Parents, guardians and loved ones, this one is targeted directly at you! With the holiday season upon us (be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.), I’m sure you’re thinking of what you can get the young entrepreneur(s) in your life.

Hopefully you’re thinking of what you can get that will have a positive impact on their business! But what to get them can often be a struggle, especially if they are the type that just buys what they want/need as it is wanted/needed. I know I’ve been told a few times that I’m difficult to shop for because I’m guilty of doing just that! Here are some helpful suggestions that can help your young entrepreneur’s business!

  1. Purchase one of their goods/services to give to someone else!
    • Cost: For the product, depends on pricing. For the joy it will bring the entrepreneur: Priceless!
    • This sounds odd, but by adding to their bottom-line can be one of the best holiday gifts you can give to an entrepreneur! It adds revenue to their business and it helps get the word out about what they have to offer from a trusted/credible source!
  2. One of the top 10 books for young entrepreneurs (courtesy of Forbes’ 10 Best Books for Entrepreneurs in 2017):
    • All In by Bill Green
    • Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
    • Disrupted by Dan Lyons
    • Idea to Execution by Ari Meisel and Nick Sonnenberg
    • Unshakeable by Tony Robbins
    • Grit by Angela Duckworth
    • The Third Wave by Steve Case
    • Pivot by Jenny Blake
    • Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone
    • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. Electronics! 
    • Tablets: This helps to keep your on-the-go entrepreneur connected wherever they go and don’t take up a lot of room in a bag.
    • Laptops: Just like tablets, these help your entrepreneur take their business wherever they need/please! Gone are the days of being permanently attached to a desktop/home office.
    • Smart Phones: Surprisingly, in this day and age, there are some young entrepreneurs that don’t have a smart phone! This could be due to financial reasons that have forced them to choose between a phone (and phone bill) and a laptop. However, in this day and age, if people can’t get a hold of you immediately (i.e. by phone, text or email), they will move on to the competitor. If you can afford it, maybe also offer to cover their phone bill for a few months.
  4. A Vacation!
    • This doesn’t have to be a week-long vacation at a 5-Star resort in the Mayan Riviera, it can be as simple as a weekend away skiing, at a beach, or at their favourite destination.
    • For the younger entrepreneurs in your life, this can even be paying for a March Break camp or sleep-away camp in the summer.
    • Alternatively, you can give them a vacation from cooking by prepping some meals for them that they can freeze and pull out on busy days!
  5. Gas Card or Transit Pass
    • A lot of entrepreneurs spend a lot of time on the road and it can get expensive! Consider getting them a gas card to a popular gas company in the area that they either live in or have to travel to a lot to help alleviate this financial burden a little bit.
    • Alternatively, if they don’t drive (or live in a city where it doesn’t make sense to own a car), get them a transit pass! Transit costs in some cities can be as high or higher than owning a car, especially if an entrepreneur is constantly jumping on and off the bus or subway. Just like driving their car, it can add up over time!
  6. Business-Related Items, such as:
    • Business Cards (and holder): Pay for someone to design personalised business cards for them so that they stand out! Don’t forget to include an awesome business card holder. I have a snazzy silver one I snagged from Vistaprint, and it’s helped to start more than a few conversations!
    • Logo Design: Help them with their branding efforts and attention-catching by paying for someone to design a logo that is unique and representative of them & their company.
    • Branded Swag: Take their logo & contact info and put it on some swag! This will help them up the ante and spread their word further when they are in the community or at business events. Some entrepreneurs may not have thought about the impact these little giveaways can have or don’t feel that they have the budget to spend on these, so this can really help them out!
    • Chamber of Commerce membership: A Chamber membership means a wider exposure within the community and normally to a whole different audience than the entrepreneur may have initially considered. The cost of the membership is more than made up for when you consider everything that comes with it: advertising in online and printed Chamber directories, exclusive Chamber events/workshops, and often excellent business-to-business discounts! Not to mention the fact that it can boost your credibility as a legitimate business.
  7. White Boards!
    • These are essential components to any entrepreneur’s office! They can be used to keep track of appointments in a highly visible way, help with short-term planning (especially if you get the ones that let you see two-three months in advance). They are also excellent for brainstorming ideas without wasting paper and can be wiped/altered as needed.
    • If you’re feeling particularly crafty, or want to custom-design a whiteboard for your entrepreneur, tile pieces and shower boards are great starting points!
  8. Assorted Gift Cards, such as:
    • Groceries: One less thing for the entrepreneur to worry about- how they will afford to feed themselves and/or family for a little bit! Try to get them for a place that you know the entrepreneur frequents, or you can give them a card to a place that they would normally never go due to costs as a treat (i.e. Whole Foods, Metro, a specialty grocery store unique to their culture, etc)
    • Clothing: Help them to cultivate a professional appearance by allowing them to go pick out clothes that they can wear when meeting clients or attending events. Encourage them to get the basic essentials (i.e. wrinkle-resistant button-downs or blouses, dress pants/skirts, dress shoes, and accessories).
    • Fitness Centres: This can be more beneficial than initially realised. It helps the entrepreneur take a break away from the office, reduces stress, gets them interacting with others in the community (you never know who you could end up next to on the treadmills!), and helps them to get away from sitting for a while.
  9. Magazine subscriptions
  10. Motivational Gifts 
    • Tickets to an upcoming business event: Check local listings or places like Eventbrite to look up upcoming business events in the area. Better yet, ask the entrepreneur if there is an event that they would like to attend but can’t due to costs.
    • An introduction to their “business hero”: You’ll need to use your connections and power of persuasion for this one! Pay attention to who your entrepreneur talks about a lot or seems to look up to in their industry. It could be an author, a motivational speaker, the CEO of a game-changer in their industry, or someone who just simply inspires them. The perfect way to get the answer to this question is to ask them “if you could chat with any other entrepreneur or your idol, who would it be and why?”. Then go from there. Start by asking around if someone knows that person, or even dial the number that is on their website. Be prepared to do some selling!
    • Introduction to a Mentor: Again, use your connections to find someone in their field that could give them a boost or someone who has gone through similar challenges to them. As detailed in Mentors: How They Can Do Wonders for You and Your Business, they can really help a budding entrepreneur get a confidence boost and the chance to hash out new ideas or think things through more thoroughly.
    • Classes/Workshops that are business related: Check with your local small business centres, employment centres, entrepreneurship organizations, municipalities, post-secondary institutions and industry-specific organizations to see if there are any upcoming classes or workshops that may be beneficial. If you are unsure of their time commitments or business needs, you can provide a list of upcoming classes and ask them to choose one or two based on their current/future needs. Alternately, some organizations have deals that allow you to pay so much money and then can pick and choose what classes/workshops you want to attend.

I know that this is focused on gifts to give during the upcoming holiday season, but these can be used at any occasion, and sometimes just to say “thanks” or show appreciation for what they do. As always, I encourage you to SHOP LOCAL when you can and support the other entrepreneurs in your area!

What ideas to you have? Share them in the comment section below!