Business Owners - Don't Break the Bank This Holiday Season

It is that time of year again for business owners. You want to thank your loyal clients with a gift. You also want to send something to prospective clients. But what?

As the Debt Free Business Coach, I must ask you "What does your budget allow this year?" You do have a budget for holiday gift giving, right. Are you shaking your head no? Are you showing me empty pockets? Well, that is OK too. Honesty is the best policy. Let's take a few minutes and brainstorm how to show appreciation to your loyal clients and stay in the forefront of the minds of prospective clients without breaking the bank.

First, thing of all the "crap", yes, I just called it "crap" that you receive from businesses each year. Do you really use those plastic cups, calendars, fly swatters, lip chap, Frisbees, plastic bags, pens, magnets etc or do you throw them away? When you throw them away, you are really wasting the business owners' money. Do you want your money wasted? Heck NO!

So, what can you do or give away that won't waste your money by ending up in the trashcan? Think! If you were doing business with you what would you want? What would make you feel appreciated? Would you like a discount or gift card to use on a future purchase? Did you know that most gift certificates are never redeemed? Yep, that is true. So how about you give out gift certificates for your services or design a discount card to enclose in a Christmas card. I have seen business owners design a business card that is their gift certificate or discount card. It can before for a percentage off a purchase or for a specific dollar amount. If you sell a product to your clients would they like travel sizes of that product i.e. shampoo, moisturizer, shower gel? If this would be too expensive then I suggest going with sending a gift certificate. Think of what inventory you may have that you need to move quickly before it expires. Bakery owners could offer a free cookie, cupcake or small cake in the favorite flavor of their loyal customers. This is something you know they would enjoy and not throw away. Gunilla, if you are reading this you know I love your oatmeal cookies.

My point here is - do not feel that you must break your bank account and give your clients something during the holiday season. Prior to becoming a business owner, I use to attend Expos and festivals and collect all the "crap" that went into the trashcan a few days after the event was over. I don't know why I was one of those hungry vultures taking things I would never use but I did. Yes, I admit it I took the "crap". However, once I became a business owner and realized how much each of those items cost I stopped taking anything I knew I would never use.

So, this Holiday Season, I challenge you as a business owner to stop spending until you examine your budget. Think about what your clients truly would want from you and keep or use. Do not waste your money on "crap" trying to impress prospective clients.