Stumped as to what to get your favorite small business owner or startup guru for the holidays? No worries. There’s still time to buy the perfect gift for the entrepreneur on your gift list, and many of these can be purchased from the comfort of your chair.
Domain. Every business needs its own domain name. It’s far more professional to have an email address like email@example.com than a generic one, such as gmail, yahoo, or outlook.com. Fortunately, there are more than 1300 new domain extensions (or gTLDs – for generic top-level domains), such as .business, .guru, .shop, .online, .store, .photography, .agency, .fitness. Find – and register – domain names at a “domain registrar” such as Donuts, DirectNic, Google.
Simple website. Shockingly, about half of all small businesses do not have even a simple website. Building a website is now easy and inexpensive with templated small business website builders like Weebly, Squarespace, Wix, and Jimdo. Buy your entrepreneur a few months or year of hosting, and they can easily create their new website.
Company logo. Your very special favorite entrepreneur doesn’t have a logo yet? You can gift them the ability to choose a custom-made logo from a graphic designer from an online design service like 99Designs, Logoworks, or DesignCrowd, starting at about $299.
Online data storage. Most startup entrepreneurs store all their valuable data on their laptops. Computers get lost or stolen, so it’s critical to have cloud-based data storage. And a cloud-based storage service also helps your entrepreneur be mobile, stay organized and, as they build their company, collaborate with others. Three of the most popular are Dropbox, Box, and GoogleDrive which starts at just 1.99 a month.
Email service. Want to help your favorite entrepreneur grow their business? Gift them a year’s worth of a simple email newsletter service, such as Emma, ConstantContact, or MailChimp. MailChimp even has a very good free plan, so your gift could be helping your entrepreneur set up their newsletter. Or you could help them learn a social media management tool like Hootsuite, Tweet Deck, or Sprout Social.
Session with a business consultant. I’ll bet at least one person on your gift list dreams of starting their own small business but hasn’t yet taken the plunge. Help them take that first step. Search online for a business consultant and pay for an initial meeting or find your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and sign them up for a business planning workshop.
A connection. Here’s the most important thing you can give an entrepreneur: an introduction to someone who can help them grow their business. Know someone at the large corporation they’ve been trying to sell to? Arrange a lunch for the three of you. If your entrepreneur needs funding and you have any connections to potential funders – angel investors or VCs — introduce them. If you know someone in the media or other influencers, try to get publicity or an endorsement for your entrepreneur’s product or business.
Gift certificate for a massage. Whether your entrepreneur is hunched over a desk all day, travels constantly, or simply seems overly stressed, they could definitely use the chance to unwind and get the kinks out. That’s my favorite gift.
A great looking journal. Most entrepreneurs have more ideas than they can possibly keep track of. A nice journal and good pen motivates them to jot down all those great plans and keep them in one place. Consider a Moleskine – they’re all the rage with millennial entrepreneurs.
A giant monitor. Are you willing to splurge? Your small business owner will love you if you get them a large monitor. After all, it’s difficult, and tiring, to be working on a tiny monitor all day.
A real, physical book. Studies show that unplugging from all electronics for an hour or more before going to bed provides a better night’s sleep. So give your always-plugged-in entrepreneur a real, honest-to-goodness, physical book to read before bed so they can disconnect and actually get a good night’s sleep.
Chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. You know why.
Copyright, Rhonda Abrams, 2016
This article originally ran in USA Today on December 21, 2016