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Copyright 2005

Christmas Gifts from a Business

Christmas. First images of the season are happy ones; the spirit of Christmas is to give joy to others and show our loved ones we care.

One of the best ways to show anyone you care or appreciate their efforts is to acknowledge them, and Christmas is a perfect opportunity to do so.

When planning gifts and mementoes this year, don’t forget that your business contacts need acknowledging just as much as your personal ones. If it wasn’t for your customers, suppliers and staff, where would your business be?

By acknowledging your clients in this way, you are thanking them for their custom as well as making them feel special, more than just a source of income for you. The thoughtfulness of a Christmas card or gift will give your client pleasant feelings towards you that may well reward you in the future.

So, now you’ve decided to acknowledge your clients this Christmas, but how?

The simplest of acknowledgements is a card. Having cards professionally prepared is a nice touch, but is not necessary. However, ensure that you write personally in each and every card that you send. A printed card just like everyone else’s doesn’t make the recipient feel special or valued; rather they are just one of the crowd, and it may do more harm than good to send it. Even if the card is printed with your name, add a personal message to make it relevant and special.

Beyond a card, there is a multitude of gifts available for clients. Before selecting gifts, however, set yourself a budget and determine if you want to give more to any particular clients. For instance, a client who has sent you five referrals warrants more acknowledgment than a client who only used your business once months ago.

Before listing some gift ideas, there are factors other than price to consider when choosing a gift for a client.

Before giving bottles of wine or spirits to all clients, consider that not everyone drinks alcohol – for instance, pregnant women, Moslems and ill people won’t appreciate the gift.

Consider allergies – there may not be a large proportion of people who are allergic to nuts, but many of those who are will react severely. Consider carefully before giving a nut loaf or walnut muffins.

If giving gifts to people who are somehow linked, ensure they are of equal value, unless one person has obviously done extras for you. Be very careful not to confuse the client you like with the client who has helped your business more. If there are clients you particularly like or consider friends, then perhaps give two gifts – one as the business woman thanking a client and another between friends.

Tying in something about the client whenever possible will make a lasting impression. For instance, a newly married couple would appreciate an ornament with “1st Christmas together” and parents love a chance for child free time or some pampering. Don’t get too involved with this, though – especially if you have a large number of clients to acknowledge!

Consider the relationship with your client before choosing a more personal gift. An impersonal box of chocolates suits many people, but expensive perfume or clothing are probably not appropriate for business gifts.

Some Christmas gift ideas suitable for businesses to give are:

An edible treat such as chocolates, muffins, cakes or slices

A gift hamper

A gift pack (basically a small hamper without the basket!)

A nice photo frame

Some of your product nicely presented, if appropriate

A voucher for your business – either a dollar value or a discount voucher

Exotic foods such as luscious chocolate sauce, hibiscus flowers or flavoured sugar

Flowers – a bunch, arrangement, posy or even some beautiful dried flowers

Christmas decorations – personalised ones are even better

Christmas stocking of little gifts and treats

A donation in their name or a Star from the Starlight Foundation or similar

A voucher for a treat such as a massage or manicure

A nice pen or pen and pencil set

Dinner – either with you or a voucher of some sort

The chance to see a movie – again, either with you or give a ticket voucher

Regardless of what you give out, please do NOT include a business card in it. If the client needs a business card to remember you, a Christmas card from you won’t mean much either and you’d be better off giving a gift to charity.

 



Tash Hughes is a Mum of two in Melbourne. She is also a writer and owner of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see her site and services at
www.wordconstructions.com


 

 

 

 

 

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