to refresh, reflect, and reboot. It’s a time to show appreciation for staff and customers, and to capitalize on Americans’ desire to do some casual—or not-so-casual—shopping over the three-day weekend.

You may want to use Labor Day to ready your business for the fall. This could mean a refresh in several different ways, from a brand-new look to a new way of working. Buying new furniture, redesigning the website or updating operational processes can all promote a sense of renewed energy and commitment—for customers and staff alike.

Labor Day is also a good time to acknowledge and reward your employees. A reward can be as personal as a hand-written “thank you” note, or as spendable as a small end-of-season bonus. Your vendors deserve thanks as well, even if it’s just a simple phone call.

Speaking of employees, it’s always wise to consider how you’re motivating them. While a paycheck alone may be enough for some, most employees perform better when they feel appreciated and connected to the organization. Owners who instill a sense of purpose in their workers find that both satisfaction and productivity increase.

If you’re a retailer working over the long weekend, you’re likely to find customers in a happy mood, ready for one last splurge even as they stock up on necessities. That makes Labor Day a perfect time for seasonal promotions, end-of-summer clearance sales, contests and giveaways. Be sure to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help you spread the news.

Most importantly, don’t forget to take time for yourself. Recharge the batteries. Plan for the next phase. Chill. Remember, Labor Day owes its existence to job creators like you.

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