While many festive traditions have successfully made the move from the home to the workplace – the annual party and ‘Secret Santa’ are both staples of nearly every small business’ Christmas celebrations – there is one that still hasn’t made the leap: proper gift giving.
Crack Christmas gifting and the benefits will roll in: you’ll motivate your team, improve customer loyalty, and boost important supplier relationships. However, fail to pick the right presents, or show any kind of effort, and you’ll risk losing morale, motivation, and maybe even business.
3 Groups of people businesses should give to
Simon Willies of Currys PC World Business outlines how to get it right this Christmas, kicking off with the three people any small business owner should be buying presents for:
1. Your team
The benefits of buying your team Christmas presents are proven: a study by American Express revealed that gifts make almost half of small business employees feel valued, while a further third said they felt motivated to work harder after being bought a gift.
It might just help your retention rates too, with the same survey showing that 34% of small business owners witnessed improved retention after rewarding staff.
2. Your customers
Did you know that the cost of acquiring a new customer is estimated to be around six times greater than keeping an existing one? And that the probability of converting a sale with a new one is between just 5-20 per cent, compared to 60-70 per cent for existing customers?
Your current customers will continue to support your business, providing you meet their expectations. So, why not reward them for their loyalty with a gift this Christmas. It’s likely to keep them happy and your balance sheet in good order too.
3. Your suppliers
You might think that paying promptly, giving adequate lead times, and staying in regular contact with your suppliers is enough to keep them sweet but there’s much more you can do.
By making the effort to personalise your working relationship with them, you’ll boost rapport and reap the rewards when it comes to any last minute or unusual requests you might need to ask them for during the year ahead. Make sure to include them on your list of who to buy presents for this Christmas.
What makes the perfect business gift?
So, now you know who to buy a present for, you’re probably thinking about what to buy and how to ensure you get the right gift for each of your team, customers, and suppliers. Here are a few golden rules on buying the perfect business gift:
Make it personal
Show to your team, customers, and suppliers, that you know them by getting them a present they actually want. Forget anything with corporate branding, or generic items like chocolate.
If they’re a gadget lover, why not consider investing in a practical bit of smart technology that they can use in their free time, like an Amazon Echo Dot?
For a photography fanatic, what about a new instant camera or a place booked onto a photography course?
Sending a handwritten note with your gift will add a personal touch that the recipient will really appreciate.
Try to buy people things they wouldn’t get for themselves. A £20 coffee mug is far nicer than a watch costing £20.
And if you know your whole team are addicted to caffeine, why not invest in a new coffee machine for the entire office? They’ll appreciate your understanding of their needs and the fact you are willing to invest to create a nicer working environment.
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Keep it fun
Does anyone ever really want a mouse mat, keyring, or paperweight? Make sure your gift is good fun and reflects that you know the person you’re giving it to.
For example, what passionate sport or fitness fan wouldn’t value being bought a ticket to watch their favourite sport or team in action? A great experience can be just as good as a physical gift.
With your list sorted, golden rules for buying presents written, and even a few gift ideas to get you started, you should be well equipped to tackle corporate gifting this Christmas.
Remember, an investment now will help you build valuable relationships in the future, so embrace the season of giving and kick start your small business’ 2018.
About the author
This guide has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Simon Willies, Head of Category B2B Commercial, Currys PC World Business.
More on ByteStart
You’ll find lots more tips on building customer loyalty, growing your customer base and motivating staff in these other ByteStart guides;
- 5 Ways you can use emotion to connect with customers and get more from your marketing
- How to develop a strong USP and how to use it to attract more customers
- How to attract customers from heaven – not clients from hell
- 8 Ways to turn buyers into loyal customers