A new survey of small business owners released today from Ink from Chase shows that like major retailers, small business owners are preparing for the holiday rush even earlier this year with more than one-third (34 percent) planning promotions beginning on or before Thanksgiving Day. To gear up, 47 percent of small business owners are increasing inventory or marketing, while 22 percent plan to enhance their social media presence.
The nationwide survey commissioned by Ink from Chase, the business card portfolio of Chase Bank USA, N.A., a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), reached 507 small business owners that sell consumer goods and have between two and 99 employees. Below are some of the key findings:
Small businesses owners are optimistic about business performance this holiday.
Overall, 34 percent of small business owners believe their business will perform better this holiday season compared with last year. Small business owners between the ages of 18 and 44 are more optimistic, as 50 percent believe their business will perform better this holiday season, while only 29 percent of small business owners over the age of 44 believe this holiday season will be more successful.
- Small business owners are attributing this success to better marketing (52 percent), expanded products and services offered (50 percent) and increased consumer demand (49 percent).
- Younger small business owners are especially likely to increase inventory, marketing and social media presence. In comparison with business owners over the age of 44, younger owners are more focused on utilizing friends and family discounts (38 percent vs. 18 percent) and social network promotions (41 percent vs. 24 percent).
Like major retailers, small businesses are planning for and adapting to customer preferences to shop online and pay with mobile devices.
- On average, small business owners anticipate about 30 percent of holiday sales will be through e-commerce, with 32 percent of small business owners predicting an increase in e-commerce sales from last holiday season.
- Twenty-seven percent of small businesses anticipate an increase in mobile commerce this holiday season and on average, are expecting about 13 percent of their holiday sales to be through mobile commerce.
- Seventy-seven percent of small business owners believe customers are most likely to pay with credit/debit cards this holiday season.
Confidence in business success may be encouraging small business owners to feel more generous this holiday season.
- Overall, 58 percent of small business owners are planning to spend extra money on employee gifts or celebrations this year, while business owners between the ages of 18 and 44 are feeling even more generous, with 71 percent planning to spend extra on employee gifts and celebrations.
- With more than one in three (35 percent) small business owners planning to work longer hours this holiday season, they are more interested in relieving stress with the gift of a personal getaway or more time with their family (40 percent), than with extra cash to invest in the business (20 percent).
“The holidays can be very stressful for small businesses owners who typically work longer hours and sacrifice time with family to end the year on a high note,” said Brent Reinhard, general manager of Ink from Chase. “We are inspired by the optimism shown by small business owners and Ink from Chase will continue to focus on delivering resources tailored to the financial needs of small businesses so they can continue to grow their business this holiday season and into 2014.”