Shopping for customer gifts this time of year is confusing for many small-business owners. Any one can go out and get a lavish gift, but this sends the wrong message to the customer about how you value their business. It is much better to send a gift that is unique and memorable.
Here are 10 gifts that cost under $20 that any customer would welcome. Don't forget to purchase them on Small Business Saturday!
1. American Red Cross Hand Crank Generator ($15). With Hurricane Sandy this year, every gift list should start with a hand crank generator for a cell phone. Many customers lost access to their contact information when their phones went dead. It is also valuable in a non-emergency for days with a lot of of smartphone usage.
2. Decision Paper Weight ($15). Ease the weight of making tough decisions on your customer. This paperweight gives outright decisions like yes or no, but also includes "sit on it" or "pass the buck." Perfect for any customer with executive responsibilities.
3. Macaroon Earbud Holder ($4). Let’s face it. Earbuds are a problem for every customer. They are constantly getting so tangled that they become almost unusable. The solution is to use these holders and suction them to their mobile phone. Customers will constantly be thanking you for finding this solution.
4. USB Hubman ($10). Customers can never have enough USB ports, especially on laptops and tablets. This handy addition adds USB ports when they need them. It also conveniently fits into their computer carrying case.
5. Cyberclean ($5). Let’s be honest. Computer keyboards and keypads are disgusting. What customer wouldn't prefer a sparkling, clean device? Let this biodegradable gel loose onto the unplugged device and it cleans up all the bacteria. Great for customers who are also germophobes.
6. "I Survived the TSA" pouch ($18). Most business travelers have a somewhat hostile relationship with TSA. This little pouch is great organizing small items in their suitcase, but unfortunately since it is not transparent, it still can’t be used for liquids.
7. Bondi Cell Phone Holder ($20). This is a unique case to hold any cell phone or other music player. Bondi can keep the phone secure by hanging it on the wall, in the car, treadmill, belt loop or purse. It also keeps earbuds untangled.
8. Eau Good Water Bottle ($20). More customers are carrying reusable water bottles. Unfortunately, they begin to smell after a while. This gift has binchotan active charcoal which has been used in Japan as a water purifier since the 17th century. It can also reduce chlorine and balances the water’s pH.
9. Like/ Dislike Stamp ($13). In the tradition of Facebook, let your customer stamp every printed document with Like or Dislike (Thumbs up or Thumbs down) so people know exactly how they feel.
10. Rock Paper Scissors Marking Clips ($13). Keep the competitive juices flowing by using the popular "rock paper scissors" game for marking pages.
What's your go-to holiday gift for customers?
Photo: Think Geek