Join us - Friday 29 September 2023

The Business Improvement Summit


Featuring 'Blog From the Dog


It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be in the red

If you’re a small business, in all likelihood, with Christmas only weeks away, you’ll be pondering how much or how little you can spend on Christmas gifts this season. With many of us finding this year - and previous ones under the cloud of the pandemic - a struggle, you may be wondering how much the budget will stretch to.

How can you express your thanks to your top clients? How should you reward your teams?

We all appreciate a thank you or a token which expresses their value to the business but it’s a difficult balance to strike when finances are tight.

Stress not - we have some ideas and food for thought.

Hampers, charitable donations, cards or bonus?

Food or alcohol orientated gifts tend to be the traditional route for colleagues and clients. Bear in mind that with less of us working in the office, delivery may be hampered (pardon the pun) if recipients are absent most of the time. This is especially a consideration for the stinky cheese gift or the posh pâté.

If you know your clients well, it’s worth tailoring a gift to a specific personal interest they have. Have you considered a handwritten card perhaps? The personal touch goes a long way and well-meaning words in a nice card are economical yet meaningful.

It may be more appropriate to make a donation to a charity and drop a card to your client which includes the details of the charity. For example, a note to explain that:  “A local children’s charity will receive this donation to provide presents to cash-strapped families this year”.

And now we’re more used to going “Out, out”, what about making a suggestion to cover a lunch or coffee? By doing so you can continue to nurture the relationships you have with your clients but also give your time. This may well be more cost-effective and also enable you to create opportunities for 2023.

For your team, a hamper is less likely to be well received than a Christmas bonus but it’s important to think of the numbers; would vouchers make more sense? Retail vouchers up to a value of £50 for any one occasion (up to £300 per year) are treated as a trivial benefit for staff and a retail voucher will therefore retain its full face value whereas a cash bonus must be taxed.

Alternatively, could the business sustain a paid day off for your team instead?

A ballpark figure for Christmas gifts?

Think about allocating budgets for each client according to how much they spend with you. 

Analyse where opportunities may arise in the following year - is it worth spending more on a client with potential? A good way of approaching this is to assign categories to each client and objectively allocate a budget with some sound reasoning behind it.

Help with the Christmas budgeting

If all this talk of Christmas gifting is giving you a headache, then we can give advice on whether or not you can afford to budget for them. 

Get in touch and we’ll run the numbers. Not only that, but we’ll give the basis for applying some consistency for future Christmases too.

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