'Twas the week before Christmas and all through your shop, not a creature is working, not even at the top.
There are parties and laughing and gifts to be shared. Cookies and lunches and drinks to be dared.
Your employees are happy this one week of the year, but many still have a lingering fear.
The recession's been long and dragged on for years. Many are wondering if an end is soon near.
Will there be raises, promotions and trips to be had? Or will the overall business climate continue to be bad?
As boss, you too, are worried and fret. Will your business improve or will more trouble be met?
The answers of course are unknown to all, but as boss you can start to answer their call.
Instead of waiting to see what 2012 brings, it's time to start planning and considering some things.
Is there growth to be had? Customers to be won? Or is this a year for getting things done?
Have you been putting off the small things while putting out fires? Have you ignored your workers' and managers' desires?
Perhaps it’s a year for cleaning up details. Maybe it's time to get back on the rails.
Whatever you do or plan or prepare, be sure your employees are treated with care.
They've weathered the storm of worry and stress and stuck with your business when put to the test.
By now you know they're loyal and true, but without a big budget you're not sure what to do.
While bonuses are nice and parties are fun, there's one thing that always gets the job done.
A thank you, a handshake, a pat on the back. Appreciation is something your demeanor often lacks.
This time of the year, it's important to say: Thank you to all, you've gone out of your way.
Your kindness isn't the same as a bonus or perk, but it will energize your troops for another year of hard work.
Jeanette Mulvey is the managing editor of BusinessNewsDaily. She has written about small business for more than 20 years and formerly owned her own e-commerce business. Her column, Mind Your Business, appears on Mondays only on BusinessNewsDaily. You can follow her on Twitter at @jeanettebnd or contact her via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.