Last week’s Tip highlighted some holiday gifting practices that should be avoided due to possible security risks and concerns associated with them. This week let’s banish Scrooge and take a look at some ideas for that perfect gift for everyone on your small business gift list. From employees and co-workers, to customers, vendors, service providers, investors, and promoters, the following collections will help you select something special, in any price range, for each and every one.
The 2014 Wired Wish List
My favorite place to start each year is the Wired Wish List. The magazine’s list tends towards the techy and the geeky, but also provides useful and stylish suggestions for business people of every stripe. The 2014 list is broken into four price categories, Under $50, Between $50 and $100, Between $100 and $150, and Between $150 and $250.
The lowest priced suggestion this year is a stainless steel Sharpie (available from Amazon for under $5), which adds that little “touch of class” to an everyday object. You can also get it from promotional item printers imprinted with your logo for around the same price, depending on the number you order.
Another suggestion is the Jimi, an ingenious USB extender (pictured) designed to make plugging a USB drive into an iMac (which only has ports in a hard to reach place on the back) easy. If you know someone who struggles with connecting USB drives and devices to those pesky side ports on thin laptops, consider a 90 degree extender which turns that side port into one you can easily access from the top. They are inexpensive and available from a number of manufacturers. This $7 two pack is highly rated on Amazon, works with PC and Mac, and supports USB 1.0-3.0. Sometimes the little thoughtful things truly do make the best gifts.
The office gift exchange has become a standard holiday season practice for small and large businesses alike. It may be a company-wide event, or each team or department may hold their own, but chances are you’ll need to find a fun, inexpensive gift for someone this year. To help you pick something cool and unique, check out Business News Daily’s 23 Inexpensive Secret Santa Gift Ideas for Co-Workers.
For the person who always remembers morning coffee, but can’t seem to remember anything else, the list suggests the To Do List Coffee Mug. You can write your list, and then erase each item as you get it done. Pick one up at Pier 1, or order a similar one on Amazon.
A thoughtfully chosen book can be the perfect gift that gracefully merges the line of personal and business. Whether you’re choosing for a budding business owner, a seasoned manager, or a serial entrepreneur, consider a choice from one of the following best of lists (which for the most part do not duplicate each other):
- 10 Best Business Books of 2014 from Inc.com
- The 12 best business books of all time from USA Today
- The New York Times December 2014 Business Books Best Sellers
- Best Business Books of 2014 from GoodReads.com
- Best Business & Investing Books of 2014 from Amazon.com
Extravagant Luxury for Men and Women
What to get the business man or woman who has everything can be tough, especially if you want to pick something really special for your right-hand person or for a truly stand-out employee. The following are two clever and unique choices, one for a man and the other for a woman.
For men, consider a Freshneck necktie subscription. While the tie may be disappearing from many more casual workplaces, if yours isn’t one of them, or if you know a guy who still likes to “tie” it on, Freshneck will enable him to keep his wardrobe fresh without the hassle of shopping for and storing ties he’ll only wear once or twice. Starting at $20 a month, it provides 3 ties at a time. Your gift recipient simply returns one when he’s done with it, and gets a new one in exchange. The service guarantees delivery in 3 days, to a home, office, or even hotel room– which is very convenient if you soil a tie or need a fresh one while on an extended business trip. (From 10 Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Business Travelers)
For women, consider the MICA (My Intelligent Communications Accessory) smart bracelet. Smart watches are popping up everywhere, but as most look like the plastic digital watches from the 1980s, they are hardly ideal for sophisticated businesswomen. However, an 18k gold bracelet with a curved sapphire glass touchscreen, now that is smart technology with some class. MICA is powered by Intel, includes a two year AT&T wireless subscription, and enables you to check calendars, get and send instant messages, program appointment reminders, and even use Yelp to locate nearby businesses. It is currently available at $495 for pre-order from Barneys, with estimated delivery this month. (From 17 holiday gift ideas for the businesswomen in your life.)
Cookies, Cakes, and Other Yummies
We typically don’t recommend paid products in the Tip of the Week blog, but since this week covers gift suggestions, it makes sense to include one of my personal favorites—Dancing Deer Baking Co. This Boston based company offers a delicious selection of cookies, brownies, and cakes in a wide variety of holiday towers, baskets, and boxes. (Look for their holiday sales, the current one offers free shipping with code “FSHIP.”) However, to make the holiday extra special consider giving from their Sweet Home Collection. While not eligible for discounts, 35% of each Sweet Home purchase is donated to One Family Inc. scholarship programs to help homeless and at-risk parents further their education. The cookies and brownies are extra sweet with the knowledge that they are also helping a very worthy cause.
See weekly Small Business Tips like this one by subscribing to our blog.