Updated October 2022

Janet McKean is a gifts industry expert who brings trend-setting products from established and emerging designers to the marketplace. She provides representation and consulting to artists, retailers, galleries and wholesalers. (She's also got a fun Esty store.) Janet's one of The Word Factory's original clients, a great friend and my go-to gal when I need cool gifts for business or personal giving. Seemed only natural to ask her to weigh in with some gift-giving guidance.

4 tips for business holiday gifts

Corporate gift-giving during the holidays is always a bit of a challenge, but it’s the perfect opportunity to say thank you so you want to do it well. When it comes to business gift-giving, whether within your office or out to clients, prospects and suppliers, think thoughtful and not too terribly personal. Here are my tips:

1. Buy local.

I like giving something local because it means supporting your business community while thanking the people who have worked alongside you all year long. Margot's also got some great ideas for how your business can support small businesses.

2. Give to the group.

Choose something that everyone can enjoy together for a nice way to celebrate and connect during the holidays. How about sending breakfast or lunch from a neighborhood deli or arranging for a food truck? Group tickets to a sporting event, concert or performance are good, too.

3. Make it meaningful.

Make the gesture feel personal. Coupons for car washes for commuters who drive to work. A gift card for their favorite coffee or lunch place. Homemade cookies or other goodies for foodies or non-cooks. Movie passes for film buffs. A contribution to a cause you know they care about. Check out Margot's tips on infusing your content and marketing with empathy.

4. Avoid miscues.

Finally, it bears repeating: Nothing political, nothing religious unless, of course, you work in these industries or you're OK with potential blow-back.

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