20 Gifts Small Business Owners Can Afford to Give for the Holidays

By Stephanie Geistel

As the holiday season approaches, we’ve assembled a list of ideas for the best, most unique and personal gifts to give to your clients or employees with cost in mind. Small business owners, read on to shake up your holiday gratitude gift ideas:

7 Beyond Knick-Knack Gifts

Want a real actual gift you can wrap? Here are some gift ideas that are both affordable and meaningful for your clients or employees.

Multi-Port Rechargeable Power Banks  

Most of us rely on at least 2-3 electronic devices during the workday, and a rechargeable power bank can come in handy in busy times or times of desperation. These are excellent to have around the office to loan out to delivery drivers, during meetings, business travel, presentations,  lunches, etc. Check out the top rated Rechargeable Power Banks and consider giving this as a useful gift.

Personalized Stationery, Post-It’s, etc.

Personalized paperwork can be fun for both a client or employee. It’s easy to order personalized stationery online, we recommend using Shutterfly. They are top rated, and are almost always running a promotion, saving you a few bucks along the way.

Calendars

There are many ways to purchase calendars: themed (how well do you know your client?), personal planners,  large, small, hanging, tear away, personalized. A quick trip to your local bookstore will yield dozens of calendar options, but if you’re looking for something unique or personalized check out Zazzle.

Electronic Notepad

What’s an electronic notepad, you ask? This trendy, helpful tool is equipped with an LCD screen that allows you to sketch down ideas, notes and drawings by hand and upload them directly to your computer via USB. The most popular and highest rated LCD Notepad is the Boogie Board.

Essential Oil Diffuser

Oil diffusers are the popular, safe and enviro-friendly alternative to burning candles. Not only are they less hazardous, but they also improve moisture in the air, provide ambiance, and some say essential oils have health benefits that go beyond simply smelling lovely.  Be sure to include a few essential oils with your gift, in case they don’t have any. You can usually find oil diffusers at big box stores like Target.

Desk Golf

Not only will this provide a good chuckle, it’s great decoration for your client or employee’s desk and is another healthy way to spend screen breaks or entertain guests. You can purchase Desk Golf at Uncommon Goods.

Custom-Made Bobble Heads

A hilarious way to build rapport and express your sense of humor. At AllMiniMe.com, the bobble heads can be customized and themed to fit your client or employee’s interests and hobbies, but don’t delay! They typically recommend ordering 2-3 weeks in advance.

Maybe you want something more outside the box than a typical wrapped gift? No problem!

5 Gifts that are a Little Different

Artwork

Perhaps you noticed a few blank spaces on the walls the last time you visited your client or had a meeting in your employee’s office? Or maybe there’s a popular artists in town you know they’d love… Artwork is a very personal gift, so do your research and find something that speaks to you and would speak to them. This is also a great opportunity to support the arts!

In-Office Yoga and Meditation Classes

Many companies are adding midday yoga classes as a part of their employee benefits packages. For advice on hiring a great teacher for your own business or for a client’s, call around to your local yoga studios - most of the time they will provide someone lovely they have on staff AND take care of logistics. It’s a win-win!

Charitable Donation in their honor

‘Tis the season for giving, after all. Why not use this opportunity to show your client or employees your altruistic side and make a donation in their honor? The best giftable donation is something that speaks personally to your client, yourself, or the current times.

Magazine Subscription

Almost every industry has a themed magazine, and not only are they a great resource and go-to  - they are also a great way to entertain visitors, and are helpful for staying engaged and motivated during much needed  “screen breaks.” When in doubt, a subscription to Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, or something local to the recipient’s City or Town are all safe ideas.  

Career-Focused Books

There’s no better way to stay at the top of your game with an ambitious and empowering read, adn the same goes for your employees and clients. Here’s a list of the “15 Most Inspirational Books for Entrepreneurs,” (you’ll be happy to know they aren’t ALL non-fiction).

Want something more traditional? Don’t forget about the tried and true gifts like:

8 Old Favorite Gifts

Gift Baskets

Gift baskets are a common gift during the holidays, and are great for sending to small businesses in the sense that there is truly a little something for everyone, whether it’s for your own people or your client’s people. The best way to give a gift basket (in our opinion) is to contact a local favorite whether it’s a bakery, artisan shop, etc. and have something familiar and special prepared.

Fruit of the Month Club

This is a modern-twist on the classic fruit basket. We recommend The Fruit Company, who has everything from exotic, americana, to organic and fresh fruit delivered monthly.   

Plants

Plants improve air quality and ambiance, and are something the entire office can enjoy. Be sure to do your research and pick a plant that can survive in an office setting. Here’s a list of the best office plants for reference.

Catered Breakfast, Lunch, or Dessert

What better way to show your appreciation than surprise bagel delivery on a Monday morning to your client’s office? You might want to tip off someone what’s coming though so that someone is there to receive it. Or get a little more creative and think of a dessert or hot chocolate delivery.

Go Have Some Fun

Treating your client (and perhaps his/her team) or your own team to a local sporting event, concert, or other bonding activity outside the office is not only a great gift - it’s a great way to establish rapport, and can also show that you value team building in the workplace.

Snack Nation

Snack Nation provides a variety of snacks for up to 15 employees on a one-time, weekly or monthly basis. Your client’s sweet tooth will thank you! : www.SnackNation.com

Coffee Shop Gift Cards

A tried and true gift, and a traditional way of expressing gratitude. Load enough on the card that your client or your employee can treat themselves properly!

A Sincere, Hand-Written Card

At the end of the day, the best way to express your gratitude to a client or employee is by taking the time to write to them personally. Be sure to thank them for investing in your endeavors, believing in you, and let them know you look forward to the growth that lies ahead.

In conclusion, you certainly do not have to give gifts to your clients or employees, but it can be a nice way to stand out and share the love this holiday season.