My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

The Gift of Giving

Ideas for holiday gift-giving.
- Magazine Contributor
Writer and Author, Specializing in Business and Finance
2 min read

This story appears in the December 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

CPA Wendy Barlin didn't go with the same old fruit basket or box of chocolates for her holiday gifts--she chose a three-month Netflix subscription. "This is something people could actually use," says the 35-year-old Marina del Rey, California, entrepreneur. "It shows how my company can think differently."

Leah Ingram, author of The Everything Etiquette Book, says holiday gifts are a great way to build relationships with customers. She offers these tips for avoiding faux pas and standing out from the pack.

Make it personal. In addition to a handwritten card, try to give something that relates to the person's interests, says Ingram, like an item related to a favorite sports team or a hobby.

Do some homework. Don't just find out what the client's interests are--you should also try to find out if there are any company policies against receiving gifts. "My litmus test is if I can write it off," says Ingram. "The IRS allows you to write off up to $25 per business gift. Giving someone a [gift in that price range] probably isn't going to get them in trouble."

Tread carefully with alcohol. You might offend tee-totalers or inadvertently stumble on addiction issues, and some companies don't allow alcohol at all. Ingram suggests giving a set of sophisticated tumblers instead of a bottle of booze.

6 Years After 'Shark Tank,' This Lobster Roll Food Truck Clawed Its Way Into a Multi-Million Dollar Business