Business Gift Etiquette

This time of year, from November to the beginning of January brings many gift-giving opportunities. And just as many chances to stumble over gift-giving etiquette. Last week, we had suggestions on gifts to get the entrepreneur or businessperson in your life. This week, we give you tips on which clients, customers, and partners you should gift, and how to do it.

Before you make any sort of business-related gift, be sure you know your company’s policy regarding gifts. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where your ethics are called into question, or find you’ve inadvertently broken a company rule. And business owners, if you don’t have a policy, you might want to consider coming up with one. (This is something VersaTel Solutions’s process management service can help you with. We can help you develop policies and procedures for all aspects of your business.) Even if you know the rules, giving gifts can be delicate. As the lifestyle website The Spruce advises, ‘You need to make sure the gift is appropriate and follow the customs and norms of your industry. They’re there for a reason. You should never expect a gift in return. Gifts chosen for a business associate or client should be creative and relevant to the occasion. However, always avoid anything too personal that may be misinterpreted as a bribe.”

The website Small Biz Trends offers gift-giving tips. And these can be used throughout the year, not just during the winter holidays. These are the three we find the most helpful:

Choose Your Budget Carefully – “Choosing an amount to spend on each gift is one of the trickiest parts about business gift giving etiquette. When it comes to gifts for your team, it mainly comes down to what you can afford. However, buying gifts for vendors, service providers, or partners outside of your business can be a bit more sensitive. Some entities have limits for what they’re allowed to accept. So make sure you don’t surpass these limits with excessive gifts.”

Keep It Practical for Vendors, Suppliers, and Customers “Though it may be fun to give members of your team items that call back to inside jokes or funny things that have happened in the office throughout the year, it’s not as easy to gauge how those outside of your business might view those types of gifts. Unless you have a very close relationship with someone, it’s usually safer to stick with items that are useful, like gift cards or office supplies.”

Keep Promotional Gifts Minimal – “It’s pretty common for businesses to print their logos on items like tote bags or hats that they give out for holiday gifts. While this isn’t necessarily a no-go, you should try not to rely on gifts as a source of promotion. Make sure they’re actually useful for the recipient, meaning they should be fairly high quality, and the logos should be small and understated.”

These tips work throughout the year, no matter what you celebrate. If you need help developing gift giving policies reach out to us. Our Process Management service will work with you to establish standard operating procedures, workplace procedures and more. VersaTel Solutions is here to help.