Choosing Business Gifts: A Few Hints

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It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit and excitement of the season… only natural to have a genuine desire to show appreciation to your customers, vendors and employees. No doubt you’ve also recognized the opportunity holiday business gifts provide to get your business noticed, and remembered.
Before you even begin thinking about business gifts, check to be sure those to whom you plan to give can receive such gifts. A call to the company’s human resources department to ask about the gift policy is all it takes. Along these same lines, you’ll need to consider differences in religion or culture, as there’s nothing more insulting than giving a Christmas gift to a Jewish or Muslim recipient. Don’t assume you know, take the time to find out.
When it comes to gift giving, the investment you need to make (for business or personal) is time. You need to take the time to know as much as you can about your recipient… what they like and dislike, their interests, hobbies or family situation and shop accordingly. That means no coffee mugs for the non coffee drinkers, no sweets for a diabetic. The gift should show the person that you know them… that you’ve cared enough to listen throughout the year and made your gift selection based on what you’ve learned.
Of course sometimes sheer numbers make this impossible… in these cases think about something you’d like tied to your product or service — this is where (warning, shameless plug ahead) a service oriented promotional products company can help you choose a quality item that works for you business and budget. Something useful for the car from an auto repair shop… perhaps a tasteful picture frame or a gift for the home from a service company… even an item that a recipient might not buy himself (a stress reliever ball for example) can turn out to be a great gift.
As with your personal shopping, you need to know what you can afford to spend on holiday business gifts. Consider them an investment in building lasting relationships with customers and you might find allocating money to these items a bit easier. Stick to the budget you’ve set. A rep who knows promotional products well can help you create very unique gifts with smaller items that are less expensive. These are usually able to be delivered quickly so that you can add your own unique touch to make a complete gift.
Just as with the gifts you’d get for family and friends, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to give a holiday business gift with impact. A tin of homemade goodies along with a business card or coupon and a nice penmagnet or mug is a simple yet thoughtful gift anyone can enjoy. It really is the thought that counts. Delivering these gifts in person, or giving them out to customers with a smile, doesn’t hurt either.
For so many of us buying gifts for the holidays can be a challenge, but by applying a bit of common sense and some careful planning you can keep your business gifts (personal ones too) from being one of the worst holiday gifts ever. And we all want that, right?
Enjoy your holidays!

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