Don’t forget gifts for your mail carrier, trash collector or electrician this holiday season. Recognizing your service providers can make them feel appreciated for a job well done and encourage them to provide great service for the coming year. Take some time to think about all the heroes that have made your life easier this year.
Here are some ways you can account for everyone on your list without going overboard:
Budget- Unfortunately, gift giving doesn’t count as a business expense so try to budget your holiday tips with the rest of your annual gifts. Subtract your allowance for service providers from your total allocation of seasonal expenditures. Setting one budget for everyone will help you keep an eye on the big picture.
Make a list- Once you’ve got your budget down, you’ll want to make a list of recipients. Think about each individual that has helped your business run smoothly and try to put them in order of importance. The people that you have regular contact with should go on top and receive the biggest portion of your resources. Your security guards, shipping person or cleaning crew would probably take the lead while less familiar attendants might only require a small gift or a heartfelt note. Don’t forget to include people that help with your personal life. A dog walker or a nanny make it possible for you to get your job done and come back to a happy home.
Gift appropriately- Some service providers can’t accept money. For example, U.S. mail carriers are not allowed to take cash and they can only receive gifts up to a $20 value. Furthermore, cash may not be suitable for salaried professionals but a gift basket or food might suffice. Research the company or ask an employer, a little investigative work will help avoid awkward interactions.
Write a note- Always accompany gifts with a handwritten note. Also, if you’re unsure about a gift or you don’t have the financial strength to pat everyone’s back, a handwritten note can be an acceptable substitute. Try to be as honest and genuine as possible with the message. This is one of the few times when it really is the thought that counts.
Service providers often know they’re doing a good job when nobody notices but an unexpected gesture could make a big difference this year. Give thanks to everyone who has touched your heart and you’ll feel good about moving into a happy and productive new year.
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