What do most entrepreneurs and self-employed business owners want for the holidays? Gifts that fall into two main categories.
1) Something that helps them move their business forward.
2) Something that makes their life easier and more enjoyable.
Self-employed business owners are a time strapped bunch with big visions. With all the balls that get juggled and the work-life balance continuum, choose wisely when you gift to this crowd. You want to support who they are and what they're really about. In other words, no random Tchotchkes that simply take up space and don't get used. Show that you "get" what they are up to and give them a boost by what you buy.
Because everyone's budget is different, here are 15 gift ideas ranging from the "almost free" to "sky's the limit".
5 Gift Ideas Under $25
Whether you buy a book to help them futher their business or simply nourish their spirit, you can never go wrong with a good book. Start with a classic like The E-Myth by Michael Gerber or go for one of the bestselling business books of 2012 (NY Times Bestseller list). My list of must-read books for someone starting a business (or thinking about it) can be found here. For fun, there's always something brewing at the BlogHer Book Club that might strike your fancy.
Gift a magazine subscription to a business publication. A great way to help your entrepreneurial buddy stay abreast of what's happening throughout the year. Entrepreneur, Success Magazine, Fast Company, and Inc. are always popular choices.
Buy some credits for iStockphoto or Copyscape premium. Every entrepreneur with a website or blog (and who doesn't have one, right?) could benefit from some stock photos to use to accompany articles. Credits aren't expensive but are a nice-to-have in the bank for that next project. Copyscape premium allows you to do searches to uncover places where your content might have been stolen or inadvertently duplicated.
Buy or create a gift basket of coffee or tea. Almost everyone drinks either coffee or tea. If you know what they love to drink tailor it custom to their tastes. Unlike a food or fruit basket, this has staying power and will have your friend think of you fondly on cold mornings after the holiday.
Consider taking time to send a handwritten note of gratitude and attach it to a notebook journal. Some of the most valuable gifts an entrepreneur receives is the gratitude, kindness, and feedback from others who care about their journey. In fact while researching this article, one of my friends on Facebook who is a chef and family friend shared that the most treasured gift she ever received was a handwritten note from my mother (who was one of their biggest supporters) before she died . (Of course that made me cry, the perils of conducting research for a post.) Never underestimate the power of a simple, heartfelt gift. A notebook journal is a great gift for capturing creative moments.
Credit Image: Gift tag on red via Shutterstock
5 Gift Ideas Under $100
Who couldn't use some help with cable management in the home office? I found some really well designed and nice cable management solutions here. Especially if you have small children or pets, this creative gift can do wonders for organizing your space and keeping everyone (including your equipment) safe and sound.
Small business owners often find themselves at events and on the road ready to snap a photo or do a quick video for their blog. Trying to capture this yourself by holding your smartphone means you look like a dog with a big nose because of the wide-angle lens problem. Buy your entrepreneur something small and handy like the QuikPod so they are ready for solo-shooting anytime, anywhere.
Gift the gift of all year support, community, and education. Consider buying a year’s subscription to business membership site.
Help them nix the stress and stay healthy. Buy a gift certificate for a massage or other spa treatment. Time away to relax and unwind is critical for long-term success and with a gift from you this precious time away might actually make it to their calendar!
Buy some much needed office supplies (or gift card to an office supply store). Nothing is as shocking for a small business owner as leaving the corporate world that has a supply closet and entering the wide world of buy your own tape, paper clips, post-its, etc.
5 Gift Ideas Where Budget Is No Object (or for that someone VERY special)
Buy the gift of a fully charged electronic device! When the storms hit, the power goes out, or you simply find yourself nowhere near a power supply, something like the Powerbag is a lifesaver.
Make their presentations mobile and professional. I saw this pocket projector and just love it! Anyone who remembers the projectors from the old days that were heavy as an ox and cost as much as a small automobile will gasp in delight. Hooks right up to your mobile device and voila! You are presentation ready.
Give them a much-coveted mobile device. Whether you buy the latest i-Thingy like the iPad mini or iPhone 5 or some other handy mobile goodie. It makea a great shiny object with bling potential while also being a true productivity tool, especially for business owners on the go.
Give the gift of quiet and music. Especially if your friend is a road warrior, nothing says peace like a noise cancelling or noise isolating headphone. (My personal favorite is the Klipsch, although it is a bit of a pain while sweating in the gym.)
The ultimate gift is that of bona-fide professional support for their business. Consider gifting a conference pass, private coaching/consulting, or backend business support services. While pricy (I did say this was for the budget-no-object crowd), it can and will help someone's business grow exponentially.
What are some of the favorite gifts you've received? What are some other great gift ideas you have for entrepreneurs that I haven't included? Please share in the comments below...
Paula Gregorowicz plucks women off the hamster wheel of overwhelm, struggle, and self-doubt and guides them to a purposeful path of building authentic and successful businesses.
Download the Free Report: Your Own Uniqueness: The Path to Purpose, Prosperity, and Playfulness at http://www.thepaulagcompany.com.
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