giftguideThe Holiday shopping season is upon us again. Each year, I get more and more overwhelmed with gift buying. Sometimes, I want to skip gifts altogether. (Who needs yet another trendy kitchen gadget?) But, the anti-Scrooge in me says to pause and give thoughtfully. Instead of grabbing deals left and right because they’re inexpensive and convenient, I try to put thought into what I gift and make sure the receiver will truly find it useful.

Thus, I’ve compiled a list of Practical Gifts for the Entrepreneur In Your Life (Plus a few just for fun). Some offer fantastic Black Friday – Cyber Monday deals. Heck, no one said there’s anything wrong with grabbing some deals for yourself while you’re at it – especially if they’re deductible business expenses! So, instead of frantically stocking up on ceramic mugs just to check a name off a list, why not give the person whose business is their baby something that’ll actually help bring success this season. (Ekcetera may get paid for linking to some of these deals, but we would never recommend anything we don’t truly believe will help our clients.)

And, even better than getting a great deal is YOU getting PAID each time you shop! Use Ebates to get a rebate on top of the deal you purchase. It’s simple and fun. I love getting rebate checks from Ebates. Check it out.

Websites & Design

Beyond Lovely – This fabulous new service we just launched offers semi-custom websites, logos, and more at a fraction of the price of a custom design. Help your Entrepreneur friend get his or her business off the ground (or get a makeover) with this easy-peasy system. Holiday Deal: Save $150 on a website. After you place your order, you’ll be asked for a coupon code. Enter SMALLBIZSAT14 to receive your discount on your final website payment. Gifting? Use the contact form to ask for a gift certificate option. Don’t forget to mention the sale. Valid now through Cyber Monday, Dec 1 2014.

HostGator – Most website owners need their own host. (Read more about hosting here.) HostGator is our preferred hosting provider of choice. This is the best time of year to launch a new website… or even be creative this holiday season and give your loved ones the gift of web hosting! Holiday Deal: HostGator is offering 55% off all hosting packages. Sale starts Friday November 28th and continues through Monday December 1st.

WPEngine – If you’ve outgrown a shared server, or your website hosting needs a little kick in the pants, WPEngine is for you (Only works on WordPress self-hosted sites). Holiday Deal: Sign up for an annual plan and get 4 months of free hosting! Use the special offer code CyberHosting14 when signing up.
GoDaddy – The easiest and best way to get a domain for your website is GoDaddy. Surprise someone you love with that URL they’ve been coveting. (Score bonus points if you put up a temporary website there too!) Holiday DealGet $1.49 .COM Domains thru Jan 5, 2015.

Productivity & Tools

Quickbooks Online – Any business operating online these days should be using a tool like Quickbooks Online for all its accounting needs. With tools like online invoicing, QBPro is a must-have to save time when running a business. Holiday Deal: Save up to 50% off now until Black Friday. See website for details.

Basecamp – Project management made simple. Basecamp is a tool we couldn’t live without. Any entrepreneur on your list would love a subscription to this online app that makes collaboration easy.

Evernote – A great way to keep everything in one spot. Images, notes, to-do lists, web clippings, receipts, you name it – Evernote will keep it all organized. There’s a free version available, but advanced users will find a Premium Account to be an ultimate gift.

BackBlaze – Online Backup Made Easy. It’s not a question of will you lose your data—it’s when. Whether it’s a catastrophic event, or a mad panda that destroys your computer, your PC will eventually lose your photos, music, and documents. There’s even an option to give a subscription. Someone will thank you the day they lose their data.

Dropbox The ultimate in online storage. Put your stuff in Dropbox and get to it from your computers, phones, or tablets. Edit docs, automatically add photos, and show off videos from anywhere. There’s a free version, but it’s limited in space. Sign up for the Pro option to get more.

Vonage – Need a more affordable phone option for your business? Vonage offers VoIP (Voice over IP) service that rivals the local phone company. Holiday Deal: Now through 12/31, when you sign up as a new customer, you’ll receive a $50 gift card from one of many amazing online retailers. 

Marketing Tools

MailChimp – Building an email list is one of the most important practices in marketing your business. MailChimp is the only premium service that offers a forever free version and not a time-limited trial. The free account is good for up to 2,500 subscribers. You can’t go wrong there. For larger lists, the plans are extremely affordable.

InfusionSoft – Once you’ve outgrown MailChimp’s abilities (that happens when you start having multiple offers or programs for people to sign up for), upgrade to InfusionSoft, which is not only an email marketing suite, but also a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) package. Holiday Deal: Top secret deals promising to save you time, money, or both.

HootSuite – Hootsuite offers a robust dashboard for social media scheduling, posting, tracking, and listening. Upgrade to the Pro version and get a 30 day free trial.

Design Resources

PicMonkey – This is one of my favorite resources for editing photos. There’s a basic free plan, but anyone who owns a business would love a Royale account to unlock some fabulous extra features.

PhotoDune – Stock photos starting at $1. Buy a credit package and your marketing materials will be spectacular.

Moo.com – Create unique cards using your own photos or designs to help your business stand out!

Vimeo – Don’t worry about taking up too much space on your website with video. Vimeo hosts them for you and has great customization options for embedding them on your website. For the best features, upgrade to a Pro account.

Just For Fun

Amazon.com – Shop Amazon’s Black Friday Deals Week and save big on gifts for everyone.

Treat.com – I love Treat because you can send personalized greeting cards that are designed beautifully. No more running to the post office for a postage stamp. And, with their Treat Card Club, you can save $1.50 per card. Perfect for the numerous thank you cards to write after the holidays are over.

Tiny Prints – Confession: As a designer, I get stressed about designing my own holiday cards. That’s why I love  Tiny Prints’ designs. They’re similar to something I’d design for myself. Holiday Deal: Enjoy Free Shipping With Orders of $49+ Coupon Code: FREESHIP49 11/24-11/27. Sitewide Sale: 30% Off Any Order + An Extra 10% Off! Coupon Code: 1128DEAL 11/28 – 11/30.  Save 40% Off Card Orders! Coupon Code: CYBER40 12/1 – 12/4.

Minted – Think Tiny Prints, but exclusive independent designer-sourced designs. With so many gorgeous styles, it’s hard to choose. Holiday Deal: Enjoy 20% off your holiday card order of $150+ or 15% off your holiday card order of $100+ Black Friday – Cyber Monday (no coupon required)

Stitch Fix – This is one of my favorite gifts for the hard-to-shop-for person. Simply fill out your style profile, and a personal stylist will handpick five clothing items. Keep what you want and return the rest. And the stylists, they’re good. I LOVED what they sent.

Orbitz – This is my go-to travel website. Join Orbitz’s Rewards program and earn cash back when you book with them. There’s all sorts of holiday travel deals. Now’s the time to book for a winter getaway.

Did I miss any deals that would be great for Entrepreneurs? Leave your promotion and link below and we’d love to send people your way. (We reserve the right to remove any distasteful links.)

Author: Kelly Garrett

Kelly is a connoisseur of all things marketing, tech, and design. As someone who fluidly transitions between the creative aspects of design and the technical requirements of online marketing, she’s able to solve complex puzzles to achieve a polished, cohesive look, strategy, and execution through her boutique agency, Ekcetera Design & Marketing's services.