We’ve all felt it: the pressure to wow our clients and employees with gifts that strike the right professional note while still being personal.
But not too personal.
But not too substantial.
And appealing to everyone.
But not to the point of being bland.
No doubt, there’s a lot riding on that simple token of your thanks. Add to that the influx of gift ideas bombarding your inbox from October to December and before you know it, you’re in an ongoing cycle of ignore, delete, repeat.
And still without a remarkable gift for those who power your company's success.
Mr. B's works with hundreds of business leaders facing the same challenge so let us first affirm that the struggle is real. And because it is, we’ve developed the following checklist to help you select gifts that meet — and possibly exceed — your expectations. Here’s how:
1. Start early.
This is especially true for 2020 as many retailers are experiencing shipping woes from overseas suppliers. Even with loads of lead time, those monogrammed iPad cases you had your eye on simply may not be possible. Extra lead time lets you find a company that can meet your quantity and timeframe.
2. Set a deadline.
A deadline for finalizing your decision and placing your order will keep you decisive and moving forward with your plan. If it’s a holiday gift you’re considering, this would be sometime in early November. However, many retailers offer volume discounts year-round so getting creative with timing is also an option.
3. Nail down a budget.
It’s basic, but worth saying anyway: set a budget and stick to it. This is when starting early pays off. Last-minute gifting prioritizes schedule over dollar amount and tends to exceed budget to meet a tight deadline.
4. Decide who.
Ideally, everyone receives a gift, but when that isn’t possible — or when certain clients or employees are receiving a higher dollar gift than others — it’s best to give gifts privately. But even then, people talk so be prepared to graciously explain why some merit a better gift. If there isn’t an obvious reason, it’s best to give gifts to everyone. Setting a few apart isn’t worth the hurt feelings.
5. It’s not about you.
It’s subtle, but often we tend to select gifts that appeal to us. That can work, but it’s wise to observe your recipients. What topics do they discuss? How do they spend their free time? You can glean valuable insights into their preferences by paying attention.
6. Presentation matters.
Like budgeting, it’s obvious but worth repeating: your gifts should be wrapped or presented in an attractive way. Their appearance is part of the gift and not only communicates its value, but that of the recipient as well.
7. Caution is bliss.
In a business setting, self-improvement or educational gifts should be avoided as should clothing, accessories, and fragrance. They’re too personal and you can easily mistake a person’s size and style. Also be cautious about gifts of alcohol and meat as those can run counter to personal convictions. Always be considerate of employees who don’t celebrate Christmas or may have their own holidays and traditions to observe.
8. Go consumable.
We tend to think of personal gifts in terms of long-lasting, repeated use, but it’s consumables that reign in the work world. Food gifts don’t saddle recipients with something they need to find a permanent place and use for. Or worse, that they need to cart to Goodwill. For givers, food gifts come in a variety of price points and feature luxe versions that your recipients aren’t likely to buy for themselves.
9. Shop with real humans.
Websites and chatbots can accomplish a lot, but sometimes you need to talk with someone who knows your name. Look for companies that offer a personal contact with whom you can share your budget and get their best recommendations for products, customization, and shipping. You’ll get a better final product this way.
As appealing as it might be to just let 2020 slip away and hope for better in 2021, business gifting couldn’t be easier or more necessary. And now’s the time to start planning.
Unsure where to begin? How about with a gift from Mr. B’s Chocolates?
We offer small-batch, premium Belgian chocolates that leave just the right impression on you, your budget, and your recipients.