Managing: Hosting a Small Business Holiday Party Without Busting the Budget

Get the Most Out of Holiday Gatherings

It’s that time of year – time to start thinking about your company’s holiday party. You are having one, aren’t you? Even if money is tight, and your employees know there’s not a lot to go around, you should celebrate the fact you’ve survived the past year’s economic roller-coaster.

Here are some holiday party ideas that will help even the smallest company create a special and memorable event:

Go home. Employees will always remember the year they got invited to the boss’s house for the holiday party. Your home doesn’t have to be fancy—it’s the fact that you’re willing to open it to your staff that counts.

Get everyone involved. If you’re really on a tight budget, consider hosting a pot-luck party in the office. Come up with a theme, like everyone bringing a dish from their family recipes or their ethnic background; or do something silly like everyone bringing red, green or white food.

Make it fun. Whether you host your party at a posh restaurant or your office, don’t just sit around and eat. Have games, speeches or contests to get employees involved and interacting. You could have a White Elephant gift game where people try to get rid of goofy gifts, or just have Secret Santa gift exchange.  

Invite clients. Inviting clients to your company party is a great way to cement relationships. It also enables clients to mingle and get to know each other, as well as your staff. That can build new relationships for them—something they’ll thank you for.

Get creative. Your party doesn’t have to be at a hotel, restaurant or even in your office. Think outside the box by hosting a mini-golf party, beach barbecue (depending on where you live), or paintball party. What makes sense for your company?

Give back. Volunteering for a charity is a great way to start off your holiday celebration. Your staff can spend part of the morning serving a charity group together, then bring everyone back to the office for a festive holiday celebration.

Looking for more ways to reward your employees? Talk to the experts at SCORE about ways to engage and encourage the people who make your business grow.

Rieva Lesonsky
<p> Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. <br /> <a href="" target="_blank" title="GrowBizMedia"></a> | <a href="" target="_blank" title="Rieva on Twitter">@rieva</a> | <a href="" title="blogs by Rieva">More from Rieva</a></p>


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