Small Businesses Increasing Holiday Gifts and Incentives for Clients

With the economy on the mend and many small businesses today doing better than they were even at this time last year, the holiday gift-giving season is starting to extend more to companies of this size. A large and growing number of entrepreneurs say they plan to increase incentives for customers or clients in the coming month.

In all, more than three-quarters of companies polled  say they've made gift-giving part of their corporate strategies this holiday season, up from less than two-thirds at this time last year, according to a report from New York Newsday based on a survey from Incentive. Further, companies are increasing expenditures on these gifts, with nearly half saying they'll lay out between $50 to $299 for them. That's up from just 34.5 percent who did the same in 2012.

"We're seeing some pretty good signs of a healthy gifting market and one that's coming back to a certain extent," says Leo Jakobson, executive editor of the Manhattan-based Incentive, which targets corporate incentive planners and executives. "I think the economy is getting better and companies are feeling a little more secure about themselves."

This in turn could prompt many owners to get involved with the process as a means of competing with other companies in their areas, the report said. However, many may not know what types of gifts go over best. Interestingly, food-related items are usually the most popular of these gift types, even beating out the kinds of personalized or branded items many companies give out with their logos. Calendars and USB drives bearing a small business logo and contact information are, of course, prevalent, but often, relatively low-cost snacks and other such items – which can also be branded – go over just as well. For example, companies can order customized packages of popular snacks with bags bearing their names and logos.

Of course, because these gifts certainly cost money, owners will have to make room for such purchases in their budgets, and one way to do so is by finding more affordable small business insurance. Cutting expenditures on workers' compensation or general liability insurance, for instance, can save companies thousands of dollars per year which can then be directed to other efforts designed to help these enterprises grow more successful.