The holiday season is upon us, and that means you are probably buying someone in your life a gift. If that particular person is a small business owner, I recommend getting them something practical.
Small business owners wear many hats. We plan. Create. Post. Order. Sell. Design. Call. Email. Network. Provide customer support. And occasionally sleep. We don’t need more stuff. We need tools to help make our life easier.
I compiled a list of some life-changing items that help me function more efficiently as a business owner.
They all deliver tremendous value at a low price.
Building A Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen – Donald Miller – $16.99 (as of 12/3/18)
Every business has a story. But do they know how to tell it so customers will listen? Most companies intuitively make their story about them, but Donald delivers an easy to digest approach to making it about your customers. Essential reading.
Everybody Writes – Ann Handley – Hardcover $17.00 (as of 12/3/18)
I received this book as a gift last Christmas. It took me six months to pick it up (I was already reading two books at the time). If I had known how engaging and insightful it is before reading, I would have put down the other two books.
Ann has a way of speaking to you through her writing that makes you feel like you’re buddies from college. She simplifies the process of writing, anything. The chapters are short and packed with actionable items to take your content marketing from stagnant to stellar.
Read it. Practice. Become ridiculously good at marketing.
Hemingway Editor – $19.99 (As of 12/3/18)
If you write anything online, the Hemingway app will be your new best friend. If you struggle with grammar, sentence structure, formatting, active and passive voice, or boring writing, You will love this editor!
Adobe Spark Post – Monthly subscription $9.99/month – Spark Post is an easy to use social media graphic, video, and single web page creation tool. They offer a free two-week trial so that you can check it out yourself. There are no long-term contracts.
What I love most about this tool is the ability to batch produce images or videos for sharing on social media. A mobile app is available, but I prefer the desktop version. The choice is yours.
Lavalier Lapel Microphone by PoP Voice – $11.99 (as of 12/7/18)
We live in a mobile-first world, and if you are recording videos for your business, you probably use your phone. This lapel mic plugs into the microphone jack on your phone and makes your videos sound professional. If you have an iPhone 7 or newer, you’ll need an adapter for the headphone jack.
I picked up this one up for $11.00 on Amazon. Your total investment for the mic and adapter is $23.00.
Sticker Mule Custom Stickers, Magnets, Buttons, Packaging, and Labels – Prices vary by quantity
Sticker Mule creates high-quality products and their customer service rocks! Orders typically ship within four days, for free. You can order samples to see what your finished product looks like before placing a large order.
Creative branding is everything and makes a lasting first impression.
Covax Laptop Backpack – $17.99 (as of 12/3/18)
I recently discovered this backpack while searching for a for a better fitting bag for my laptop. If you are tired of having your work bag hanging to one side and pulling on your shoulders, here is your solution.
This stylish bag hugs your body and has numerous sections and compartments. Did I mention it’s only $17.99?
The Go-Giver and Go-Givers Sell More – Prices Vary (but they are under $20.00)
This book series will change your business approach. Every business owner should read it and heed the message. What’s the message? If we shift our focus from getting to giving, consistently add value, and focus on relationships, we will thrive as business owners.
The story is powerful. The message is simple. You already possess the necessary tools. Now, Go Give.
I recommend reading the Go-Giver first and then Go-Givers Sell More. Want more? Check out The Go-Giver Leader and Influencer (not pictured).
If you could change the life of another person and help them succeed in business for under $30.00 wouldn’t that be the best gift ever?
Need more ideas? Check out my 5 practical Gift Ideas from last year.
Christopher is a Personal Branding and Productivity Coach empowering real estate agents and small business owners to stand out in the crowded marketplace and increase productivity. He’s developed his personal brand as a real estate broker in NY & ME, International DJ, and Coach. Everything he teaches revolves around real-world experience, not textbook advice.