Maybe it’s for your boss, a coworker, or even an employee. Whatever the case, the song remains the same: What to get the small business owner this holiday season?
Just this week, my business has received presents as varied as they come. From an old associate, I received the annual gift box we always enjoy so much, full as it is with yummy cheeses, crunchy crackers, and sweet chocolates. From another we got an email that said that a donation to a very worthy charity had been made in the name of my family and me. That too was very nice and welcome.
What can you get the small business person in your life?
Here are a few suggestions:
A New Smartphone: Whether it’s an Android, iPhone, or BlackBerry, there is no doubt that smartphones are hot, hot, hot. They allow us to work when, where, and how we want. They enable us to be more effective, and of course, have some fun while waiting in line at the airport.
Some Great Apps: While you are at it, why not load up that new phone with some apps that make doing businesses easier, faster, and cheaper?
- Try the UPS and/or the FedEx apps to track your packages, create shipping labels, and estimate shipping costs and times.
- Does your business accept appointments over the phone? Check out Appointy. It’ll help you schedule or reschedule appointments, send out reminders to clients, and even help you create promotions… all while you’re on the go.
- You can add and edit expenses, track receipts with your cameraphone, and approve or reject expense reports with Concur for smartphones. It’s a handy app for just about everyone.
The Gift of Self-reliance: The entrepreneur’s motto might be, Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. There are so many great causes that you can give money to that teach people how to fish, here are just two:
- Kiva: Through Kiva, individuals can give your own microloans to needy third-world entrepreneurs. You can then follow the progress of your adopted small business, and eventually get paid back.
- Heifer International: Through Heifer, you can give indigenous poor people a cow, a sheep, a goat, and so on. This animal then becomes the key to a more self-sufficient life. Says Heifer, “There will be a glass of rich milk for the children to drink and any surplus can be sold to pay for school fees or medicine.”
Now that’s a gift that really keeps on giving! Happy holidays to all!