Wondering what to get the independent professional on your list? Stumped about the best present for the small business owner in your life?
Although there’s more to the holidays than giving and getting, here are some useful gift ideas that will help your favorite freelancer be even more productive and successful in the New Year. Feel free to add your own gift suggestions in a comment below!
1. Membership at a local coworking space.
(You know I had to…) There’s nothing better than the gifts of friendship and community, and you’ll be giving both when you buy a coworking membership for your favorite mobile worker. Most coworking spaces offer different levels and lengths of membership, so it’s much more flexible than a gym membership or fruit of the month club. Do some light research before you buy to make sure the coworking space is conveniently located and has all the amenities your small business owner will need. Cohere has a wicked discount on 3 day pass packs right now. 3 days for just $25!
2. Cloud storage for precious data.
Freelancers live on, for, and through their laptop and other mobile devices. In the blink of an eye these precious machines can be destroyed by a poorly placed coffee cup or dragged to the floor by a dangling power cord (just ask Julie). Give peace of mind by purchasing a storage unit in the cloud. Online data storage backs up your files automatically, and allows you to access them from any internet-connected computer. Check out these top five affordable online storage services.
3. A stand-up desk.
While freelance work can be done from almost any location, it’s almost always done in a sitting position. According to a study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal, people who sat most of the day had a 54% increased risk to have a heart attack. Therefore, a stand-up desk can literally save a freelance writer’s life. Check out GeekDesk.com for some of the best stand up desk designs.
4. A mobile hot-spot.
While this might be at the pricier end of the holiday gift-giving spectrum, it is absolutely worth the cost. A mobile hot-spot has the power to change a freelancer’s life by creating a little bubble of secure wi-fi that will travel with them wherever they go. Slow, costly airport wi-fi, and unsecured coffee shop wi-fi will be a thing of the past, and your beloved freelancer will never have disconnect anxiety again. Read reviews of the fastest, most reliable hot spots.
5. Portable solar charger.
The only thing worse than having no internet access is dead devices with no power outlet in sight. Ease the fear of running out of juice by giving a portable charger that only needs the sun to work! There are now solar chargers that can power everything from your laptop to your smartphone as long as you’ve got an hour and access to sunlight. Check out the best portable solar charging devices here.
6. Industry-relevant e-books.
As a small business owner, it’s easy to feel like you’re just making stuff up as you go along. Reading books by successful entrepreneurs can restore inspiration as well as confidence. Instead of giving a bulky book that will only end up gathering dust, give a sleek (and more affordable) e-book that can be accessed anywhere. Here are some of our favorite titles:
Guide to Guerilla Freelancing – In this compact eBook (22 pages), Mike Smith packs in information on how to start your freelancing business for a minimum amount of money, red flags to look out for, benefits and drawbacks to freelancing, and more.
What Matters Now – This free 82-page eBook from Seth Godin is a collection of thoughts and quotes from well-known bloggers and thinkers on important topics. Each topic is about a page long. Use this book for inspiration.
Coworking: How Freelancers Escape the Coffee Shop Office – The only book written specifically for coworkers by coworkers, this is your guide to the who, what, where, why, and how of coworking. Featuring tips for finding and participating in a local coworking community, and personal stories from coworkers around the world.
Time Management for Creative People by Mark McGuinness from Wishful Thinking – Do you struggle to find enough time to get everything done? This book is here to help. Over 30 pages on how to manage your time better.
How to be a Rockstar Freelancer – Written by the creators of Freelance Switch, this ebook goes far beyond the creative aspects of the business, giving practical advice on the difficult situations a new freelancer can face: from managing your budget on a freelancer’s changing income to balancing work from multiple clients.
Seek and Destroy by Peter Shallard – This 61-page eBook discusses some of the common obstacles entrepreneurs face and explains how to overcome them. If your business is stuck and you can’t figure out why, Peter may have the answer
What do you want Santa to bring you?
Image Credit: Flickr – _Fidelio_