MyCity4Her is all about appreciation and recognition, when it comes to gift giving however, many women in business, women entrepreneurs and business people make some mistakes – despite best intentions. Because the topic of gift giving can be a touchy one we thought we’d address it today and are fortunate the Guest Writer/Contributor Brandy Thompson could share her thoughts below. After all, gift giving can be a fantastic way to show appreciation to employees, make a good impression with a potential customer or thank a valued business partner. It can also be tricky. Giving the wrong gift can be more detrimental than no gift at all. With that in mind, here are some tips for walking the tight rope of thoughtful, appropriate gift giving.
It may be boring, but the safest gift may be a gift card inside a well-wishing card. Give your co-worker some credit to their favorite store, tickets to a movie or gift certificates for a night out or spa treatment. Add some personality to the gift with a handwritten note expressing your appreciation. Offer something they will actually use and that will be more enjoyable to them than the cost as cash-in-hand.
Work can be mundane, and you may see a gift-giving opportunity as a chance to show your lighter side. There’s nothing wrong with that, but unless you’re hosting a white elephant exchange, gag gifts are best left out of the office. Instead of building camaraderie amongst your co-workers, silly gifts indicate that you’re more interested in attracting attention than showing your appreciation for a colleague.
For Business Partners/Relations
Tread carefully here. Depending on your location and industry, there may be strict gift-giving restrictions for you to observe. If, for example, it’s unethical (or illegal) for a business partner to accept a gift over a certain value (let’s say $100 as an example) don’t put them in an awkward position by ignoring that mandate. Gifts are meant to show appreciation. Giving someone something they can’t rightfully accept is just downright thoughtless.
You probably can offer branded items like calendars, magnets, coffee mugs and so on that promote your business. Taking business partners out to dinner is a gray area you should investigate before sending out an invite. A gift basket that can be easily shared amongst the entire office is a nice touch too. I once got a shipment of holiday wrapping paper from a printing company as a thank you. It was appropriate for their business and useful to mine.
Want to really make a difference in the world? Donate to a charity in their name. Find out if they support a certain charity, foundation or non-profit organization, donate and send a note with the information.
For Everyone: Remember the Recipient
As much as a good gift will reflect well on the giver, it’s about finding something the recipient will appreciate. Be sure you have the end user in mind when you set out to buy. Avoid distinct gifts that could conflict with the recipient’s lifestyle. No matter how much you love a certain brand of Merlot, someone who avoids alcohol probably won’t appreciate getting a bottle of it.
If perhaps the economy is still weighing on your business pocketbook, simply send a card that stands out. For large quantities of correspondence, it will save time and money to look into postage meters from Pitney Bowes as well as bulk holiday cards in an off season. Consider sending a Fourth of July greeting in lieu of a Christmas card to stand out from the crowd.
About Brandy Thompson
Brandy has been a consultant for moguls and a few celebrities. Now that she’s running her own talent agency, she loves spreading her wisdom online.