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Olympics Lesson 1: Ceremony is Powerful

Published on Jul 27, 2012


Read 'Olympics Lesson 1: Ceremony is Powerful' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
By Brooke Miller Hall If you’re glued to your television or computer keeping dibs on the London Summer Games -- or even if you aren’t -- this season’s premier sports event holds several key lessons for running your business. In this three-part series, we won’t help you with your back stroke or hook shot. We will, however, examine the importance of ceremony, identity and partnership in running a successful small business. And we’ll illustrate these points with examples and parallels from the Olympics. Today we talk about ceremony. The Olympics is steeped in ceremony. Think about the torch rally and the Olympic flag. Or the instantly recognizable rings, with different colors for each continent. And of course there are the opening and closing ceremonies themselves. Each of these helps to make athletes and viewers worldwide to really feel the significance of the event. It also brings about instant recognition – who doesn’t know what the Olympic flag or torch look like? When applying this to your business, we’re not suggesting you install an eternal flame in your lobby. But you can use the concept of ceremony to enrich your customer experience and better establish your reputation. Here are some ideas:
  • Celebrate company milestones. If you’re marking a decade in business or five years in your current location, make the most of the occasion. Offer a special discount or hold a thank-you event for your partners and clients who’ve helped make your business a success. Add a tagline to your letterhead or advertising to help emphasize your new milestone.
  • Reward your customers’ longevity. Consider implementing a simple rewards program to recognize clients who’ve worked with you a certain amount of time or reached a certain dollar amount of business with you. Create a custom, framed certificate to give weight to the occasion.
  • Make a big deal about your clients’ own successes.  Make sure to personally congratulate them for being featured in a newspaper article, winning a big account, reaching a milestone or branching out with a new product or expanded territory.
  • Do something special for your employees’ birthdays and employment anniversaries. All it takes is a card, balloon or cupcake to add a little ceremony to an occasion.
Stay tuned for more lessons from the Olympics in our next installments.