Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. The effort to grow a company around a product or service offering can often be strenuous, slow-moving, and stressful. The world’s current economic climate and the state of global affairs don’t make things any easier.
Moreover, being an entrepreneur is inherently risky. New business owners invest their time and money in a venture that is by definition not a sure bet. Many work countless hours without pay to grow their team, validate a product-market fit and market their product or service.
However, with great risk, comes great reward. There are few things more satisfying as the self-determination of owning your own business. An entrepreneur is his or her own boss and makes their own decisions. As a result, they experience a kind of ownership and authorship over their lives than those working a typical nine-to-five job rarely attain.
This sense of ownership can be a double-edged sword An entrepreneur owns his or her failures, as well as their successes. That sense of self-reliance means that it’s difficult or impossible to explain away mistakes by casting blame on a boss, co-workers, or anyone else. But, even being held responsible for mistakes can help an entrepreneur learn and grow.
As any new business owner knows, the initial customers that allow the company to keep the lights on and grow are often the ones that you appreciate the most. Finding those first few customers or early adopters that help establish proof of concept of a product-market fit is often a painstaking yet rewarding process.
Moreover, retaining those customers and ingraining a sense of loyalty in them is often the key to keep the business growing. A great way to foster that loyalty is with the personalized touch of a thoughtful gift. Gift-giving has been a form of social bonding likely as old as humanity itself and in the same way it can help bond customers to your business or brand.
It’s no wonder that as this piece by the Washington Post explains, today’s startups are looking for ways to boost customer loyalty. So, let’s explore some gifts ideas for fledgling entrepreneurs to do just that.
- A Himalayan Salt Lamp
For those with a penchant for the bohemian or alternative, a Himalayan salt lamp can be a great way to gently light up a room and to light up a face with a smile. These subtle pink light fixtures made from genuine Himalayan salt cast a soothing, ambient glow that is perfect mood lighting for a bedroom or sleeping quarters. Also popular are candle holders made from Himalayan salt that can present an alternative for candle lovers.
Most Himalayan salt lamps sport a cultured and refined look and a price tag that won’t break the bank. In fact, they’re quite affordable. Buying one for a customer could mean that they think of you and the part your business has played in their lives every time they light up a room.
Enthusiasts of these stylish salt lamps even claim that they may produce ions when water particles are attracted to it and then evaporate off as they are heated by the lamp, forming negative ions conducive to health. There are even salt therapy classes taking place throughout LA and Las Vegas that feature entire rooms walled with the lamps, according to this piece by the LA Times.
While there haven’t been tests to validate these claims, it’s possible there is something to them! At the very least, they’ll add a beautiful, wholesome touch to a room or sleeping area.
- A Stylish Compass
The beautiful thing about gift-giving is that it doesn’t always have to be a purely literal gesture. Good gifts can incorporate something of the symbolic and metaphorical. A thoughtfully selected sleek compass can be a great way to remind cherished customers to follow an authentic, truthful path in their lives that is informed by a sense of direction and purpose.
A personalized note can be a great way to explain the significance of the gift and with a customer the best of luck on their path and in life. That’s not to say the compass needs to be purely ornamental in nature! It might just serve as the inspiration he or she needs to step outside for a hike, or perhaps even the camping trip they had been putting off.
Because of how they operate, through the Earth’s magnetic field, compasses represent all of our connection to the natural world, and they can even be the tool a hiker or camper needs to find their way! Encouraging others to stay spiritually centered is the best gift you could give. Keeping in the loop with a quality health and lifestyle publication can also be an important step in that direction.
The sport of orienteering, a little-known but enthralling sport, has competitors navigate through unforgiving terrain using only a map and compass. It just might be the cue your customer needs to regain a more rugged connection with the natural world.
- A Fun Set of New Socks
For those more practically minded that prefer a gift, they’ll use on a weekly or even daily basis, a fun gift box of assorted socks can be a great way to make sure customers are thinking about you. Socks make for a great gift because they’re almost sure to be worn (as long as you don’t get too adventurous with their style) and they avoid one of the primary pitfalls of a wearable gift. Namely, it’s pretty difficult to buy the wrong size!
For men in particular, who often have a difficult time being adventurous with their fashion choices, a colorful set of socks can be a great way to have fun with their wardrobe choice.
If you’re looking for the right style, check out this gift box set from No Cold Feet.
- A Moroccan Tea Set
Moroccan tea sets are cozy, homey, and refined. They’re the perfect give for a loyal customer that loves their tea. In Morocco, they’re often used to make mint tea, but they brew black, green, or white tea just as well.
Particularly for customers fond of the slightly exotic Moroccan design, a tea set can be the perfect gift to have them thinking of you when they sit down for their favorite hot beverage. Aside from brewing tea, they look great, presenting a great option for them to display in their kitchen or dining area.
- A Glass Chess Set
For customers fond of thinking a few moves ahead, a glass chess set can be a great gift to show you’re grateful for their business. Although much of chess has moved online due to the internet, most good players also enjoy some of their games in a more traditional fashion, or “over the board” as it’s called in the chess world.
Aside from being one of the world’s most ancient and beloved games, a glass chess set can also be a perfect presentation piece for a living room or office. As this piece from the New York Times put it, chess moves are artistic with pieces made of glass.
To sum up, entrepreneurship is a difficult journey, and it’s important to show those that supported you early the love and gratitude they deserve. Hopefully, these gifts will be a good place to start.