Seasonal shopping for suppliers can be tricky.

Your relationship with your suppliers is extremely important, so as the holidays roll closer, it’s time to start thinking of the perfect way to say ‘thank you’ for all the essential collaboration of the previous year. Ensure your generosity as a company is felt across the board with these tips on holiday gifting to your suppliers.

Work within any set guidelines

Certain suppliers could have specific rules regarding giving and receiving gifts. Additionally, your own company may have set gift-giving guidelines. Monetary limits considered professionally appropriate can be a cause for friction on both sides of this spectrum. Reach out to your suppliers and your HR representative to confirm any limitations before starting your season’s shopping.

Choose the right gifts

Avoid a social/corporate gaffe and do your research on what your suppliers find to be appropriate. A few general good choices include gift certificates, food baskets, plants and flowers, or donations to the supplier’s charity of choice. Stay away from gifts that fall into the personal category, such as clothing, jewelry, lotions, perfumes and the like.

If your supplier is international, ensure they even celebrate the same holidays, and that any gifts you send are culturally appropriate.

Get personal

Adding a personal message, especially a handwritten one, goes a long way when in conjunction with a thoughtful gift. It shows that you value your relationship with them enough to take the time to handwrite a well-meaning holiday note even in this digital age.

Send your gifts early

Sending your gifts a few weeks early ensures your vendors will be able to enjoy them throughout the season. Especially since the holidays tend to be stressful, they’ll appreciate the forethought and consideration on your end.

Make it clear that reciprocation is not needed

Be sure to clarify that reciprocation is not at all expected. Your only goal is that they enjoy the gift and feel your appreciation for their valuable service.

Making your suppliers feel special during the holidays is beneficial for your relationship, strengthening and fortifying it for the upcoming year. Say ‘thank you’ to suppliers with thoughtful, branded gifts found in the 2018 Seasonal Idea Book.