Birthdays and holidays are a great time to get others to help you improve your home business. It’s hard to know what to ask for sometimes, but even harder for others to know what gifts you want if you don’t ask. I’ve gathered some ideas to help you build up a list of home business gift ideas.
Udemy – Udemy has a lot of online courses that could be very useful to anyone running a home business. You could learn to develop apps, improve your social media or writing skills, learn about digital marketing and more. The courses are reviewed by students, so you can see which are likely to be worth your time and money.
Conference Tickets – If there’s a conference coming up in your industry, wouldn’t you love someone to get you tickets? They’re a great way to catch up on what’s happening in your industry and make new connections. Events such as Affiliate Summit, BlogHer, Social Media Marketing World and more can make a huge difference to a home business owner who is looking for ways to take their business to the next level.
Books – Get on Amazon and find books related to your industry that you’d like to read. Add all of them to your wish list. Here are some selections to get you started.
The key to picking a great book to gift to an entrepreneur is to know what they’re struggling with or want to learn. If they’ve told you that they’re having trouble getting results from their social media, for example, a carefully chosen book in that area may be welcome.
Remember that some things change fast in business. A book on online marketing that is a few years old may be badly out of date, while one on motivation is still relevant.
Microphone – If you have ever considered starting a podcast or posting videos, a good quality microphone would be a great investment. The Blue Yeti is a popular choice, but there are many to choose from.
One option to consider is whether a desktop microphone will be preferred to something that can be clipped on. This depends, in part, on where the person you’re shopping for works. If they’re at a desk all the time, a desktop microphone should work wonderfully. Some people, however, prefer the mobility of a clip-on microphone, especially when making videos.
Camera – How good is your camera? The ones in smartphones are pretty impressive these days, but if you want to get serious about high quality photography on your website, a better camera may be in order.
Consider whether they’re likely to use the camera to make videos as well. A camera that takes high definition video and can take sound input from a microphone will be a big help in that case.
Second Computer Monitor – I love having two monitors in my home office. My setup isn’t ideal, as one is attached to my laptop, but I’ve still noticed how much it helps to have a second computer monitor at times. The most useful setup is usually to have them side by side, which doesn’t work with keeping my hands at a good level with my laptop. Even with that disadvantage, having two screens is worthwhile so that you don’t have so much clicking back and forth to see different pages.
Make sure you know which operating system the person you’re shopping for is comfortable with. Someone who has Apple everything isn’t going to be as happy about the gift of an Android something or other, and vice versa. In many cases, it’s much easier to share apps across devices if they’re all the same OS.
Laptop or Desktop Computer – A new computer can be a wonderful gift if yours is getting old. Something a bit faster and less cranky is always nice.
Performance is always key with computers. You don’t want to give someone a computer that isn’t as good as what they already have. More RAM and more memory are always good, as are faster processors.
Of course, if you’re the more technical sort, you may be able to buy parts to upgrade their old computer. This is cheaper, but not practical unless you know how to put the new part in. It is fun, however, to take an otherwise good computer from “adequate” to “amazing” with just the right new part.
Laptop Cooling Pad – A laptop cooling pad can extend the life of your laptop by ensuring that it is always well cooled, even when you use it on your lap with a blanket.
I bought one of these recently for my laptop when its fan was struggling to cool it. This problem came close to destroying my laptop.
A cooling pad won’t save your laptop if the fan completely dies or if something else goes wrong, but it can drop your laptop’s temperature nicely. Some of the reviewers on Amazon have shared the results of tests they’ve done on various laptop cooling pads, and the results can be significant.
I chose the Havit HV-F2056, which has a lot of great reviews. So far, I’m delighted by it. If you have a laptop, I strongly recommend getting one. Be ready for a cold lap, though.
Smart Speaker – A smart speaker such as Amazon Echo or Google Home will be welcomed by many people. They’re a nice way to play music in your home, and they can answer questions for you. There have been problems here and there, and there can be privacy concerns, but those don’t seem to limit the interest much.
Whiteboard – A whiteboard is good for brainstorming or visualizing goals. It’s an easy way to keep ideas and goals in sight while you work.
This gift idea works best for an entrepreneur with an available workspace. It’s hard to use a whiteboard if it’s not hanging on the wall or otherwise readily available.
Don’t forget a variety of colors for the dry erase markers. It helps a lot if you can color code or sketch things out.
Sit-Stand Desk – I love my sit-stand desk from Autonomous. Appropriate heights can be programmed in, making it easy to change positions throughout the day. They say either sitting or standing all day is bad for you, but changing positions is better. You don’t have to get a full size desk – there are units that simply lift the keyboard and monitor on the desk you already own.
Office Chair – A good, ergonomic office chair is a must for anyone who spends long hours working in a home office. No one wants to be hurting at the end of the day due to a poor quality chair.
Proper back support is essential, as is a comfortable seat. You don’t have to get an office chair with a headrest unless that’s a preference. Most people don’t spend that much of their workday leaning back anyhow.
UPS Battery Backup – Having a UPS battery backup is a huge help for anyone who uses a desktop computer. There’s no worry about losing all your work if the power goes out. It’s less important with laptops, since they already have batteries.
Backup Drive/Personal Server – Having a backup drive or personal server can be a lifesaver if your computer dies. My husband’s computer inexplicably quit working recently – won’t even boot far enough to turn on the monitor. Fortunately, his hard drive was fine. Also, fortunately, we have a backup drive of our files anyhow. You don’t want to lose all your home business files because your computer goes kaput.
USB Flash Drive – These little drives come in handy so often. They’re great when you need to move data from one computer to another. They come with enough storage now that they can do some good work as backup too.
Alternatively, sign up for an online backup service. These can be very reasonably priced, and their data will be safe even if their home is subject to a disaster.
Portable Charger – I love my portable charger for those days when we’re on the go. It’s not necessarily just for work – they’re great when you go on vacation too. It’s nice not having to worry about running out of charge on my phone or camera while out and about.
Choose a portable charger that carries enough charge for multiple devices. It’s not at all uncommon for an entrepreneur on the go to have several devices with them.
Laptop/Messenger Bag – My laptop bag was one of my favorite gifts several years ago. I still use it any time we travel. It’s so nice having an easy way to carry my laptop.
When gifting a laptop bag, remember that more than a laptop will be in there. That’s why pockets, lots of pockets, is often a good idea. Make sure it’s big enough for their laptop and any necessary accessories.
Noise Cancelling Headphones – Noise cancelling headphones are great if you have a lot of background noise in your home office. You can get ones that will work with your phone if you have to call people, or just use them to listen to music while you work.
Square Card Reader – Square is great for home business owners who sometimes take credit card transactions in person. Its small size makes it convenient to carry around, plus it can be connected to a mobile phone, so payment processing can take place anywhere they have a data connection.
Moleskine Notebook – For the home business owner who likes to take a lot of written notes, a Moleskine notebook is a great choice. They’re attractive and functional. You can step it up a little with a Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook. It allows you to digitize your notes, which can be a huge help when ideas really get going.
Basic Exercise Equipment – Some basic exercise equipment to be kept in your home office makes it easier to get a quick workout in during the workday. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Some hand weights are a good start.
The one big catch with giving any exercise equipment is making sure it’s welcome. You don’t want someone to feel that there’s a hidden message in the gift.
Exercise Ball – An exercise ball is great for core exercises. It’s also useful as an office chair.
Treadmill Desk – For those who are more ambitious, a treadmill desk may sound like a good plan. It may be more difficult to type while using one for some people. If you can make it work for you, it’s a great way to keep moving while you work.
Gym Membership – Not only will a gym membership help them get fit, it gives an excuse to get out of the house more often.
Activity Tracker – It’s far too easy to be sedentary with many home businesses. A good activity tracker can be that little bit of encouragement needed to get up and move.
Posters or Art Prints – It’s their home office – it doesn’t have to be plain. The kind of posters or other wall decor depends on what you like and how professional your office needs to look. If you have clients come in, you have to consider them. If no one ever comes to your office or sees it on video, it’s all about you!
Fun Stuff – What do they like? My office has dragons, some Harry Potter stuff, Doctor Who stuff, Star Trek stuff… you get the idea. Go to Think Geek if you need ideas.
For The Home
Smart Thermostat – A smart thermostat makes it much easier to control the temperatures in your work environment. You can set up the basic program for what you usually want household temperatures to be, and change if if needed using your smartphone.
Fire Safe – A fire safe is a perfect place to put all your important documents, both for your business and your personal life. You can even keep your backup drive in one. You may never need fire protection for these things, but if you do, there may not be time to think about how to save them at that moment.
Shredder – Having a shredder is a great way to take care of those papers which shouldn’t be thrown directly into the trash. Most are also good enough to shred old credit cards too.
Video Doorbell – A video doorbell, such as Ring, can help you decide whether or not it’s worth it to answer the door during your work hours. The ability to know who’s there is a huge help when you don’t want to be interrupted, but you’re also expecting a package.
Food & Drinks
Stainless Steel Water Bottle – I love my stainless steel water bottle. It’s one of the ways I make it easier to drink water throughout the day. The straw lid I use minimizes the chances for a spill, which is great.
Travel Mug – A good travel mug will be loved by anyone who drinks their coffee or other hot drinks on the go. They help prevent spills, which is great for having your coffee in the office too.
Coffee – Some good coffee, or just some gift card to Starbucks or a local coffee shop, will be welcomed by many home business owners. A good source of caffeine is a great help most days. A good coffee maker is also worth considering.
Chocolate – For those who don’t drink coffee (me!) or who just love chocolate (also me!), some good quality chocolate is always a welcome gift. It makes a quick snack while working or taking a break.
Healthy Snacks – Having some healthy snacks available to grab and go is great for those busy days.
Childcare – Whether you offer to take the kids yourself or pay a babysitter, having the kids out from underfoot can be a huge help to the home business owner. This is especially true when kids are small and clingy.
Slippers – Is the floor of your home office ever cold? A nice pair of slippers will help you deal with that in comfort.
Massage Equipment – At the end of the day, a massage will probably always sound good. It’s much easier to get one if you have the right equipment. Alternatively, a gift card to a good local spa would be a great idea.
Big Red Button – For those days when you need to pound something in frustration. We all have those days.