Another task, besides Budgeting, that is timely for the end of October is planning your gift-giving to clients.
The decisions are:
- Who gets a gift?
- How much will we spend?
- What will the gifts be?
- Who gets what?
- How will they be delivered?
So here is our process.
First, determine how much we billed each client. Those we billed over $5,000 in the first 10 months of the year get a gift. Others get a card.
Second, we budget 0.002 times the amount billed for the gift(s).
Third, we look at the number of gifts and their values and picked one or two items that seem to work. My list of past choices is below.
Fourth, bearing in mind that some authority (IRS, probably) says gifts shouldn't exceed $30, we let that inform the decision of who gets what. Often we give a client organization multiple versions of the gift, which are directed to different people that are involved in the project. Sometimes, we direct a gift to "Office Staff", too.
Fifth, we have drifted toward online gift purchasing that includes wrapping and delivery. Of course that adds cost. So it is a balancing act.
Feel free to modify this procedure in any way you want. I don't have a clue how anyone else does this.
- Alcoholic beverages (you have to know your client!)
- Cheese, fudge or combination from the monks at Gethsemini
- Candy from an upscale chocolatier
- Tin or tray of seasonal cookies
- A Big Bertha golf club (from my wife and I, delivered to the home, see limit issue above)
One last suggestion: keep each year's list where you can find it. Not remembering what you did last year creates some unnecessary anxiety.
If this activity puts you in the mood to think about your own Xmas List, check out these ideas.