The holidays are such a great time of year! A time for traditions, being generous, good food, and surrounding ourselves with those that we care about. As a business owner, it’s important to remember and appreciate your clients and associates during the holidays.
Here are a few ideas to help show your appreciation and spread a little holiday joy:
- Cards – Sending cards to clients, prospects, and vendors is a small, and inexpensive way to say ‘Happy Holidays’.
- Small gifts – Gifts can vary greatly from small branded trinkets, to personalized favorites.
- Donations – Making a holiday donation to a worthy cause is always a festive gesture.
- Giveaways – Setting up a holiday giveaway adds some fun to the season.
- A Party – Organizing and hosting a gathering is certainly a great way to mingle enjoy personal time with clients and colleagues.
Of course many of these ideas are also great marketing suggestions, and all of them are great customer appreciation suggestions. So, make sure you’ve made a plan to thank your clients (past, present, and future) this holiday season.
And to help you even more, we are recycling our ‘Business Owners’ Gift Guide’ from last year…
Need help getting motivated, organized, and planning your corporate gift giving? Well, we’ve got some action items and gift ideas all lined up to help you out! Because, if you haven’t started planning your gift giving for this holiday season, then you’re running out of time…
- Make your List – list everyone that you need to recognize, thank, and connect with during the holiday season; this includes clients, colleagues, employees, partners, and prospects. Your goal should be to have your list completed before December 5th.
- Create your Budget – begin with your total budget. Determine the per person budget which can be based on a percentage of your total budget, and should probably be weighted according to the type of relationship you have with the individual. Your goal should be to have your budget completed before December 10th.
- Get Organized – in order to simplify the process, try to order as much as possible from the same source. If ordering online, have gifts shipped directly to the recipient. Try to choose retailers and distributors who will still be around next year, in order to simplify reorders. Your goal should be to have all of your gift orders placed by December 15th.
Need help finding appropriate holiday gifts and giving inspiration?
- Clients – be sure to acknowledge your clients this holiday season. This could be as simple as a card, as nice as a bottle of wine or box of chocolates, or a personalized gift that you hand pick. Consider Send Out Cards, Tasting Room, Harry & David, or Kiva.
- Colleagues and Partners – it’s a good time to show your appreciation for the partners and co-workers who help to make your business a success. Consider useful gifts for the office or thoughtful gifts personalized for the individual. Consider Uncommon Goods, Think Geek, or Cell Phone Shop.
- Employees and contractors – while appreciation should not be limited to the holidays, this is certainly a time of year that warrants your expression of gratitude for the people who help support you throughout the year. Consider fun gifts that will allow them to enjoy their down time or experience something new. Consider The Wine Buyer, Haven’s , or Send Out Cards.
Here are some suggestions of where you might find such items at reasonable prices:
- Send Out Cards – an easy way to send personalized holiday cards, gift cards, and small gifts for any occasion
- Harry & David – various gift baskets of fruit, chocolate, cheese, and more
- Tasting Room – wine by the bottle, the glass, or a sampling set
- The Wine Buyer – mix and match cases of wine with free shipping
- Uncommon Goods – many unique gift ideas
- Think Geek – fun gift ideas for the geeks in your life
- Cell Phone Shop – very affordable electronic accessories (not just for cell phones)
For those in Maine who want to shop local, there are some fantastic options:
- L.L. Bean – lots of quality gift ideas from a Maine icon
- Wilbur’s of Maine – handcrafted Maine candy, chocolates, and fresh roasted nuts. They also offer corporate branding.
- Len Libby – Maine made chocolates, taffy, and fudge
- Wine Wise – unique wine events and education in the Portland area
Consider some philanthropic options this year to really share the spirit of the season:
- Kiva – give the gift of entrepreneurship with gift cards that create small business loans
- Gift to the World – building a better world through international donations
- American Red Cross – help provide meals, shelter, and more for those in need. Also consider a local donation to the Red Cross of Maine.
- Good Shepherd Food Bank – donate to help feed Maine’s hungry
- Positive 89.3 Christmas Wish – help a family in need by donating to the Christmas Wish fund
If you have any additional tips that you have found helpful, or gift ideas that have been well received, please share with a comment!
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