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This isn’t my usual blog content about social media strategy and planning, but if I’m being honest, I need to put SOMETHING out into the world to get going again after a long break. I’ve spent the last several months recovering from burnout and getting my Depression under control again. Things are finally starting to go in the right direction and this post has been on my mind for a while. Regular social media content will return after the holidays.
BESIDES…thinking about Christmas and gift-giving makes me happy…and we all need more of THAT!
Down with kitschy, cutesy, space-wasting gifts that get donated or recycled as soon as they’re received. Give your entrepreneurial friends and clients something they’ll really enjoy! Of course, everyone has their personal preferences, and these are mine (and a few suggestions from other small business owners). You do you…and take into account the preferences of your giftees.
Give the Gift of Experiences
This is something I love to do in my family. I’ve become very minimalist over the years, not wanting to accumulate a bunch of “stuff” that just feels like clutter. I’m very intentional with my purchases. Very Marie Kondo. If it’s not going to bring me joy, I don’t buy it. I’d rather wait, spend more money and get the thing I REALLY want. So, experiences are a great alternative when your kids, or clients, seem to have everything.
Tickets to Glow
I will be attending Glow Halifax twice this year. Once as a client appreciation event by my financial advisor and once as a staff party for my husband’s workplace. At +/- $30 per person, this experience is a great option for a business that doesn’t have a huge budget. Here in Halifax, the event is owned by another small business owner and we love to support other small businesses!
Restaurant Gift Cards
Our local restaurants were hit hard by the pandemic. Why not show them some love at the same time you thank your clients, or besties? Even better… take them out for dinner and express your gratitude and appreciation in person!
Family Movie Viewing
For many years my financial advisor rented out a theatre and invited clients to watch the newest holiday movie. Especially when I had young children I loved this because taking a whole family to a movie was expensive and we didn’t do it for a lot of the holiday movies otherwise. If you’re not big enough to rent out a whole theatre, you could send a gift card to cover a family night at the movies. Cineplex even lets you order customized gift cards with your logo if you want!
Spa Retreat Day
Invite all your clients to a spa day and book out the spa. Massages, facials, mani-pedis, and great conversation for a day? Yeah, I’m in! Sensea Nordic Spa would be a great option here in Nova Scotia…if you can get tickets, that is!
I know I would be thrilled to receive things that are customized just for me. Here are a few ideas from some of my favourite small businesses:
Pet Portraits by Liz
I mean…you cannot go wrong with a custom pet portrait when your clients or friends are pet lovers! She’ll even put them on holiday ornaments! I bet you could arrange to use the portrait on stickers, cards, journals or clothing, too!
Tiny crown for a tiny king 👑✨ pic.twitter.com/wjhCDFR2uy
— roodledoo (@roodle_doo) October 18, 2022
Name or Branded necklaces
A few years ago I was served an Instagram ad for custom name necklaces. I decided to get one made with my newly minted hashtag #Flawsome. I was concerned about it being a scam, but in the end, I was quite happy with the result and I wear my necklace all the time. My necklace came from Oak & Luna.
Things for the Small Business
If your friend is in startup mode, one of the best ways you can support them is by helping them get going. Perhaps they’re putting off buying the equipment they need to improve their social media.
- Ring light
- Phone tripod
- Stock photo credits – I get mine from Deposit Photos, through App Sumo. Best deal going.
- Font credits – Suggested by a graphic designer friend.
- Name badge for networking – So much more professional than disposable stickers.
- Laptop stand (see below) to lift their video camera up and improve their Zoom presentation.
Local Gift Packages
Local Beer, Wine & Spirits
When I asked my Twitter circles what they would like to have for Christmas, my friend Matt replied “Beer”. So, if your fellow entrepreneurs are into beer (I’m not. If you send me beer my husband will be the one enjoying it), check out your local craft breweries to see what holiday treats they’re brewing up (pun intended). Our local breweries and distilleries do all kinds of fun holiday-themed things from holiday flavours, to advent calendars, from cross-brewery collaborations to stocking stuffers. Here are two of my favourites for the season. Of course, please be sure your recipient drinks alcohol before purchasing. Many do not and we don’t want to have an uncomfortable conversation about it.
- JD Shore After Eightish is a favourite at my house and I’d highly recommend it.
- Nova 7 by Benjamin Bridge is so good my husband bought me a quarterly subscription
- I received a gift of Noggins Cider (3 flavours) a couple of years ago. Not previously a fan of ciders, I actually very much enjoyed these!
The Five C’s of Gift Giving
Coffee, cookies, cakes, cheese and charcuterie. You can never go wrong with food as a gift. It doesn’t take up space for long and who doesn’t love a decadent treat? Be sure you know about any allergies before gifting!
- Coffee – Sure we all love Starbucks or Tim Horton’s, but consider giving gift cards to your favourite local, independent coffee shop instead. (She says as she’s sitting in a Starbucks writing this…I’m NOT perfect.)
- Noelle’s cookies – Custom gingerbread cookies. She’ll even do your corporate logo! And the cookies are ACTUALLY delicious. She even has a cookie advent calendar if you’re lucky enough to snag one!
- Delectable Desserts – Prefer a cheesecake or a fabulous holiday dessert?
- Easter Seals – The gift you can give twice! Christmas baking at Easter Seals is a great gift or time saver for the holiday host, but it also supports adults with disabilities. I’d bet there are charities in just about any city doing this!
- Smith & Hartlen – Get a curated box of cheese. CHEESE. Need I say more?
- NS Grazing – The most beautiful charcuterie boards.
And if all of these ideas aren’t right for you, perhaps consider making a donation to your favourite charity instead, buying charity calendars, or tickets for charity contests/draws to give away. Include the info in a thoughtful holiday card.
What other suggestions do you have for your fellow small business owners? Got your eye on something special for your business? Share in the comments!