Tips for holiday greeting cards, a holiday party, gift-giving to clients, and an office gift exchange.

If you’re like many businesspeople, you’re so busy running your company that you find yourself lagging behind in planning your holiday party, picking gifts for clients and mailing greeting cards.

To avoid chaos and making the right choices in holiday planning for your business, you must start early.

For good morale and to save you time, when feasible delegate the holiday planning. If you do delegate, for the best results, take steps to be certain the processes are handled well.

Here are the four basics of holiday planning:

Greeting cards

The whole idea behind greeting cards is to show appreciation and good cheer for your clients. If you don’t do it right, you risk failing to enhance your client relationships.

  • To impress your clients without stress, order your cards early.
  • Don’t cut corners. Pick a high-quality card that emphasizes the value you place on the relationships.
  • Double check to make certain your list is up-to-date. As you add relationships throughout the year, update your list.
  • On each envelope, hand write the address.
  • With your printed message, add a note and sign your name.
  • Avoid generic messages. Hopefully, you know your recipients well – whether they observe Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.

For more tips on sending holiday cards, here are the business etiquette Dos and Don’ts.

Holiday party

As with your clients, know whether your employees preferences.

  • Whether they would like a formal event or casual party.
  • Know whether they prefer a party during work hours, on a weekend or in the evening.
  • If you plan to serve alcohol, anticipate whether some employees are hardcore partiers. Hopefully, they exercise self-control. Just in case, plan to get them home safe without risking car accidents and liability.

Client gifts

In giving gifts to clients, remember the acronym, AAR – being appropriate, appreciated and remembered.

  • Know what your clients’ company policies such as the types of gifts and the dollar value of gifts that are acceptable for their employees. (Ask the clients’ human resources department or principals.)
  • Learn your clients’ favorite pastimes, food or beverage. Personalize the gifts. If your recipient is a golfer, give tickets to a tournament or a round of golf to a unique course.
  • Take extra caution to make your gifts stand out with distinction. So be creative.
  • Even if you have a long list, try to be original. My favorite fallback gift is taking clients’ cards to an engraver and turn them into personalized paperweights.
  • Charitable donations might be appropriate and memorable to a community-minded, philanthropic client. Choose their favorite charity and avoid all controversial charities. (You don’t have to divulge the amount of the donation.)
  • If you give a group gift such as desserts, be generous. Send enough for everyone in your clients’ offices to enjoy. (My favorite has been high-quality, large chocolate cheesecakes.)

Office gift exchange

To reflect your good intentions, avoid confusion and issues.

  • Get a consensus on how to handle the gift exchange. For instance, decide if there will be a drawing of recipient names, a price range or gag gifts (in reasonably good taste).
  • Avoid embarrassments by being mindful of your employees’ personal budgets.
  • If any of your employees want to give gifts to their friends, avoid teamwork issues by suggesting that such gifts should be given off your premises.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant Q4 business tips:

Stage a Great Business Event with This Checklist of Tips — The details can be overwhelming in staging a major business event. You might want to hire a firm to help you. If not, you can do it yourself.

Marketing Strategies to Maximize Your Holiday Sales — The holidays are an emotional time of year. Consumers spend a disproportionate amount of money during the holidays, so it behooves your business to take advantage of your seasonal revenue opportunities.

Trending: How Merchants Increase Profits in Q4 Holiday Sales — As consumers continue to start earlier and earlier to shop for their holiday giving, merchants are honing their marketing strategies. Their tools include advertising, brand protection, strategic pricing, staging events, and using traditional media and digital.

Finance: 10 Year-End Tips for Entrepreneurs — If your business slows down in Q4, the holidays are a great to assess your year and plan for the New Year. Like wellness checkups with your doctor, it’s a good time to evaluate your financials.

7 Precautions for a Profitable Layaway Program — Despite the continuous changes in technology, retailers are reverting to a sales and customer-loyalty practice that was prevalent in the 1950s. That would be a layaway program to sell more products to cash-strapped customers. Big box stores, such as Walmart and Toys R Us, have benefited from PR when they’ve announced their layaway programs.

Restaurants Need to Double-Down on Customer Loyalty in Q4 — Restaurants need to strategize intensely on customer loyalty if they want to avert a massive decline in revenue in Q4. Why? Revenue for restaurants have been plummeting after Thanksgiving – as much as 45 percent, according to a 2014 study.

“A Christmas tree – the perfect gift for a guy. The plant is already dead.”

-Jay Leno


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.