If you’re running a business, gift-giving to say “thank you” to valued clients, associates and employees is a smart idea, but corporate logo studded knick-knacks no longer cut it. So what do you give that is acceptable and appreciated? Don’t stress, here’s a guide to make gift-giving what it’s supposed to be: heartfelt, thoughtful and a pleasure.
Business gift-giving 101
- Attention to details. Make sure your gift reflects what your business provides customers during the year. Don’t splash out on something extravagant if the service doesn’t align, it can make a customer feel bribed or paid off. If you choose only to send a card, make it a personal one that is hand-written. It will show you value the client unlike a mass-printed card.
- Know who your recipient is. Wine or spirits can bomb if your receiver doesn’t drink.
- Match company culture or location. Edible gifts are an appropriate expression of goodwill and friendship and are something that can be shared with friends and family. To make the gift more fitting, find ways to match your company culture or location by buying local tastes or home-style treats. If you have a relaxed culture, try home-made biscuits instead of fancy pastries.
- Make a difference. An alternative to giving a gift is to donate to a worthy cause in the name of your client or staff. Brain storm with employees to choose suitable groups for your company to support, or better yet, find out what causes are close to the heart of your clients. Slip a note in with the company greeting card saying you made the donation in the client’s name, but don’t mention the amount.
- Volunteer with clients. The Christmas holidays are about peace and goodwill to others, so set aside an evening or weekend and invite your clients and staff to an event to help someone else, for example, volunteering at a soup kitchen or food drive for the needy.
- Give gift certificates. People are individuals with their own unique preferences. If you don’t know your client particularly well, offer gift certificates that allow them to choose their own gifts.
- Start early for next year. Keep a file of your client’s likes, dislikes and hobbies throughout the year. By the time Christmas rolls around next year, you will know what the client enjoys. The closer your relationship with the client, the more personal your gift can be.