It seems like only yesterday that Americans were carving pumpkins or gathering around the dinner table to celebrate Thanksgiving. Now that the winter holiday season is in full swing, people plan their vacations, schedule dinner parties, check their holiday shopping lists and organize their gift-giving budgets. If you run a small business, you and your employees will also be busy doing these things. Moreover, you might even be showing signs of an overworked small business owner.
That said, you should consider setting aside time to purchase gifts for your employees, clients, equipment vendors, and business associates. It is a thoughtful gesture that will go a long way. However, determining which gifts to give can be difficult because they might cost too much or not align with the recipient’s interests. Balboa Capital came up with a helpful small business gift-giving guide to point you in the right direction.
Determine a gift-giving budget.
Regardless of how well your business performed this year, it would be best if you exercise caution when spending money on holiday gifts. A big, extravagant gift can send the wrong message, whereas a cheap, generic gift will be forgotten the next day or perhaps end up in the trash can. When planning your budget, write down a list of the individuals and companies you want to give gifts to, along with some gift ideas.
Then, assign a specific dollar amount to each gift and multiply it by the number of gifts you need. This will help you determine if you are within your budget. You will also need to include the costs to ship and mail the gifts that you will not deliver in person.
Make gift-giving personal.
Food baskets, flowers, and wine are lovely, but a personalized gift shows that you put some time and effort into your holiday gift choices. Gift cards (Amazon, Visa, etc.), mobile phone grips, beverage tumblers, gifts with a “give-back” mission, and corporate branded gifts are some of the most popular business gift ideas.
It is worth noting that your employees might be thrilled with perks such as a small cash bonus or a paid day off instead of a physical gift. Lastly, avoid the pre-printed notecard with a generic “thank you for choosing our company” message. Instead, write it yourself, and include something that will resonate with the recipient.
Follow proper etiquette when giving gifts.
You must follow the proper etiquette when giving gifts to your employees, clients, and business connections. Inappropriate gifts or cards with offensive messages can get you into hot water, perhaps even legal trouble.
So, use common sense when selecting gifts and stay away from anything that is even remotely inappropriate. Also, do not just assume that everyone on your shopping list celebrates the holidays. Giving a gift to someone who has a different religion or belief might make them feel very uncomfortable.
Do not leave out any of your employees.
If you will give holiday gifts to your employees, make sure you include every one of them. If you only reward certain team members, the others will find out and start talking about it. This can damage your company’s morale, which you do not want during the fun and festive holiday season.
But, on the other hand, you need to keep your positive corporate culture intact. So, make sure you have a complete list of employees, and check it carefully, so you don’t make the mistake of overlooking someone.