With only a month or so until the holiday rush starts back up, the small business community is already looking toward a season of retail bliss. According to a new survey by Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business, over 1,000 small business were polled on their thoughts and hopes for the impending holiday season.
Starting with the basics, 39 percent of small business owners say that their sales are up from last year, where only 26 percent say they are down from last year. 35 percent of small business owners say that sales are the same as last year.
“The holiday season can bring both immense pressure and great rewards to local small business owners, so this is the most critical time for them to leverage online tools and the vast expertise of other business owners,” said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. “We’re pleased to see many of the small businesses in our community gaining awareness about how their online actions impact their business – from their online presence on sites like Manta, to selling goods and running promotions online – and sharing their best practices and advice with other business owners.”
When it comes to looking forward, 43 percent of small business owners are more optimistic about their holiday sales this year where 23 percent say they are less optimistic. 34 percent are sticking with the same outlook, and say that their holiday sales will be about the same.
As for the job market, a lot of businesses usually reach out to hire seasonal help to get through the holiday rush. In the small business world, a whopping 62 percent say that they don’t need any help where 25 percent say they can’t afford the extra hires. Only 13 percent of small business owners polled say they plan to hire holiday help this season.
Where coupons and promotions are concerned, 82 percent of small business owners polled say that they have and will not run a Groupon or Daily Deal this year. 3 percent say that they got more business with repeat customers using such a promotion. 4 percent of small business owners say that they got more business but no repeat customers and 11 percent say they lost money or had no effect from the deal they used.
When it comes to where small business makes the sale, 51 percent of small business owners say they are expecting the majority of their customer to buy in-store. 41 percent say online will be where they will see sales come in where 4 percent expect a mobile app or website to bring in sales. Only 3 percent of small business owners say they expect customers to send in a mail order to purchase goods, and 1 percent say they expect Groupon or an online deal to bring in their sale.
Age-wise 53 percent of small business owners polled say Generation X (ages 32-47) is most critical for them in making their holiday sales where only 2 percent of say Traditionalists (67+) are. 33 percent of small business owners say Boomers (age 48-66) are most critical, and only 12 percent say Millennial (age 12-31) are most critical for their holiday sales.
To read the full press release click here