Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Small Business Edition

On December 5, 2010, wrote:

Christmas is fast approaching. It’s time to start making those wish lists. Sure, family and friends will have their usual go at giving and receiving, but small business owners, Internet marketers, technology professionals, and entrepreneurs are entitled to have their own holiday fun, too.

So, in lieu of technology and Internet marketing coming together in the most wonderful time of the year, Lakeshore Branding presents its Holiday Gift Guide 2010 – Small Business edition.

An Android mobile device: If you’re tired of hearing how awesome the iPhone is, but still want to experience what it’s like to be part of the ongoing smartphone revolution, then an Android-powered mobile device is an equally viable alternative. The Android app marketplace has over 100,000 apps, so you’re not really going to miss out on a lot should you decide to shun Apple. Android phones, moreover, are available on most major U.S. carriers. Check out our top picks:

  • HTC Droid Incredible: Launched last spring, this Android 2.1 smartphone is also equipped with the powerful Snapdragon processor, a 3.7-inch OLED screen, and an 8-megapixel camera.
  • Samsung Galaxy S: This phone goes by different names (Epic 4G, Vibrant, Captivate, and Fascinate), depending on your network, but its specs are best described with one word: impressive. It features a 1 GHz “Hummingbird” processor along with 8–16 GB internal Flash memory, a 4-inch 480×800 pixel Super AMOLED capacitive touch-screen display, a 5-megapixel camera, and a VGA front-facing camera.
  • Motorola Droid X: This Android smartphone has a wide 4.3-inch screen, an 8-megapixel camera (perfect for capturing 720p HD video), HDMI connectivity, its own hotspot mode for sharing 3G over Wi-Fi, and up to 40GB of total storage.
  • T-Mobile G2: Powered by Android 2.2, this super-fast smartphone comes with a 3.7-inch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, a Snapdragon processor, 4G speeds, and a built-in set of Google apps.

A laptop upgrade: Hard-workers deserve machines that make computing easier and more fun. It’s also not unusual to want a laptop that is made for today’s computing and browsing experience: social media, HD video playback, cloud-based services, etc. The new 11.6-inch iPad-inspired Apple MacBook Air, for example, is built for work and for play, and, with its all-flash storage and long-lasting battery, perfect for professionals always on the go. Or you can opt for something like the powerful HP Envy 14, which – thanks to its powerful features – was recognized as Computer of the Year 2010 by Wired.com.

An entrepreneurial story: Wisdom & Wisecracks for the Aspiring Business Owner is now in its second edition, and it contains plenty of insights and inspiration for today’s business owners, startups, and independent professionals. The author, Will Estell, is the VP and publisher of 3G Media, LLC, but he’s also gotten his hands on entrepreneurial endeavors in fields like construction, advertising, sales, and even health club management.

A good D-SLR camera: Tired of spending money on photography services? Revamping your e-Commerce site with a new product catalog? Invest in your own digital SLR camera and you’ll be better able to take professional-level photos. Our pick here is the new Nikon D3100, a 14.2-megapixel D-SLR with a Guide Mode that features intuitive step-by-step assistance via a graphical interface on the 3-inch LCD screen. The D3100 is one of the best entry-level D-SLR cameras out there in the market, allowing you to achieve amazing imagery without getting lost in complicated functionality

Privacy and reputation: Don’t think that privacy is impossible in the age of social media and online databases. Sure, there’s no delete button on the Internet, but online reputation management services like Reputation Defender, for example, work to bring back your privacy and your reputation. For $99, you get a year’s worth of protection.

A cell phone leash: A what? That’s right: a cell phone leash – wireless, compact, and loaded with security features. The Zomm protects professionals who use their mobile phones or smartphones as their business and communication portal, and who want to be spared of the awful inconvenience of losing it. Designed to ensure you’ll never lose your phone, the award-winning Zomm is a wireless leash for Bluetooth-enabled cell phones, sounding an alarm if you walk away from your phone and notifying you to turn around. It also features call notification with speakerphone, a panic alarm, and an option that allows you to call emergency assistance from anywhere in the world with just one press of a button.

Sound Sticks: Looking to increase productivity in the office? Forget apps and expensive office software in the meantime. How about whistling while you work and creating a fun, upbeat workplace? Harman Audio’s Sound Sticks III speaker system, whose predecessor was part of an art collection at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, looks good in the office – and sounds even better.

Bluetooth Keyboard: iPhones, iPads, and Android smartphones are great for the mobile experience, but what if you and your employees prefer to type on a traditionally-sized keyboard? Check out Jorno, a pocket-sized, foldable Bluetooth-enabled keyboard that lets users write E-mails in a café, take notes in a meeting, and blog pretty much anywhere.

Laptop stand: Bad ergonomics, aching backs, strained wrists all lead to decreased productivity. And for a small business owner like yourself, you’d hate to see the people who work for you weighed down by arthritic concerns. The AviiQ, the world’s thinnest portable laptop stand, is designed to extend the life of users’ laptops – as well as their wrists. At $79.95, the laptop problem is solved.


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