Ah…holiday gifting…a phrase that strikes panic into the heart of many a small business owner.
How do you show appreciation for your clients in a thoughtful, yet on-brand way?
We all know no one needs one more ‘knick-knack’ on their desk, but branded elements are visual reminders of your business. How can one balance shameless self-promotion, with an appreciative token of thanks?
The most important thing to consider is your balance sheet – don’t give gifts if your business can’t afford to.
A thoughtful, hand-written note, wishing them the best for the Christmas Season, into the New Year, and thanking them for a year of business or support is more than acceptable. We at The Portal like to support Jamaican businesses – and there are a few that come to mind that offer Jamaican-themed greeting cards – TCP, Topp In Designz and of course the charitable entity Mustard Seed Communities. These 3 entities can be found at most of the local Christmas Shopping Fairs.
Make a list of the people you want to recognise for their support throughout the year.
This includes clients and their teams, your own employees, mentors, directors and even potential clients. Even a supplier, whom you give business to may be someone you want to offer a token of appreciation for delivery of good service. Whoever you’re gifting, take into consideration the value they have provided to you and award them appropriately – over-gifting can be just as uncomfortable as under-gifting. Also, you don’t have to give everyone the same thing. If you know a client prefers tea to coffee, get them assorted teas, vs. sending everyone coffee even if you know they don’t drink it.
So, on to the gifts themselves.
Notepads, journals, calendars, coffee mugs, water bottles
These items are something people are ok with getting many of – they’re very useful and last throughout the year. Branding these items, and even including a quote that is relevant to your business is very smart, as the receiver will look at it often, and it will also hopefully be seen by other people!
There are several companies, such as All Wrapped Up or The Giftery that have pre-packaged gift baskets or, they can create a basket to your specific needs. Also, you can do it yourself and add some of your favourite things – teas, coffees, yummy snacks are great options that can be added to a nice gift bag or basket.
Portable chargers, headphones, phone cases, ‘popsockets’
Who doesn’t love technology? These items can also be branded. Just make sure that they’re good quality and will survive more than one use.
Travel Kits, Candles, Lotions/Soaps, Alcohol
These items should really only be for people who you have a personal connection with – mentors, close clients who you’re on friendly terms with. It’s a subjective decision, so think about who you give these gifts to carefully.
Team or Group Gifts:
Is there a client team that you work closely with to get the work done?
- Sweet Treats are always a nice touch for people to share in the week before Christmas – Sugahor Le Macaron are great options that have a variety of options that are shareable.
- Offer them an in-office lunch – Chinese or Indian menus are options that work well ‘family-style.’ Work with the client-lead to pick an appropriate and convenient day, and bring it and all the disposables needed and share a meal with your client’s team.
- Succulents or other office plants are gifts that an entire office can enjoy, just make sure it’s easy to take care of, and can thrive in an indoor space
At the end of it all, it’s simply the thought that counts. Hopefully, you’ve shown your appreciation throughout the year, and this is simply the cherry on top of the (Christmas) cake!