Universal Gift Ideas for Every Birthday Party

Are you one of those people who are always at a loss when it comes to choosing which present to get for someone's birthday? It can be so stressful deciding what to buy because you don't want to buy the wrong gift and disappoint your friend or family member. Even though we all know it is the thought that counts, we convince ourselves that a bad gift will reflect badly on ourselves and upset our loved one. If this describes you, then you have arrived at the right place.

In this article, we are going to introduce six universal gift ideas that would be perfect for any birthday party. What's even better is they don't cost a fortune!

1. Event Tickets

Young and old people alike always have an event that they would like to attend, whether it's a rock concert or classical music performance, ballet or play, an indoor skydiving activity, or an escape room experience. So when you are not sure what present to get for someone, you can always look at some of the events happening in their area, and get them tickets to the event you think they would like. If there is no event happening, you can always get a trip voucher, movie tickets, or bus tickets for a weekend getaway. All of these make good universal gifts that people love.

2. T-Shirts with Funny Slogans

Everyone loves a t-shirt with an interesting or funny phrase printed on it. The experts of https://vintageshirts.io/ explain that there are some really fun websites selling designer T-shirts with cool sayings. Most people would love a fun shirt that says something like "I don't eat my friends" or "Feminist if my second favorite F word". If you know the recipient's personality well, it will be even easier to get them a T-shirt with a quote that you know they will like. A shirt is also a useful and practical item that will remind the person of you every time they wear it.

3. Wine

Even people who don't drink often love to receive wine as a gift since they can certainly use it on some other occasion. Especially when you are going to a birthday party, bringing any kind of wine is a good idea since it will most likely be used at the party right away. Hence, it may be wise to keep some quality whites, reds, and rosés on hand that you can grab whenever you go out to a party, or have a birthday coming up. You don't need to spend a fortune on a good bottle of wine these days, but if you are new to wine, go to a nice wine store and ask the experts there for some advice.

4. Self-Care Gifts

Everyone needs their daily self-care items, so self-care items are great universal gifts that will always be appreciated. There are hundreds of options, from lotions to shampoo, face masks, hair masks, lipsticks, bath bombs, to shaving cream and hair wax. You can never run out of options, and it may also make sense to stock up these self-care essentials during sale season so you can 'gift' them whenever a birthday comes around without having to go through the trouble of thinking what to buy and where to buy. If you want to appear even more thoughtful, you can do a surprise gift bag that contains several items.

5. Gift Cards

If none of the above seems quite right for you, then you can always go for a gift card. These are always a great choice, especially when you are totally stuck for ideas or buying for someone you don't know too well. People always appreciate the ability to be able to buy whatever they want rather than receiving something they don't need (or like!). If you know the recipient's favorite store or brand, then just decide on an amount and purchase a gift card for that store. If you don't know what store they like, you can simply get a gift card at a big department store, and the birthday girl or guy will get to choose from all the hundreds of options there. Gift cards make excellent gifts for any occasion, not just birthdays!

6. Books

Many people love to receive books as their birthday present as it is a gift that they can enjoy again and again. If you know the things they are interested in, try to choose a book on the bestselling list for that genre. If you don't know much about what they like, you can simply get them a book you love. This is a really nice way to share something with the recipient which you can discuss later and build a connection with them.

These are many really interesting universal gift ideas for any birthday party. Even with universal gift ideas, you can still add your own personal touch to make the recipient feel even more special. Try out one of the options on this list and you are sure to put a smile on their face.

3 Min Read

Five Essential Lessons to Keep in Mind When You're Starting Your Own Business

"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.

Find A Need And Fill It

I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.

Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.

Have Working Capital And Credit

There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.

I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.

Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.

My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.

Know Your Product Thoroughly

I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?

My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.

My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!

More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.

Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth

I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.

I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.

Delegate From The Bottom Up

I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.

In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.