If you’re planning on holiday gift giving for clients, customers, and employees this year, we’ve got you covered! We covered what to give and who to give it to, what’s tax deductible, and now we’re talking Do’s and Dont’s of holiday gift giving.
-Give. Don’t promote. You have all year to promote your business; allow the holidays to be a time to focus on your clients and let them know how grateful you are for them.
-Send a card. A handwritten card or personal email can be meaningful and memorable. Gift giving has lost its personal touch over the years and your client will love getting a special note from yours truly, with or without a gift.
-Keep an ongoing list of employees, clients, service providers, and others who make your business great throughout the year. The holidays are a busy time of year, making it easy to forget someone. Keeping a small list throughout the year will ease your holiday stress and keep you from overspending at the last minute.
-Set a budget. Not all client gifts are equal, but you do need to have a budget in place before you start shopping. Using a small business bookkeeping system can help you keep to a budget. Check out our post on tax deductible gifts (link) and amounts here before deciding how much to spend.
-Check into a company’s gift giving and receiving policy before shipping your presents. The larger the company, the more likely a specific policy is in place. You don’t want to spend unnecessary cash on a contact who is not allowed to accept your gesture. However, a hand written card will almost always suffice and show your genuine appreciation!
-Don’t wait until the last minute. Keep in mind many people take a lengthy break from work to travel during the Christmas season, so sending a gift to a client’s office on December 23rd may not work. Try to have your gifts sent out early in December to ensure on-time delivery.
-Don’t feel pressure to run out and buy a nice gift for everyone who sends you one. Again, a quick way to go over budget and not always necessary. However, be sure to send a nice thank you card expressing your gratitude or a holiday card, and add that person to the list for the next year, if need be.
-Don’t send gifts that are too personal or religious. Keep it professional in the work place and avoid gifts like clothing, perfume, and other items people have personal (and sometimes very strong!) opinions about.
-Don’t be a brown-noser. Give gifts because you’re grateful for your client, employee, boss, etc. and keep it at that. Don’t try to out-do another employee or company and keep in mind that as long as your gift is genuine and sincere, the recipient will appreciate the gesture.
The best holiday gift to give comes from the heart. Be genuine and sincere and your clients and employees are sure to appreciate the heartfelt gesture.
Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.