With the festive season fast approaching, October is the perfect time to kickstart your business gift-giving strategy. Starting early ensures you have ample time to navigate the intricacies of the process, avoiding any last-minute mishaps that could dampen the spirit of giving.
One key factor to consider is the time it takes for companies to create personalized business gifts. Websites like 4imprint, Etsy, Crestline, and Personalization Mall offer a wide range of personalized business gifts. This timeline is crucial when you order any promotional items for your business at any time of the year, especially during the holidays.
You should allocate enough time for adjustments and reviews. It can make the difference between receiving perfectly tailored gifts and a collection that misses the mark with the wrong design or color.
Setting aside time to meticulously price out your preferred items is also essential. Rushing into purchases may lead to overpayment, potentially straining your budget and diminishing the impact of your thoughtful gestures. Allowing yourself at least a two-week window to shop around and compare offerings from various vendors can help you pick out the most thoughtful gifts for your customers. Articles from Merchology and Small Business Trends provide guidance on how to create a gift budget for your business.
Think about items that your customers might enjoy and that are also related to your business. For example, if you run a high-end accounting firm, you could give away engraved pens that feature your company logo and contact information or you can personalize the pens with your client names and attach a note that says, “Happy Holidays! Here’s a little something to make it more fun to sign and deposit checks into your business, with style.”
The holiday season is an excellent opportunity to create meaningful memories with your customers so definitely prioritize quality and thoughtfulness as you shop. Take advantage of gift guides, creative ideas from colleagues, and your customer’s interests to make sure the gifts you give are unique and appreciated. A small token of appreciation will go a long way in creating positive relationships with your customers throughout the year!
Consider the positive impact that the gestures will have on your business by enhancing your customer experience, relationships, retention, and likelihood of referrals as you decide on a budget. It’s also important to have a sense of the quantity of items that you would like to purchase before you start exploring and pricing things out.
Many vendors will give you custom prices for different quantities and will often require you to tell them how many items you want to order before giving you a quote. Websites like CorporateGift.com and SnackNation offer platforms for managing ongoing gifting programs, including vendor pricing. It helps if you make a list of customers who will be receiving a gift and maybe order a few extra on top of that, just in case. And while you are at it, make a list of addresses where your gifts will need to be delivered, and give yourself some time to fact-check the information you have to make sure that it is the most current.
Design can also affect pricing and timelines. If your gift requires a custom design you should factor that into the cost and the time to create, review, and approve the designs. Websites like 4imprint and Printful offer services for designing personalized business gifts. Things like t-shirts for example usually come with a setup fee. And on top of that set-up fee, you may want to invest in a designer than can create a shirt design that your customers will like. You may want cards and packaging to accompany your gifts so give yourself time to make those decisions and price that out as well.
And don’t forget about shipping and delivery fees! Websites like USPS and UPS provide information on shipping rates and services, which could be important for businesses to consider when planning their gift-giving strategy.
Once you have decided on your gift list, narrowed down your items, and quantities, and have a sense of a budget for everything, give yourself a few more weeks to shop different vendors. If you do this with a well-curated wish list that includes selections that reflect the essence of your business and resonate with your recipients, you will be in a much better position to get the best possible deals on gifts that make an impact without incurring unnecessary rush fees.
Once you decide on the vendor you want to go with, ask them about their order process and design process, dedicating at least three weeks for requests, reviews, and fine-tuning any design elements or personalized touches ensures that your gifts embody the desired aesthetic and convey the intended message of appreciation and gratitude. Websites like 4imprint, Merchology, and CorporateGift.com offer a wide range of personalized business gifts and have detailed information about their order and design processes.
Finally, accounting for a production and delivery timeline ranging between 3 to 6 weeks allows for a seamless transition from the production phase to the delivery of the gifts, whether directly to your recipients or to your location for packaging and distribution. By adhering to this timeline, you can guarantee timely delivery and ensure that your gifts reach your valued clients and partners well in advance of the holiday season.
If you need a little help you can download our template for promotional items below. It’s a Google sheet that includes a tab where you can organize information on promotional items so you can easily compare pricing and vendors, and keep track of the art you might want on each item. There is also a tab where you can drip in your list of recipients and their addresses as well as the gift item each person should receive.
Embrace the spirit of foresight this October, and lay the groundwork for a seamless and heartfelt gift-giving experience that reflects the essence of your business and fosters lasting connections with those who matter most.