Whether you’re looking for gifts to give, to receive, or to simply treat yourself, these 10 gifts for small business owners promise to make your 2016 more productive and profitable.
It’s the season of giving. Of course, as a small business entrepreneur that means other people will expect you to give to them. But should someone happen to ask what you would like for the holidays, or if you want to treat yourself to something that makes your work life better, our list of 10 gift ideas for small business owners should make the coming year merry and bright.
OK, so unless your employees really love you—and you compensate them handsomely—the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a small business gift you’ll have to buy for yourself. For the pro on the go, the X1 Carbon is the thinnest (.73 inches thick), lightest (3.1 pounds) 14-inch notebook you can buy, and it also delivers all-day battery life.
In addition to portability, the laptop offers durability features designed to withstand drops, water spills, vibration, high and low temperatures, and humidity extremes (all within reason, of course). It’s pretty much ready for anything your workday could throw at it.
You can order the machine with an Intel Core i7 CPU, which gives you serious processing power to get work done. And, as with all ThinkPads, the X1 Carbon’ keyboard is the best you’ll find on a notebook PC. Configurations start at around $950.
When traveling with colleagues, you can’t always find a Wi-Fi hot spot (or you might not want to pay for connectivity for each individual). The D-Link Wi-Fi AC750 Portable Router and Charger (model DIR-510L, priced at $99.99) solves that problem and more.
A great small business gift idea, this pocket-size device lets you quickly and easily create a Wi-Fi hotspot from an existing Internet connection, such as your laptop’s 4G connection or for-pay Internet access at a conference center. The unit features dual-band technology to share files, stream media, and browse the Web with less radio congestion and interference, at speeds up to 750Mbps. Plus, the DIR-510L doubles as a battery charger; you can use its built-in high-capacity rechargeable battery to provide power to smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
After your employees, your data is your business’ most important asset. But securely backing up your server and individual PCs is an all-too-frequently delayed chore. With Carbonite Business offerings, you never have to think about it again. Just like the company’s individual backup/recovery service, Carbonite Pro automatically syncs all your files—in real time as you work—to the PC’s backup image on Carbonite’s secure servers.
Carbonite Business products go a step further with features like HIPAA, FERPA, and GLBA compliance, and free Valet Installation to get your business backing up in minutes. Carbonite Pro for Workstations backs up an unlimited number of computers, hard drives and NAS devices (annual pricing starts at $269.99).
Carbonite Server Backup covers an unlimited number of office servers, databases, live applications, NAS drives, Hyper-V. and external hard drives (annual pricing starts at $799.99). And the Carbonite Server Pro bundle covers an unlimited number of computers and servers starting at $999.99 per year.
Additionally, Carbonite Business customers can access, sync, and share stored files from any computer, smartphone, or tablet. You always have your business files, no matter where you go.
You need photos, graphics, and other art work for brochures, your website, presentations, and other marketing materials, but big-name photo-editing suites cost a lot and carry a steep learning curve. PicMonkey has the answer. This online photo-editing platform, a great small business gift idea, offers more than 1,000 filters and graphic overlays to help you create customized images, with no cumbersome software to learn.
Simply start with your own photo (or one of PicMonkey’s stock images) and use the site’s editor tool to perform basic edits, add effects and overlays, touch up imperfections, add text, and so on. An ad-supported free version lets you get started without commitment; if you like what you can create and want more advanced features, sign up for PicMonkey Royale for just $4.99/month.
It’s 11 PM, and you’re just settling down for a long winter’s nap when that nagging doubt pops into your head: “Did I turn down the thermostat at work? Did I set the alarm as I rushed out the door?” Or worse, “Did my closing manager remember to lock up, or is the store sitting wide open?”
Alleviate that moment of panic with ADT Pulse, ADT’s app-controlled business security and automation platform. ADT Pulse lets you remotely monitor your alarm, arm and disarm the system, and even automate lighting and thermostat settings—all from any smartphone.
The company also offers interactive video that lets you look in on your business any time, from practically anywhere. Plans featuring intrusion detection with live video surveillance monitoring start at around $60 per month.
The stress of running a business often takes its toll in the bedroom. We’re referring to getting enough sleep, of course. Studies show that if you’re not well-rested you’re more likely to make poor decisions, be short-tempered with others, and wind up in an early grave. A good-night’s sleep might just be the best gift idea for small business owners.
Considering all that, the Beddit Sleep Tracker ($149) might be the best gift you can receive. It turns any bed into a “smart bed” by combining an ultra-thin sensor (placed under the bed sheet) and an app for any Android or iOS device (including the Apple Watch).
It automatically tracks heart rate, movement, sleep cycles and more, and then delivers a personalized SleepScore each morning. It even tailors coaching to achieve better sleep in the future. There’s nothing to wear and nothing to do but sleep.
As long as we’re talking about cool gifts for small business owners that can also lengthen your lifespan, why not ditch that posture-killing, artery-clogging sit-down desk in favor of standing desk? The UpLift Desk is a high-quality adjustable desk that you can have customized to suit just about any office need and décor.
The wobble-free base is made of 100 percent recycled aluminum for better strength, stiffness, and durability compared to steel-leg desks. Choose your desktop from a range of sizes, and the company offers a huge selection of materials, including solid wood, sustainable bamboo, reclaimed wood, and GreenGuard-certified laminate in thousands of colors and patterns. Accessory options include keyboard trays, under-desk PC mounts, and monitor mounts. Prices start at $499.
Trying to get the work-life balance right? Then treat yourself to a projector that you can use both in the office and at home. For business, the Acer H6517ST projector ($749.99) delivers a bright 3,000-lumen image and short-throw versatility, which gives you flexibility on where you place it—even in areas with limited space or a lot of ambient light.
The top-loading lamp design lets you replace the lamp quickly—without needing an IT degree. And on the weekends, the projector can serve as the centerpiece for watching movies and sports at home, with full 1080p HD resolution, a 10,000:1 contrast ratio for vibrant visuals, and 3D-ready capabilities that let the projector display immersive Blu-ray 3D movies and games.
Not ready to ask your 8-year-old for a new laptop or a mobile payment system for the holidays? Then put a stapler on your wish list. But not just any stapler: The iconic Swingline 747 stapler, now available in an NFL Special Edition series.
As always, the metal construction with die-cast base provides maximum durability for lasting performance. The 747 can staple up to 25 sheets at a time and opens for tacking (to post papers to bulletin boards and so on). The NFL series carries the colors and logo of your favorite team, and pricing starts at $49.99.